Rae Ann Varona/Daily Nexus

Rae Ann Varona/Daily Nexus.

“Keep it Local” doesn’t only refer to out-of-towners on Deltopia. Of its many locales, the farmers market located in downtown Santa Barbara at the corner Cota and Santa Barbara Street opens every Saturday, rain or shine, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. In this new blurb series, On The Menu will review each of the locations. DT Saturday is first.

You could easily lose time in this farmers market, because you will surely be surrounded with delicious-looking, fresh fruits, vegetables and raw nuts. This market goes above to fulfill your basic nutritional needs and provides a wide array of gourmet foods such as home cooked pastries, fruit preservatives and honey.
I arrived at 11:30 a.m. and the market was already packed with people. Although it was busy, it did not feel overwhelmingly crowded because of the spacious set up. The food and produce stands were in rows and created a big circle. This farmers market attracts a wide audience including young people, families, old couples and, I would even guess, tourists. It was also obvious that there were many loyal customers familiar with the farmers who asked about each other’s families between produce transactions.

Even with the big crowds, I had time to interact with the local farmers and taste test many of their products — seriously, this was better than Costco-sampling Sunday. Many people were walking around speaking different languages enjoying the Saturday morning. Three different music setups were evenly spread through the market and included a couple strumming their guitars, an older man playing the violin and a couple teenagers playing The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun.” It almost felt like I was at a food fair because of the samples, fun crowd and live music.

Unless you’re a coffee addict like me, I honestly don’t think you need to shop anywhere besides this bazaar-like market.