Union Street Farmers Market


Union Street Farmers Market

Let it never be said that folks in Gainesville don’t appreciate good food.  They also appreciate knowing where their food comes from, which is one reason I think there is such an abundance of fantastic farmers markets nearby.  Did you know that in Alachua County there is a farmers market 6 days of the week?  One of my favorite markets is the Union Street Farmers Market that is in downtown Gainesville every Wednesday from 4-7 p.m.  It is quite convenient because it is right across the street from my office, but I also love that it takes place in the afternoon, so you don’t have to wake up early to get all the good deals and tasty treats.

Downtown Farmers Market Booth

There are booths from farms all over Alachua County and nearby towns in Florida.  Everything is so fresh and delicious that most of the time the produce you buy was harvested that very day.  You can’t get more ‘farm fresh’ than that and with prices that are better than the grocery store, it really makes the effort of going to the farmers market worth it.  Most weeks you’ll find in season vegetables and other goodies like local honey.

Local Florida Honey

Then there are the extra perks like finding homemade bread and sweets, ginger beer or even jewelry and candles at the market.  Most weeks there are performances going on at the Bo Diddley Community Plaza stage while the market is open, too.

Here are a few tips to make your visit to the Union Street Farmers Market extra fun.  Bring cash, some vendors will accept debit or credit cards but most everyone takes good, old fashioned cash only.  If you have reusable bags, you might want to bring those as well.  Most vendors have bags, but it makes carrying your treasures home easier if you have your own bag.  Take your time walking through the market so you don’t miss anything. You’ll also want to try samples of goods that most vendors have out on their tables to try.  A list of current market vendors is posted o

nline, so you can get a sneak peek at what will be offered when you visit.  We post our weekly favorites on our Farmers Market board on Pinterest, which is a great way to see what’s at the market, too.

After you’re done shopping at the market you can make a night of it in Downtown Gainesville. There are a lot of great restaurants and pubs within walking distance for dinner or dessert.

Union Street Farmers Market

— Anna Mikell, VisitGainesville

Cheeseburgers Anyone?

A Cheeseburger Tour of Gainesville

When I first moved to Gainesville, I had no idea where to go when I got a cheeseburger craving.  Since I like to indulge in said craving at least two to three times a month I set about finding the best cheeseburger in Gainesville.  I should also add that just like pizza there are all kinds of different burgers depending on what mood you are in.  Sometimes you want something really quick and sometimes you want your burger to be really thick.  Here’s my ‘Cheeseburger Tour of Gainesville’ to get you acquainted with where and what kind of burger scene you’ll find in the Swamp.

The Copper Monkey: Located just across the university Avenue from UF’s campus, this laid back restaurant offers great cheeseburgers, Swamp Head Beer on draft and some of my favorite French fries in town; seriously I could come here for lunch and just eat fries and be happy.  That being said their burger is fantastic, and I prefer mine with American cheese.  They also have a build your own burger night for $3 on Monday nights.

Sandwich Inn: Open for 50 years in Gainesville, this small drive-thru burger joint is always quick and tasty and offers a huge value for your burger cravings.  You’ll find lunch for less than $6 a person and it’s made to order, so it’s always fresh and hot. They also have delicious old-school milkshakes and ice cream.  This place definitely has a nostalgic feel, in the very best way possible.

Sandwich Inn

Sweet Mel’s: Downtown Gainesville is home to several different restaurants with yummy burgers on the menu.  I tried Sweet Mel’s after a coworker recommended their burgers.  They offer several different choices for burgers like your traditional cheeseburger and a mushroom swiss that was also really good. The burgers are definitely on the ‘thicker’ side and the fries were quite meaty.  Bonus points for the Deep Fried Oreos that were on the dessert menu.  This certainly wasn’t the healthiest lunch but since we were able to each have our own fried Oreo, it was worth it!
Sweet Mels (11)

Mac’s Drive Thru:  Mac’s has been a Gainesville favorite for a while, which is easy to see when you pull into the line at lunch and notice that everyone else on the East side of town is also in line with you waiting for their burger and fries.  The cheeseburger here is right on par with the Sandwich Inn although the line moves just a little slower.  Also, you’ve got to stop by on your lunch break since they aren’t open on weekends to get your burger fix.

The Swamp: Also located across the street from UF’s campus in the ‘Midtown’ area is The Swamp.  This restaurant is a favorite of folks before and after Gator games and especially when the weather is nice since their patio is a great spot to enjoy a meal outdoors.  This isn’t my favorite burger in town, but it was pretty good and if you’re a Gator fan you’ll love the atmosphere and decorations.  And you can’t beat enjoying a burger and a cold beer outside on a beautiful day.

— Anna Mikell, VisitGainesville