You can still get your fresh produce at the Dallas Farmers Market as it undergoes its transformation. After shopping, stop for lunch at Pecan Lodge, and pick up your spring plants at Ruibal’s.
Times Are Changing
Operated since 1941 by the City of Dallas, the farmers market was recently sold to DF Market Holdings. According to the Dallas Morning News, the private company will invest over $64 million to renovate the area for mixed use to include retail, apartments, restaurants, and a fresh produce market. Redevelopment is already underway, with Dallas Farmers Market Shed 1 demolished and ready for retrofitting.
Shed 3 houses fresh and often local produce sellers. During the morning of my visit, a bus load of school children were on a field trip to learn about smart food choices. The number of vendors is limited during the market’s makeover, but there are still at least a dozen produce stands. And their prices for fresh fruits and vegetables rival what I pay at the grocery store. Along with produce, you can buy local honey, nuts, and plants.
The sweet scent from Pecan Lodge’s smokehouse fills the air and adds a southern feel to the market. Named by D Magazine in 2010 as Dallas’ best new restaurant, Pecan Lodge continues to garner raves for its barbecue. The lunch time rush begins an hour before the eatery opens, with customers patiently queuing in lines that stretch the length of the restaurant. If you have a large enough party, you can preorder a whole brisket (feeds about 15 people) and not have to wait in line. Pecan Lodge is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (or until they sell out). The restaurant is inside the Dallas Farmers Market food court (Shed 2), but hurry.
Pecan Lodge will move to a stand-alone restaurant in the Deep Ellum district once renovation begins at the food court.
Ruibal’s Plants of Texas
Pecan Lodge is a market success story and so is Ruibal’s Plants of Texas. Michael Ruibal began selling plants out of a truck at the Dallas Farmers Market in 1984, now he operates four nurseries in the Dallas area. Ruibal’s Farmers’ Market location is across the street from Shed 1 at 601 South Pearl Expressway. And boy does Ruibal’s have plants. Colorful annuals, perennials, garden pots, shrubs and even trees are available at the fully stocked nursery that covers two city blocks. A visit to Ruibal’s is a must for anyone getting ready to plant their spring garden. Ruibal’s is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Dallas Farmers Market is at 1010 South Pearl Expressway. Open daily, Shed 3 hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the food court is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.