By Zach Chouteau
The East Bay is a trove of fantastic farmers markets, but when it comes to pure charm it’s tough to top the setting of the Pinole edition.
The ‘Rich Life’ segment made its first-time visit to the Pinole Farmers Market last weekend and was won over by its peaceful tree-lined location at 798 Fernandez Ave., just off of San Pablo Ave. in the small city’s downtown. Just as appealing is the broad mix of fresh offerings, which includes the expected handful of organic farms proffering their produce—but also stands showcasing everything from fine photography to home-made soaps to farm-fresh eggs.
Offerings from south of the border were also prevalent, including a stand of temptingly fresh tortilla chips and salsas and a food stand serving tacos, burritos and the like. A new vendor sold enticing Filipino fare from beside a popular kettle corn stand, while a nearby musician multitasked on acoustic guitar and pan flute. And other enticements included hand-made iPad holders, immaculate pastries and even a stand focused on fresh honey.
Another nice aspect of the Pinole Market is that while it drew a nice crowd on the Saturday we dropped by, it wasn’t as crowded as some of these markets can be a on a weekend; the small public parking lot appeared to be full but we found nearby street parking within minutes.
Its proximity to downtown Pinole is another plus for the venue, making it easy to explore some nearby shops and restaurants before or after your farmers market foray.
You can find out more about the Pinole Farmers Market—held year-round every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.—and others at the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association website.