With the Pacific Ocean as it’s backdrop, the Little Italy Mercato is a picture perfect representation of the 40 plus certified farmers markets operating in San Diego County. This is one of the many free gems which make San Diego such a wonderful place to live and visit.
On a recent Saturday morning our family of four piled into the car for a downtown culinary adventure. My husband and I were on a mission to buy farm fresh ingredients for dinner. The kids grudgingly accepted the task. You’d think we were taking them to the dentist.
The Little Italy Mercato is hard to miss because it runs across three blocks. We had no problem locating free street parking right around the corner. I also noticed paid parking for $7. The atmosphere was festive as we approached to market – live music and the mingled scent of food, flowers, and herbs filled the air.
Not just a food market, the Mercato offers something for everyone. I was initially side-tracked by a display of locally made jewelry. With a little help from my family I refocused and let my nose guide me to the heart of the market, the food. Never able to turn a blind eye to food, our kids loosened up when offered samples of juicy softball-sized peaches. It should be noted that the Little Italy Mercato is a great location for selecting locally caught seafood, as well. One unusual sample my husband could not resist was live sea urchin. He’s still alive after trying this spiny wonder! He said it was tasty with the texture of an overripe peach with a hint of brine flavor.
About an hour later our mission was accomplished. We walked away with dinner and several new experiences.
The Little Italy Mercato offers a feel-good feast for the senses. Next time I’ll brave the long line for crepes made on the spot from Le Creperie. My mouth is already watering.The Little Italy Mercato
Date Street, from Kettner to Union
Every Saturday, year round, 9:00 am to 1:30 pm Map Family Friendly Free