As the locavore movement gains momentum, San Antonio is ahead of the curve with 12 Go Texan certified farmers markets at the ready. Pearl Farmers Market is one of the 12, and its central location on the San Antonio River Walk makes it a fabulous Saturday morning destination for both visitors and natives.
Farmers and foodies within a 150-mile radius of the Alamo City set up booths filled with vegetables, fresh eggs, cut flowers, baked goods, herbs, cheeses, bison, coffee, chocolates, lavender and more on the 23-acre brewery site, which has been under renovation since 2002. Now home to the Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio, you won’t want to miss the CIA Bakery Café and their to-die-for treats while you’re there. Il Sogno Osteria, Chef Andrew Weissman’s Italian restaurant at The Pearl, was given a shout out in the New York Times’ “36 Hours in San Antonio” travel feature. Sandbar Fish House and Market is another of Weissman’s Pearl restaurants.
The Pearl Farmers Market also features local chefs who share their know-how. The morning I was there, Chef Michael Sohocki of Restaurant Gwendolyn was giving a session on how to make cheese. Local musicians are also on hand. Glenn Allan and Kim Mackenzie, who bill themselves as part country, part folk and part Tex-Mex, were harmonizing their hearts out for coffee-sipping passersby.
After you load up on local goods, take a stroll along the San Antonio River. You may walk all the way from The Pearl to downtown on the Museum Reach extension of the River Walk. The 1.3-mile walkway passes by the San Antonio Museum of Art, and you’ll find one-of-a-kind objects of art along the way.
The Pearl Farmers Market, 200 E. Grayson Street, is open every Saturday, rain or shine, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Parking is available under Highway 281 and along Grayson Street.