Shopping at Soulard Farmers Market

Soulard farmer's market sign and pumpkins for sale
 Siede Preis/Getty Images

Soulard Farmers Market is the oldest and best known farmers market in the St. Louis area. It's been a landmark in the Soulard neighborhood for nearly 200 years. The market attracts a wide variety of farmers and merchants selling everything from local produce, to spices and cheeses, to purses and sunglasses.

Location

Soulard Farmers Market is located at 730 Carroll Street. That's near the intersection of South 7th Street and Lafayette Avenue, just south of downtown St. Louis.

What You'll See

Soulard Market certainly has variety. You'll find all kinds of fruits and vegetables, both locally grown and shipped in from around the world. There are also meats, cheeses, spices, breads, and donuts. The market also has non-food items including flowers, plants, jewelry, sunglasses, rugs and more. There's even a pet shop if you're looking for a loving animal to take home.

Saturday is the busiest day at the market with all of the vendors open for business. If you don't mind a little hustle and bustle, Saturdays are the time to see the market at its best. According to the market staff, the best times to shop on Saturday are between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you are looking for a time that's a little less crowded, Fridays are also a good bet. Most of the vendors open for business, with the best shopping between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays are slower with select vendors open.

What You Won't Find

For a farmers market, there is a surprising lack of organic produce at Soulard Market. There is some locally grown food, but there is very little emphasis on organic or sustainable farming methods. Instead, what you'll find is the same kind of conventional fruits and veggies you can buy at the supermarket, but at cheaper prices. If buying organic is important to you, consider a trip to Tower Grove Farmers Market instead.

Restaurants and Eateries

There are several casual restaurants and eateries at Soulard Market when you can buy hotdogs, hamburgers and ice cream. At most of them, you order at the window, then find a spot to sit or stand and eat. But if you want more of a sit-down experience, there is some seating a Julia's Market Cafe in the southwest wing of the market. Julia's serves New Orleans fare like red beans and rice, beignets and Bloody Marys. Another great dessert option is mini donut stand also in the southwest wing.

Soulard Market Park and More

After shopping, you can head next door to Soulard Market Park to relax and enjoy the weather. The park also has a playground complete with swings, slides and a jungle gym for kids who need to burn a little energy. It's also a good place to sit and people watch, or to crack open some of your recently purchased items for a nice picnic lunch.

If you want to explore the neighborhood a little bit more, there are also several popular restaurants and pubs within walking distance of the market. For a cold beer, try the International Tap House on 9th Street. Other good options include Mission Taco Joint for a fresh take on Mexican food, and Llywelyn's Pub for traditional Irish and Scottish dishes.

Parking Options

There is metered street parking around Soulard Farmers Market and throughout the Soulard neighborhood. Most of the meters have a two-hour time limit. There is also some free parking in the lot across 7th Street on the east side of the market. You may have to drive around for a few minutes, but usually, it's not too hard to find a place to park nearby.​

Other Soulard Attractions

Soulard Farmers Market is one of the oldest attractions, but it certainly isn't the only thing to see in the Soulard neighborhood. You might also consider taking a free tour of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. The neighborhood also hosts a big Oktoberfest party in October and the St. Louis area's largest Mardi Gras celebration in February.