I’m currently in sunny San Franciso for a work trip but of course I’ve managed to squeeze in lots of eating and drinking on the side. I was lucky enough to stay at Hotel Vitale which is right on the waterfront opposite the Ferry Plaza which hosts one of the most famous farmers markets in the world every Saturday morning.
All through the week there are lots of great food stores inside the Ferry Plaza building but on the weekend local farmers set up shop outside the building and locals and tourists flock to the stalls. I’ve heard American chefs and food writers rave about Californian produce before but I was a little skeptical until seeing the stunning fruits and vegetables for sale.
There were plump, sweet strawberries, red onions the size of dinner plates and the golden beets in psychadelic hues.
Hog Island oysters shucks oysters to order at its stall and Hayes Street Grill dishes up the most velvety scrambled eggs with wild mushrooms ($8). There’s even decent Melbourne style coffee from Blue Bag.
Inside the Ferry Plaza building I also checked out the Cowgirl Creamery (it’s open all week) which does fantastic toasties and baked egg sandwiches with Gruyere and mushrooms ($7.95).
Sadly our tight customs laws in Australia meant that I couldn’t indulge at the brilliant mushroom store which sells an incredible variety of mushrooms and even had some fiddleheads in stock, something I haven’t seen before outside Canada. You could easily spend a few hours at the market browsing, people watching and of course eating. I was pretty much ready to emigrate to California after my morning there.
Gourmet Travel Tips
- I stayed at Hotel Vitale which is in a great location right on the waterfront.
- In San Francisco I recommend hiring a bike and cycling across the Golden Gate bridge to Sausalito, visiting Alcatraz (book your ticket online a few days in advance as it sells out) and doing a food walking tour of the Mission.
- I flew with United from Melbourne to San Francisco. The flight was $1300 return.
Details: Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, Embarcadero, San Francisco, United States. Open Tues 10am -2pm, Thurs 10am-2pm and Sat 8am -2pm.