The Best Farmers Markets to Visit in San Francisco
Every day of the week, there is a farmers market happening somewhere in the city. With fresh produce year-round and with farms nearby, it's literally farm-to-table every day. That's something not every destination can lay claim to (we're looking at you Midwest and East Coast). While it would be impossible to feature all of them (many are small neighborhood markets), here are some of our favorites.
Ferry Plaza Farmers Market (One Ferry Building)
One of the nation’s most well known and admired markets, this is where you can truly witness the finest bounty of Northern California produce. You’ll see local chefs elbow-to-elbow with avid home cooks at the Saturday market—it’s the busiest (and biggest) of the three days. There are also live cooking demos on Saturday and a variety of food vendors where you can enjoy brunch, lunch and snacks; you’ll also find some lunchtime vendors during the week. Open Saturday 8 a.m.–2 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday 10 a.m.–2 p.m., year-round, rain or shine. www.ferrybuildingmarketplace.com
Alemany Farmers Market (100 Alemany Blvd.)
Opend in 1943 this popular Saturday market was California’s first farmers market. Prices are much more affordable here (you will often hear it referred to as “the people’s market"). It draws families from all over, plus chefs who appreciate the variety of the many exotic Southeast Asian ingredients. Don’t miss lunch from El Huarache Loco or Estrellita’s Snacks. Open Saturdays dawn to dusk, year-round.
Heart of the City Farmers Market (1182 Market St. #415)
This Civic Center market at United Nations Plaza is another “people’s market,” where you’ll find many Asian ingredients and affordable prices, too. This is the city’s only independent, non-profit, farmer-operated market, whose mission is to bring fresh and affordable produce from small farms to “the heart of the city.” You’ll find some prepared food vendors as well. Open Sundays and Wednesdays 7 a.m.–5 p.m.
Mission Community Market (84 Bartlett St.)
On Thursdays, Bartlett Street and 22nd Street close down and transform into an open-air marketplace, with a variety of vendors from quality produce to cheesemakers and bakeries. There are also prepared foods, like the popular Roli Roti (famous for their porchetta) and music,too. This non-profit market has a number of admirable community programs and partnering businesses in the Mission who help support it. Open Thursdays 4-8 p.m. (except for a six-week break during the winter).
Fort Mason Center Farmers Market (2 Marina Blvd.)
On Sundays, Fort Mason Center transforms into a farmers’ market and its proximity to the Bay and view of the Golden Gate Bridge certainly makes it one of the most scenic markets. The market is packed with vendors, offering beautiful seasonal produce and prepared foods, and families. You can enjoy a walk or bike ride around Crissy Field afterward. Open Sundays 9:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m., year-round.
Marcia Gagliardi writes a popular insider weekly e-column, tablehopper, about the San Francisco dining and drinking scene, get all the latest news at www.tablehopper.com. Follow @tablehopper on Twitter and Instagram for more SF finds!