One Perfect Saturday in Loudoun County
The perfect foodie weekend starts every Saturday at the Leesburg Farmers Market (LoudounFarmersMarkets.org), consistently named the best farmers market in Loudoun County. With more than 50 vendors year-round, this market has evolved since its humble beginnings 25 years ago to include not just farmers but bakers, locally roasted coffee, handmade artisan soaps, kimchi, flowers, barbecue, goat cheese, wine, chocolates, oysters and much more.
Load your trunk with reusable bags of all shapes and sizes and make a beeline to Catoctin Coffee Company. People wait patiently in this line for a reason—the coffee is amazing! Then visit Happy Crepe. This Leesburg-based business creates sweet and savory crepes sourcing eggs from Green Acres Family Farmstead and other ingredients from all over the market depending on what is in season.
Prepared with breakfast, enjoy your food at one of the orange umbrella tables and listen to the local musicians as you make a plan for all of the goodies you’re about to buy. In October, leafy greens are in season, and stalls are overflowing with dinosaur kale, curly kale, red Russian kale, rainbow chard, cauliflower, turnips and Brussels sprouts.
Fall and winter squash also abound, and hearty stews are perfect for dinner on these cooler fall evenings. Try Delicata squash with its thin skin that you can leave on while you roast it in pretty half-moon shapes, or try sweet little Honeynut squash, the adorable squash that looks like a shrunken butternut, that was specially bred for perfect fall squash flavor and only recently started appearing at farmers markets.
Stock up on Virginia’s Finest dried herbs from Full Moon Organic Farm, “Hillbilly Bacon” from Baker’s Farm Fresh Pork, King Oyster mushrooms from Rooster Dirt Farm, or apples with fun names like Pink Lady, Suncrisp, Jonagold, Mutsu and Apple X from all of the fruit vendors.
Shopping accomplished, get ready to explore the rest of what Loudoun has to offer!
Pumpkin Picking at Wegmeyer Farms, 38299 Hughesville Road, Hamilton.
Located just eight miles west, Wegmeyer’s Home Farm is the perfect place to pick a pumpkin. An old stone barn from the 1700s with a mountain of straw bales, corn stalks and mums offers the perfect fall photo-op. The field also is chock full of Instagram-worthy pumpkins, including many heirlooms that are perfect for pumpkin recipes.
Walsh Family Wine, 16031 Hillsboro Road, Purcellville
Wheatland Spring Farm and Brewery, 38506 John Wolford Road, Waterford.
Just seven miles north of Wegmeyer Farms is Walsh Family Wine. A relative newcomer, they’ve been growing and making wine since 2014. You will fall in love with both the wine and this sweet couple’s story. If you prefer beer, head for the brewery. It is family-friendly with a beautiful outdoor space and offers beer brewed in a century-old barn using ingredients sourced from their own farm and their farming neighbors. Lovettsville’s Market Table Bistro provides locally sourced food on weekends, so no need to bring a picnic.
Tipped Cow Creamery, 251 N. 21st St., Purcellville.
Head just a little south to Tipped Cow Creamery to discover one of the many flavors in rotation like “passionfruit” and “s’mores.” Think you’re not a mint chocolate chip fan? Think again! Tipped Cow’s version is made with real garden mint and large chunks of fudgy chocolate. And, after every 10 visits, you can spin their giant prize wheel for a chance to win a year of free ice cream!
Other can’t-miss events with great food:
Waterford Fair: Oct. 4-6 WaterfordFairVA.org
Middleburg Film Festival: Oct. 18-21 MiddleburgFilm.org
Loudoun Farm Tour: Oct. 19-20 LoudounFarms.org/FarmTour