If you ask around for fun things to do in Rochester, many people will tell you to go visit the Rochester farmers market. There are actually several farmers markets in Rochester, including the Brighton Farmers Market, South Wedge Farmers Market, and the Washington Square Farmers market. There are more than 23 in total in and around Rochester, but those are not the markets that people are referring to.
What people really mean when they say the Rochester farmers market is the Rochester NY Public Market. It is a year-round outdoor and indoor market, with three sheds. At the market you can find more than 100 vendors selling produce from their farms, grass-fed and organic meat, cheeses, locally made pasta, and bread, and some semi-famous empanadas. The market is a convenient place to shop even if you receive SNAP benefits. The market has a token program which allows you to use your EBT to buy food and products sold at the market by exchanging tokens. If you do go visit, just note that you are not allowed to smoke near the sheds or the food, dogs are not allowed, and if you bike, you should stow your bike on the racks and not bring it into the market area.
One final important thing to remember when visiting the market, is the Rochester Public Market hours. On Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday the market is closed with the exception of several holidays and special events. Otherwise, the market is open on Tuesday and Thursday from 6 am to 1 pm, and Saturday from 5 am to 3 pm.
The Rochester Public Market hours can be hard to work your schedule around, but they are ideal for early risers. There is also a distinct benefit to getting to the market early, and that is to beat the crowds. The Public Market is a very popular site in Rochester, and if you wait until noon to visit you may find it hard to get the items that you like, or to even get from one side of a shed to the other.
Of all the places in Rochester to really spend time among the Rochesterians, and to sample the agricultural diversity of Genesee Valley and Finger Lakes farmers, the Rochester Public Market may be the best. Just remember to check the Rochester Public Market hours before you enthusiastically grab a few bags and head down to Union Street.