Your Guide To SLO Farmers’ Market

Here in San Luis Obispo, we’re fortunate enough have one of the best Farmers’ Markets of its kind happening every Thursday. The festivities take place in the heart of San Luis Obispo on Higuera Street in Downtown SLO beginning at 6 p.m. Each week, Downtown SLO hosts anywhere between 2,000 and 7,000 visitors and locals that come in search of live performances, fresh produce, delicious local bites and local artisanal products. We’ve created a “how-to” guide so you can hit Farmers’ Market like a pro on your next San Luis Obispo vacation.

San Luis Obispo vacation ideas with kids, like Downtown SLO Farmers' Market

When to go

In San Luis Obispo, it’s always a good time to head down to Farmers’ Market! With our ideal geographic location and climate, we’re able to source a wide range of fresh produce and products within a short radius of home. And, the best part? It happens every single Thursday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with the exclusion of major holidays and the occasional rainfall.

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Where to park

Street parking around Higuera Street is available on a first-come-first-serve basis and is free after 6 p.m. We suggest that guests arrive with ample time to look for parking, especially on warmer nights when attendance seems to be higher. Parking garages are located on the corner of Palm Street and Morro Street, as well as Marsh Street and Chorro Street adjacent to Downtown SLO. These garages offer the first hour free, with an affordable hourly rate for each following hour. For more information, check out Downtown SLO’s parking map.

The Downtown Trolley operates every Thursday night from 9-5 p.m. on a 15-20 minute circuit. This fun way to get around town allows guests to be conveniently shuttled from upper Monterey Street to Farmers’ Market.

Not into driving? Our bike-friendly community also offers a free Bike Valet on the corner of Higuera Street and Morro Street sponsored by San Luis Ranch and operated by Bike SLO County.

What to buy

We recommend tasting the fresh tastes of the Central Coast and all the vibrant flavors to go along with each season. A few of our seasonal top picks are as follows:

Fall: Fall on the Central Coast is characterized by fresh produce like apples, figs, persimmons, grapes, and carrots.

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Winter: Winter here is truly citrus season— fruits like tangerines, grapefruits, oranges, and mandarins let off a bright aroma down Higuera Street. On the vegetable side, you’ll encounter options like kale, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, and celery.

Spring: During springtime in San Luis Obispo you’ll see a lot of the winter harvests due to the similar climate; however, you’ll see the addition to one of the Central Coast’s most signature fruits— strawberries. Strawberries are a can’t miss spring favorite for all!

Summer: Summer harvest yields effervescent stone fruit, cherries, berries, green beans, corn, and grapes. We advise grabbing a reusable bag and filling it up with the wide selection of local produce for your seasonal enjoyment!

Santa Maria Style BBQ over open flames from F. McLintocks at the Downtown San Luis Obispo Farmers' Market
Photo // @bryanlc

What to try

No matter what season it is, we have the luxury of year-round harvests and a continuous influx of delicious local eats. On the food vendor side, you can’t go wrong with any of the numerous options we have. There is surely a food vendor for every taste bud out there! However, we do recommend you try one of San Luis Obispo’s trademark items: The Tri-Tip Sandwich. Almost every BBQ place lined up and down the street will offer their version of this sandwich and it’s safe to say that none of them will disappoint.

It’s not all just produce and provisions! Farmers’ Market also boasts street performers, which vary each and every Thursday. Sit back and enjoy the different sights and sounds of the Central Coast talent— acts range from things like musicians,  dancers, street performers, dance squads, acrobatics and more! And, every first Thursday of each month, bikers dress up and meet at Mission Plaza for “Bike Night,” a monthly themed event where riders can meander the streets of downtown and cruise along with like-minded bikers!

@downtownslofarmers

What are you waiting for? Book your San Luis Obispo vacation and enjoy all that Thursday has to offer!

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