Bel Air — a small town in the upper Chesapeake Bay region — hits the “Best” list of farmers’ markets in the U.S., a website that covers food and drink, ranks Bel Air 96 out of the best 101.

Bel Air Farmers Market

Photo courtesy

That may not seem very high, but it’s ahead of Zion, IL, and Halcottsville, NY, and it’s better than all but one other Maryland farmers’ market.

“Shoppers who rise and shine for the early hours of the Bel Air Farmers Market know they won’t be let down by the wide selection of food its vendors offer — assorted sweet breads, ice cream and cheese, gooseberries, glazed nuts, and flavored hummus to name a few.” reports The Daily Meal.

“There are even locally made treats for your dog, who, by the way, is also welcome to browse the market,” the website adds.

“The market season hosts primarily farms and specialty food vendors, but in October, local artists like jewelry designers and wood crafters join the regular producers for what the market calls “Art Month,” celebrating local handmade art.”

Bel Air Farmers Market

An example of an Extreme Family Entertainment balloon creation at the Bel Air farmers market.

What may give Bel Air an edge is its fun-angle — live local music and Extreme Family Entertainment. They have an entertainment schedule that runs through through November.

Bel Air, with a little more than 10,000 people, is the county seat of Harford County, northeast of Baltimore off I-95 near the tip of the Bush River. This is the 39th year of the farmers market. It’s open Saturdays 7am-11am.

The only other Maryland market to make the list is Shady Grove Farmers Market in Rockville, #76. The Daily Meal says it’s small, but makes up for it with diversity.

Rounding out the top five:

  1. Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington (but they throw big fish around)
  2. Downtown Des Moines, Iowa, farmers market
  3. Green City Market, Chicago
  4. Phoenix, Arizona, Public Market
  5. St. Paul’s, Minnesota, Farmers Market

A few Delaware farmers markets made the list. Here’s the complete ranking and descriptions. National Farmers Market Week ended August 9th.