This Saturday, my dear friend Emily and I took a trip across the Bay Bridge and to the San Francisco Ferry Building Marketplace. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend going. Right now. I’ll wait while you book your plane/train/boat ticket.
Anyway, the Ferry Building, for those who don’t know, is an incredible marketplace, with every type of organic, local and (high-end) specialty food you can think of. A butcher shop, a wine shop, a tea house, herbs, honeys, oysters, oils, spices, cheeses, breads, baked goods, even an entire shop dedicated strictly to mushrooms. It’s, for lack of a better word, totally awesome. I could spend hours just pouring over every last item in every last shop, spending my entire year’s salary in one trip (okay, that may be a slight exaggeration).
So, down to the Ferry Building we went. It was cool, but sunny, which was perfect for the massive farmer’s market they have down there every day. Seriously. It’s pretty huge. We stuck mainly to inside the building, where all the permanent shops are set up. It was completely packed; not totally out of the ordinary,especially during tourist season. We mainly just windowshopped, chatted, giggled, and mooned over all the delicious foods and beautiful cookware.
We started out with a visit to the Blue Bottle Coffee Co., a huge staple in San Francisco. It’s coffee is delicious, very smooth and flavorful. I had a soy latte (my usual coffee drink) and Emily had a mocha. The baristas always do designs with the milk, adding a touch of artfulness to your morning coffee. Such a lovely touch.
Next we moved onto Heath Ceramics. It’s full of beautiful ceramic dishware, glass jars, cutting boards, pottery and all kinds of cookbooks. It’s all colorful, very classic and simple designs. Emily bought a couple of small glass jars while we were there. I didn’t get anything, but would love to get one of those beautiful, two-toned dish sets. So lovely.
My favorite cheese shop, Cowgirl Creamery, is in the Ferry Building. It’s like heaven. Piles and piles of every type of cheese you can think of, olives, salamis. Sigh. I could spend an entire 2 weeks paycheck just here.
When Shawn and I were living in the city, we would come down to the Ferry Building on nice weekends. We would get a few slices of cheese at the Cowgirl Creamery, a couple of bread rolls from the Acme Bread Co., some fruit from Farm Fresh to You and a couple of cupcakes from Miette. We would take our little lunch and sit out on the pier. Some of my favorite memories of two broke college students having a lunchtime date.
A visit to Stonehouse California Olive Oil. Some of the freshest, most unique olive oils you will find. Lovely. I’ve gotten bottles of the Blood Orange and Persian Lime olive oils in my Christmas stocking a few years past; simply delicious. They leave out all of their olive oils with pieces of bread for tasting. You could make a whole meal from these delicious dipping oils.
While we were there, I had Emily try the Arbequina olive oil. Very grassy, green and fresh; one of the freshest, lightest olive oils I’ve tasted. I told her it had a very earthy taste to it, which made her a bit hesitant. Apparently, my love of all things earthy has translated to “Jillian eats things that taste like dirt”. Oh, Emily.
Far West Fungi. Every type of mushroom you could possibly think of, fresh and dried. Every type of truffle product you could think of. Truffle salt, truffle butter, truffle oil. So decadent, so appealing, so out of my price range.
I generally just look in that shop.
It’s just such great fun. So many delicious foods, so much to look at, so much to taste. We ended up splitting a vegan Meyer Lemon doughnut that was simply heavenly; I was surprised it was vegan for how light and almost buttery it tasted. They know what they’re doing.
If you are ever in San Francisco, I highly encourage you begin your adventures at the Ferry Building. If you live in San Francisco, well, what are you waiting for? Those Scharffen Berger chocolates and Hog Island oysters aren’t just going to eat themselves.