42nd Street and New Kent Avenue in Forest Hill Park
Second Place: 17th Street Farmers' Market
Third Place: Byrd House Market
It's almost uncanny how popular the South of the James Market has become. Each Saturday from now until December, from 8 a.m. until noon, the tents and booths in Forest Hill Park are a magnet to throngs of shoppers and strollers, dogs and diners, and there's always something new to taste or try out. Vendors make the air fragrant with doughnuts, breakfast burritos and coffee. Produce, farm goods, crafts and local art make the browsing experience a pleasing lesson in community, and fans say it just keeps getting better. One of the country's oldest farmers' markets continues to reinvent itself to keep up with the times. Fans of the 17th Street Farmers' Market in Shockoe Bottom like its history, people and the urban setting. It's convenient to a growing residential populace in the neighborhood and with more changes in the works, this is a market to watch. Byrd House Market is one of the few that braves all kinds of weather with a year-round schedule on Tuesday afternoons. The newly expanded Oregon Hill marketplace has a who's who of vendors and farmers and is reliably ahead of the curve with new foods, organic produce and carefully curated artisans. It's a project of William Byrd Community House, and a living laboratory for nutrition, commerce and community involvement.