Eating my way through SFO’s Ferry Building Marketplace

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After all the madness of the SF Dragon Boat Festival, I had one free day in San Francisco.  It was hot and I was tired so I thought I’d just wander through the Ferry Building Marketplace for the afternoon.

As often as I’ve visited San Francisco, I’ve never had the opportunity to experience the amazing Saturday market outside this building.  No matter though, I know it will happen one day, and going inside the marketplace is still a lot of fun for a food lover.

I wandered through the building to plan my attack.  There were delicious looking treats at every stall and restaurant so I knew I had to be thoughtful with my approach.

I saw a big tub of ice with a bed of pre-shucked oysters and clams outside the San Francisco Fish Company.   My hygienic side was screaming no but I was curious and couldn’t resist. I picked one clam and one oyster and added a bit of  cocktail sauce, lemon and Tabasco. They weren’t the best raw shellfish I’ve ever had, but for $1.50 each, they weren’t a bad treat.

I thought the oyster was good and the clam was very good, but perhaps because the idea of raw clams is unique to me.

My next stop was one I do every time I’ve visited the market and that’s to  Boccalone Salumeria for a tasty cone of meat.

From left to right; mortadella, lonzo and porchetta.

I know mortadella is  just fancy Italian bologna, but I love it and this one was delicately flavoured and oh so tender.  The lonzo was a nicely salted cured pork loin.  The real winner was the porchetta which was beautifully rolled with spices and sliced a bit thicker so you really got the taste of the fat that made up most of this piece of meat.

I wandered in to Miette for some sweets to take home with me.  The macarons drew me in, but they also had other wonderful sweets as well.

I saved these to take home. I give them 7 on a scale of 1-10.
These caramels were soft and wonderful. Chewy, salty and sweet… some of my favorite adjectives!

I stopped at the Blue Bottle Cafe for a coffee, which was individually dripped to order. It was a fantastic cup that helped give me a boost of energy so I could keep eating my way through the market.

I wandered by Hog Island and saw some paddlers I met from the weekend. They convinced me to grab a seat at the bar and join them for a few. I had a half-dozen oyster sampler and a glass of Blue Star wheat beer. The selection was pretty wonderful.

Clockwise from directly above – Sweetwater & Kumamoto (both Hog Island farmed), Kusshi (BC), Sewansecott (VA), Naked Cowboy (NY), Clevedon Coast (New Zealand).
A couple of us wandered over to the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant to taste some California reds.

I was definitely full and a bit disappointed that I wasn’t going to get to try the Imperial Rolls from Out the Door, (little sister to the famous Slanted Door) or a side onion rings from Gott’s Roadside (formerly Taylor’s Automatic Refresher).  I did make one last stop to pick up some empanadas for my flight home the next day.

I chose the Carne and Pollo.  Both were delicious cold and a great airplane snack.

Satisfied that I experienced as much as one person could alone at the Market, I made my way back to the hotel.  Happy with the knowledge that I conquered a lot, but still had some delightful treats still left to explore on my next visit to the market.

Ferry Building Marketplace – 1 Market St @ Embarcadero, San Francisco

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