Market Days: Every Saturday 8:00am – 12:00pm, rain or shine
Location: 325 South Melrose Drive just South of Highway 78 in Vista
The granddaddy of all San Diego County farmers markets was established in the town of Vista in 1981. Located at the County Courthouse, the market features 50+ farmers, vendors of prepared and hot foods, and local craftspeople. The emphasis is clearly on fresh produce and other products coming directly from area farms. The farmers are county-certified, meaning they actually grow what they sell and are licensed to sell to the public. In addition to the products for sale, there is live music every week. The annual birthday celebration takes place at the beginning of October each year, and will serve birthday cake this year to commemorate the first 31 years. Last year, they gave out over 500 pieces of cake.
Don’t miss Robert, The Parrot Man, who is there every week, under the big pine tree at the parking lot entrance. He brings an array of beautiful birds that will pose for photographs.
- Approach from West — Hwy 5 to Hwy 78, east for seven miles, off at Melrose, right, then right at third signal.
- Approach from East — Hwy 15 to Hwy 78, west for ten miles, off at Vista Village Drive, left, then right on Hacienda, then quick left on Melrose Drive, then right at second signal.
Vista Farmers Market keeps a tight lid on the size of the market, so unless you offer something unique, expect to wait on a list before being invited to participate. All participants must pay eight percent to their sales as a fee, with minimums as follows:
- Farmers: $8
- Food Vendors: $16
- Craft/Other: $30
Non-farmer venders are allotted 100 square feet of space each. Sellers must fill out an application and receive approval. Farmers are given preference, and the market tries to avoid duplicates or similar items.
Second Saturday is the monthly opportunity for a wide variety of vendors to acquire space, for a flat fee of $50, without limitation on duplicate products or franchises.
Approved sellers must commit to a weekly or monthly schedule, and are not allowed to leave until the market closes. Set-up occurs between 7:00 and 7:45 a.m. Sellers are encouraged to bring and set up tents, and to offer free samples to attract buyers. Displays should be attractive. The market provides no electricity, tables, tents or other equipment, so bring everything you need. Sellers are responsible for collecting and removing all trash at their spaces.