If you happen to find yourself on the Central Coast of California, be sure to stop by the Santa Barbara Public Market.
Walking into the Santa Barbara Public Market, you're greeted with a bright and beautiful interior. The Market is bustling with people trying samples of Chocolate Orange Bread at Crazy Good Bread Co. and enjoying lunch at Empty Bowl Gourmet Noodle Bar. Organic produce and drinks line one wall while the rest of the Market is filled with individual businesses offering something unique.
As you take a lap around the Public Market, you will find everything from delicious cupcakes, an indoor wine and beer bar, and fresh seafood (the oysters caught my attention). And that's not even half of it.
The LEED certified market opened on April 16 of this year in downtown Santa Barbara, just blocks away from great shopping. On their website, Santa Barbara Public Market states that "with an ardent focus on local farms and artisanal ingredients, the Public Market will present Santa Barbara residents and nomads alike with a very well-stocked pantry for their daily foraging." And that they do.
In addition to organic produce (in a location that they wonderfully call "Foragers Pantry"), the Santa Barbara Public Market features a collection of unique "purveyors" who each bring something different to the Market. Empty Bowl Gourmet Noodle Bar features authentic noodle bowls inspired from Thai and Taiwanese cuisine. Pair cheese and salumi from The Culture Counter Co. with handcrafted loaves of bread at Crazy Good Bread Co., then take it to the Wine + Beer Bar. Sustainable and humanely-raised meats can be found at Belcampo Meat Co., freshly made pasta at The Pasta Shoppe and fresh seafood at Santa Monica Seafood. Try olive oils and vinegars from il Fustino.
For non-alcoholic drinks, Green Star Coffee offers coffee from 100% organic fair-trade coffee beans roasted locally. JuiceWell also offers fresh pressed vegetable and fruit juices.
For dessert, make sure to grab unique and delightful cupcakes from Enjoy Cupcakes and/or organic ice cream from Rori's Artisanal Creamery.
Santa Barbara Public Market has something to offer everyone, whether you are just looking for organic and fresh produce or are looking for a bite to eat.
The Public Market is located at the corner of West Victoria and Chapala streets and opens at 7 a.m. daily, though hours may differ for each shop.
The cupcake flight of the week from Enjoy Cupcakes. This week's flight was (from left to right, back row first): Strawberry Orange Creamsicle, Chocolate Blackberry Syrah, Salted Caramel Bailey's Cream, Maple Cookies and Cream, Ginger Peach Chardonnay, and S'mores.
I absolutely loved each and every one of these cupcakes. They were light, not too sweet, and tasted so great. It's too difficult to pick just one favorite so my top three are Ginger Peach Chardonnay, S'mores and Chocolate Blackberry Syrah.
Enjoy Cupcakes also offers cakes, mousse cups and cake puddings. Yum!
Culture Counter Co. offers a curated selection of cheese and salumi from the U.S. and a mix of cheeses from around the world. What's neat is that they offer "Culture Cones" which are cones of either meats or cheeses. Talk about a great snack to have as you wander through the Market!