One of the most difficult decisions I’ve recently faced was choosing where to eat at San Francisco’s Ferry Building Marketplace.
For any foodie, the Ferry Building Marketplace is paradise. Open everyday, it is set up like an indoor market with small restaurants, cooking stores, a cheese shop, mushroom store, ice cream stops, lots of fresh seafood, and so much more. The smells are overwhelming and you’re guaranteed to walk out happy.
The Ferry Building opened in 1898 and is stunning, with a high ceiling that allows sunlight to stream in. It is easy to access with San Francisco’s many forms of public transportation: the Embarcadero BART train will take you about a minute away from it, while MUNI and trolley car Line F drop you off right in front. If you’re coming from across the Bay, the Ferry is also a fun way to make your trip.
When you arrive, take a stroll through the building to take it all in, get as many samples as you can to try to narrow down the selection. There are many great restaurants if you want to sit down – the Slanted Door is a local favorite for Vietnamese food. My favorite thing to do, however, is to pack a picnic for the beach so I can get things from as many places as possible. I always start with Cowgirl Creamery to get some incredible cheese, and then I get delicious bread at Acme. After choosing whatever I’m in the mood for from the many seafood shops, I will get some of the famous mini donuts at the end of the building, across from Sur La Table. Check out the list of all the vendors.
The building stalls are set up outside for the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market every Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and every Saturday from 8 a.m. -2 p.m. You’ll find everything from fresh produce and flowers, to cheese, jams, hotdogs, and a great breakfast. Basically, anything your stomach has ever dreamed of. One of the most popular stops inside, Blue Bottle Coffee (which was started across the Bay in Oakland) is always packed, but locals know that during the Farmer’s Market, the line is a little better outdoors. No matter what, Blue Bottle is always worth the wait.
After your stomach is satisfied, walk it off by heading up Market Street to Union Square for some shopping, along the water to check out AT&T Park, or go the opposite direction to explore San Francisco’s piers. If you’re too full to take a walk, sit outside the building and watch the sailors under the Bay Bridge.