A few weeks ago, I rekindled an old flame: the Ferry Building in San Francisco. The Ferry Building Marketplace is a fantasy world for foodies and hungry college students alike. What was originally built in the late-19th century as a center for ferryboat commuters now, after various renovations, operates as a gourmet marketplace.
My renewed appreciation of the Ferry Building arose when I attended “Food from the Heart,” a Valentine’s Day-inspired food and wine event during which various vineyards, restaurants and merchants sold small bites and sips for a few dollars apiece, proceeds benefitting Slow Food San Francisco. At the event, I sampled a wide array of tasty morsels, my favorites including mushroom empanadas, almond-encrusted chocolate truffles and Cowgirl Creamery’s Raclette—a type of cheese that was melted before your eyes from a large wheel of cheese and served on Acme bread with homemade pickled vegetables, a take on the Swiss dish of the same name.
Although you may have missed the boat (pun intended) for this year’s “Food from the Heart,” do not fear. The Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and it offers shoppers a great selection of produce and artisanal snacks.
If you still can’t make it to the Ferry Building at those times, the inside of the Ferry Building is home to some of the best gourmet shops in the country, open all week. My favorites include Blue Bottle Coffee, Cowgirl Creamery, beekind (a honey vendor), Acme Bread Company, Miette (a pastry shop) and Recchiuti Confections (a chocolatier).
While San Francisco can often seem worlds away from Stanford, there is no better Saturday outing than a morning at the Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market followed by a day of exploring the city. Take one step into this historic building, or take one whiff of the freshly baked bread and cookies wafting from the shops, and you will immediately experience the stirrings of a gastronomic romance.