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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Eastern Market Shines

Guest post from Wes, my loving husband, ever-willing market partner and trusty vegetable hauler.

Apparently, it’s fun to pick on Detroit. Read the country’s newspapers and it seems it’s become nearly a national sport.

But at least as far as food lovers are concerned, that would be a mistake, for Detroit has something no other city in the country can boast: The biggest open air market in the United States, according to Detroit Eastern Market officials. This farmers' market has been operating since 1891 and attracts about 26,000 weekly. It's been recently renovated, and is a foodie’s paradise.

Heirlooms from an area urban farm.

Looks like the markets in Paris.

Famous Zingerman's cheese from Ann Arbor. The harissa fresh mozzarella is to die for.
Dried beans grown on a Michigan farm.
Thousands of peppers.

It all comes together once a week, each Saturday, when some 150 farmers and artisans converge on Russell street between Gratiot and Mack in Detroit. You can find an array of locally grown produce, herbs and spices, baked goods, jams, cheese, hummus, pickles, fresh oatmeal and grains and flowers and plants. You won't find anything fresher - most of the produce is picked the day before and is grown just hundreds, rather than thousands, of miles away.

A sampling of the flower selection.
Home decor.
Gourds for your table.
Local apples have arrived!
Squash, arranged just so...
More peppers!

Besides the farmers and merchants there are restaurants and terrific gourmet food, fish and meat shops packed with food lovers and gardeners. Not into food, plants or shopping? Go anyway: Eastern Market offers some of the best people watching anywhere. It’s high entertainment, and right now, during harvest time, is the best time to go. Get there early for the lightest crowds and best selection.


  1. Thanks for the kind words - I enjoy your site!