Midwest Living Review
When Wisconsin's oldest public market opened in the 1800s, the vendors inside sold fruit, vegetables, meat, cheese and other food products. Today, visitors to the restored redbrick building shop for antiques, fair-trade goods, crafts and even ice cream. A few businesses, such as Bramble Bookstore and Optimo Cafe, have traditional shop fronts (and walls), but most are scattered through the open market space. The effect feels a bit like a high-end flea market or antiques mall. The idea is to wander and explore. During the cold months, the building hosts Viroqua's indoor farmers market; on summer Saturdays, the farmers market is held outdoors across the street. The outdoor farmers market has about 30 vendors, many of whom are Amish families who arrive in buggies to sell baskets, quilts, maple syrup and produce. Other vendors sell organic fruits and vegetables, farm-fresh eggs, potpies to reheat at home, jars of pickles and crusty bread perfect for sandwiches. Neither too busy nor too small, the market is a lovely way to start a summer Saturday and to get a taste (both literally and figuratively) of the Driftless Region's agricultural heritage.