Molto Vegas Farmers Market
The building is nondescript and only a small, chalk-written sign outside the door offers any indication that there is a bustling farmers market inside. But the parking lot is always packed, and by the time we make our way into the warehouse-like building, there is no doubt that we have stumbled across a well-kept Las Vegas secret that has leaked to the public.
That secret is the Molto Vegas Farmers Market, a sustainable farmers market that is essentially an overflow of locally grown, primarily organic and natural products used by Mario Batali at his local restaurants Enoteca San Marco, B&B Ristorante and Carnevino Italian Steakhouse.
Product availability depends on season, but there is always a variety of fruits, vegetables and herbs as well as cheese and fresh bread and pastries. Baskets stacked high with common produce such as peppers, tomatoes and onions sit among trays of colorful berries, apples and oranges. More unusual products, such as a variety of roots and squash blossoms, are also available.
Regular customers carry their reusable shopping bags and chat casually with the vendors as they stock up on arugula and basil. Those who are new wander wide-eyed from table to table, fingering the piles of plump fruit and eagerly accepting the samples offered by select vendors.
The Molto Vegas Farmers Market isn’t large by any stretch of imagination, and in comparison to the grocery stores in Las Vegas, prices are generally higher ($4.00/pound for leeks and garlic and $5.00/pound for heirloom peppers, for example). However, Batali is known for supporting local growers and using only the highest quality ingredients in his restaurants, so the trade-off is one of convenience and price for quality and sustainability. In fact, all goods sold at the Molto Vegas Farmers Market are either grown in Las Vegas or trucked in from Southern California.
I know that the average visitors to Las Vegas aren’t scurrying out to find the local farmers market, but for anyone living in the city or who wants a more local experience, the Molto Vegas Farmers Market is worth seeking out. In a city where sand is common and harsh, hot winds blow through the valley year round, the bite of a fresh apple, juicy melon, leafy green or crunchy carrot goes a long way.
The Molto Farmers Market is located at 7485 South Dean Martin Drive in Suite 106 every Thursday from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Photo credit: JoAnna Haugen (may not be used without permission)