By Beth Mack
May 27, 2021 (updated)
As the days get longer and temperatures start to heat up, Charlotte’s farmers markets start to blossom, boasting North Carolina’s agricultural bounty. From the warm sands of the coast to the cool clay soil of the mountains and everything in between, North Carolina produces a large variety of fruits and vegetables. This range of geography and climate has earned North Carolina the mark of the third most diverse agricultural economy in the country.
This translates into local farmers markets teeming with a variety of fresh produce, especially in the spring and summer months. Beyond that, most markets also typically offer locally raised meat, dairy, eggs and honey. Not to be outdone, many markets also highlight the plethora of local artisans that call our corner of North Carolina home. Expect to find locally made items such as jams, jellies, sauces, condiments, pickles, fresh bread, and an array of other baked goods. If that isn’t enough, some markets offer other local items such as bouquets of fresh-cut flowers, plants, skincare and hair care products, crafts, and more.
The Charlotte farmers market scene is heating up with new markets sprouting up, while also being home to one of the oldest farmers in the state, the Mecklenberg County Farmers Market. Regardless of which market you visit, you can’t go wrong with the unparalleled flavor and freshness of locally grown produce. There is no tastier way to support local farmers and artisans. To see what locally grown fresh produce you can expect to find, check out this What’s in Season Guide.
Charlotte Regional Farmers Market
The largest of them all, the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market, is one of four farmers markets operated by the N.C. Department of Agriculture. This market offers a healthy mix of produce, meat, seafood, eggs, baked goods, honey, jams, jellies, cheese, flowers, and plant vendors. Some produce vendors offer products that are not grown in North Carolina, such as pineapple and other tropical fruits, to provide a more robust selection. If locally grown produce is what you are looking for, check out Building A on Saturday mornings. If you are looking for something specific or want to see what vendors will be there ahead of time, check out their website where you can search to see if a specific product or vendor will be at the market.
1801 Yorkmont Rd.
Wednesday – Sunday: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Monday – Tuesday: Closed
Kings Drive Farmers Market (Simpson’s Produce)
Located at the corner of Kings Drive and Morehead Street, Kings Drive is one of Charlotte’s most visible farmers markets. Family owned and operated since 1941, the market operates with fresh produce, meat, seafood, eggs, baked goods, honey, jams, jellies, and sauces from April until October every year. While a large portion of the produce is locally grown, you will find some of the produce that is not native to North Carolina, to create more of a one-stop shop of products.
938 S Kings Dr.
April – September
Tuesday: 6 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Friday: 6 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday: 6 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Mecklenburg County Farmers Market
Farmer Dale McLaughlin and his family have been operating one of North Carolina’s oldest farmers markets since its inception in 1937. Nestled in between Carolinas Medical Center, the market is open year ‘round and offers fresh produce from Dale’s farm. In addition to the produce, the market features Beverly’s Gourmet Foods offering vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free items made by Dale’s daughter, Beverly. You can also find a host of other local artisanal products such as jams, jellies, sauces, grits, baked goods, pickles, cheese, eggs, meat, and other prepared food items to choose from. The Mecklenburg County Farmers Market is the only Charlotte market that is open, seven days a week so Charlotteans can support our local farmers and artisans year-round.
1515 Harding Place
Monday – Friday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
South End Farmers Market
Formerly known as Atherton Market, this producer-only market has been offering North Carolina’s delicacies since 2010. Over the years, the market has undergone several changes and is now an open-air market tucked beside the light rail. With 20 vendors, the market offers your typical produce, meat, seafood, cheese, baked goods, and other prepared food vendors, in addition to some more unique artisanal ones as well. With South End Market’s variety of vendors, you can pick up locally made cocktail syrups, hand-poured candles, CBD products, skin and hair care goods, crocheted items, and even stuff for your furry pets. To stay up to date on market happenings, subscribe to their weekly newsletter.
2000 South Blvd
Saturday: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
North End Farmers Market
Fresh to the farmers market scene this year is the North End Farmers Market. Located in the heart of Camp North End, this is the sister market of the South End Farmers Market at Atherton so you will find some of the same vendors. The producer-only market is home to several rotating vendors offering a variety of local produce, meats, seafood, eggs, honey, baked goods, cheese, sauces, and prepared foods. Some unique things you can find at this market include apothecary items, moringa-infused products, quail meat, and less common varieties of eggs such as quail, duck, goose, guinea, and turkey. Be sure to sign up for their weekly newsletters where they dish on vendors, products, and special events for the upcoming market.
