• Pearl Alley Farmer's Market

    by  • July 11, 2011 • Events, Local Food, Travel • 4 Comments

    pearl alley farmer's market reviewTucked between Broad, High, Gay, and Third Streets in downtown Columbus is the tiny Pearl Alley. On Tuesdays and Fridays the alley fills with tents, food, and downtown workers during the Pearl Farmer’s Market.

    Pearl Alley has a different feel than other Farmer’s Markets in Columbus. It is a lunch hour market, so the vendors tend on the side of homemade food and produce essentials. There are few crowds and none of the ‘get there first before the fruit runs out’ mentality.

    strawberries at pearl alley marketOn the day Lil and I went in mid June 2011, we saw three or four fresh produce stands selling strawberries, peas, lettuces, and the season’s first zucchini. There were several vendors of homemade sweets, two lovely bread stands, and places to buy meat, cheese, and lunch foods like sandwiches, samosas, and drinks. Several vendors were selling household goods including homemade soap, clothing, and flowers.

    Lest you think that Pearl Alley is only for office workers, let me reassure that kids and families are very welcome. There is often a musical act performing, vendors are very friendly with kids, and samples draw in foodies of all ages.

    The market is situated within easy walking distance of the new Columbus Commons, the Ohio Statehouse and the Santa Maria. It is fun to make a day of exploring our state capital on foot.

    Parking is fairly easy to find at meters on Third, in the garage under the Statehouse, or in the Columbus Commons garage. COTA buses run frequently downtown too.

    Lil and I enjoy touring farmer’s markets around town. We attended the opening day of the Easton Farmer’s Market, regularly visit Clintonville and Worthington, and look forward to hitting up New Albany or OSU this week. The Columbus Farmers’ Market Blog just posted a great list of markets by day – there’s something for everyone!

    child enjoying lemonade at pearl alleyIf you go:

    • Bring change for meters or cash for the bus/parking garage.
    • Carry cash for purchases or go to the red Pearl Alley market tent to purchase tokens with your credit or debit card.
    • Bring an insulated bag if you plan to buy meats or dairy. Downtown is hot with all the pavement and you don’t want your food to spoil.
    • Come hungry. There are so many great choices for lunch!
    • Be ready to picnic. There aren’t a lot of seating options at the market, but just across Broad Street is the Ohio Statehouse with lots of benches, stairs and grass perfect for picnics.
    • The Pearl Market is open 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 17 through October 28.
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    I live to eat and eat to live, planning every meal to include as much local and seasonal abundance as possible. I often wear purple and never refuse a drink.


    4 Responses to Pearl Alley Farmer's Market

    1. July 11, 2011 at 10:04 pm

      i just went to the pearl alley market for the first time last week! i’ve been to a lot of them lately for an internship i’m doing and i think clintonville is my favorite. i went to new albany last week and liked it. there are only a few vendors selling produce but they had great stuff!

    2. July 12, 2011 at 10:07 pm

      I haven’t been to pearl alley or clintonville, but grove city opened this week ( and finally I got more bison burgers). I have insulated bags I can carry along with me. That’s my hint – bring your reusables. I do throw mine in the was if food gets on it, but I try not to bring home any more plastic than necessary.

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