European-style food bazaar comes to Santa Barbara

The Channels Arts Pages | STAFF REVIEW

Summer Rolls served at the Empty Bowl Gourmet Noodle Bar, on Sunday, May 4, at the Santa Barbara Public Market. These rolls are encased in rice paper, filled with pan seared shrimp, cucumber, carrots, red cabbage, fresh mango, mint leaves, black sesame seeds, and fried onions, served with tamarind- peanut sauce.

SAVANAH LAMBRIDIS, Channels Staff

The corner of West Victoria St. and Chapala is now home to the hustle and bustle of the newly opened Santa Barbara Public Market.

With an almost unmarked front, the Public Market is a gem hidden in the downtown area. Through the doors, 15 purveyors have set up shop, with the choices ranging from restaurant style plates of seafood, to cupcakes in egg cartons.

This Public Market, modeled after the bazaars in Madrid, Spain, is focused on providing shoppers with a wide selection of local produce.  Locally sourced establishments house all that a healthy and happy minded shopper could imagine.

A modern theme unifies all the small storefronts—clean lines, light colors, and an overlying symmetry transform the warehouse-like building into a bustling stalls.

Each establishment has beautifully constructed fronts, individualized to cater to the unique quirk of the store.

The friendly faces of every supplier make the booths a special place to indulge time. Pure happiness can come from the handmade honey lavender ice cream at Rori’s Artisanal Creamery.

Strolling around the loop of stores, my taste buds were taken for a ride.

The Public Market offers beautiful ingredients and fully cooked meals that put most to shame.

Now, a high-end farmers market permanently resides downtown Santa Barbara, giving shoppers the option to think green in the LEED certified shopping center.

The marketplace, as part of its mission to be green, uses recycled construction materials and energy efficient appliances.

Although the prices might cause some to be squeamish, the quality of the produce and products offered is unparalleled.

With sun steaming in through the skylights, anyone could easily get lost walking the loop of mouthwatering meals.

In the far back, a large kitchen is accompanied by banquet table seating, both of which can be rented.

With the normal staples of every farmer’s market, the Public Market holds artisanal meats, cheeses and crafted breads.

All those who wander the space will have their appetite filled with everything from mini salted Cadillac Margarita cupcakes, fully cured pigs, fine wine and beer, to the small functioning kitchens serving full meals.