Best Denver Farmer’s Market Finds Before They Close for the Season

Many towns across the country have farmer’s markets, but there’s something about Saturday and Sunday mornings in Denver that are utterly incomplete without roaming up and down pavement while sticking one’s head into each booth in search of a great new find. Denver might win some credentials for being a food city once fans get a taste of its breakfast burritos, pastries and other homemade treats. Vendors reside at one of these markets for just one, wishfully two, days a week. Regardless of whether it’s a true Coloradan or a transplant, farmer’s markets are mandatory for any weekend agenda. Sadly, the season is running close to over, especially with Palisade peaches peacing out already. However, below is a list of all the last-minute purchases that’ll keep anyone hungry for the reopening next summer.

The Easy Vegan

Saucy rigatoni. Photo Courtesy of The Easy Vegan.

Location: Saturday: City Park, Sunday: South Pearl Street

The Lowdown: The first year of The Easy Vegan’s glowing green tent being seen on Saturdays and Sundays is definitely not the last. Their original menu brought a rock star baked potato that went beyond the russet, bacon, scallion and sour cream — the base a Japanese sweet potato infused with miso and black garlic. For crunch fried onion and truffled taro root chips shooting out. Black sesame and cilantro finish like salt and pepper. Forget about a breakfast hash and try this spud. Those making it to the market closer to lunchtime should take on their big rig — rigatoni alla vodka. The firecracker crispy breadcrumbs are as essential as the final dusting of red pepper flakes on pizza. But be sure to graze their menu completely as there are weekly specials — the biscuits and gravy with the mushrooms making up the meaty base of the cracked pepper gravy being one. The excitement of flavor combinations continues by sipping on the red pepper lemonade.

3 Kings Kombucha

Blue Sunshine Kombucha. Photo courtesy of 3 Kings Kombucha.

Location: Sunday: South Pearl Street

The Lowdown: This kombucha wears a crown at the Pearl Street Farmer’s Market as it expands the idea of possible flavor combinations. Many companies lean on fruity flavors, but 3 King’s Kombucha adds roots, spices and floral notes to add to the medicinal nature and creativity of each blend. Samples are always in supply of the four draft options. While the flavors are susceptible to change, recent brews have been peach pie (palisade peaches from the Palisade Peach Shack, vanilla and cinnamon), blue sunshine (passionfruit, pears, juniper berries, burdock root, ginger and blue majik spirulina) and violet dreams (chamomile, calendula, chrysanthemum, butterfly pea flower, oat straw and blue lotus flower). The long list of flavors never get lost — the peach pie begins with the brightness of the fruit and the lingering of the vanilla and cinnamon come up at the end begging for another piece of this pie.

The Hungry Tree Hugger

Carrot Cake with cream chz frosting. Photo courtesy of The Hungry Tree Hugger.

Location: Saturday: City Park, Sunday: South Pearl Street

The Lowdown: Even though the farmer’s market is a treat in of itself — owner Francesca Trabucco Campos adds to this sweetness with coconut sugar or maple syrup. As a vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free and organic bakeshop, The Hungry Tree Hugger embodies the purity that is the farmer’s market. However, the beauty among each cake, cookie, scone or pie makes each look sinful, but mind you they are only sweet. A bite into Wild Blueberry Bars with Hemp Seeds Crumble burst with a natural tartness that water-laden store-bought blueberries couldn’t compete with. Spiced Carrot Cake with Cream Chz Frosting is a menu must with fans coming back weakly to make sure they secure a slice. An airy fork full is a double layer of warming spices — cinnamon and ginger — and flakes of carrot. Chz cakes are often in rotation, by a sheer testament to Trabucco-Campos’ love for her bakes as she makes the cultured cashew cream from scratch. There has been flavors like peanut butter/raspberry jam/brownie crust and pumpkin/date caramel/pecan. Sitting on top of her display case of treats is her savory focaccia that even those with a sweet tooth can’t leave without a square featuring cherry tomatoes and caramelized onions.

Oso Rojo Hot Sauce 

Photo courtesy of Oso Rojo.

