Summer officially starts in Edmonton after the May Long weekend. This usually means the chance of snow is almost over. I say almost because I have seen snow in May, June and August. The outdoor farmer’s markets often start the May long weekend as well. I had family obligations for most of the month of May, but yesterday my Mama Bear and I decided to spend the morning exploring the markets and enjoying the beautiful weather Edmonton had to offer. First stop was the City Market Downtown.
The Market is located on 104 Street between Jasper and 103rd Avenues. I haven’t been to all the Farmer’s markets in Edmonton, but I rank this as my favourite amongst the ones I have visited.
We parked on 104th Street by the Neon Museum and walked the short half block south. The city closed the roads for vendors and this just adds to the atmosphere. There is something decadent and forbidden about strolling on the road. There isn’t the same feeling when this happens in a park or town square. It reminded me of the market I visited in Obernai France, the only thing missing would be the church bells that singled Market opening in France.
The Market is open Saturdays between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm. I like to go early so there is still lots of choices and varieties.
The streetmosphere just adds to the flavour, Mama Bear and I like to stroll at a leisurely pace to explore the details of each booth.
We left the market about 10:30 having purchased Moonshine donuts and Irish Moss. I have deep regret over not buying rhubarb. I will make note to get some next weekend when I explore other markets.
We left downtown and drove straight to the Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market. I like this market in the winter because it is inside, in the summer, I prefer the outdoor markets. I did learn that many vendors had stalls here and the City Market. So now I can rest easy that my favourites are located downtown. Moonshine and Jack Horner, I am looking at you.
The Strathcona Market also have great atmosphere with the musical stylings of these people, the Straw Flowers. Thanks for smiling Mandolin man.
A notable difference between the two markets is there are artisans actually working on their craft in the old Bus Barns, that was fun to see.
This sewing machine belonged to her Mama Bear.
We explored all the aisles and came away with pesto and pasta, so there was dinner taken care of. I just added chicken breasts and fresh veg. It was delicious. Enough sundries tomato pesto to add to my potatoes tonight!
Around 11 am we decided to head to the French Quarter to see the farmer’s market there. I had never been to that one in the summer, only during the Flying Canoe Festival.
When we arrived, we learned Market day is Sunday. I heard a giant Wa Wa… in my head because I was severely disappointed. But this is the site of my favourite cafe so we decided to have lunch here. There is a rumour the best poutine is served here sand Mama Bear disclosed she had never tried poutine before. I looked shockingly at her and called her the worst Canadian ever.
I am going to agree, Cafe Bicyclette does serve the best poutine I have ever had in Edmonton and perhaps the best I have tried anywhere. Please note that I have never had it in Quebec, I should think it might be better there but being served by French Canadians in the French Quarter of Edmonton is amazlingly delicious. Pair it with one of the best lattes in the city and you have yourself a decadent meal.
Next week I will visit the French Market, so stay tuned.