St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market

I hope you all enjoyed my recent post about our stay at a beautiful Airbnb in St. Jacobs: the Triangle House. If you’ve never been to St. Jacobs, I highly recommend a visit. Part of Waterloo Region, St. Jacobs is known for its country charm, bustling historic village, and Mennonite heritage – St. Jacobs and neighbouring town Elmira are home to the largest Mennonite population in Canada, and horse-drawn carriages are a common sight on the local roads. St. Jacobs is also very well-known for its Farmers’ Market, a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. Open year-round, the market has over 250 vendors and welcomes 1 million visitors annually! We’ll occasionally make the hour-long drive from Burlington just to pick up some fresh produce, flowers or baked goods (I promise you, the drive is worth it!) Since we were already staying in the area, just a 10-minute drive from the market, a Saturday morning visit was a no-brainer.

The St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market is open Thursdays from 8am-3pm and Saturdays from 7am-3:30pm. If you want to find a close parking spot, avoid long lines, and get your pick of the freshest produce, you’ll want to arrive early. We aren’t super early birds, so we showed up around 9:30 or 10 – a classic case of me not following my own advice! There were no parking spots left at the market, but we parked across the street at Market Road Antiques and just walked over.

While Tania grabbed us coffees, I stood in line at The Fritter Co. The market has so many baked goodies to try, but these apple fritters are legendary. The line backs this up – I waited for about 20 minutes, which apparently isn’t even that long of a wait!

I got a half-dozen apple fritters for just under $10 (though the servings are generous – there were definitely more than six fritters in the box.) Believe me when I tell you they’re worth the wait. They are baked fresh on the spot, and they were still steaming when we opened the box. Not the healthiest breakfast, but so delicious… after all, you can’t really go wrong with freshly picked apples, deep-fried and tossed in cinnamon sugar! Tania had picked up a cinnamon roll from another vendor, and we headed to the outdoor seating area to enjoy our treats with an oat milk latte (for Tania) and a pumpkin spice latte (for me). I had two (okay, okay… three) fritters and was stuffed – but still plenty left in the box to take home!

The market had hosted their “Harvest Hoedown” event the night prior, so there were lots of festive fall decorations everywhere.

After breakfast, Tania and I wandered through the indoor market buildings. Here, you’ll find more food – everything from homemade preserves to pickles to decked-out candy apples – as well as various booths selling clothing, gifts and home d├ęcor. I love the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market because they are all about supporting local makers. It’s so nice to be able to meet the people who made the products you’re purchasing, and know that you’re supporting local artisans while you shop.

In warmer months, the Farmers’ Market also has vendor booths outside. This is where you’ll find farm-fresh produce, flowers and even more baked goods.

After a couple of hours of shopping, we left the market and perused the St. Jacobs Antiques Market across the street where we’d parked. This is a huge building – about 22,000 square feet – with 110 vendor booths selling antiques, collectibles, knick-knacks and other vintage gems.

After browsing the antique market, we decided to head into St. Jacobs Village for some more shopping – my mom had asked us to pick her up a handmade corn broom from her favourite store Hamel Brooms (she has used them for years and swears by them!) When we found ourselves getting hungry for lunch, where did we head? Back to the market, of course!

While Tania headed inside the market for a plate of nachos, I stood in line at the Northern Comfort Biscuits food truck. I first discovered Northern Comfort at the market last year, and quickly fell in love. For some reason, although I was born and raised in Canada, I have a low-key obsession with all things Southern: I love Southern style, culture, and of course, food. (I even subscribe to Southern Living Magazine!) Northern Comfort is clearly after my own heart, because they specialize in “Southern flavour with Northern flair”. They serve freshly baked buttermilk biscuits, sugar-rolled “biscuit bites”, and my favourite: hush puppies. I wasn’t overly hungry (see my confession above re: the three apple fritters) so I just got a buttermilk biscuit with blueberry jam and an order of hush puppies. They were delicious, as always.

Whether you want to indulge in freshly baked treats, do your weekly grocery shopping, listen to live music or purchase handmade gifts from local vendors, the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market truly has something for everyone. Have you been to the market? Who are your favourite vendors? Let me know in the comments or send me an email, and I’ll be sure to check them out on my next visit!

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