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Life is better with lunch. The Olympia Farmers Market’s line-up of world cuisine is an obvious reason to please your palate, but there’s more. Senior Services for South Sound has teamed up with the Olympia Farmers Market to provide special programming the third Thursday of each month on the center stage. Find a seat under the covered performance area from 10 a.m. to approximately 11:30 a.m. and be entertained.

Paella Pro owner Tony Judah is helped by Jack Lennox and Stephen Lawson at the Olympia Farmers Market
Paella Pro owner Tony Judah is helped by Jack Lennox and Stephen Lawson who all create and serve the freshly made trio of paella dishes at The Olympia Farmers Market. Photo credit: Mary Ellen Psaltis

So far this season people have decorated reusable cloth bags and been entertained by the Heartsparkle Players. July’s program features two performances by a reader’s theater.

In August you can meet and greet the fall faculty from the Senior Center. Did you know that you don’t have to be a senior to take classes? All are welcome. The quality of the teachers is amazing with college professors, regional artists and notable locals.

In September the mic will be open for harvest stories. People will talk about working on farms and musings about life. Start planning for October’s costume contest, open for all ages.

The third Thursdays are special at the Olympia Farmers Market, but any Thursday morning is an excellent time to visit. Crowds are smaller than on the weekends, and you’ll have first choice for all the goodies vendors have for sale that day. You won’t find produce any fresher unless you picked it from your own yard.

Meet a friend or business acquaintance for lunch in the fresh air. Stroll up and down the restaurant aisle to decide what sounds right for you today. The row of international choices provides happiness for carnivores, vegans, and everyone in between. To whet your appetite, here are the amazing food vendors at the Olympia Farmers Market.

Curry in a Hurry

It’s a small space with big choices. There’s spicy hot shrimp vindaloo or milder options if heat isn’t for you. The chicken curry is gluten free as it the alumutter, which has no meat. Order the homemade chai either hot or cold. You can order take-home meals and even order ahead online.

Dingey's, team at the Olympia Farmers Market
Dan, Jayden and Richie from Dingey’s Cuisine are on-hand at The Olympia Farmers Market. Photo credit: Mary Ellen Psaltis

Dingey’s Cuisine

Fish and chips and maple bacon salmon benedict make this long-time family establishment a favorite for a stop at the Olympia Farmers Market. Dingey’s chowder and lemonade are good any time of morning or afternoon.

Heyday Café

Coffee drinks and a rainbow of smoothies are essential to Northwest culture. Heyday makes soups, sandwiches and salads using ingredients from other market vendors. For example, the tutti frutti yogurt parfait is topped with Blue Heron Bakery’s Rebel crunch granola.

Los Tulenos

Roberto and Saul serve flavors from their home country of Mexico and make everything on site. They have been cooking together for four decades! At Los Tulenos, you can practice your Spanish, if you like, and get a big smile from Roberto.

Madeline’s Bavarian Wurst

sweet potato fries from Madeline's at Olympia Farmers Market
Sweet potato fries are hard to beat with any meal. Perfect as a snack or with your wurst from Madeline’s at The Olympia Farmers Market. Photo credit: Mary Ellen Psaltis

Find a menu of sausages, called wurst at Madeline’s Bavarian Wurst. Each style brings its own flavors. Remember to add mustard and sauerkraut for a full experience! I’m partial to the sweet potato fries. There’s a list of breakfast options too with biscuits and gravy, eggs in many preparations and pancakes.

Paella Pro

The giant paella pans are always cooking a mixed recipe with chicken, chorizo, shrimp, onions, tomatoes, green beans and Bomba rice and a vegan recipe showcasing various vegetables. The third pan varies. You can check Paella Pro’s website ahead of time to learn what’s cooking. Tony loves visiting with customers and sharing his food interests.

Pithos Gyros

The vined stall is Pithos, with typical Greek fare such as gyros, feta, roasted potatoes and tzatziki. Never had tzatziki? It is a dip with shredded cucumbers, yogurt, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt and herbs. I used to pass it by until I drizzled it over my meal. Now I use a big spoon.

Soba

chicken cabbage salad at Soba at the Olympia Farmers Market
Soba, one of The Olympia Farmers Market eateries, offers a chicken cabbage salad with a zesty dressing and sweet crunch. Photo credit: Mary Ellen Psaltis

Chopsticks or not – noodles are fun to eat at any age. Soba is another longtime family eatery, bringing people back for food and friendship. You can easily find meat or meatless meals.

After lunch you might be desiring a sweet. The Olympia Farmers Market has many possibilities. It’s worth a walk through the stalls to admire the cookies, bars and other enticing goodies, including ice cream and shave ice. If you are full from lunch, take something home for later from one of the many delicious sweet vendors:

  • Sweet Dreams Confections
  • Blue Heron Bakery
  • Chehalis Mints
  • Baker/Potter
  • San Francisco Street Bakery
  • Wagner’s Market Place Bakery
  • The Bread Peddler
  • Diamond Head Shave Ice

The Olympia Farmers Market works hard to keep you coming back for more. With delicious food, luscious produce, creative artists and crafters, seasonal specialties and entertainment, there’s always a surprise awaiting you. It’s open Thursdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There’s a big free parking lot in back. You can follow the Olympia Farmers Market on InstagramFacebook and Twitter or through emailed newsletter sign-up.

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