Two days a week Arizona Avenue transforms into a vibrant exhibition of Californian culture. You can stroll through rows of colorful flowers and fresh vegetables, listen to live music, and taste samples of gourmet cheeses and breads, just blocks away from the ocean.

The extremely popular Santa Monica Farmer’s Market takes place every Wednesday and Saturday, between 4th and Ocean on Arizona Avenue. Up to 9000 locals shop there every week as it is recognized as one of the largest CFMs (Certified Farmer’s Market) in the nation. If you show up before 8:30 am you are likely to run into the best chefs in the city marking their favorite items for pick up.

Its mission statement reads:

The Santa Monica Farmers Markets are committed to promoting healthful eating and sustainable agriculture in California by providing fresh agricultural products from small farms to urban customers, thereby building community and preserving California farmland.

We believe that mission has been met, and then some. What began as a once weekly occurrence is now a twice-weekly event covering a range of four blocks. The wide variety of seafood, natural meat, organic produce, and artisan cheese makes this farmers market a welcome treat for all.

Coast Beach Café & Bar is one of many local restaurants that use these market fresh ingredients on their menu. Every Wednesday Coast Beach Café & Bar’s Executive Chef Sven Mede stops by the local Santa Monica Farmer’s Market to find ingredients for Coast’s weekly 3 course, 29$ prix fixe menu. This Wednesday, we followed Chef Sven to the market and into his kitchen as he crafted the perfect farm fresh market salad with kiwano vinaigrette.