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Food & Drink

The Standard’s Guide To San Francisco Farmers’ Markets

Written by Maryann Jones Thompson and Shelley D. FargoPublished Aug. 20, 2023 • 9:00am
Summer’s produce makes it the best time of year to shop farmers’ markets. | Source: Maryann Jones Thompson/The Standard

San Franciscans hit the geographical jackpot for farm-fresh food. 

Because it's just a short drive from both cool coastal fields and scorching inland ranches, farmers descend on the city during the summer months to sell berries and greens, stone fruit and tomatoes, sustainable seafood and grass-fed meat. What’s more, a corps of professionals create artisanal breads, ethnic staples and other delectable treats out of the region's bounty.

It's no surprise that the city hosts a remarkable total of 14 farmers' markets each week throughout the summer season. This means that San Franciscans have the opportunity to purchase top-quality items like "good" eggs, along with an array of produce like white corn, chanterelles, avocados, broccoli, little gems, fava beans, dried beans, ong choy, heirloom melons and much more, on any day of the week except Monday.

To assist you in discovering new places to shop, we've explored every farmers' market in the city. Take a look at the map and guide provided below.

Alemany Farmers Market

Cooking for friends on Saturday night, and no time to wander? Head to Alemany. The operation is open all day every Saturday. And with more vendors than a 0.5 photo can snap on your iPhone, you’ll find everything you need and be back to your kitchen, quick. Owned and operated by the city of San Francisco, “The People's Market” was the first farmers’ market in California, founded on Aug. 12, 1943. Today, it serves the whole city and the northern peninsula from its Bernal Heights location near the intersection of Highway 101 and Interstate 280.

Saturdays, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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Castro Farmers' Market

The best midweek summertime stock-ups take place near the intersection of Market and Noe streets. Join residents of the Castro, Duboce and Upper Market at their neighborhood farmers’ market every Wednesday evening for a casual stroll and the freshest fruits and veggies in the city.

Wednesdays, 3 to 7 p.m. from April 5 through Nov. 15
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Clement Street Farmers Market

Lined with farmers and prepared food vendors from Second to Fourth avenues, Clement Street buzzes with a happy, young vibe of serious shoppers and aimless strollers. Complete your purchase with a stop at one of the Inner Richmond shopping mecca's many grocers.

Sundays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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Divisadero Farmers' Market

Neighbors in the Lower Haight make a beeline for the DMV parking lot on Sunday mornings. Several rows of vendors offer fresh produce, sustainable meats and prepared foods in a convenient Panhandle location between Fell and Oak on Broderick Street.

Sundays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
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Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

Never been? Friends visiting from out of town? Saturday morning at the Ferry Plaza is nothing short of a produce extravaganza and a must-see for anyone who eats food. More than 100 vendors line the Embarcadero and wind around the Ferry Building, selling anything you can grow, raise or bottle. Don’t even think about driving here, but do think about staying afterward to wander the Ferry Building shops or sitting down for a daytime beverage. A smaller version of the show takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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Fillmore Farmers' Market

The Pacific Coast Farmers' Market Association runs this convenient stop on Fillmore just south of O’Farrell Street. With 14 vendors, it delivers just the right amount of fresh produce while a jazz trio provides ambiance and a nod to the neighborhood’s roots as the “Harlem of the West.”

Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
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Fort Mason Center Farmers' Market

Fort Mason is Saturday’s go-to for northern city dwellers, with several rows of farm stands, meat and seafood purveyors, and a Hmong farmer who sells Chinese broccoli and other Asian greens that we’re obsessed with. Hosted by the Golden Gate National Park Service, the market is easily reached by public transport or car, with parking right next to the vendors.

Sundays, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
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People walk around at the Heart of the City Farmers Market at United Nations Plaza near City Hall, in San Francisco on Aug. 2, 2023. | Source: Jeremy Chen/The Standard

Heart of the City Farmers' Market

With easy access to BART and Muni, San Francisco's only independent, grower-operated nonprofit farmers’ market takes place in Fulton Plaza near United Nations Plaza. With more than 40 vendors, the market has filled the shopping bags of Civic Center workers for years and provides City Hall views from every stall.

Wednesdays, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Sundays, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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Inner Sunset Farmers' Market

Hidden in a block-long city-owned parking lot between Eighth and Ninth avenues south of Irving, the Inner Sunset Farmers’ Market might be missed by visitors to the neighborhood. But locals flock to its perfect assortment of stalls every Sunday for fresh produce and a chance to catch up with both neighbors and farmers.

Sundays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
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Mission Community Market

The people-watching is almost as good as the food at the Mission Community Market. The neighborhood turns out every week for an entire block full of excellent produce and prepared foods. All city dwellers should know that it is the only Thursday evening operation, letting you stock up for weekend cooking after work and positioning you for endless post-shopping dinner options from its Bartlett and 22nd streets location.

Thursdays, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. from March through November
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Noe Valley Farmers Market

When farmers take over the teensy Noe Valley Town Square on Saturday mornings, the neighbors turn out big. With just the right number of purveyors selling the fresh produce you need, and a tiny playground to entertain Noe’s toddling set, the 24th Street stop is an easy sell for anyone within walking distance. Hungry? 

Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
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North Beach Farmers Market

North Beach is a relatively new farmers’ market that debuted in 2018. Near the library, pool and Joe DiMaggio Playground, the block of Greenwich just east of Columbus in the shadow of Coit Tower closes every Saturday morning to host a dozen vendors.

Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
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Outer Sunset Farmers Market & Mercantile

Selling fresh fruit and vegetables is only a small part of the Outer Sunset Mercantile’s mission. Started by “Ranger Angie” as a craft and art market, the mercantile expanded its offerings during the pandemic and now provides a nexus for the entire west side of the city to gather, stroll and reconnect (see more in this video.) With about 100 vendors of food and art, the blocks near St. Ignatius along Sunset Boulevard come alive with music and special events every Sunday. The market also offers the largest play area for kids, with Legos, art and other activity zones.

Sundays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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Stonestown Farmers Market

If you’re looking for a little bit of the Marin Farmers Market experience in the city, the Stonestown Farmers Market delivers. The Agricultural Institute of Marin runs this large gathering in the back northwest corner of the mall property (easiest to enter on Winston Drive) and hosts many of the brand-name farms that appear at the Ferry Plaza and Marin Civic Center markets. Also on offer, an especially large selection of poultry and meat sellers, a good-size children’s play zone, a guitarist strumming and working the crowd, easy parking and numerous prepared food stands.

Sundays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
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