With the wet winter officially behind us and Spring under way, many of San Francisco’s farmers’ markets will soon be in full bloom.
When many people think about the best culinary aspects of San Francisco, fresh produce and ingredients are probably at the top of the list. Both can be found at one of the many markets listed below.
The Ferry Building Farmers’ Market
The most well-known market in the city, there is a huge variety of vendors, selling everything from honey and sauerkraut to fresh produce, flowers, and meat. This market is also the most heavily populated, with food carts and restaurants serving breakfast and lunch. Some negatives: prices tend to be slightly higher and foot traffic can be claustrophobic at times. Held on Tuesdays/Thursdays, 10 am to 2pm, and Saturdays, 8am to 2pm, at the Ferry Building.
Heart of the City Farmers’ Market
This gem has great bargains with fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers, nuts, honey, mushrooms, and fresh fish. There are also a wide variety of options available for those perusing the market on a quick lunch break. Held on Wednesdays, 7am to 5:30pm, and Sundays 7am to 5pm at the UN Plaza.
Alemany Farmers’ Market
In the outer part of the city, this is the oldest market in San Francisco. Founded in the 1940s, it has been championed “the people’s market.” There is plenty of parking available and the market probably equals the Heart of The City with the best bang for your buck. Held on Saturdays from dawn until late afternoon.
California Farmers’ Market Association
The California Farmers’ Market Association has hosted certified farmers’ markets throughout the Bay Area since 1993. That includes a pair in San Francisco; one at Crocker Galleria and another that just recently started back up at the Fort Mason Center. The markets offer a variety of in-season produce and other vendors showcasing products such as nuts, hummus, and breads and pastries. The Crocker Galleria Market is held on Thursdays, 11am to 3pm, and the market at Fort Mason Center is held on Sundays, 9am to 1pm.
Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association
The Pacific Coast Farmers Market Association organizes a number of farmers markets throughout the Bay Area, including several in San Francisco. The association provides several smaller neighborhood markets, making it convenient for those who may not want to travel to other parts of the city. Look for markets in the Castro, Fillmore, Divisadero, Inner Sunset, Upper Haight, Mission Bay, and at UCSF Parnassus and Kaiser Permanente.
SF Underground Market
Probably the most unique market in SF, the Underground Market started last year and is organized by ForageSF. The idea is to feature the best of what is being produced in backyards and Bay Area kitchens. It allows for producers without funding to work in a commercial kitchen to showcase their products. There is no set schedule, but the next scheduled event is on Saturday, March 26.
What are your favorite Bay Area markets? Let us know in the comments section.