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From San Francisco:

Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

The Better-Than-Ever Farmers Market

Ferry Plaza Farmers Market
Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

Two days a week, the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market is a favorite spot for locals and visiting foodies alike. Situated near the Ferry Building—one of San Francisco's most famous landmark buildings—top Bay Area vendors serve up fresh Asian noodles, artisan cheeses and breads, oysters, chocolates, wines by the bottle and by the glass, and much more. The freshly picked, organic produce comes directly from local farms.

Doug Biederbeck (of Bix and Florio Café & Bar) and Joseph Graham run the Mediterranean-inspired MarketBar with al-fresco dining (and great people watching) and boutique, country-style wines.

A selection of vegetables Shoppers at the market
A selection of vegetables
Shoppers at the market

Also, look for St. Helena's cultish Taylor's Automatic Refresher, which "maintains the historic feeling of the well-loved Taylor's Automatic Refresher in St. Helena—but with a San Francisco touch." Their menu offers a vegetarian burger and salads.

Slanted Door boasts a live fish tank with local crab and lobster, fresh noodles, and an assortment of Vietnamese street food. Executive chef Charles Phan personally presides over the selection of distinctive Chinese teas, while wine director Mark Ellenbogen oversees the wine list.

Speaking of sommeliers, the Ferry Plaza has its very own master sommelier in Peter Granoff. The Bay Area wine expert helms the huge Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant along with Debbie Zachareas (bacar). The nearly 3,000-square-foot shop is a classic, hands-on European-style destination. Selections change weekly at the 20-seat, dark wood wine bar. Other fine shops include Cowgirl Creamery's Artisan Cheese Shop. Look for their triple crème organic washed rind Red Hawk.

A chef during a Market to Table Program demonstration Freshly baked breads
Market to Table Program
Freshly baked breads

The Ferry Plaza Farmers Market is a certified farmers market sponsored by the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA). Every Saturday, "ten to fifteen thousand shoppers learn how their food is grown, who grew it and why it tastes so good." On Saturdays at 11 a.m., CUESA offers their Market to Table Program at the market, where leading Bay Area chefs hold demonstrations of dishes using seasonal, sustainable ingredients from the market's farmers. Sample the chef's creation, take a recipe, and recreate it at home with fresh market produce.

San Francisco City Guides, a local non-profit volunteer organization, offers free regular walking tours of the Ferry Building with an opportunity to sample fresh foods, produce and plants from local farms and nurseries. Tours start at noon on Saturdays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The market is open two days a week, rain or shine: Tuesday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

For City Guides information, visit www.sfcityguides.org

San Francisco City Guide
More Featured Farmers Markets in the U.S.

(Updated: 06/24/09 KR)

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