San Francisco’s Waterfront Marketplace

By Kate Riley July 19, 2009

Exploring the big city of San Francisco is one of our favorite things to do.  Since the Golden Gate Bridge is about 40 minutes from our house, we took Friday afternoon to adventure across the bridge to visit the renowned Ferry Building Marketplace

ferry clock

Those who’ve visited the Bay Area recently may be familiar with this European style indoor bazaar, filled with vendors who feature the finest of California’s bounty.  We arrived at the lunch hour, with the marketplace filled with young executives from the financial district, mingling with the visiting tourists. 

Any food lover will simply love this place.  While you’ll pay big dollars to take away some of these artisan products, it’s still worth a visit just to sample California’s culinary best.   Here’s a peek at some of the displays:

Fresh Farm To You:

fresh farm

farm goods 

Miette Parisian style patisserie


Wine Merchant

wine merchant 

  Sur La Table

sur la table 3

sur la table 1

sur la table 2 

Far West Funghi


Stonehouse Olive Oils

stonehouse olive oils 

Golden Gate Meat Company

gg meat

Cowgirl Creamery

cowgirl creamery

McEvoy Ranch Olive Oils


mcevoy 2

Kingdom of Herbs


How sweet is this dog made with twine?  My kids loved this pooch. 

herbs twine dog 

Hog Island Oyster Company

hog island

Outside on the expansive promenade, you can lunch, people watch, and take in the view of the Bay Bridge. 

promenade bay bridge sailboat 

The San Francisco weather was uncharacteristically spectacular on Friday.  My daughter enjoyed her chocolate madeline while we chased seagulls and spied the sailboats.   

chocolate madelline   

Then we met up with my brother Nate, and grabbed a quick bite at the famous burger house Taylor’s Refresher.  That’s Coit Tower in the far far background. 

burger with brother

The Ferry Building Marketplace is a definite must see for all foodies visiting the historic city of San Francisco.  On Saturdays, you can also stroll around the gigantic Farmer’s Market in the adjacent Plaza. 

Next time you’re in the neighborhood, stop on by the historic Ferry Building for some incredible food and spectacular views.


  1. Wow I absolutely will. These are just gorgeous photos…and they really make me wish I lived on the west coast so I could visit more often. That Parisian style patisserie is definitely my favorite of the lot…looks like heaven!

  2. Can you believe I went there last fall on vacation and never noticed the fantastic view off the back patio? I will definitely return when I am there this fall (for work this time).

  3. Thanks for the tour, Kate! The patisserie looks so cute. :) I haven't been quite as far West as California, so I love when you show us your area. California seems much more relaxed than the East Coast. No one in Virginia ever stops for anything. Go, go, go. ;)

  4. As far as I'm concerned, every city planner in the country should be required to tour the renovated Ferry Building to see a proper example of how to spruce up a public building. It's done just perfectly.

    Where I live, an old Union train station is going to be renovated to add shops, but judging by how so many other public places in this town, when finished it will resemble a cheap strip mall with fast food places more than a lovely old building redone well.

  5. SO beautiful!
    Thanks for bringing back some childhood memories. I grew up in Berkeley and Davis and we would always drive into SF. Really love that area!

  6. Okay, I'm planning a trip. Its been too long! I love all of the unique shops you showcased. Wonderful taste, as usual. =)

  7. Gorgeours photographs. Thanks for taking us there. I haven't been to San Francisco in my many years and hope to some time next year. Really love it there. Thanks!

  8. Oh I feel so awesome that I have been there!!! Yeah. However, I was 12 weeks pregnant and the smells were killing me!!!!!!!! I would love to go back with my kids and enjoy it again!

  9. What a fun trip. What a fantastic market place.
    Thanks for sharing the wonderful photos.

  10. I love these pictures! I pretended I was in beautiful CA instead of in Houston in my pjs drinking coffee in front of my computer in a highly air-conditioned room.

  11. I love all the wonderful shops on the waterfront. Such fun things. Love your pics and glad you had such a great day. Hugs, Marty

  12. They had an art fair across from it the last time I was there. We didn't even make it in to the ferry building because he couldn't pull me away from the art.

  13. Thanks so much for this! We are visiting SF in just a few weeks for the first time! I've been buying guidebook after guidebook just to get more ideas. Hadn't read too much about the Marketplace in any of those!

    We are really looking forward to our visit and appreciate that you put this together! We'll def make a stop at the Marketplace!

    Overland Park, KANSAS

  14. Thank you for the tour! Last time I was in San Francisco I had terrible, terrible morning sickness and did not enjoy a minute. I look forward to returning in the future now that our family is complete (and no more morning sickness!).

    You are an excellent photographer. What an eye.

  15. I just love your blog! The pictures are so awesome!!! I would really love to add your button to my blog BUT i have no idea how…any suggestions?

  16. Beautiful. I have never been to CA…you're making it very tempting. Gorgeous photos! Thanks for sharing!

  17. We loved it there. But, it was definitely not that pretty when we were there – it was pretty gloomy and cold. But, it's definitely an awesome place. YOur posts truly make me want to pack up all of my stuff and move there. Right now.

  18. I am so glad I found your blog…and the Cowgirl Creamery…oh! so jealous!! I feel like I just went on a mini vacation ~ great pics.
    Ok…vacation over… my toddler's cries snapped me out of this daydream…off I go!

  19. Oh my, looks like you had a ton of fun! I love the 'Scents from the Garden' shop and the flower stand – gorgeous!

  20. wow! i never knew about the ferry marketplace! i have visited frisco many times and never been there! i will have to put that on my must see list when i travel there next! love the photos!

  21. Thanks for sharing these great photos. I grew up in the SF Bay area, and as the old song goes, I left (part of) my heart in San Fransicso :)

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