Food

DC-Area Farmers Markets Remain Open, Adjust Practices During Pandemic

Markets are moving to pre-order and pickup, starting senior hours, and trading samples for sanitizer

Dupont Circle FreshFarm market (in pre-Covid-19 times). Photograph by Hong Le.

Like grocery stores, farmers markets are considered essential businesses and can remain open in DC, Maryland, and Virginia amid the health crisis. That said, many are adjusting their practices. Markets in Virginia have largely moved to a preorder and pickup model for goods, while others are instituting seniors-only times and spacing limits.

FreshFarm Markets
Multiple locations in DC, MD, VA
Washington’s largest farmers market organization is keeping all 16 locations in DC, Maryland, and Virginia open, including the Dupont Circle Sunday market—the largest in the District. Still, many vendors at all locations are offering pre-order/pickup and delivery for those who want to avoid any gatherings. Additional health and safety measures are in place (think sanitizer, not samples, and no cooking demos or entertainment). The market organizers are also waiving their “don’t sell before the bell” policy, so vendors can set up early, and asking that only seniors and immune compromised shoppers attend the first hour at each location (times vary). Note the Downtown Silver Spring market has moved to Veterans Plaza.

DC

Eastern Market
225 Seventh St., SE
The Saturday and Sunday outdoor market remains open for fresh food purchases, though the craft market is currently closed as a non-essential business. Indoor market vendors are also open for business.

Farmers Market SW
435 M St., SW
Instead of waiting until the usual mid-April opening date, this Southwest DC market debuted early to get fresh food to the public on Saturdays from 9 AM to 1 PM. Extra health and safety measures are in place such as a no-samples policy and further distance between stands.

Virginia

Alexandria Farmers Markets
Multiple area locations
All five neighborhood farmers markets in Alexandria have moved to a pre-order model to deter crowds, including the two large Saturday markets in Old Town and Del Ray, and Four Mile Run on Sunday. Shoppers then pickup their orders at the regular market locations during the regular times. You can browse vendors for produce, baked goods, meats, and prepared foods, and get links to order pages here.

Falls Church
City Hall parking lot, 300 Park Ave., Falls Church
Similar to the Alexandria markets, customers must place orders in advance from vendors for pickup at the regular Saturday location between 9 AM to noon. Attendance is limited to one person per family and no more than ten shoppers will be allowed in the pickup area at a given time.

Nova Central Farm Market
543 Beulah Rd., Vienna
The market, open for preorder and pickup only, has moved to a temporary location at the Church of the Holy Comforter in Vienna.

Westover
1644 N. McKinley Rd.
The year-round Westover market is open Sundays from 9 AM to 1 PM for preorder and pickup only (ten person limit). Place orders here.

Maryland

Bethesda Central
7600 Arlington Rd., Bethesda
The Saturday market is open and a growing list of vendors are accepting preorders for seafood, baked goods, produce, and more. Sister market Pike Central in North Bethesda is still set to open April 25.

Montgomery Farm Women’s Cooperative Market
7155 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda
The market is open year-round, Wednesdays through Sunday (outside only) from 7 AM to 4 PM.

Olney
2801 Olney-Sandy Spring Rd., Olney
The large, year-round market is open as usual on Sundays from 9 AM to 1 PM. In addition to produce, there’s a variety of prepared foods. Vendors are also taking orders for pickup and delivery.

Takoma Park
6931 Laurel Ave.  Takoma Park
This year-round Sunday market has relocated to a roomier location and has instituted a seniors-only shopping hour from 9 to 10 AM. Many of the items are pre-bagged to speed up shopping times, and many of the vendors are taking preorders for pickup until 2 PM.

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Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.

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