Eat Your Way Through St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market | Ontario Culinary
loader image

Eat Your Way Through St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market

St. Jacobs Market is minutes from the city of Waterloo and yet it feels like you’re in a totally different world, away from the hustle and bustle of the urban centre. Of course, this market has a hustle and bustle completely its own!

Open Thursday and Saturdays year-round as well as Tuesdays from the middle of June to the end of August, there are plenty of opportunities to explore.

This local food hub is an excellent way to do your grocery shopping and support Ontario farmers, food producers, bakers, artisans, craft beverage producers and so much more. You can get a taste of place for Waterloo Region’s German heritage as well as the many other cultures that now call the region home. From Indian curries to Mennonite cured meats, you’ll find them at the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market.

Delicious Discoveries at the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market

We recently ate our way through the market and made many delicious discoveries so read on for some highlights, what we find so cool about the market and get a taste of the history too!

Market History

Originally located in Kitchener, The St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market dates back to 1952 when it was called the Stockyard Farmers’ Market. In 1975, the Kitchener and Waterloo Stock Yards merged and created the market in its current location, opening up in the mid-eighties.

Over the next decade or so, new buildings were added, new vendors and of course, the name change came along too in 1991!

To date, St. Jacobs Market is made up of an impressive amount of buildings including the 2-level main farmers’ market building, the Pedlar’s Village Building, the St. Jacobs Outlet Mall, Market Road Antiques Building and the Market Tent (which was originally built as a back up when a fire struck in 2013 but now houses about 50 vendors). To see the whole scoop on the market layout, check out this page. 

Recently sold to the Schlegel family in 2017 who partnered with another local family (the Hubers, owners of Stockyard Beverage Co.), the market has recently undergone a major revitalization and is buzzing with life! Keep reading to see what we mean.

The Craft Beverages

Willbald booth at St Jacobs Farmers Market, bright yellow

The market has come a long way since its inception and now hosts stalls from a number of craft beverage producers. If you don’t have time to visit their locations (which we also highly recommend!), The St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market is the perfect spot to visit several in one go.

For some brilliantly dry and vibrant craft ciders, check out our friends and Feast On-certified purveyors, West Avenue Cider House who have a booth inside the market tent. Crafting cider on their orchard in Brant County, their ciders are known for the punch they pack without being overly sweet. Check out their award-winning heritage dry cider to see what we mean.

Another local fav, KW Craft Cider also has a booth at St. Jacobs’ Market where you can enjoy a selection of their refreshing bevies.

More into spirits? They’ve got that too! Located just a few booths down, check out Willibald Farm Distillery’s lineup of gin, vodka, beer, seltzers and more. Also our Feast On Partners, Willibald is a farm distillery with a beautiful property and beer garden (check it out just a half hour down the road).

We didn’t forget you beer drinkers, either! In addition to the lovely brews from Willibald, you can also check out TWB Brewing, one of Ontario’s small handful of coop breweries or Stockyards Beverage Co. who are heavily tied to the revitalization of the market. Stop by the booth, say hello to the friendly staff (like we did!) and enjoy.

The Beautiful Produce

basket of cucumbers

La piece de resistance? The beautiful produce tents that line the outdoors of the market! During the summer and fall, you can find loads of gorgeous, Ontario-grown fruit and veggies including a rainbow of different peppers, beautiful Niagara peaches, bright purple plums, fresh sweet corn and event unique fruits and veggies like yellow watermelon and cranberry beans.

Each week, it’s a treat to see what the different farmers and vendors bring to the market as the seasons change. Grab your tote and wander the tents as you see what rural bounty looks like.


Of course, there are plenty of treats too so arrive hungry! We loved digging into the warm churros from La Abuela and the large Bavarian pretzels! Seriously you’ll find it all here from soft apple fritters fresh from the oven to raspberry lemonade squeezed moments ago. Wander the stalls, enjoy some live music and do your grocery shopping for the week as you chat with the farmers and producers.

Other Stuff You Gotta Check Out

Shelves full of different mustards, spices and sauces at the St Jacobs Farmers Market

As if alllll that goodness wasn’t enough! We’ve barely scratched the surface on the artisan wares, condiments, preserves and more that await you. We loved checking out an amazing selection of all of the above and definitely came home with some deliciousness to spice up our meals. Love hot sauce? Mustard? Curry spices? The market has it all and you can talk to the creators while you’re there.

Also on-site, shop a variety of artisans selling everything from woodworks and jewelry to leather goods and more. It’s a great spot to grab a gift for your next dinner party host or something for yourself!

Make a Trip of It

In conclusion, there isn’t much not to love about the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market. Grab a bite as you wander the stalls and shop the market at the peak of each season. There’s always something new and some tried and true favs. Want to make a getaway out of the whole thing? Check out our ideas for couples and families.

Waterloo Region