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Little Italy Mercato Blog

Vendor 101 Training Workshop

November 22, 2015 - 12:58pm
Brijet M.

Ready to get out of the cubicle and bring your product to market?

There are more than 50 weekly farmers markets in San Diego County. Learn how to take your crop, product or idea and become a farmers' market success story.

Farmers Market Vending 101

Experienced market managers and other professionals will answer your questions including:

How do I decide what to sell?
What are the basics of funding my business?
How do I create a brand?
What do I need to know about packaging and labeling?
What kind of equipment do I need and where do I find it?
How do I determine pricing and inventory?
What permits do I need and how do I get them?
Does the Cottage Food law affect my business?
What will it cost to get started?
How do I get accepted and make my product a best seller?
Do I need a website? How do I leverage the power of social media?


Professionals on site to answer your questions about Insurance, commercial kitchen space, equipment, marketing and more!

Limited class size. Register here

Little Italy Mercato is OPEN on Saturday, July 4

June 30, 2015 - 1:45pm
Lee M.

Get all of your holida barbecue needs at the Little Italy Mercato this Saturday, July 4, from 8AM-2PM. Steaks, corn-on-the-cob, fresh veggies for salads, hummus, bread, artisan cheese, and even local beer for your cool will all be available at this weekend's market. 

Celebrate America's bounty on W. Cedar Street!

Marketeers Mangiano Bene at Taste of Little Italy 2015

June 19, 2015 - 11:08am
Lee M.

This week, Little Italy Mercato Market Managers headed out for the annual Taste of Little Italy food crawl. With over 35 restaurants participating, there was something for every palate. It's been truly amazing to watch our neighborhood evolve since the Little Italy Mercato's founding in June 2009. Taste of Little Italy was an awesome opportunity to stroll, chat, and eat with the chefs & neighbors that support the Little Italy Mercato and the food community by shopping locally every Saturday, year-round, rain-or-shine!


After saying a big "Thank You" to the Little Italy Maintenence Crew and 'Taste' volunteers/staff, we headed over to The Cheese Store of San Diego for a taste of gooey goodness. It's an honor to host the TCSoSD crew at the Little Italy Mercato every week, and we're proud to have them as brick and mortar neighbors as well. The saying never gets old: More cheese, please!




Little Italy ArtWalk April 25-26, 2015

April 21, 2015 - 10:56am
Lee M.

The Little Italy Mercato is open 52 weeks a year, rain or shine, fulfilling all of the grocery and gift needs of downtown San Diego residents and visitors. But for one weekend every spring, we make room for the wonderful creations on display at the Mission Federal ArtWalk taking place Saturday, April 25 and Sunday, April 26 throughout Little Italy.

We’ve hand-selected a group of outstanding farmers and vendors to staff our “Mini-Mercato” at the corner of W. Cedar St. and India St. (outside of Burger Lounge) from 8AM-6PM on Saturday and 11AM-6PM on Sunday. With fresh fruits and vegetables from JR Organics, Nicolau Farms goat cheese, Poppa’s Fresh Fish, award-winning Mikolich Honey, and The California Olive oils and vinegars, we’ve got all the essentials covered for our loyal Mercato customers.


April 3, 2015 - 10:49pm
Lee M

Orange you glad that Vitamin C Day falls on a Saturday, so you can see all there is to C at the Little Italy Mercato?

There are so many reasons Vitamin C deserves its own day, even though National Ascorbic Acid Day doesn't roll so trippingly off the tongue. Load up on strawberries from JR Organics, Kawano Farms, and Suzie’s Farm or blueberries from Pudwill Farms and you're fostering tissue growth and repair throughout your entire body. When you buy broccoli, brussels sprouts and cauliflower picked tirelessly by the Suncoast Farms crew, your teeth and bones get a boost. Cook up a mess of spinach, turnip greens, and kale from African Sisters Farm; antioxidants from the Vitamin C in those leafy wonders is known to combat the signs of aging, and thought to have an important role in fighting cancer and heart-disease.


