Smack dab in the middle of the Embarcadero, the Ferry Building was once the gateway to San Francisco. Thousands of travelers and commuters made their way across the bay by ferry each day. However, the completion of the Bay and Golden Gate bridges in the mid 1930s and the increasing the dominance of the car as the primary means of transport for Americans, the Ferry Building was left underutilized and disregarded. By the 1950s, this once great building was surrounded by a double-decker highway and stripped of its magnificent turn of the century interior. It took the 1989 earthquake and changing attitudes about food to shake things up.
Renovations were begun in 1998 – exactly 100 years after the construction of the building – and completed in 2003. Today the building not only serves as a ferry terminal and office building, but as a premier gourmet food destination. The entire first floor of the building features the best food and drink San Francisco has to offer, as well as a farmers’ market on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings.
The merchants are usually open until 6pm Monday through Saturday, and until 5pm on Sunday. We recommend arriving (hungry) around 10:30 or 11am, getting coffee at Blue Bottle’s outpost, and then making your way around the various vendors, tasting and trying their wares – maybe grabbing a cheese plate at Cowgirl Creamery, and finishing with a macaroon from Miette. If you are looking for souvenirs to bring home, you can’t go wrong with Sharffenberger chocolates or a small vase from Heath Ceramics.
And of course, if you can always catch a ferry and head outside of the city!
There are free tours at noon on Saturdays and Tuesdays.
Everything you need to stock your kitchen and fill your belly.