Whether it’s fresh produce, locally-made cheese, artisanal bread, nuts, or sustainably-sourced meat and seafood, living in California means you can pick up basically any product you need close to home. And it doesn’t get much better than picking up your ingredients for dinner at the farmers market on a sunny San Francisco day. So, take advantage of the bounty of our state by hitting up some of the farmers markets in the city.
If you’re going to go to one farmers market in San Francisco, make it the iconic year-round Ferry Plaza Farmers Market at the Ferry Building on a Saturday. It’s the perfect place for visitors and locals alike to spend the morning and early afternoon watching cooking demos from local chefs, grabbing breakfast or lunch from one of the vendors, and trying ALL of the samples. Plus, if your Saturday schedule is packed, the market also sets up on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am-2pm.
Setting up in the picturesque Marina on Sundays, Fort Mason Center Farmers' Market is a great place to grab all the healthy ingredients you'll need for your Sunday night dinner and the week ahead. Grab a coffee from the Philz Truck and walk along Marina Blvd. to make a morning of pursuing among the diverse and friendly vendors at this year-round market.
This longstanding operation opened to the public in 1943, establishing itself as California’s first farmers market. And just like in the good ol’ days, this Saturday setup boasts some of the most affordable prices in the city. It also offers some hard-to-find items, so don't be surprised if you bump elbows with a local chef picking up exotic ingredients that can only be found at this local spot.
Perfect for those who can’t make a weekend or workday market, the stretch between Bartlett and 22nd streets in the Mission closes down Thursday nights to sell produce, cheese, baked goods, and prepared foods (including local favorite Roli Roti). It’s all supported by local businesses in the Mission and through neighborhood efforts. The selling point? There’s also live music to entertain you while you shop. Plus, you can stop by all year long, except for a six-week break during the winter.
Like the Alemany Farmers Market, the Heart of the City Farmers Market is known as the “people’s market”. It’s independent, non-profit, and run by the very farmers who sell there. Plus, the prices at this grassroots farmers market are very affordable. Aside from the standard seasonal fare, you’ll find exotic Asian ingredients and prepared food vendors. Swing by on Sunday or Wednesday evenings to stock up on some of the best produce in the city.
Supported by the Agricultural Institute of Marin, the Clement St. Farmers Market serves the Central and Inner Richmond, Lake Street, and Laurel Heights neighborhoods. Head over on Sundays to pick up everything from grass-fed meats to locally-caught seafood to baked goods (including some amazing granola) and local honey. And don’t leave without a bouquet of fresh-cut flowers — the sweet smells will fill your home until it’s time to make another trip to the market.
Mission Bay is still a bit of a food desert, which makes this market particularly vital to the area. Students and doctors at UCSF, as well as neighborhood natives, can pop over to grab groceries or a healthy, mid-week meal during their lunch break on Wednesdays. Fitt Tip: make sure you don't leave without making a pitstop at the Native Baking Company stall, their handmade brownies are to-die-for.
Even if you don’t live in the Castro, it’s worth the trip to the neighborhood to check out this small, local market. Like the one in Mission, there’s live music and and a friendly, community vibe (you’ll feel it). From March to November you can stop by on Wednesdays to stock up on homemade iced teas, soaps, locally-sourced meat and seafood, fresh vegetables, and the list goes on. You may want to bring your extra large tote for this one.
This Sunday market was named “Best Family-Oriented Farmers’ Market”, and for good reason. There’s plenty of room to move around (unlike the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market) and free parking (we know — it sounds too good to be true). And in addition to the usual suspects, you can pick up coffee, pickles and canned condiments, local seafood, and artisanal crafts and jewelry from over 65 vendors.
Pop in during your lunch break on Thursdays to the farmers market at Crocker Galleria, where you'll find all sorts of healthy snacks and bites to tide you over until dinner. This small (but mighty!) market features over 12 artisan vendors and suppliers selling heirloom fruit varieties, Mission figs, and lots of organic berries that will brighten up your plate.
When we say that this local farmers market is a community effort — we mean it. After the sudden and unexpected closure of The Real Food Company in 2003, the neighborhood banded together and, with the help of sheer determination (and San Francisco farmers), created a market that’s been providing those living in and around the area with organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, and herbs ever since. The next time you're in the neighborhood on a Saturday make sure you have your reusable grocery bag handy.
Spend your Sunday mornings shopping alongside your neighbors at the Inner Sunset Farmers Market on Irving St. and 9th Ave. In addition to being the ideal place to pick up everything from crispy kale, colorful carrots, and purple broccoli, this farmers market hosts a Community@TheMarket program that curates fun events like kitchen and book swaps!
Once you’ve gotten a taste of the homemade jam, sauces, spreads, or empanadas from this farmers market on Grove and Divisadero streets, everything else will seem subpar. The seasonal and organic treats here are so good, we won’t judge if you only make it past a few stalls before you say screw it and dig into the fruit and veggie treats you just picked up. The best part? They've got you covered every Sunday all year long.
This week, skip the grocery store and head to the Fillmore Farmers' Market at the Fillmore Center Plaza for farm fresh, well… everything. It doesn’t get much better than coming home with a bag full of your favorite greens, vegetables, and fruits that are straight from the source. Plus, this lively Saturday market frequently features local bands, which means you can stop by to pick up everything you need for the week ahead, then take a load off and jam out to some homegrown tunes.
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