Lancaster County Farmers Markets

Over Easter weekend, I was able to spend some time in my hometown of Lancaster, PA. I talked my dad into going to two of my favorite places on the Tuesday that I was there.

Lancaster County is known for it beautiful farmland, the Amish and its history. When visiting Lancaster  you will find beautiful landscapes, friendly people and an array of farmers markets. When visiting family in Lancaster, I was able to go to two of my favorite farmers markets in the county, Lancaster Central Market and Root’s Farmer’s Market.

Central Market Building built in 1889.

Lancaster Central Market was started in 1730. The market was on a small plot of land that a local family gave so that the farmers might bring their goods into the then small town and sell them. When Lancaster was granted its charter by the King, it was to be a market town with market happening two days a week forevermore. Market has gone from a completely open air setup in the 1730’s the the building that stands today. The current Central Market Building was built in 1889.

The street outside of Market is empty early on this market morning.

When going to market you step back into the old world charm of brick streets on the outside and vendors on the inside selling everything from meats and cheeses, to flowers,to fresh produce, to heavenly baked goods. My favorite thing to do at market is to get a pint of chocolate milk from Maplehoff Dairy and a Long John Donut from the Amish man who sells Achenbachs. Get there early because he sells out quickly. When I lived in downtown Lancaster, my favorite thing to do was to get milk from Maplehoff Dairy because they still sell them in glass half gallons. I would get a half gallon of 2% and a half gallon of chocolate milk and walk it the four blocks home. It was a heavy walk because I often had other goodies I found at market with me.

One of many signs directing people to Central Market throughout the downtown.

As good as the baked goods are at market nothing can compare to Root’s Farmers Market just a few miles away in Manheim, PA. At Root’s you can find everything. Used books, handmade jewelry, belts and belt buckles, fresh squeezed lemonade, fresh french fries, baked goods, chicken gizzards, you name it, they have it. When I went to Root’s on my last visit, I had a singular mission: get the best whoopie pies ever. This did not mean let me get one or two from all of the places and try to figure out which was the best, although I may have to have a blind taste test one of these times… No, it was to go to the Sweet Spot and get a whoopie pie. Now, while this isn’t a sponsored post, I do have to disclose that Rochelle is a dear friend of mine who I have had the pure honor of knowing for the last twenty years. She makes the best whoopie pies anywhere and I have tried many and none come close. I went with my dad whose favorite whoopie pie of hers is the seasonal blueberry one and he picked out a shoe-fly pie whoopie. I went with a mint for myself. We got my stepmom a Mudslide Whoopie Pie that is made with alcohol, that she loved! My grandmother got an original that I transported back to Florida the next day and was her breakfast the day after that.

Best whoopie pies, period.

Pro-tip: While the whoopie pies are great at room temperature they are even better having been in the fridge or the freezer. When flying with the whoopie pies out of Harrisburg International Airport, take them in your carry on and take them out at TSA. They see them all the time but it causes less confusion.

There are many other farmers markets throughout Lancaster County, so don’t be shy in visiting them.

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