San Francisco is fortunate enough to have Farmer’s Markets all over the city. Among the most well-known are the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market and the Alemany Market. Plus, we have smaller markets in several other neighborhoods all around San Francisco. One of our favorites is the Fort Mason Farmer’s Market in the Marina. Fort Mason is one of those places in San Francisco that in the past year has become one of the coolest places to hang out. The weekly Farmer’s Market and Off the Grid, a weekly street food bonanza, have a lot to do with it.
The Fort Mason Farmer’s Market which is held every Sunday from 9.30 am to 1.30 pm and was supposed to be just a summer event, but due to popular demand it is now a year-round event (yay!). We are partial to this farmer’s market even though it is a bit smaller than others because it is close to home and more affordable than some of the other more well-known markets in the city. The crowds are manageable and vendors actually take the time to get to know you.
This past summer, I got to know a tomato farmer from up North so well from my weekly visits to her stall, that I always managed to score a few extra tomatoes as freebies along with some fantastic recipe tips. This sounds kind of geeky but it makes the food experience so much more meaningful to know the person who grows your food and have a relationship with them. Can’t wait to see them again next summer!
The market has around 40 farmers and other vendors offering all kinds of seasonal, locally-grown goodies. Some of our favorites when in-season are the amazing cherries from Brentwood and the strawberries from Watsonville. Greens Restaurant, which is located in the Fort Mason Center, is also there every week selling coffee, pastries and prepared vegetarian foods.
It’s a great market for families since there is plenty of place around the market to run around and lots else to explore in the area. At some of the larger markets, I always worry about losing the kids, but since this market is smaller and less crowded, that is less of a worry. Farmer’s markets are a great way to teach your kids about what is in-season and get them to try new things to eat. The market is a tremendous sampling opportunity and sometimes we manage to make a meal out of just samples.
Our Sunday morning family ritual seems to have become a mid-morning family stroll to this market for coffee and breakfast pastries, followed by a walk around the market to check out the offerings. Not only do we buy fruits, vegetables and meat/fish for the whole week, but we usually pick up a bunch of items for Sunday lunch. Often we end up with some freshly baked bread, hummus, fruits, cheese and rotisserie chicken from the Roli Roti truck. Throw in a bottle of wine and you have an amazing lunch spread. Take it home to enjoy, or if the weather is agreeable, sit on one the many tables and benches around Fort Mason and enjoy the bounty of the Bay Area.
The perfect Sunday!