One of the best things to hit Williamsburg in recent years, is the Saturday Farmer's Market held in Merchants Square from 8 a.m. til noon. While not strictly a dining experience, the weekly event (from Spring to Fall) provides a wonderful variety of fresh produce along with gourmet items like goat cheese, organic buffalo meat, baked goods, and herb plants. This upscale market usually has live music and cooking demonstrations but the real show is the people (and their pets) that religiously turn out for the one-block stroll.
Besides the fresh produce, the market has become the social nexus for much of the community. It is refreshing to see college professors, lawyers, dentists, and curators, turn up for the 8 a.m. opening bell in their ratty weekend duds, limited make-up, and still sleepy countenances. In fact, if you step back and watch the early shoppers, many of who have hip and knee replacements installed, the street resembles a zombie parade from a scene in Dawn of the Living Dead. By 8:30 the crowd is dominated by leashed dogs of every size and shape--many dressed for the occasion. This weekly canine Easter parade is a sight to see especially if you are animal lover.
Traditional farmer's markets are a way for local farmers to directly supply their communities with the freshest produce available. Many of the vendors at the Williamsburg market cater to and are themselves a more polished cliental. This is not to diminished this fantastic event but don't expect to see any crusty, tobacco chewing, overall wearing, country boys hawking collards and hogs feet. http://www.williamsburgfarmersmarket.com/