Boston’s Best Farmers Market and What to Know When You Go

After an especially tough winter, few signs of spring are more welcome or tantalizing than the explosion of colors, smells and tastes of an open-air farmers market. It’s hard to think of a better way to celebrate a new season’s offerings than grabbing coffee from a local java stall and exploring the mood-boosting rows of both the expected (fresh berries, tender asparagus, infinite varieties of lettuce) and the exotic (squash blossoms, maitake mushrooms, drinking vinegars). And it so happens that the hands-down, best-rated farmers market in the city is Copely Square Farmers Market in Back Bay Boston, a seven-minute walk from Newbury Guest House. Here’s what else to know: 

You should go! Copely Square Farmers Market has one of the best locations in the Back Bay. The outdoor venue sits in front of a beautiful 1848 building with an expansive lawn and fountain, with the stunning historic Trinity Church on its east border. It’s also right at the Copely Square T stop. Spring sightseeing, shopping (and sampling!) were never easier to do all in one place.

When to go: The market is open Tuesdays and Fridays rain or shine from May through November (so if you miss it in spring, you can still look forward to an equally amazing array of crisp apples, winter squash and more). It’s open from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., but tourists and nearby office workers converge for lunch, groceries and treats around noon, so go early if you can and enjoy coffee and the company of notable Back Bay chefs shopping the market for their restaurants’ evening menu.

They’re local, and they’re spectacular. The market is run by Mass Farmers Markets to provide nutritious, locally grown and produced food from area farmers dedicated to sustainable growing practices. Just a few of the offerings from more than 30 stalls include the usual (and delicious) apples, tomatoes, squash, and carrots along with juicy, jewel-like berries from Atlas Farms, Green Hall Farms micro greens, and New England-native lion’s mane mushrooms from MycoTerra Farms. Alongside the fresh potted herbs and pasture-raised eggs, look for Beverly Bees honey and local cheeses from Robinson Farm. If it’s fresh and in season, it's at Copely Square Farmer’s Market. 

If “fresh, healthy, and certified organic” doesn’t sound like vacation talk to you, don’t worry. You’ll find some of the Back Bay’s most tempting, fresh-made breads, pastries and pies among the beans and greens. Iggy’s Breads is dough heaven and a supplier of some of Boston’s top restaurants, so there’s always a line, but get in it – and don’t miss their mozzarella and tomato sandwiches. Get adorable mini-versions of 7ate9 Bakery’s epic cheesecakes at its market stall and sample the best thing ever to happen to a cocoa bean at Sueños Artisanal Chocolates. Cool down or fuel up with refreshing mint-maple tea from Cooks Farm or local joe from Happy Beans Coffee roaster.

Not cooking is freedom. Not picnicking is a mistake. If you’re staying at our boutique hotel, you’re likely not picking up fresh dinner groceries. But when your room is steps away from one of the best outdoor lunch spots in the Back Bay, there’s just no excuse not to indulge in one of life’s simplest and greatest pleasures. Pick up a baguette, cheese, and some fresh fruit, or hit one of the market’s ready-made food stalls: offerings vary from deli meats and cheeses to bento boxes, tamales, Mei Mei’s dumplings, and the do-not-miss-it potato salad from Seta’s. Then grab a seat on the market’s lawn (or in the Boston Public Library’s charming courtyard) and people watch or take in a performance from one of the many local musicians who play near the fountain pool. If someone else is doing the cooking while you’re here, say thanks with fresh blooms from Moon Hollow Flower Farm.

Copely Square Farmer’s market is an excellent place for gift shopping. It’s a surprising source of won’t-see-it-everywhere handmade crafts, pottery, home décor, jewelry and other truly unique gifts and artisanal items. And if you want to savor your market experience back at home, hit the stalls of Crystal Rock Maple Syrup, Q’s Nuts, or Boston Smoked Fish Co. before you return. 

Finally, expect the unexpected. The Copely Square Farmer’s Market lineup of vendors and produce varies by week and by season, offering new discoveries each time you visit. One thing that doesn’t change: you’re in the best location to sample all of them when you stay at Newbury Guest House – the freshest hotel choice in the Back Bay.