So the cat is now officially out of the bag ever since famed chef, TV personality, and author Anthony Bourdain took a trip with Atlanta’s own Richard Blais to the Buford Highway Farmers Market. The Atlanta episode of the Layover, where Bourdain has between 24-48 hours to kill in some of the world’s major airport hubs, featured some of the city’s classic eateries, some up-and-comers, and my beloved farmers market. The episode aired a couple of weeks ago, and My Little Foodies and I shopped the Saturday immediately after. While this gem of a market is always busy, that Saturday the lines for fresh-made dumplings and other hidden treasures Bourdain and Blais exposed were enough to frustrate any shopper. The amount of people who were shopping for the first time, because they saw the episode, was ridiculous. Nevertheless, I am happy that many were convinced to take a trip to this international food mecca. I am confident they will be returning for more. Here are a few more reasons that you should consider a trip with your Little Foodies this weekend…
1. The Produce – Amazingly fresh with a significant organic area, you can find some of the freshest and unique produce around. Samples are abundant, as we enjoyed fresh mango and peppers incorporated into basil rolls. They were also sampling fruits that many aren’t familiar with such as persimmon and dragon fruit.
2. The Variety - I guarantee you will find many items you have never seen before. The variety of peppers, for example, is astonishing.
3. The Cost – Shopping at a Farmers Market is a great money-saving alternative to a specialty grocer, which often charges significantly higher prices for items such as spices. Here you get more for less, so you can actually replace your spices every so often as recommended instead of hoarding some specialty ones. I admit I still have a few jars purchased in college.
4. The People – Employees here are more than friendly and helpful. They are also really knowledgeable as natives from each region staff their area of the market.
5. The Samples - Delicious and abundant. Last Saturday we had fresh basil rolls, full-size meat and cheese quesadillas, chips and salsa, rigatoni, baklava, ramen, Russian caramels, and the list goes on.
6. The Seafood – A fresh, immense variety to satisfy any pescetarian. Don’t forget to check out the fresh sushi and sushi-grade cuts of fish in the Asian side of the market.
7. The Eastern European Section - I had never seen this kind of selection of Eastern European foods in this city before coming to the market. My husband could spend hours perusing all the smoked fishes and caviars. There is an amazing Russian bakery with the most delicious piroshkis and homemade blintzes. It is also my go-to resource for real half-sour pickles. Don’t forget to stop by and say hello to Alexander, the Market’s friendly Russian baker and deli-man!
8. The Dumplings – Made fresh while you wait and steamed to perfection. This alone is worth a trip, as evidenced by the 30-minute wait for these juicy bites of perfection last weekend. The beef and the kimchee are our favorites.
9. The Food Court – Don’t forget to allot some time for a trip to the food court on your way out for such delicious treats as fresh made crepes with nutella or homemade “poffertjes” – mini-Dutch pancakes covered with fruit, whipped cream, and powdered sugar.
10. The Free Face Painting Every Saturday – Always a kid pleaser. A parent pleaser too when it’s free too!
11. The Toys - Okay so there are many more than 10 reasons including the authentic toys. From Russian matryoshka dolls (My Little Foodies’ favorite) to Hello Kitty gear imported directly from Japan, you can take home an authentic something for your little ones.
5600 Buford Hwy NE
Doraville, GA 30340