The Broad Ripple Farmer’s Market, located behind Broad Ripple High School, is not your run of the mill summer vegetable stand. Besides a collection of farm fresh produce from around central Indiana, you can also find goods from some of Indianapolis’ finest bakeries, locally raised meats and eggs, flower arrangements, local honey, maple syrup, homemade noodles, an array of breakfast and snack vendors, and even a do-it-yourself chicken coop stand for farm fresh eggs straight from your own back yard. The Broad Ripple Farmer’s Market is also pet friendly, allowing for leashed dogs. They even have stands dedicated to making treats exclusively for Fido. The hours are from 8am to 12 noon Saturday mornings throughout the season.
The produce available from the vendors is top notch and country fresh. Shop around for the best pickings from the day’s selection, as no one stand dominates the competition. The prices and selection vary depending on when items are in season, but if it is on the table it will taste better and last longer than anything purchased at your local grocery store. Outside of vegetables, the Schacht Farm deli ham and bacon products, The Royer Farms lamb sausage and any of the cheeses from Ludwig Farmstead Creamery are worthy of note.
Most farmer’s markets have great local produce, but few have a selection of bakeries available like the ones found here. Amelia’s Bakery makes some terrific and large loaves of bread. With a hearty crust and a soft flavorful inside, their City Loaf is worth every penny. The Brotgarten is a German style bakery that specializes in hearty breads with a more robust European style inside. Not dense and chewy, nor fluffy and airy, the bread is hearty and full of flavor. Their loaves are a bit smaller in size than Amelia’s, but they are also less expensive. If you are not a fan of thick hearty bread, pick up one of Brotgarten’s softer German style dinner rolls. The Cornerstone Bread Co. is your stop for hamburger and hotdog buns. If you picked up some grass-fed beef, or locally raised buffalo, be sure to get some buns from these guys. They are larger in size than most of the store bought processed junk, and they taste a lot better too. Rene’s Bakery is representing the sweet part of the bakery. Their macaroons are unbeatable, and their brioche is every bit as buttery and rich as the French intended it to be. Scholar’s Inn Bakehouse, out of Bloomington, is also represented. Their loaves have been turning up lately at grocery stores across Indy and are sort of in between Amelia’s and Brotgarten in texture. There are even a handle full of gluten free vendors for people with Celiac disease or those who follow the wheat free trend.
The fat guy’s rulebook says, “If you have to get up early on a Saturday, there had better be breakfast involved, preferably with bacon.” The Broad Ripple Farmer’s Market has a handful of vendors to select from. With choices ranging from breakfast pizza to slow cooked pork tacos, there should be something you like. The crowd favorite, and rightfully so, is the 3 Days in Paris crepe stand. The ladies at 3 Days in Paris are a lively bunch, and they make some absolutely delicious crepes. The crepes eat like delicate little breakfast burritos with just a touch of underlying sweetness. The Red Eggs and Bacon includes: eggs, spinach, havarti cheese, bacon, and a terrific roasted red pepper sauce for a slight note of heat. The BLT has: bacon, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and jack cheese. The sun-dried tomatoes are soft, and bursting with sweet tomato flavor. If you want something sweeter and more rich, get a Classic. A warm crepe is stuffed with fresh bananas and Nutella. This delectable treat melts in your mouth and can best be described with a Homer Simpson-esque “Mmm…Nutella” followed by some sort of primitive reflex sound of pure enjoyment.
The Broad Ripple Farmer’s Market is one of the better markets in the city. Be sure to get there early. The small parking lot fills up quick, and the crowds and heat increase as the day goes on. Parking is available on the side streets as well. Bring the whole family including your four legged friends to check out some farm fresh goodies. Come for the locally sourced foods, and stay for the crepes.