The air was crisp and the fog slowly dissipated as each minute ticked forward; a typical San Francisco morning. The cityscape in front of me was displayed in shades of gray, but the tower still stood out. A beacon on the San Francisco waterfront, the Ferry Building clock tower draws people in from all parts of the city on Saturdays. It calls out to health-minded Californians with its organic vegetables and fruit; the best that Northern California farms have to offer.
The building opened in 1898 and served as the transportation hub for the West coast. The clock tower reaches 245 ft. tall and is the focal point of the waterfront. It was modeled after a 12th century bell tower in Seville Spain.
However, the ferry building wasn’t able to change with the times and eventually was left behind when the car became a common fixture for Americans. In recent years though it has been saved, given a facelift and new purpose. Even though it is still sits at the site where all major transportation meets in San Francisco (BART, MUNI, and Ferry), it no longer serves as a transportation hub; instead it serves as a food hub.
After a major renovation it reopened as the place for foodies to come together. The market offers produce and flowers from small regional farmers and ranchers, many of whom are certified organic. A wealth of other products include regional artisan specialties such as breads, cheeses and jams.
This Saturday morning my friend and I joined the other 10,000 people that regularly attend the farmers market and picked through the best foods farmers had to offer. I was most surprised by the amount of organic products; more than anything California is all about healthy living and this was just the icing on the cake…or should I say the organic honey on the tofu!
We had arrived early in the morning as stands were still being set up and owners were preparing for a busy day of seeing their regular customers. We wandered around the inside of the historic building sipping our Blue Bottle coffee which came highly recommended to me from my Facebook friends who quickly mandated that I stop for a cup of coffee there when I had updated my status with my Ferry Building whereabouts. As I walked through the cheese shops, bakeries, and chocolate stores sipping my coffee, I could hear my stomach growling; it echoed through out the big open, acoustic hall. We went out back to see the vendor stands and eat some much needed breakfast.
Not only do they sell produce out back and in front of the Ferry Building on Saturdays, but there are also stands that sell prepared food. I was overjoyed when my friend suggested that we have this amazing concoction of Mexican breakfast; corn tortillas, salsa, avocado, beans, and eggs. We found a seat on a bench overlooking the Bay Bridge and savored our Mexican breakfast while the foodies bustled around us carrying their reusable shopping sacks and a street entertainer played Beatles songs on his flute. A perfect, relaxing San Francisco morning.
After breakfast we walked around more shops and purchased jams and salsas. In addition to fresh produce and restaurants in the building, there are also a few stores. I found these bags which were made in Vietnam and for fun checked out the price tag. I had to chuckle to myself when I saw the tag read $34, when I know exactly where you can buy this same bag in Saigon for $5! Oh – I should have been in the export business!
The morning turned into noontime as the fog slowly began to lift and the sun started burning through. The Ferry Building was slowly waking up this early Saturday morning and I was thrilled to watch it, and taste it, come to life!
Farmers Market Runs on
Tuesday: 10am–2pm Thursday: 10 am – 2pm Saturday: 8am-2pm
Learn more about the Ferry Building History at http://www.ferrybuildingmarketplace.com/
If you’d like to read more about food today – check out WanderFood Wednesday at Wanderlust and Lipstick for more tantalizing food stories!