Location: Saturday: Cherry Creek

The Lowdown: Even though a morning pick me up tends to have caffeine, the flavor and spice of Oso Rojo does the trick. The Oso Rojo gang knows the adventurous market goer can’t resist a free sample of theirs. This isn’t a heatwave of spice; instead, they make enhancing flavored sauces — sadly it doesn’t roll off the tongue as easy as hot sauce. After a year on the market, it’s still composed of owner Cam Ayers and his father that produces bottles from the ingredient stage. Orange Ginger brings the aromatic heat in addition to the pepper spice of Fresnos and habaneros. Umami Bomb achieves the earthiness in its name from dried mushroom and tamari. After snagging one of their bottles, a quiche or breakfast sandwich eaten during the rest of the walk through the market gets the kick Ayers aims for.

Samosa Shop

Jerk chicken samosa. Photo courtesy of Samosa Shop.

Location: Saturday: City Park

The Lowdown: David Hadley began popping up with a menu that demonstrates the collision between old flavors and new lenses when creating the flavors of India. Samosas always make the menu — as the name implies. The thin fried shell, with the same crispiness of an eggroll, conceals his rotating filling weekly. While each dish is an accent of his Indian heritage, his world travels impart added flavor. Spain and Portugal bring the spice blend for his adobo chicken with a golden hue contending with the exterior. Jamaica draws in jerk components with fresh herbs. A chilling 8 a.m. start time may call on his curry, but drawing the samosas from the fryer provides the same warm feeling.

Miller Farms

Miller Farm’s stand. Photo courtesy of Miller Farms.

Location: Saturday: City Park, Sunday: South Pearl Street

The Lowdown: There are many famous Millers — Mac and Bode to know a few — but anyone that frequents the farmer’s market knows to look out for their stand. At this time in the season, it’s gourds galore. There’s squash and tomatoes that maintain the brightness of summer, too. It’s hard to resist not filling up your entire bag, but they knew that already thus the fill a bag deal was derived. Patrons can fill one of Miller farms harvest bags to the brim for solely $15. Think of it as Tetras farmer’s market addition.

PB Love

Photo courtesy of PB Love.

Location: Saturday: City Park, Sunday: South Pearl Street

The Lowdown: Choosy moms might choose Jif, but locally-invested, thoughtful, well-read parents with excellent palates smear PB Love nut butters on their kids’ sandwiches before sending them off to school. Love might be an understatement. Each small batch is ground, jarred, then labeled after head nut — Mario Esparza — gives it the nod. Smooth and crunchy are nothing but nuts, however, his other flavors Salty Peanut and Cinnamon Almond taste like the sweet and saltiness forever savored in trail mix. Although, his ingredient list is cleaner with organic extra virgin coconut oil, Colorado honey, Vietnamese cinnamon, organic unrefined coconut sugar, organic blackstrap molasses, and sea salt. The one piece that rounds it out is enjoying straight from one of PB Love’s tiny bamboo spoons.

Mile High Fungi

Array of mushroom. Photo courtesy of Mile High Fungi.

Location: Saturday: City Park, Sunday: South Pearl Street

The Lowdown: Foraged or farmed, Mile High Fungi showcases their selection weekly for market goers to see mushrooms beyond a bella or white button. Each basket nestles up bundles of little mushroom with cartoon looking caps, one mistaken for sponges to the hefty stalked king trumpets.  All mushrooms hold earthiness and umami, but their nuances make them special. Slicing up a king trumpet in a buttery sauté could be mistaken for a scallop. Even though it seems like it’s made in a lab due to their glowing blush color, their lobster mushrooms are foraged and organically have the sea breeze taste often in crustaceans.

Bjorn Honey

Pontus at his stand. Photo courtesy of Bjorn Honey.

