It may surprise some of you to learn that Kansas City (yes, in Missouri) is an amazing place for localvores, foodies, and vegans of all kinds. I guess pretty much all omnis like it too, but whatever. One of the best parts of the Kansas City local food scene is, of course, the Kansas City Farmers' Market! Located in the historic River Market district, the farmers' market attracts local farmers from all over Missouri, Kansas, and even a few from Iowa and Nebraska! With such a central location in the heart of the Midwest, KC makes a perfect place for locally-grown produce, and the farmers who grow them, thrive rather well!
Tons of vegetables and fruit of enormous variety, jams, breads, pickled items, baked goods, and the other non-vegan usual suspects make the KC market a great place to pick up almost all of your cooking/food needs for the week! My friend, Dane, and I buy most of our food for the KC Vegan Crawl at the farmers' market every Saturday morning, bright and early. Is there honestly a better way to start the weekend?? Don't think so!! Since we always buy SO much and way more than we can carry...even though we are big strong vegans...Dane picked up a little red wagon for us to use for hauling our goods!! Genius!
As you can see by the coffee cup in the corner of the lil' red wagon, the market also has a coffee shop, City Market Coffee Company! Usually a much-needed energy boost for early mornings at the market when sleep was sparse. There are also lots of ethnic food markets and restaurants around the perimeter of the farmers' market, so you can pick up things like spices when you are down there. You can also stop to eat lunch at places like the Blue Nile Ethiopian Cafe, Bo Lings Chinese Restaurant, Minsky's Pizza, Habashi House Middle Eastern Cafe, or Succotash, all which have extremely vegan-friendly menus! There are even a few antique malls around there, so this could be an all-day super great fun time event! yay!
Right now, the market is brimming with early-autumn goodies! The bounty includes:
Apples, Pears, Green Beans, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes...Squash of all kind, such as Pumpkins, Acorn Squash, and Butternut Squash...Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Onions, Garlic, Beets, Carrots, Turnips, Eggplant, Chestnuts, and...A few end-of-summer treats...some farmers are still bringing in watermelon, basil, bell peppers, hot peppers, sweet corn, tomatoes, and okra; all of which are still trickling in, since the summer wasn't super hot. I love it! There is also another farmers' market in Kansas City that takes place in the Brookside area. It is an all-organic market, so everything there has to be certified organic. There are a lot of wonderful vendors and great produce there, but it is significantly smaller and, I hate to say it, pricier. I love to support them whenever I can, however! Can't get too much good, local food, after all.
So, if you are living in the KC area or are just passing through on a lovely Saturday morning, be sure to hit up (at least one of) the Kansas City Farmers' Market! I promise it will make your day...and probably lots of farmers' days, too!