Out of the Garden and into Your Mouth: Nearby Irvine Certified Farmers’ Markets

Abigail Fang, Layout Editor

Fresh, fragrant and flavorful, nothing compares to a farmers’ market. Think boxes of oranges and grapes perilously stacked on a stand. Or a little jar of homemade apricot jam, tangy on your tongue. Or a flaky croissant that smells just right—buttery chocolate and vanilla permeating the slightly sweaty air on a hot day. 

Mariner’s Church

Location: Bonita Canyon Drive and Turtle Ridge Drive at Mariner’s Church, Irvine, 92603

Hours: Saturday, 8 a.m.-12 p.m.

When I visited back in summer, this farmers’ market was by far one of the largest ones I’ve ever seen, spanning across multiple parking lots. Vendors selling fresh fruits and vegetables, fruit jam, iced juice and more eventually transition into booths selling products like tea, pastries and plants. Babas Food is entirely dedicated to hummus, marked by a wide array of containers carefully laid out. Food trucks dot one side of the market, with customers eagerly lining up for hot breakfast burritos and coffee in the morning. If you want to stop and take a break, you can join the scramble of people sitting down at curbs and eagerly ingesting their new purchases. 

Great Park

Location: Sand Canyon and Marine Way, Great Park Parking Lot 2, Irvine, 92623

Hours: Sunday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Although slightly on the small side (with only one long row of booths on either side), this farmers’ market still features a diversity of food to browse. The traditional fresh vegetables and fruits such as pluots, peaches and nectarines are available in a handful of shops. Another shop solely sells pizza kits for homemade pizza nights. Bee Ladies Honey notably showcases rows and stacks of jars full of golden honey infused with flavors like strawberry mango, Meyer lemon and wildflower. You can snack on a free sample or two as you browse. Although signs still encourage social distancing amongst customers, there are few enough people in the later hours of the market for you to avoid the crowds entirely. 


Location: 1621 Alton Parkway/Redhill Ave., Irvine, 92606

Hours: Sunday, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

If you’re looking for a place to find unique jewelry, clothes, bags and crafts, this is the place to go. Although less focused on selling produce and food (I only saw one stand that sold a selection of tomatoes, pomegranates and more), this market still takes up two rows in the parking lot. At the very front of the market, customers crowd around a booth selling raffle tickets to be cashed in for various prizes, while others take pictures next to it. Inside the market, rings, necklaces, bracelets and other jewelry are accompanied by small cards describing the meaning of the different crystals and gems. Some booths include Melodía Boutique, which displays ruffled tops and cozy jackets, or Baked by Star, which sells gourmet cookies, cakes and other pastries.