Location: Sunday: South Pearl Street

The Lowdown: More iconic than Abba’s Honey Honey is Bjorn’s Honey in Denver. The golden syrup within each jar glistens when hit with sun and is bound to catch the eye of consumers. Many hives look towards a queen bee, but in Bjorn’s case it’s Pontus Jakobsson and his grandfather — Bjorn — that bread bee keeping into their Swedish heritage. Many are attracted to the sweetness of honey, but for Pontus it was the medicinal benefits as well. He add propolis for immune boosting making tea with honey essential for flu season. The lemon honey could be mistaken for a lemon bar. Coloradan’s love honey on pizza, thus a drizzle of the sweet and spicy replaces the need for red pepper flakes and highlights local sriracha company — jojo’s — instead.

Rebel Bread

Pastries. Photo courtesy of Rebel Bread.

Location: Saturday: City Park, Sunday: South Pearl Street

The Lowdown: A name that might have been under the radar a year or so ago, is now a leading force in the sourdough community. Zach Martinucci and his band of bakers make a market sell-out look mandatory. The booth is at the farthest southwest corner right by an entrance and their line misleads newcomers to thinking that the market has a waitlist. Instead, it’s loaf loaves, croissant connoisseurs and focaccia fans. His time in the Bay makes his San Francisco Sourdough especially authentic, but as the name implies all rules aren’t followed. Bagels are made with chewy ciabatta or transformed into pull apart bombs of brioche. Then creativity comes in for surprise flavor drops for croissant squares and focaccia slabs. Just like all sci-fi protagonists do, it’s time to join the rebellion.

Hella Herbivore

Photo courtesy of Hella Herbivore.

Location: Saturday: City Park

The Lowdown: Aioli, truffle oil and sriracha have all soaked up the limelight when it comes to condiment fam. The newest ring leader in the race to provide the trendiest topping is Asian-influenced chili crisp. While it’s sat on the tables at restaurants for years, the oil with flakes of chili floating throughout is rising to the top. Not many spots are selling this appetite enhancer, but Hella Herbivore allows Denverites to bolster up their dishes with a new hot sauce. Their trifecta includes Szechuan oil, chili oil and garlic crisp. Dunking a dumpling is commonplace, a bit more crazy would be spooning over ice cream. Nevertheless, they’re here to stay.

The Blooming Acre

The turquoise pick up truck. Photo courtesy of The Blooming Acre.

Location: Saturday: Cherry Creek

The Lowdown: Many cars part in the farmer’s market lot, but this one retro turquoise pickup truck stands out for more reasons than one. The color, obviously, but it’s the adornment of flowers as well. Amy Dismuke and her daughter are the duo bringing fresh bouquets to Denver. The grassy fields of Castle Pine are responsible for their royalty in the flower department. Bouquets mix their pastel-colored freshly bloomed picks. Sunflowers often make an appearance, similarly do dahlias, the vortex that brings about buying more down the line. Farmer’s markets often focus on food but this is an easy replacement for a fruit bowl centerpiece.

Reunion Bread

Location: Saturday: Cherry Creek

The Lowdown: The Cherry Creek Farmer’s Market opens at 9 a.m., but Reunion Bread has a line before the tent has time to begin setting up for the day. There’s nothing like being a novice at the market and deciding to stand in a mind that you don’t even know what it will provide. However, there’s a trust in your neighbors and local artisans to know it’s worth it. Ismael De Sousa then starts painting his white table cloth canvas with croissants, sticky buns, egg tarts, and sweetbreads to liven up the stand. His Venezuelan and Portuguese influence layer his bakery with more diversity than the laminations that create each aerated pocket of his croissants. Fans are drawn to the cardamom spicing the morning swirls and the chocolate and raspberries mingling in the croissant.

Brad B Jammin

Location: Sunday: South Pearl Street.

The Lowdown: These jams would smack Smucker’s if they went head to head. The heated debate on best jams only put grape and strawberry to the test, but Brad mixes more than just berries in one jar. His fancy collections include a spicy jam line — featuring jalapeños or habaneros with strawberries and mango to name a few. For an extra garden addition, his mint and basil spreads amp up the fruits that are always jam-packed inside. The unique flavors — bananas foster, sour cherry Manhattan, ginger lime and orange pomegranate — make stopping for a sample a real treat.

