One of the best things about shopping at the Dallas Farmers Market is knowing that you can buy from local producers. The designation assures you that the producer is from within 150 miles of Dallas.
The remodeled 26,000-square-foot Shed 2 is designed as a foodie's delight, with vendors of specialty items, food-related products, and enticing eateries. You can get spices, gourmet cookies and pastries, fresh fudge, locally pastured meat and poultry, cheeses, and much more. Also, Shed 2 eateries serve lunch Tuesday through Sunday from 11am to 5pm.
Produce dealers are those Dallas Farmers Market vendors who resell refrigerated produce, including vegetables and fruits shipped from out of state. They offer their goods in Shed 3, and the offerings range from Florida oranges to Maine blueberries, California grapes to Washington cherries, Mexican avocados, and exotic produce from all over. In the height of the local produce season, you can also find them reselling locally-grown produce that they obtain from farmers in the immediate area.
Shed 4 is all about buying in bulk. This is where customers, such as local grocery stores and restaurants, make their vegetable and fruit purchases, like the rest of the Market, wholesale is available seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Shed 4 also offers a weekly night Market; you will find the largest variety of produce on Thursday night. These activities begin about midnight, and the place is a hub of buying and selling until around 7:00 a.m., or until the vendors are sold out. If you prefer to shop for produce by the case rather than by the basket, Shed 4 is the place for you.
Smart shoppers know how to get the most out of their visit to the DFM. Here are some useful tips:
- For the best selection, come to the Dallas Farmers Market early; for the best deals, come late in the day. Farmers are at the Market on Saturday’s; some are also there Fridays and Sundays.
- Bring your own bag, preferably a sturdy, cloth, reusable bag, which will help keep ripe produce from getting bruised.
- Examine all the vegetables or fruit in a basket to make sure you're getting what you want.
- Plan to do a lot of shopping? Bring your own cart to carry everything.
- Ask about bargains. Sellers often have bruised or overripe vegetables and fruit that they will discount and that are perfect for pies, cobblers, sauces or jams.
- Bring cash; particularly single dollar bills because many vendors have limited change.
- When in doubt, ask if the produce is locally-grown or where it is from.
- If the Market is one of several stops you'll be making in a day, bring a cooler for your purchases to keep them fresh.