Although I’ve been trying to stick to lesser known spots and eateries for Sites and Bites, I couldn’t very well have a travel series in San Francisco and not mention the Ferry Building! For this Sites and Bites, we’re sticking to one spot: The Ferry Building where you can find tons of stalls and shops of delicious artisan food, sweets and cookware. It’s a food lovers mecca! Plus, if you’re lucky, you can catch the Farmers Market on Saturday (morning-midday), Tuesday and Thursday (midday) for lots of local produce. Don’t forget to get the breakfast sandwiches on Saturday morning while you’re there bright and early!
So this is how the ferry building works: the food’s not complicated or exotic. It’s simply the best food in its own class. The best bread at Acme, the best cheese at Cowgirl Creamery, the best salami (get the mixed salami cone!) at Boccalone, the best beef sandwich at Il Cane Rosso. You can grab a few simple things for a delicious meal or snack pretty quick! My good friend, Sharon and her family were visiting last week so we met up there for lunch! It’s a fun place with kids if the lines aren’t too long.
Favorites include: The Slanted door for Vietnamese food. Il Cane Rosso for braised brisket sandwich (or sliced beef if they’re sold out as they often are by 12pm). Mijita for delicious Mexican food, Gotts Roadside for burgers and shakes, Ciao Bella gelato, etc the list goes on! You don’t even really need a recommendation from me. Every place in there is the best of its class. Just go with whatever sounds good and you won’t be disappointed. One of my favorite things to get is a loaf of bread (any kind- the rosemary olive oil is yummmy), some Pt Reyes cheese Red Hawk Cheese, orange and fennel salami, and tcho chocolates. Stuff all that stuff inside the bread: one side salami, one side chocolate and devour. Yum!
Keep reading to see more tips!
Head outside to watch the boats and chase seagulls after you’ve gathered your meal. Waiting in lines with kids makes them ansy, and there’s plenty of room to jump around out there. You can also take the cable car right in front of the ferry building a few stops to see the sea lions at Fisherman’s Wharf or take a ferry to Angels Island for a hike to work off that braised beef sandwich you just devoured.
For those of you who have been to the Ferry Building, I’d love to hear your favorite must try items! I’m always discovering something new I love.
Which one is Henry? He’s the long lost triplet of the family!
I love this series! You pick great neighborhood highlights with great food picks. I don’t really think you can go wrong with anything in the Ferry Building. I especially love stopping in for desserts (Pepples Donuts, Ciao Bella Sorbet, Miette, and others).
I love this place. The coffee at Blue Bottle is a work of art, even if the queue takes forever. And the olive oil stand is amazing…the meyer lemon and blood orange ones are my favourites.
Roli Roti’s porchetta sandwich (food truck w/the longest line at Saturday Farmers Market) is life altering… Liz, you MUST try it 🙂
You’re right – it’s all the best. I second the breakfast sandwiches at Golden Gate Meats, the po-boys at San Francisco Fish company, Blue Bottle coffee new orleans ice coffee, and Frog Hollow for some plums or apricots. Oh, and Cow Girl creamery’s cottage cheese. The best!
Acme is the BEST bread ever. For me Acme Berkeley is closer, We buy extra, when it gets hard I make it bread crumbs for chicken or fish fillet. It gives a delicious taste. 🙂
I like the Ferry Building!! I lived in SF for 6 month and I went in this place a lot of times and enjoyed a lot!!! I love SF, it’s an amazing city.
No bad time to visit, but my favorite is Saturday morning Farmer’s Market before the rush. Breakfast, then food shopping — first grab a coffee from Blue Bottle (hoping one of the stands has a short line), and then head to the back of all the food stations. My husband and friends prefer Primavera’s chilequiles (which I do love), but my favorite is the smoked trout open faced sandwich from Captain Mike’s. Any of their options make a convert out of even the most adamant non-smoked-fish eaters.
It is important to be sustained before hitting the booths. 🙂
wow that smoked trout sandwich sounds amazing! I haven’t ever tried fish at the ferry building but it sounds like i need to
The ferry building was my favorite part of SF! So much deliciousness!
Love the Slanted Door! A bit spendy but so yummy and fun people watching!
My favorite breakfast sandwich is at the counter outside of Golden Gate Meat Company. Get a bacon and egg on a kaiser roll. Heaven. I dream about it.
one last tip: if Acme has a long line, head outside in the back on Farmers Market days, they have a stall and there’s almost never a line.
And make sure to bring cash! Most vendors only accept cash and the ATM lines can be really long.
Oh great tip about ACME bread! And yes, those ATM lines can be loooong. Good idea to bring cash
Oh yum!! This post is making me hungry! Bites and bites today haa
My kids all like different things. So, one day when we were visiting the Ferry Building we stopped off at the mushroom shop for my son (he was only 6 at the time and loved to eat mushrooms like they were potato chips), Acme Bread for my 8yr old daughter, and Cowgirl Creamery for my 10 yr old daughter. It was on farmers market day, so we grabbed some fruit first and then headed out toward the water to gaze out at the bay while we ate. Everyone was happy!!! That’s the beauty of the Ferry Building…everyone gets what they want and you all still be together.
It’s so true, especially with picky eater kids! So much to choose from, everyone can pick what they want and everything they pick is amazing
I love the Ferry Building!! The steamed milk at Cow Girl Cremery, the sweets at Miette, the great stores to shop through. One of the number one reasons I wished I lived in SF, if I did I would go there every Saturday.
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