WASHINGTON - It's loved for more than its fresh produce and locally- sourced food items. As one patron describes, the farmers market in Del Ray in Alexandria is the kick-off of the neighborhood's social weekend.
"It's like a big family here, we see everyone we know. We see the whole neighborhood," says farmers market customer Jennifer Atkins.
According to WTOP voters, the best farmers market in the D.C. area is the weekly farmers market in Del Ray.
The market, founded in 1994, offers everything from vegetables and fruits, to meats, eggs, cheeses, pastas, baked goods and preserves.
"The great thing is, it's a year-round market now," says Dan Eling, who has been shopping at the market for a few years.
The Del Ray market attracts a wide-range of loyal customers, including young children and dogs.
Atkins and her 4-year-old daughter are regulars at the farmers market.
"We love this market. We stop (at the market) first for the doughnuts because that's the draw for the 4- year-old," Atkins says.
Jen Lin is a D.C. resident; she frequently bikes from Capitol Hill to the Del Ray farmers market.
"It's a good ride. And I just really really like it here, so I make my way out," Lin says.
The market also has a charitable side.
"One of the great tables at the farmers market is for a wonderful program called Together We Bake. It teaches women how to work in commercial kitchens, helps them get their food certifications and they bring great granola here. So you get something good to eat and you help support a good cause," says Monica Perry, another market regular.
The Del Ray farmers market is located on the corner of East Oxford and Mount Vernon Avenues. It's open on Saturdays from 8 a.m.-noon, year round.
© 2013 WTOP. All Rights Reserved.