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.
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.