A History of Local
It’s easy to eat local in Cincinnati when you buy from local farmers. There’s an abundance of local farmers markets in the Greater Cincinnati area. That’s a natural outcome of living in a city with so many farms nearby. In Cincinnati you will find tiny fruit and vegetable stands along suburban roadways, weekly neighborhood farmers markets and one longstanding outdoor market that has drawn a diverse weekend crowd for over a century and a half.
Cincinnatians have a history of close ties with local farmers and the food they cultivate. Many Cincinnatians were eating local long before people started calling themselves Locavores.
1801 Race Street
This granddaddy-of-them-all farmers market in historic Over the Rhine opened to the public in 1855. That makes it Ohio’s longest continuously operating outdoor market. Findlay Market draws an ethnically diverse crowd each weekend. Since 1972, Findlay Market has been on the National Historic Register. As many of the surrounding neighborhood buildings are architecturally historic as well, it has the feel of an old world marketplace.
Findlay Market Outside
April to November – Saturday 8 – 6:00, Sunday 10 to 6:00
Findlay Market is near Downtown Cincinnati. Despite the distance, both urban and suburban families rise early to make the trip on weekend mornings. They come for a market experience with many benefits:
-A chance to interact with local farmers
-Locally grown fruits and vegetables
-Organic offerings at reasonable prices.
-Individual shops lining the walkways
-Arts and Crafts booths
-Food vendors booths
-Fresh baked goods
-Very casual restaurant dining
Some Findlay Market farmers sell from stands just outside the main building. Others back up their trucks along a covered walkway near the parking lot, set up a few tables and sell tailgate style.
Early each Saturday morning merchandise vendor canopies line the access road that runs down the middle of the market. Among the crowd of market regulars are petitioners pleading their causes, organizations passing out literature and politicians shaking hands during local election years
Findlay Market Inside
Year round – Tuesday through Friday – 9 to 6:00, Weekends – same hours as outside
Walk down the aisle inside Findlay Market’s main building and choose from fresh meat, cheese, fish, deli, flowers and more. If you’re hungry, several small, ultra casual restaurants offer home cooked carryout meals to take home, eat at a market picnic table or munch as you shop.
For more information, visit Findlaymarket.org or watch a brief Findlay Market video.
Court Street Market –
Wednesday and Friday
Cincinnatians who work Downtown don’t have to rush to the grocery store after work to purchase fruits and vegetables for dinner. Twice a week they can walk to Court St on their lunch hour and pick up a few bargains.
During Court St. market days, vendors set up fruit and vegetable booths along the south side of Court St. It’s not as large a selection as Findlay Market, just a few booths manned for a few hours during the day; but it offers convenience for those who work in the Courthouse, Justice Center and other Downtown office buildings..
Many Cincinnati neighborhoods have established once weekly markets for the convenience of area residents. They offer an eat local opportunity without going too far from home. Each weekly market is organized in the neighborhood. Like Findlay Market, some weekly gatherings include entertainment, demonstrations and special events.
Farmers sell their goods from late afternoon to early evening. Some set up from displays at the back of their trucks or vans. As these markets are scheduled on different days, many farmers set up at several neighborhood markets each week.
There are too many farmer’s markets in Cincinnati to list them all. Here are just a few.
Northside Farmers Market
Wednesdays 4 to 7:00 May through October, Hoffner Park, Hamilton Ave. at Blue Rock Rd.
Northside is a walking community with cool shops, restaurants and cafes along both sides of Hamilton Ave. In keeping with the neighborhood atmosphere, Northside Farmers Market offers not only fresh and organic produce but also art, crafts, live entertainment and a city park atmosphere.
Market vendors post updates on the Northside Farmers Market on Facebook. For additional information see Northside.net.
Hyde Park Farmers Market
Sundays 9:30 to 1:30 June through October – US Bank Parking lot 3424 Edwards Rd., ½ block from Hyde Park Square.
Hyde Park has an upscale/trendy reputation. The weekly farmers market is in keeping with that tradition. Like other neighborhood markets, their vendors offer fresh locally grown and organic fruits and vegetables. They also sell a wide range of products including goat’s meat, fresh European breads, Italian ice cream, herbs, artisan coffee, homemade pastas and more.
Sunday’s market is a part of the Summer Sundays on the Square, with cooking demonstrations and other special events. See hydeparkfarmersmarket.com for additional information.
Farm Market of College Hill
Thursdays May 27 to October 9 – 3:00 to 6:30 PM
When College Hill added their Farm Market to the growing list of markets around greater Cincinnati, they began with just a few vendors in a dusty lot. The lot is paved now. The list of vendors has grown; and with no other grocery store in the neighborhood, they play an important role.
They arrive each Thursday afternoon, just in time for the flow of neighborhood residents on their way home from work. The vendors set up canopies and tables and sell fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers and home canned and baked goods from the backs of trucks and vans.
In addition to fresh farm produce, the College Hill Farm Market offers a schedule of entertainment and special events. For more information see collegehillfarmmarket.org.
More Ohio Farmers Markets
If you still want to eat local and these markets are not convenient for you, there are many more neighborhood farmers markets in Cincinnati. To find one close to you, check these online resources.
Cincinnatifarmersmarkets.com – This site maintains a registry of Cincinnati farmers markets.
Fruitstands.com – This site lists 72 farmers markets in Ohio.
Hydeparkfarmersmarket.com – The Hyde Park Farmers Market website has lots of great information about their neighborhood market and other Cincinnati farmers markets as well.
Local Harvest.org – Simply enter your zip code and Local harvest.org will access information from its national farmers market database.
Nothside Farmers Market on Facebook