7 Places to Shop & Eat Fresh in Orange County

    Originally named for the acres of citrus groves that once flourished on its land, Orange County still offers a range of fresh produce and fruits from its local orchards and farms. These seven markets and cafes offer all kinds of locally sourced crops and products—make sure to support their efforts the next time you head to OC.

    SURF CITY NIGHTS – On Tuesdays, take to Main Street in Huntington Beach, where from 5pm to 9pm, the first three blocks are closed to traffic and  bustling with bikers, local artisans, fresh produce, flowers, live music and games for Surf City Nights. During this community event, local shops and eateries also offer sidewalk sales and exclusive deals. Pick up fresh-cut flowers, local baked goods, and dried fruit and nuts.

    NEWPORT BEACH FARMERS’ MARKET – One of the Orange County Farm Bureau’s Sponsored Certified Farmers’ Markets, this fair takes place each Sunday next to Newport Beach Pier near the famous Dory fish market. From 9am to 1pm, farmers and vendors bring a selection of organic fruits and seasonal vegetables as well as specialty items like small-batch breads, salsas, cold-pressed juices and tea blends. Looking for some (slightly) less edible local items? The market’s “artisan circle” features a rotating list of local small businesses specializing in body care, jewelry, art and home goods.

    CORONA DEL MAR FARMERS MARKET – Up and running since 1996, Corona del Mar’s Saturday farmers’ market is a more intimate affair, usually hosting about two dozen local growers and culinary artisans. This fair goes from 9am to 1pm and is located at 3201 Pacific Coast Highway—make a point to arrive early to grab street and lot parking. Be sure to bring a reusable bag to carry out your loot of honey, flowers, fruits and veggies.

    SOCO FARMERS’ MARKET – Situated within the SOCO Collection shopping center, Costa Mesa’s Saturday SOCO Farmers’ Market starts at 9am and runs until 2pm. Wander the stalls and browse a broad selection of farm fresh fruits, vegetables, raw honey and almonds as well as eggs, meat and poultry.

    MOTHER’S MARKET & KITCHEN – Since 1978, this market, cafe and educational space has offered locals fresh produce and expert-led, health-focused talks (recently, topics have included prediabetes care and the effects of iron deficiency in female athletes). For fresh-made food, the cafe at Mother’s Market & Kitchen on Newport Blvd. in Costa Mesa offers roasted chicken lettuce wraps, avocado and cheese sandwiches and gluten-free affogato.

    ORANGE HOME GROWN – Every Saturday from 9am to 1pm, the Historic Old Towne Orange district hosts the Orange Home Grown Farmers & Artisans Market. Among the produce vendors are Riverside’s Black Sheep Farm and Ray’s Farm in Temecula. Stop by Backyard Bees for some homespun honey and beeswax items, and organic cheese and butter from Spring Hill Jersey Cheese. In addition to the bounty of fresh fruits and veggies, this event offers dog-sitting, yoga classes, cooking demonstrations as well as a OHG Kid’s Club.

    LAZY ACRES MARKET – Founded in 1991, this natural grocer opened a spacious 29,563 square-foot outpost in Hermosa Beach just last fall. In addition to selection of organic products, the new store hosts cooking, baking and pastry decorating classes in its Pier Room.

    (Source: theagencyre.com)