A few years ago, when Jeff Duggan of Portola Coffee and I were talking about his plans to move into the OC Mart Mix, he said it was going to be OC's version of the San Francisco Ferry Building. I confess that I rolled my eyes--people are always saying these sorts of enthusiastic things to me--but at least part of this has come true.
The SoCo farmers market now has a permanent structure on the west side of the OC Mart Mix, along the sidewalk in the parking lot. The structures hold about half the market--the other side of the sidewalk holds the rest--and are nicer-looking and safer than the wind-whipped tents of yore.
SoCo is the first market in Orange County to have a permanent home; it joins places like the 3rd/Fairfax market in Los Angeles, the Rialto Market in Venice, and Mercado Hidalgo in Tijuana.
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The farmers market takes place on Saturdays from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. and includes a series of food trucks. While it's not the largest market in Orange County by far, it's well-curated; there is a good selection of fruits and vegetables, meats from Da-Le Ranch, good breads, and a kids' area, something sorely lacking in other markets.
This Saturday it will host the Farm-to-Food-Truck Challenge, where participating luxe loncheras will have to procure items from the market and do an Iron Chef-style competition using their basket of produce.
For more details, visit socofm.com.