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Arts & Culture

Get Fresh: A Guide to San Francisco Farmers’ Markets

Written by Maryann Jones Thompson, Shelley D. FargoPublished Jul. 07, 2022 • 12:56pm
Annie Somerville speaks with Sandy McGinnis of McGinnis Ranch at the Ferry Building Farmer's Market in San Francisco, Calif., on Tuesday, June 28, 2022. | Juliana Yamada/The Standard

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Just a short drive from both cool coastal fields and scorching inland ranches, San Franciscans win the geographical jackpot for farm freshness. 

Summer in the city is a foodie wonderland: berries and greens, stone fruit and tomatoes, sustainable seafood and grass-fed meat, and a corps of professionals creating artisanal breads, ethnic staples and other delectable treats out of the region’s bounty.

People shop at the Castro Farmers Market in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, June 29, 2022. | Juliana Yamada/The Standard

It’s no wonder the city holds 14 farmers’ markets every week of the summer. That means San Franciscans can buy “good” eggs —and white corn, chanterelles, avocados, broccoli, little gems, fava beans, dried beans, ong choy, heirloom melons and more— every day of the week except Monday. 

We shopped at every farmers’ market in the city to help you scope out a new stop. Check out The Standard’s map and guide below to find yourself a new farmer this summer. 

The Standard’s Guide to San Francisco’s Farmers’ Markets 

Alemany Farmers’ Market

Saturdays, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Cooking for friends on Saturday night and no time to wander? Head to Alemany. The city-run operation is open all day every Saturday and has a parking lot next door. 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. Get most of what you’ll want at the Tomatero Farm stand on the west end. Owned and operated by the city of San Francisco, “The People’s Market” was the first farmers’ market in California, founded on August 12, 1943. Today it serves the whole city and northern peninsula from its Bernal Heights location near the intersection of the 101 and 280 freeways. 

Castro Farmers’ Market

Wednesdays, 3 p.m – 7 p.m. from April 6 through Nov. 16

The best mid-week summertime stock-ups take place near the intersection of Market and Noe. 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 SF.

Clement Street Farmers Market in San Francisco on June 26, 2022 | Maryann Jones Thompson/The Standard

Clement St. Farmers Market

Sundays, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Lined with farmers and prepared food vendors from 2nd to 4th, Clement Street buzzes with a happy, young vibe of serious shoppers and aimless strollers. Fifth Crow Farm sells a dizzying array of Pescadero-grown richly hued veggies and locally developed beans like the King City Pinks. Complete your purchase with a stop at one of the many grocers and kitchen stores of the Inner Richmond shopping mecca.

Divisadero Farmers’ Market

Sundays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Neighbors in the Lower Haight 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.

Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco in September 2019 | Maryann Jones Thompson/The Standard

Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Saturdays 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. 

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.

Fillmore Farmers’ Market

Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. 

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 you need while a jazz trio provides ambiance and a nod to the neighborhood’s roots as the “Harlem of the West.”

Heirloom tomatoes at the Fort Mason Farmers Market in San Francisco on June 26, 2022 | Maryann Jones Thompson/The Standard

Fort Mason Center Farmers’ Market

Sundays, 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Fort Mason is Saturday’s go-to for northern city dwellers, with several rows of farm stands, meat and seafood purveyors, a Hmong farmer who sells Chinese broccoli and other Asian greens that we’re obsessed with, and a never-ending bread line at The Midwife and The Baker. Hosted by the Golden Gate National Park Service, the site is easily reached by public transport or car, with parking right next to the vendors. 

People shop at the Civic Center Farmers Market in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, June 29, 2022. | Juliana Yamada/The Standard

Heart of the City Farmers’ Market

Wednesdays, 7 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Sundays 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

With easy access to BART and Muni, SF’s only independent, grower-operated non-profit farmers’ market takes up the whole UN Plaza behind the Orpheum Theatre off Hyde Street. 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.

Inner Sunset Farmers’ Market

Sundays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

See Also

Hidden in a block-long SFMTA parking lot between 8th and 9th streets 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. Don’t miss the ever-changing selection of sprouts at Life Food Gardens.  

Mission Community Market in San Francisco on June 23, 2022 | Maryann Jones Thompson/The Standard

Mission Community Market

Thursdays, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. from March through Nov.

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. Far West Fungi is a must-stop. 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 location.

Noe Valley Farmers Market

Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

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 tinsy playground to entertain Noe’s toddling set, the 24th Street stop is an easy sell for anyone within walking distance. Hungry? Try the breakfast sandwich on focaccia at Boffo Cart

North Beach Farmers Market in San Francisco on June 25, 2022 | Maryann Jones Thompson/The Standard

North Beach Farmers Market

Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. 

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, including San Francisco’s own Rize Up Sourdough, whose ube loaf warrants a taste. There are several prepared food options, as well, including breakfast tacos at LoJo’s. (Get the classic chorizo and egg.)

Outer Sunset Farmers’ Market & Mercantile

Wednesdays, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. from June 8 through Aug. 10;  Sundays, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. year-round 

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 Saint Ignatius along Sunset Boulevard come alive with music and special events every Sunday (and Wednesdays during the summer). The market also offers the largest play area for kids, with Legos, art and other activity zones.

Shoppers at the Stonestown Farmers Market in San Francisco on June 26, 2022 | Maryann Jones Thompson/The Standard

Stonestown Farmers Market

Sundays, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
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-sized children’s play zone, a guitarist strumming and working the crowd, easy parking and numerous prepared food stands: Don’t miss the breakfast bahn mi at 3 Bottled Fish; Polly house-makes the sausage and the roll is crunchily perfect.

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