Berkeley's trio of weekly markets skew locavore crunchy, the Friday Old Oakland market has Asian produce from Central Valley farmers, and the Saturday Grand Lake-Oakland market feels, well, grand. But the East Bay market that hews closest to our ideal of human-scale neighborhood amenity sets up every Sunday in the DMV parking lot where Temescal and Lower Rockridge meet, turning an asphalt desert otherwise abandoned on Sundays into a genuine commons. The Temescal farmers' market offers the right mix of produce, splurgy artisan foods, crafts, carbs, and Blue Bottle drip. Market loyalists include latte-clutching Rockridge parents pushing fancy strollers, shawled ladies stopping by after Ethiopian Orthodox church services, tattooed Temescal kids, off-duty chefs like Daniel Patterson, and local tastemakers that include San Francisco magazine food editor Jan Newberry. Instead of being narrowly focused on impeccable produce or on hammering home some diktat about backyard composting, the Temescal market manages to serve as the essential center in the weekly life of an urban region.
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