Best Farmers' Market

Since farmers' markets now abound throughout the metro area, ambience can be as big a draw as the more standard offerings -- and it's definitely the atmosphere that sets Pearl Street's market apart from all the rest. This is a small, friendly affair with a strong community vibe, where folks can nosh on pastries and gossip, parents can push strollers, and helmeted kids can try out their training wheels without fear of being run over. And like any outdoor market worth its peaches and tomatoes, the South Pearl Farmers' Market features dewy, farm-fresh produce and the kind of gorgeous cut flowers you usually find only in a backyard cutting garden, as well as homemade condiments, pastas and ice cream. Also in the community spirit, this year's market, which debuts in mid-June, will increase its emphasis on fundraising for nonprofits by including informational booths. But even without the feel-good causes, the market is a lovely place to spend a Sunday morning among friends and neighbors.

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