Just across the German border from Riehen, Switzerland, the town of Lörrach is a quick cycle, bus ride or car trip away. On Saturdays, its market is also a pleasant way to spend a morning. The market is tucked into its own square off the larger streets of town, with plenty of parking nearby. In the “three-countries corner” of Switzerland, France, and Germany, the market in Lörrach, Baden (DE) showcases southern Germany’s top-quality seasonal produce.

Carrots and beets

The specialties on offer are, understandably, German: cheeses, cakes, breads, and meats. The shady square sports a fountain, and most of the produce tables are under a striped awning. And there are flowers here, lots of flowers.

Robust heads of cauliflower and broccoli sit alongside whorly cabbages, and cartons filled with three kinds of new potatoes. The country bread is sturdy, too, from wood ovens, round and hefty.

Bottles of locally brewed Kirschwasser and other liquors front baskets of fresh cherries and strawberries. Dill and parsley mound high, and egg cartons await shoppers in neat rows behind the vendors and their scales. Of the more than 100 stalls, most belong to local producers, and most of them hail from the Wiesen valley and the Markgräflerland.

When I visited two weeks ago, several vendors gave me a heads-up: just one more harvesting of fresh asparagus for this year, at least the green variety. I came away with a big bundle, enough for asparagus on its own and to put in a frittata, and perhaps a wee bit left over to add to salads. Good thing, too. When I returned last  Saturday, green asparagus was nowhere to be found, perhaps a victim of rainy days over the past week?

If you go

Even though folks here queue politely and quietly, by nine o’clock it is almost impossible to navigate along the narrow aisles. Nearby sidewalk cafes offer cakes, ice cream, coffee and hot chocolate…and of course, great people-watching.

Go to Lörrach’s market for:

  • High quality seasonal produce from southern Germany
  • German baked goods
  • Free-range eggs and meat products
  • Flowers

Farmers also operate “pop-up” stalls featuring freshly harvested white asparagus, which has a short-but-bountiful run about this time of year.

In addition to the main market, which is open three days a week, there are several neighborhood ones, with locations and opening times posted on the town’s website.

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