On my first day in San Francisco, a friend from college took me to what he felt was the most delicious place in the city – the Ferry Building. He wasn’t wrong. Everything I ate was so good that I made sure to stop by each day for at least one meal, even if it meant concocting circuitous routes and braving bus transfers to get there from the other side of town. Though I felt kind of bad that I wasn’t exploring other options in a city known for its food, any doubts were soon forgotten once I was happily devouring a milk-braised pork sandwich with fennel tapenade. Or a bowl of five-spice chicken noodles. Or some pistachio macarons.
From left to right: photo of Out the Door’s Vietnamese sandwich courtesy of ldandersen’s Flickr stream; photo of Out the Door’s spring rolls courtesy of Helluin912’s Flickr stream; photo of Il Cane Rosso’s beef brisket sandwich courtesy of SidewalkSundays’ Flickr stream.
From left to right: author’s personal photo of Il Cane Ross’s menu; photo of Miette Bakery’s cupcakes courtesy of arnold | inuyaki’s Flickr stream; photo of Miette Bakery’s macarons courtesy of SanFranAnnie’s Flickr stream.
As if the restaurants and take-out counters inside weren’t enough, the entire building is dotted with gourmet foodshops where you can pick up an impressive array of mushrooms, cheeses, artisanal chocolates, etc. – when you also consider the year-round farmer’s market outside, you can pretty much pack the picnic basket of a lifetime here. Thursdays also boast a street food market near the entrance, where about six food carts line the plaza offering Korean barbecue tacos, rotisserie chicken, pizzas, and more. Sit on one of the benches by the water for stunning views of the Bay, or head towards the Vaillancourt Fountain across the street if you don’t feel like being whipped around by gusty winds.
All of the above are the author’s personal photos.
From left to right: photo of Tacolicious’ braised short rib taco courtesy of CUESA’s Flickr stream; photo of Namu’s okonomiyaki courtesy of Fatty Tuna’s Flickr stream; photo of Roli Roti food cart courtesy of pyrogenic’s Flickr stream.
The Ferry Building can get overwhelming pretty quickly, so my advice is to bring a friend, go as many times as humanly possible (in case you are wondering, a couple of places serve delicious breakfasts), and split as much as you can stomach. You might think I sound like a food-obsessed crazy person, but once you start eating, you’ll thank me.
The Ferry Building
101 The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94105