1701 N. Graham St.
April 12 – October 25
Wednesday: 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Rosa Parks Farmers Market
Rosa Parks Farmers Market has moved to a new location located off of West Trade Street. A collaboration of the Mecklenburg County Health Department, A Males Place, and Historic West End Partners, the market offers a Zoom lecture series and food demonstrations to complement its offering of local fruits and vegetables.
1600 West Trade Street
June – September
Tuesday: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Uptown Farmers Market
Locally roasted coffee, fresh baked foods, local produce and meats, elderberry syrup, apothecary items, kombucha, holistic pet treats and food, craft sauces, Indian chutney, cardamom-flavored ice creams, and more. If you didn’t know any better you think I would be describing a Whole Foods and not a farmers market. With over 40 vendors to browse, plus live music provided by local artists in partnership with Communities in Concert, Uptown Farmers market is a good place to explore one of Charlotte’s largest producer-only markets. Launched in the spring of 2020, the market also has an altruistic mission by raising funds to fight food insecurity in Charlotte through its Community Table Fund and also by accepting weekly produce donations for local nonprofit, Roof Above. With plenty of parking available in the nearby First Baptist Church, it is the perfect place to spend a Saturday morning. To stay abreast of all of the market happenings, subscribe to their weekly newsletter.
300 S. Davidson St.
April 15 – December 9
Saturdays: 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Plaza Midwood Farmers Market
Unlike most other Charlotte Farmers Markets, the Plaza Midwood Farmers Market is spearheaded by a farmer. The Farm at Dover Vineyards operates two markets on two different days of the week at two different locations. On Thursdays, you can find them at the Local Loaf in NoDa and on Saturdays at Common Market in Plaza Midwood. For a more robust offering of items, they partner with other local farms and artisans to offer locally grown produce, meats, eggs, bread, baked goods, fresh-cut flowers, jams, jellies, honey, and more.
April – November
Thursday: 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. at Local Loaf (800 E. 35th S.)
Saturday: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Common Market Plaza Midwood (2007 Commonwealth Dr.)
University City Farmers Market
University City Farmers Market sprouted up in October of 2020, along the lake at The Shoppes at University Place. This market boasts everything from local produce and meats to jewelry and skin care. The market has something for everyone in the family with children’s activities, live music, cooking demonstrations, and workout classes offered every first and last Saturday of the month.
6010 Jasmine Lane
April 29 – October 28
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
The Village at Robinson Farms Farmers Market
Serving the Ballantyne area located off of Rea Road in a shopping center is the Village at Robinson Farms (VFR) Farmers Market. Open Wednesdays and Saturdays, you will find local produce, plants, bouquets of fresh flowers, baked goods, jams, jellies, honey, eggs, and soaps. While you are there, explore the rest of the shopping center to pick up some local chicken and other products from The Butcher’s Market of Charlotte, a pizza from Hawthorne’s, check out Rico’s Acai, or grab brunch at the Famous Toastery Ballantyne.
8410 Rea Road
April – October
Wednesday and Saturday: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Cotswold Farmers Market
Founded by the Rotary Club of Charlotte Providence, the Cotswold Farmers Market sprouted up in 2016 with a mission to support local farmers and artisans while also creating community. The market prides itself on being a producers only market with local produce and proteins being grown within 100 miles of Charlotte and an assortment of local artisans offering items such as fresh cut flowers, handmade soap, and candles. Additionally, they offer a range of activities for both children and adults to make it a new Saturday morning ritual for the whole family.
4921 Randolph Rd.
May 6 – October 28
Saturday: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Outside of city limits you can find even more farmers markets offering a wide variety of products to explore.
Surrounding Area Farmers Markets:
Belmont: Belmont Farmers Market
Davidson: Davidson Farmers Market
Fort Mill: Fort Mill Farmers Market
Gastonia: Gastonia Farmers Market
Harrisburg: Harrisburg Farmers Market
Huntersville: Huntersville Growers’ Market
Lake Norman: Lake Norman Area Farmers Market
Matthews: Matthews Community Farmers Market
Mint Hill: Mint Hill Farmers Market
Mount Holly: Mount Holly Farmers Market
Waxhaw: Waxhaw Farmers Market
In this article
- Camp North End
- Charlotte Regional Farmers Market
- common market
- Farmers Markets
- fort mill
- Kings Drive Farmers Market
- Local Loaf
- Mecklenburg County Farmers Market
- Mint Hill
- mount holly
- North End Farmers Market
- Plaza Midwood Farmers Market
- Rock Hill
- Rosa Parks
- Simpson's Produce
- South End Market
- The Village at Robinson Farms
- University City Farmers Market
- Uptown Farmers Market