Whether a San Francisco resident, or a visitor to the area, the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market is not to be missed. It’s open three days a week, but Saturday is the best day to check it out. The weekend market is much larger, extending around the back of the Ferry Building, and includes not only organic produce, but food vendors, great gift options and music. I can’t believe I only just discovered this gem!
With spring in full swing, the number of booths has expanded. Cherries are the latest addition and strawberries and fava beans are still going strong. Normally, I would not recommend tomatoes this early in the season, but I dared to try a couple from Bruins Farms and was very surprised at how good they were. Apparently, they have an ingenious hothouse method, and while these tomatoes are not cheap, I had no regrets. Marin Sun Farms had a large tent set up for those looking for sustainable meats. We also saw some early white peaches, and plenty of spring onions, garlic, and asparagus.
Depending on when you arrive (the market is open from 8am to 2pm), you have numerous breakfast or lunch options. Get your coffee from Blue Bottle Coffee and enjoy it with a fresh pastry from Della Fattoria or the Noe Valley Bakery and Bread Company. Perhaps you’re in the mood for something savory? I highly recommend the tamales from Primavera – some of the best I’ve ever had. They also have chilequiles (my friend’s favorite) and tacos that look amazing. Other options include roasted chicken, breakfast at Rose’s Café or vegetarian Asian inspired options from Alive.
The market has a wide array of potential gifts to take home and share with friends and family. When I first walked into the market, someone handed me a taste of almond brittle. I normally don’t like brittle, but this stuff is ridiculously tasty and extremely difficult to stop eating. Buy extra to share, and you will make friends quickly. Other fun items of the gift variety include marmalades and jams, local olive oils and balsamic vinegars, specialty herbed salts from Allstar Organics in Marin, and pickles and sauerkraut from the Happy Girl Kitchen, to name a few.
On our way out, we enjoyed the bluegrass fiddle fading in the background as we bumped into a local poet writing poetry on the spot for interested takers. He had his typewriter set up and was deeply engaged in conversation in preparation for his next poem. It seems at the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market, there’s a little something for everyone.
Main Image: yehwan