February 13, 2015 - 12:26pm
Brijet M.

Serve up romance this Saturday night when you buy ingredients from the Little Italy Mercato farmers' market!

Pick out oysters (our favorite aphrodisiac!) from Poppa's Fresh Fish or Salmon Slinger and grill up this spicy oysters with lime butter recipe! Sautee broccoli from Suzie's Farm for an easy side-dish. Looking for a meal with a little more meat? Steaks and bacon from Da-Le Ranch are perfect for this recipe. Then lighten up with this salad using J.R. Organics' spinach, walnuts from Terra Bella Ranch, Nicolau Goat Farm chevre and roasted beets from Maciel Farms on the side. 

No time to cook, but still want to show your love? Grab a heart-shaped, par baked pizza from Berkely Pizza and take it home to cook for dinner. Serve with Popcakery's sweet cakes in a jar topped with a sparkler candle for extra pizazz! 

The Little Italy Mercato is now accepting EBT!

February 13, 2015 - 10:49am
Brijet M.

The Little Italy Mercato Farmers' Market is now proudly accepting EBT at the market! 

Bring your card to the Information Booth on Cedar & India Streets and we'll provide you with EBT Scrip Cards you can use at any of our 60+ farm booths and any vendors selling grocery items to take home & eat.

(EBT dollars will not be accepted at non-food or any prepared food to eat on-site booths.)

We are proud to offer healthy food options to those using EBT to shop for groceries.

See you at the Mercato every Saturday, year-round, 8am - 2pm! 


January 17, 2015 - 1:03pm
Catt W.


Somehow word has gotten around that the Little Italy Mercato farmers' market is "pet friendly". It's easy to understand how that's happened- Little Italy is possibly the most dog-centric neighborhood in San Diego, despite the small condos that provide most of our housing. Our market is on a city street, and plenty of our neighbors pass by on their way to the de facto dog park at Washington Elementary School. Vendors offer natural pet food, treats, and pet portraits. And our staff is a dog loving bunch outside the market.

But CalCode, the set of regulations that govern food safety at restaurants, grocery stores and yes, farmers' markets and special events, is not so pet friendly. While not restricting certified service animals, those regulations require that live animals be kept 20 feet from places where food is prepared or stored for sale to the public. In a crowded market like ours, that's tough to accomplish if you're bringing your dog along to help you shop.


December 9, 2014 - 11:40am


Now scheduling local talent to play to fun, energetic crowds at our 3 weekly farmers markets in great San Diego neighborhoods! We have a great roster since our musicians tell us they book a lot of gigs with people they meet at markets, sell CDs and benefit from shopper donations. (Weekday market musicians get a small stipend in Market Money good at any booth.) 

Email Kristen at with a link to your music to join now! We are very community and family friendly, and love supporting  local musicians! 

Do note, musicians need to be available to play market hours open to close, with approriate breaks between sets.

PACIFIC BEACH FARMERS' MARKET Every Tuesday 2 pm - 7 pm

on Bayard Street between Garnet and Grand

NORTH PARK FARMERS' MARKET Every Thursday, 3pm - 7pm

on Herman Avenue between North Park Way and University

LITTLE ITALY MERCATO Every Saturday 8 am to 2 pm

on West Cedar Street between Kettner and Front


October 18, 2014 - 12:45pm
Brijet Myers

The weather is finally cooperating, and we can dust off our favorite stew recipes to warm us up on cool nights using ingredients from the Little Italy Mercato Farmers' Market!

Gather bunches of kale from Kawano Farms, onions from Schaner Farms and pumpkin from Suzie's Farm for this Great Northern Pumpkin Kale Stew- use your favorite sausages from SonRise Ranch or The Meat Men, plus beans from Suncoast Farms.

While you're making pumpkin stews, check out this cool way to cook your jack-o-lantern and end up with a delicious meal. Grab your favorite fall squashes, and bacon from Da-Le Ranch for this scrumptious delight.

Fall into some delicious stews!