Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Where do I get local food?

Charlotte is the nation’s 18th largest metropolitan area with over 1.2 million people living or working here.  Though we are a big city, we are lucky to have farm land just miles outside the city center making eating locally easy. There are several local markets, some seasonal and some year round. I have visited some already and will trek to the others as the larger harvest season begins in the Spring. 

The closest year round market to me (and I think the best in the area) is the Atherton Market in South End.  Lynne S. Caldwell operates this market which showcases  locally grown or made produce and though the market itself is still growing, I already have vendors that I patronize each week.  I cannot say enough good things about Lynne’s efforts or the quality of produce at the Atherton Market.

I have listed some vendors below as well as the market’s hours and address. It seems like every week I go, I find another vendor doing something unique that I love so check back for updates on new and exciting vendors.

Windy Hill Farms has amazing proteins including chicken, pork, beef and lamb. They also sell eggs by the dozen which are excellent. Pretty much any recipe with meat that I post on this site will have Windy Hill Farms' products.
Landis Gourmet Mushrooms sells exactly what their name implies: mushrooms and lots of them. They grow these beauties in an old barn and use organic fertilizers.
Houston Farms is your traditional farmers market vendor selling local produce almost exclusively. This is your source for cabbage, butternut squash, turnips, pie pumpkins and more. They also typically have jams and jellies as well as basil plants for sale.
Beverly's Gourmet Foods sells Beverly McLaughlin's (who is a private caterer in the Charlotte area) casseroles, mac and cheese and other great pre-made items that are almost all vegetarian or vegan.  I recently sampled her chicken pot pie and it was incredible.
Cloister Honey is a local honey that comes in many unique varieties. I buy their original honey for tea and cooking but they also have infused honeys in many flavors. 
Pickleville Pickles (yes, you read that right, there is a pickle guy) brings his own pickled vegetables each week. Don't like pickles? Don't worry, he has so much more: he makes his own salsas, pico de gallo and pre-made beans and rice packets.  I would recommend anything he sells.

Market hours:
Tuesdays from 3pm to 7pm
Wednesdays from 9am to 1pm
Saturdays from 9am to 2pm

2104 South Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28203


  1. I'm a local food producer (Lucky Leaf Gardens - the best microgreens in the world). Great start with this blog! I'd be happy to share my tid-bits about selling direct to restaurants in and around Charlotte. At the very least - I can provide you with a list of places to dine at that will serve you an amazing meal with local ingredients. :)

  2. This is great! Thanks Sarah!! The Market at Cedar Walk (Ballantyne area) will be opening May 3rd. Will keep you posted. Great blog.
    Kate-great idea regarding resturaunts who use local. Love it!

  3. Hello Sarah! Nice to see another local food-type blog - can't wait to read more!

  4. Great blog! Ballantyne Resort uses Lucky Leaf microgreens. They are as delicious as they are adorable!

  5. Thanks Dale! Yes, Ballantyne Resort/Gallery Restaurant is one of our top clients. How did you know they were our microgreens? Glad you love them as much as we do!!