If I had only one morning to spend in this amazing city brimming with all things art, culture and lifestyle, I would pick the Ferry Building Marketplace & adjacent Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market in a heartbeat. The Farmer’s Market has long been regarded as one of the country’s best, frequented by both locals and top chefs, and offers a variety of fresh farm produce, artisan specialties and an array of delicious prepared foods. Although it only operates on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am-2pm and on Saturdays from 8am-2pm, there is still plenty to see (and eat!) at the Ferry Building Marketplace itself, open 7 days a week from 10am daily.
Access: The Ferry Building Marketplace is located along the Embarcadero at the foot of Market Street and is accessible by MUNI, BART and Ferry Boat. Try riding on the historic trolley cars (Line F Market) which stop directly in front of the Ferry Building ($2).
Tip: San Francisco City Guides is currently offering regular walking tours of the Ferry Building. Tours are free and start at noon on Saturdays and Tuesdays.- http://www.sfcityguides.org
Located inside the Ferry Building Marketplace:
G.L. Alfieri – Nibble on their samples of nuts and chocolates and you’ll understand what the fuss with Alfieri is all about. Note to self: must buy more of their Dark Chocolate Almond Brittle to bring home.
Blue Bottle Coffee – When the Farmers’ Market is on, there can be up to 3 Blue Bottle’s operating within and outside of the Ferry Building with queues that can rival the lifts up to the Empire State Building. Ok, I joke. On a serious note, these guys are so good that people queue over and over again to grab a cup of their velvety smooth java. If you would like try their breakfast menu (highly recommended), head down to their branch at Mint Plaza for a delectable spread of Belgian waffles, steel-cut warm oats and thick toast (with poached eggs, cured ham & gruyere cheese). This branch is also home to an impressive USD20k siphon bar imported from Japan. – 66 Mint St, San Francisco
Cowgirl Creamery – If you like your cheeses, you will be right at home here. Sample from the Creamery’s own cheeses and artisan cheese from cheese-makers in America and Europe. And if you are more than peckish, visit their counter-service eatery Sidekick, which has a cheese and dairy-centric menu featuring cheese sandwiches, toasties, crepes, raclettes, seasonal salads and a milk bar. Must try their Earl Grey panna cotta. Yum.
Hog Island Oyster Co. – Drop by their oyster bar for a spread of fresh local oysters and clams raised at the Hog Island farm on Tomales Bay. As these guys say it, “Life is Short, Eat Great Oysters”.