Welcome to the Alvarado Farmers’ Market!
One of our favorite things to do on the Monterey Peninsula is explore the farmers’ markets! There are several spread throughout the week in Pacific Grove, Carmel Valley, Carmel, and Monterey. One of our favorite’s is the Alvarado Farmers’ Market in downtown Monterey! The Alvarado Farmers’ Market is a fun way to engage in the Monterey community, support local businesses and enjoy wonderful food!
Alvarado street is the length of about three and a half football fields. Imagine a strip of this size packed with eager shoppers and socialites buying fresh fruits and veggies, sampling candied pecans, and ordering from a vast array of delectable food trucks. There are booths with handcrafted leather goods, art displays for sale, hats and bags, live music, and the list goes on. Hope you bring your appetite! There’s something for everyone with chicken tiki masala, sushi, stir fry, loaded baked potatoes, fresh squeezed juices, and my personal favorite – philly cheesesteak sandwiches. The Alvarado Farmers’ Market is the only place I go for fresh okra, giant heirloom tomatoes for my salads, crimson red pomegranates, and blood oranges. Craving something sweet? Homemade cupcakes by a friendly baker featured on Cupcake Wars, huge $3 snickerdoodles, and plenty of chocolate treats round out the dessert menu.
The live music is usually an acoustic/electric guitar player with a singer, and together they provide a soothing melody that perfectly complements the community’s energy. The Alvarado Brewery has happy hour during the Tuesday 3-7pm Alvarado Farmers’ Market, so after you’re finished buying your locally sourced groceries, there’s a cold beer waiting in the new outdoor beer garden. There is no shortage of fun to be had on Alvarado Street during this weekly event!
Best Practices to Prepare for the Alvarado Farmers’ Market
Preparing for a trip to the farmers’ market is like preparing for a trip to Trader Joes or Safeway. These tips will help you have the best experience possible.
- BYOB – Bring Your Own Bag – Monterey cut out plastic from their bag options (thank goodness), but now they charge for paper bags. Discerning shoppers tend to bring their own bags to avoid the fee and avoid clutter. Many of the Alvarado farmer’s market merchants offer plastic, but if you don’t have a bag to put the individual fruits and veggies in, you soon won’t have a free hand to shop with, so bring a bag and bring a friend, too!
- Come with Cash! – Alvarado vendors won’t take debit or credit, so I like to come with about $20-$30 cash depending on what I need. I do most of my big shopping at Costco in Seaside.
- Mind the Rules of the Road – The farmers’ market gets busy, so do your best to stay in your lane and watch out for little children running around!
- Meet a New Friend Every Week – There’s a great community of Monterey peninsula residents that visit Alvarado street every Tuesday 3-7pm. In addition to running into old friends, I find I can always strike up a conversation with someone who has a mutual interest. Life’s short, enjoy it with good people!
How to Stack the Alvarado Farmers’ Market with Your Other Tuesday Tasks
We know it can be challenging to get off work, get everything you need accomplished, and still have time to go to Alvarado for the market, so we put together a list of ways to combine these tasks to make your day as efficient as possible.
- After work you can drive by Del Monte Cleaners to grab your dry cleaning and say hello to Sae, their most charming employee, then head to El Estero Car Wash before arriving at the market.
- Head up to Seaside for a Costco trip after the farmers’ market ends. This is an insider tip because they close at 8:30 and they are the least busy during the late hours so you can get in and get out quickly!
- Head to Monterey Sports Center after work for a quick workout, then catch the last bit of the Alvarado market. (Fruits and vegetable vendors sometimes give discounts during the last hour!)
Fun Things to Do After the Alvarado Farmers’ Market
If you bought fish from the fresh seafood vendor, this section might not apply since there’s a refrigerator anxiously awaiting your arrival home, but for those who stuck with the basics, there’s a myriad of nearby activities to enjoy once the shopping festivities are over.
- The Poke Lab – Local fresh Ahi lovers are raving about the new Poke Lab on Alvarado street. It’s basically a $11 rice bowl with fresh ahi, tuna and salmon, veggies, and drizzled with a secret sauce.
- Try on a Pair of Nike’s – Fleet Feet just expanded from their old location in the Del Monte Shopping Center to downtown Monterey, and the new store is gorgeous! Buying healthy ingredients naturally inspires me to exercise, and if you feel the same way, I’d recommend taking a gander at Fleet Feet on Alvarado.
- Hotel 1110 Rooftop Bar – This place deserves its own separate article. Wow! Talk about a hidden treasure in Monterey, this rooftop bar sits above Hotel 1110 with stunning views of the bay. They have tapas, delicious cocktails including their signature blood orange margarita, and quite a romantic ambiance.
We hope this post inspires you to investigate the Alvarado Farmers’ Market, it’s a great experience and can easily become a fun new addition to your weekly routine in Monterey! Thanks for reading, enjoy the video!