Bruna’s Cheese Bread

Location: Saturday: City Park, Sunday: South Pearl Street

The Lowdown: Think of the love child between cheesy bread and a mozzarella stick, because that probably fueled the creation of cheese bread. These gluten-free bites look like hamburger buns but ripping into one straight from the oven gets a satisfying cheese pull. The outside crust is thin enough that contrast the soft middle. The flecks of cheddar beautifully decorate each. They are sold frozen and oven-ready, but back to the days when, owner, Bruna Piauí Graf ran her business as a food truck, imagine the sweet and savory dishes waiting for this as their base.

Kettle Head Popcorn

Stand at South Pearl. Photo courtesy of Kettle Head Popcorn.

Location: Sunday: South Pearl Street

The Lowdown: It was easy to fall head over heels for Kettle Head popcorn when they have their dispenser spitting out popcorn all day. Although tearing into a microwaved bag will look very different from there’s. Each kernel blooms into a nice little rigged dome — rather than in each direction — as if it were miniature cauliflowers. All the cracks hold everything from cracked salt to toasted cinnamon. The wasabi could be trick anyone if placed on a sushi platter and a bowl of cocoa pop might as well be cocoa puffs. For those excited enough to want to create their own flavor, it’s sold un-popped to finally get microwave popcorn to taste the way it should.


Stand at South Pearl. Photo Courtesy of Tlaquesalsa.

Location: Sunday: South Pearl Street

The Lowdown: The breakfast burrito is a Denver favorite, which allows Tlaquesalsa to fill that void while exploring the market. Jose de Jesus Renteria Rios hauls from Jalisco and brings the culture he grew up in to the Denver food scene with salsa, burritos and tamales. His four core ingredients include tomatillo, arbol, jalapeños and his grandmother’s knowledge. Any of the eight types — vegetarian, chorizo, etc. —  wrapped in tinfoil feel like a gift. Simply put, its taste of home cooking and the right way to begin a Sunday. Oh and remember to put an extra tip in the jar as it goes to the family college fund.

Styria Catering

Photo courtesy of Styria Catering.

Location: Sunday: South Pearl Street

The Lowdown: The smell of Holiday markets come early with the sizzle of buttery latkes cooking away on Chef Neuhold’s grilled. If either of those aren’t captivating enough, then it be the full filets of salmon getting smoked before patrons’ eyes. The wooden planks continue to perfume each piece of salmon as they are wrapped and taken home with the customer. This authentic German stand is bringing their deli’s kitchen to life on South Pearl. Each latke looks about the size of a small russet but the long shreds keep it light. They sell salmon slices with a heavy sprinkling of dill reaffirming the freshness of the market. These are the staples and perfect with the weather getting cold, but the lobster or crab roll readily make an appearance.

Wag’s World Orchard

Baskets of apricots. Photo courtesy of South Pearl Street Instagram.

Location: Sunday: South Pearl Street

The Lowdown: Although apple picking isn’t as integrated into fall festivities in Denver, this orchard plants then provides the market with fruit for every season it runs. Apples fill each table and they shine so much that doctors would more than happily approve eating. In addition to apples, stone fruits graze their tables as well. They stock nectarines, apricots, plums and literally everything in between like their fusion fruits. The pluots have the dark skin of a plum but the firm texture of an apricot. It’s cider season and their apple juice has the deep rich color usually associated with cider because they maintain more of what the entire apple has to offer.


Array of pastas, olive oils, and balsamic. Photo courtesy of Pastamore.

Location: Saturday: City Park, Sunday: South Pearl Street

The Lowdown: A name that truly describes what they achieve with making more out of a classic dinner dish and leaving patrons more in love. Their ribbons of pasta begin the same as most with flour and eggs, but get a bit of an upgrade. Usually, the sauce provides all the flavor, here the pasta exemplifies it with infusions of roasted garlic, habanero, lemon pepper and Thai citrus ginger. Groceries stores can’t contend when the most creative part of their pasta is often the shape. There’s excitement since every swirl of their spaghetti will go beyond just tomato sauce depending on which noodles are being used.