One of San Francisco’s most famous landmarks, the Ferry Building is a port of entry and transit hub, marketplace, and farmers market. Food merchants, specialty shops, wine bars, and restaurants line the historic building’s hallways, making it a one-stop shop for experiencing the diverse culinary flavors and master retailers of San Francisco.
With its imposing 245-foot (75-meter) clock tower, the Ferry Building is the San Francisco waterfront’s crown jewel. And it’s not just a waiting room for Bay Area ferry commuters—it’s a thriving marketplace with dozens of artisan producers in its vaulted food hall serving everything from hand-churned ice cream and local honey to Blue Bottle coffee and Acme Bread Company’s famous sourdough. Always-packed restaurants—including Gott's Roadside, Hog Island Oyster Company, and the Slanted Door—call the Ferry Building home, and the farmers market offers wildly fresh produce, meat, seafood, and prepared eats three days a week. Walk along the esplanade for great views of the Bay Bridge.
Many city tours—such as combo tours including Alcatraz—start or end at this iconic spot on the Embarcadero, while food tours of the Ferry Building and the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market explore the property in-depth. Hop-on hop-off tours stop here as well. If you have more time, catch a ferry boat from the Ferry Building to Sausalito or arrive via private yacht charter from Napa.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Ferry Building is a must for foodies.
- The marketplace is exceptionally busy during rush hour, and an hour before and after games and events at AT&T Park.
- Situated on San Francisco’s waterfront, weather can shift quickly from bright and sunny to foggy and cold. Dress in layers.
- Restrooms are located on either end of the main hall.
- Ferry Building restaurants and restrooms are accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
How to Get There
Public transit to the Ferry Building is plentiful and convenient. MUNI’s E, F, J, K, L, M, N, and T street cars and 10, 12, and 41 bus lines all stop within two blocks of the Ferry Building, as does BART (Embarcadero station). Ferries to Alameda, Sausalito, Larkspur, and Vallejo dock at the Ferry Building.
When to Get There
Hours for individual businesses vary but the Ferry Building is generally open 10am to 7pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm Saturday, and 11am to 5pm Sunday; it is closed on Christmas. The Ferry Plaza Farmers Market operates 10am to 2pm Tuesday and Thursdays, and 8am to 2pm Saturday. Everything is quieter between the morning and afternoon rushes, and in the winter months.
Committed to the Local Food Shed
First opened in 1898, the Ferry Building remains an important cog in San Francisco’s transportation wheel, with regular ferry, bus, and streetcar service. In recent years, the space became an important focal point for the internationally renowned local food scene. Small, regional farmers and independently owned and operated businesses are the norm here. It is both haven and incubator for artisan food and wine producers from Northern California, and the triweekly farmers market attracts chefs and locals in search of the best produce around.