Go for The Market, Stay For The Atmosphere


Kathleen Quinn

The San Pedro Square sign welcomes would be farmers market patrons to the area.

Kathleen Quinn, Staff Reporter

Wedged amid the restaurants and brick-and-mortar shops of San Pedro Square, the Downtown Farmers Market hopes to entice some of the foot traffic to their fresh fruits and vegetables.

The Downtown San Jose Farmers Market is open from 10-2 pm every Friday and offers fresh produce, food stalls, arts and crafts and live music.

The market isn’t just for fruits and vegetables. It offers a variety of prepared foods like crepes as well as hand-made jewelry and clothing. 

“The ones in the city usually don’t have other things like crafts,” said Diana Bowen of San Francisco.

The main draw of the market appears to be its location. “It’s nice open air,” said Steve Stoddard of Beckmann’s Old-World Bakery in Santa Cruz. “It’s also only a half-hour drive.” 

The San Pedro Square Market, which is immediately adjacent to the farmers market helps to feed the farmers market with potential patrons.

The market is an opportunity to sightsee as well. The 20-stall layout on San Pedro between Santa Clara Street and Saint John Street is just across the street from the city’s historic 18th century landmark, the Peralta Adobe, and Fallon House.

For those coming in from out of town, the information booth offers discounts in the form of a dollars’ worth of carrot-cash to those who show their VTA pass. But with two-hours free validated parking, it’s not a pain to drive either.

Even downtown, the market has a close-knit neighborhood feel.

Casiana Cruz, a vendor at the market, said she loves talking to customers and enjoys the music being played by buskers along the square. She has been selling her hand-made jewelry at the market for the last 15 years and in downtown.

Stoddard offered free samples of his pies to people as they strolled the block. “The pies have actually won national contests,” he said. 

“Our pies are healthier than falling downstairs, catching on fire and being bored by a warthog,” said Stoddard, citing a sign behind him that read the same. 

“Before this, I sold at De Anza College at the flea market there. But now, I like this more,” said Cruz as she arranged her wares for her customers.

It’s not the only market in town, San Jose’s Japantown holds a Farmers Market every Sunday. But it’s a great excuse to take a stroll through one of San Jose’s most iconic neighborhoods.