I have to admit that I probably visit this place at least twice a month. Located in Downtown Santa Ana, the 4th Street Market is an artisanal market mecca for those like me, looking for tasty food options. Featuring seasonal offerings by local chefs, this popular stop for downtown Santa Ana employees offers a tasty array of delights for cooks, food and those looking for a place to chill.
I recently was invited to a culinary crawl of the 4th Street Market and had an opportunity to check out many of the restaurants there. So many great dining options exist here. But lest you think this is just a food hall, let me tell you some unique characteristics about 4th Street Market.
4th Street Market Offers Incubator Kitchens
One of the facets that sets apart the 4th Street market, is the availability of Incubator kitchens. These offer turnkey operations for chefs, home cooks and entrepreneurs that operate a food centered business. The kitchens offer ovens, roasters, and smokers for use and are certified by the local health department. The 4th Street Market team also offers consulting to resident eateries.
I love to support local businesses and love that there is a place for new businesses to take flight. The Market basement houses storage, (dry, refrigerated and frozen), as part of their rental packages. Incubator kitchens can be rented by the month, week or even hour. Kitchens can be rented 24/7 and can be booked online. You cannot miss the kitchens when you come into the hall.
Amazing Food Choices
Let the Culinary Crawl begin! We started with a lovely cocktail from Recess Libations, an offshoot of the awesome Playground restaurant group, and then headed to ECB (Electric City Butcher) to check to start the tour. The emphasis at ECB is to offer responsibly-sourced meats and provide high quality cuts of meat. They will help you with selecting cuts, and cooking suggestions. Their hospitality reminds me of the old school butcher that knew your name.
Next we tasted delightful Pork Belly fries with a creamy cilantro sauce from Pig Pen. These were da bomb and a must have from this recent addition to 4th Street!
Sweet Options at 4th Street Market
Then we brought some outdoors indoors with a little help from the Torch Smore Co. who made us these freaking amazing s’mores.
We ended our crawl with some tasty beverages from Portola Coffee Lab. I could write an entire post about Portola. Just know that it is some of the best damn coffee available. Their meticulous growing, roasting and brewing process delivers a cup of coffee that is pure and flavorful. We sampled an Espresso Tonic that was delightful.
A Place for Community Events
Besides offering a great place to grab a bite, the 4th Street Market has lots seating and a wonderful courtyard area with local talent often performing.
Special thanks to the 4th Street Market and the International Food and Wine Travel Writers Association for hosting such a fun and memorable crawl! All opinions, photos of this great venue are my own.