The Saturday Morning Market is a wonderful social experience, combining deliriously yummy foods (and smells) with free live music, and shopping for art, clothing, furniture, food, plants and more. Now in its 11th year, the Market is open from 9am (music starts at 10) until 2pm on Saturdays, though many vendors start packing up at 1:30. You'll want to get there early for best selection and easiest parking. The Market takes place from October through May; in the warmer summer months, a smaller version of the Market has been taking place at various venues (Williams Park the past two years) from June to August.
This is, or can be, a highly social event, as regular visitors will get to know many of the regular vendors and other patrons. There are tables and chairs where you can sit, eat and drink, chat, or just listen to the band. I have actually developed a cadre of friends who meet there almost every week. We enjoy sunshine, fresh air, conversation, nice music, and a wide variety of foods.
From Cajun to Asian to Ethiopian to BBQ, cubans, crepes, fish tacos, pizza, eggs & hash browns, knishes, pasta, pickles, pies, eggs, bread, organics, coffee, danish... Wow, it's a tough choice to make, but somebody's got to eat it. You'll want to get one (or more) of everything. Be aware that prices on some items are a bit steeper than you'd find in a store: for example, a good danish that costs $4 at the Market may be $1.75 at a store (like Cafe Mozart). You do pay a premium for the setting, but in some cases (like the "Cochon du Lait" sandwich at Ricky P's, or anything from Mr. I Got 'Em) you absolutely get your money's worth. Several food places offer free samples.
This is a large Market, but not unmanageable. With three long rows of vendors, you may skip a few, glance at others, and browse at some. The homemade soaps from Good Clean Fun are especially nice- they are at the market about once every 4-5 weeks. As for the Art: "de gustibus non est disputandum" as they say. It's worth paying whatever you think it's worth for something you think you just can't live without. The arts and crafts here are unique and handmade, there are no factory-made tchotches.
This is a fun and filling way to spend an hour or two on a Saturday morning. It is St. Petersburg at its best. I go every week for fresh bread (from one of two vendors), fresh eggs from Pam at The Dancing Goat (she also has fabulous goat milk and homemade cheese), and incredible soups from Spice Routes (owner Judy is a co-founder of the Market). And pickles from The Pickle King. If you've never been, you must check out the Market, and be sure to bring your out-of-town guests.
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