The Half Moon Bay Coastside abounds with charming farms and nurseries, and perhaps the best place to experience their bounty is at the Coastside Farmers’ Market . More than a place to cross items off your shopping list, the twice-weekly markets are lively community gatherings where patrons chat with farmers, sample fresh food, and tap their toes to live music. For visitors, the markets provide an authentic—and delicious—way to enjoy the Coastside community.
From May through December, two weekly markets enliven the coast:
Pacifica at Rockaway Beach
2:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Half Moon Bay at Shoreline Station
9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m
Each locale is home to a blacktop transformed into a colorful market buzzing with tote-touting shoppers who agree that the best way to celebrate the seasons is through food. While everyone knows a tomato plucked fresh from the garden is world’s apart from the waxy lumps found in big name grocery stores, farmers’ markets offer more than exceptional, mouthwatering foods. They also provide an opportunity to connect with growers and discover something new—from a lesser-known strawberry varietal to a favorite new jam. Staffed by a welcoming farmer or producer, each vendor booth offers the chance to learn from a good story, and, maybe more importantly, a delectable sample.
In spring, it’s impossible to walk a few feet without popping a strawberry into your mouth. In summer, you can taste your way through a bounty of brilliant produce, from juicy stone fruit at Ken’s Top Notch to sweet cherry tomatoes from Thao Farms . Come the fall, you’ll find no shortage of the region’s celebrated portly, orange squash to carve up for your doorstep or bake into a pie. Regardless of season, you’ll want to say hi to the cheery kids staffing the flower-and-veggie-filled booth at The HEAL Project , a community-based program that teaches local youth how to grow, harvest, and sell produce via a local organic farm.
It’s not all Brussels sprouts and squash blossoms at the market, either. Just ask the folks at Go To Chocolate who pile their booth high with exquisitely wrapped, handcrafted chocolates, caramels, and brittles. At Big Paw Olive Oil , you can sample a range of award-winning California olive oils including a few infused with ingredients such as white sage and lemon. Be sure to sample the “summer-in-a-jar” jams and jellies from Spread the Love . The plum is a favorite, made with fruit from fellow vendor Ken’s Top Notch. And the more we learn about the benefits of probiotics, the more we appreciate vendors such as Moss Beach Kombucha who turns organic fruits and teas into delicious kombuchas. The Meyer Lemon-Ginger has an extra kick from a cayenne tincture made with Half Moon Bay Distillery’s Purissima Vodka.
If you’re craving more sustenance than samples, market vendors also dish up prepared foods including savory, corn husk-wrapped goodies from The Tamale Place , and glazed confections and coffee from That Donut Girl.
Lastly, don’t forget the flowers! Half Moon Bay is renowned for its many greenhouses and nurseries, and the farmers’ market is good proof why. It’s impossible to miss the virtual field of dahlias, daisies, and sunflowers at Coastside Flower Farm, and at Fly Girl Farm, shoppers can assemble custom bouquets from tin pails brimming with dazzling blooms.
Hungry for more? Explore our vibrant agricultural scene further at Farm + Fish + Flowers. The popular annual event offers rare, behind-the-scenes tours of the Coastside’s many nurseries, farms, and historic sites.