Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market is the place where San Francisco foodies and some of the best local chefs come to peruse stalls hawking the finest Northern California produce, breads, dairy, flowers, ready-made snacks, and complete meals by local restaurants.
Outside, you can tempt your taste buds with artisanal goat cheese, fresh-pressed California olive oil, pasture-raised beef, and organic vegetables. The gourmet action continues indoors, where select local gourmet shops sell wild-harvested mushrooms, gold-leafed chocolates, sustainably farmed oysters and caviar from Marin, and other temptations. The variety and quality is amazing, and the crowd scene itself is something to behold.
Review by Gilda C, April 2013
Doing what: San Francisco Food Tour: Ferry Building and Ferry Plaza Farmers Market
Taking a food tour is a must-do for me every time I visit a city. The Ferry Building is a gourmand's delight, and while it will be doable to explore it on your own, joining a tour enabled us to go to the best places and get the samples that one normally does not get to enjoy unless you're with a tour. With the tour being on a Saturday, we were able to see the HUGE Saturday market just outside the building - San Francisco's biggest market, if I heard correctly.
Our tour guide Sophia deftly led us to the best morsels - starting with organic preserves - apricots, peach, orange marmalade - the best, with a higher fruit to sugar ratio. Then we moved on to pickled carrots (mmm..... I wanted a bloody mary to go with it). We had a blueberry pastry that was piping hot and to die for. Then a sourdough bread from no other than Acme bakery with cheeses from Cowgirl Creamery - the first cheese we sampled was like butter smeared on bread - how can anything taste so simple yet so good? The next one was a lot more pungent, but we all loved it! Then we had a salami sampling (I had to go back for more after the tour), several chocolate samplings from a couple of places. We tasted several honeys, and for the piece de resistance, a maccaron. So, so, so good!
It is a good idea not to eat anything substantial for breakfast (I didn't eat any at all) because I guarantee you that you will be quite full when the tour concludes.
The best part of it is that at the end of the tour, I was able to go back to all these places and shopped away, knowing exactly where to go and what to buy.
Review by The Source, March 2011
Spend a Sunday morning here. Good coffee, good people watching, lovely views of the bay.
This was my wife's 65 birthday gift, a weekend in San Francisco, room at the Westin, enjoying great restaurants in different sections of the city. The two day Hop on, Hop Off tour was a disaster, continually off schdeule. We called the company several times and was assured that the bus would be at the location shortly, the bus was always, 30 or more minutes late. Several times we would be standing on the corner, waving our hands, the the bus would just pass us by. The second day was the last straw. We had lunch at the Slanted Door in the Ferry Building, I checked the schedule called the company to verify the time and stop location and we proceeded to walk to the Alcatraz Stop. The bus never arrived so I called the company again to confirm the time and location. The agent assured me that a bus would arrive within 30 minutes. After waiting another 45 minutes, I called again. A bus would be there shortly I was assurred, and in fact one did arrive, however, that bus was only going to their headquarters, not to Union Square were we departed from. The bus driver said he was finished for the day and suggested that we take the street trolley at our expense. So we did that, trying to enjoy the rest of what should have been a special weekend. It is one thing to be late, another to just lie about services that they advertise to provide. I don't know how this company can stay in business. I would not recommend this company. This was a two day disappointment for us.
Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market is held on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. On Saturdays, the market is a serious social fest, including interviews with local farmers and culinary demos by city chefs. Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market is located along the waterfront at Market Street and The Embarcadero. The market is easily accessible by car and public transportation. You can even come by ferry if you're staying in Sausalito or Oakland.