Since moving back to New Zealand I’ve been giving myself lots of things to do here in Auckland so I explore more of the city and get out more. One of the things I’ve assigned myself is the task of visiting more local farmers’ markets and finding the best ones. Since we are headed into summer here it’s the perfect time to explore and test out all the farmers’ markets. I’ll post about a different one every week sharing what I liked and disliked about each. Hopefully this will be entertaining or at the very least helpful to all the people who have emailed me about where to find certain items in Auckland.
City Farmers’ Market at Britomart
This week’s farmers’ market review focuses on City Farmers’ Market at Britomart in Auckland CBD. I visited this farmers’ market on Saturday for the first time.
About the City Farmers’ Market from their website:
A farmers’ market is a food market where local growers, farmers and artisan food producers sell their wares directly to consumers. Vendors may only sell what they grow, farm, pickle, preserve, bake, smoke or catch themselves from within a defined local area.
The City Farmers’ Market operates in the centre of Auckland’s Britomart precinct and brings a bounty of regional produce to town for Aucklanders every week.
Fresh, seasonal, quality fruit and vegetables, eggs, meat, olives and olive oils, condiments, coffee, artisan breads and much more — direct from local growers, farmers and makers.
The market operates all year long on Saturdays between 8.30am & 12.30pm in the heart of the Britomart precinct on Te Ara T?huhu Walking Street.
What I Liked About City Farmers’ Market at Britomart
- I like that it operated year round instead of just seasonally.
- Vendors were very friendly. They all were giving out samples of food products and happily talked to us about their products and other things. It was a very friendly and nice group of vendors.
- The biggest fresh fruit and vegetable vendor sold kale although she was out by the time I got there. She was super awesome and told me what time to get there to get some or if I wanted she would set some aside for me. I wish I had gotten the name of her farm (no signs I saw) because they were super nice.
- Lots of samples. I love trying new foods and this market had plenty of vendors giving out little bites and tastes of products.
- Cupcakes! These were not the best cupcakes I’ve ever had but I enjoyed having a little snack while I was there (planned for this!) and these hit the sugar desire
- Dried fruit vendor. It was her first time at the market and she was very nice. I enjoyed her dried fruit samples because it was just that dried fruit with no preservatives or anything icky.
What I Didn’t Like About City Farmers’ Market at Britomart
- There only seemed to be two stalls with fresh fruits and vegetables and one was very small and had little selection. It definitely had less of a farmers’ market vibe and more of a market.
- A lot of the food I did try wasn’t that great. Unfortunately the falafel I bought was some of the worst I’ve ever had and I couldn’t finish them. They were cold and just unappealing which was disappointing at $2 for 5 small bites.
- The market was super small!It only stretched a block if that.
- There was not a lot of variety. Because the market was so small there wasn’t a wide variety of produce or foods to try from vendors. Altogether this lack of variety and size made it disappointing.
- There was not much seafood which is something I just assumed would be abundantly available since, you know, we are right next to the ocean living on an island.
Thoughts About City Farmers’ Market at Britomart
I admit that I was really disappointed in this market. Based on my previous experience with city farmers’ markets in places like Memphis, Seattle, SF, and other US cities I expected the farmers market in the city to be huge and awesome. It wasn’t. It reminded me a bit of the farmers markets I’ve visited in tiny suburb towns back at home. I guess my expectations are what made it a disappointing experience but I was hoping for more. We were downtown in the midst of lots of hustle and bustle yet very close to the water so I expected lots of farms to be represented as well as seafood options.
I would say that the best quality about this market is the fact that you can get kale there if you go early. I might have gone on a bad weekend so I’ll return later in the summer but I’m more excited to try out other farmers markets that I’ve heard good things about. This will be a fun summer project to try all the farmers’ markets out!