Spending lazy weekends at local farmers markets is a popular activity for many city folks these days, including Houston residents and those just visiting our city. But for those who need Saturday and Sunday mornings to rest from the week’s business trip, attend a kid’s sports game, train for an upcoming race, or just finally catch up on sleep, it can be challenging to find ways to buy fresh, healthy, local food during the week.
Fortunately for Houston, the Rice University Farmers Market hosts a wonderful market every Tuesday that provides a great opportunity to find quality foods and seasonal, local produce. Smaller in size than Houston’s Urban Harvest spread, the University market still boasts an impressive variety of vendors, and gives your visit a hyper-local feel.
The largest booth belongs to Atkinson Farms, where customers can find the bounty of the family’s 100 acres in Spring, Texas, brought directly to the heart of the city. Fresh fruits and vegetables are also found from other local farms like Heirloom Vegetables ‘N More, which features organic carrots, lettuce, and other produce grown with their aquaponics production. Check out Sullivan’s Farm for cilantro, oregano, and all the herbs you’ll need to complement the veggies, including specialty herbs like dandelion greens and chocolate mint, which can be pre-ordered for the following week’s market.
Thanks to fresh meat from Shiner Pork and Beef, delicious Chevre cheese from Blue Heron’s goat dairy, raw coconut water from Chaste Foods, and goods from several other vendors, dropping by the market on the way home from work beats any other grocery stop you could make. If you’re a Houston resident, add in a bouquet of beautiful flowers from Animal Farm and some hazelnut macaroons from Maison Burdisso and you’re well on your way to turning a home-cooked meal into a special dinner date! Or if you’re already hungry by the end of the work day, try out the Ripe Cuisine food truck. With items like cornmeal crusted avocado tacos, jackfruit carnitas, and sweet potato fries, it’s the only truck in Houston with an all-vegan menu and its popularity is exploding by the week.
Originally opened in 2007 as a second location for the Houston Farmers Market, the Rice Farmers market became an official part of Rice University in 2010. The partnership with the school brings many benefits—the most obvious perk for customers being the frequent presence of university chefs onsite to demonstrate delicious offerings created with ingredients from various vendors. The creative inspiration is a great example of what makes this market one of the best in the Houston area.
Time and Place
Because it’s located right in the heart of Houston, this market is perfect for those staying in town on business trips during the week. The market is open 3:30-6:30p every Tuesday, rain or shine, except for days when the University is closed for holidays. The market and free parking are located at 5600 Greenbriar Dr., in the West Lot adjacent to Rice Stadium—use entrance 13B.