By Michael McCarthy By Michael McCarthy | July 19, 2022 | Lifestyle Feature
The Ferry Building Marketplace's renaissance continues this summer with new and established merchants offering the best of local cuisine and culture.
Hog Island Oyster Co. is an institution (and a must-visit).
Let’s call it a San Francisco icon with endless substance. The Ferry Building Marketplace (ferrybuildingmarketplace.com) is primed for summer exploration, with restaurateurs, lifestyle merchants, artisans, programs and events coming together to form one of the region’s most distinctive places to visit.
The historic building, which has been around since 1898 and survived two earthquakes, is truly a small-business incubator that empowers the creative and culinary community, whose passionate members provide outstanding goods, service and food to the Bay Area daily. Here’s a snapshot of how to experience the Marketplace this summer, including taking stock of what’s new.
Fort Point Brewery Beer Garden
Fort Point Beer Company, San Francisco’s independent hometown brewery, recently launched its new Beer Garden. The concept expands upon Fort Point’s streetfront outdoor kiosk, where locals and tourists alike gather to sip classic beers like KSA Kolsch-style ale and newer styles like Lobos Hazy India pale ale. fortpointbeer.com
The latest summer creation from Fort Point Brewing Company.
Hog Island Oyster Co.
Nearly 40 years ago, two young marine biologists planted oyster seed on a 5-acre lease in Tomales Bay. A year and a half later, they delivered their first Pacific oysters to Chez Panisse, Zuni Café and Hayes Street Bar and Grill in San Francisco. Today, Hog Island Oyster Co. has grown into one of the nation’s leading producers of sustainable shellfish and a pioneer in bay-to-bar restaurants. The company’s Ferry Building Marketplace venue is as much a culinary experience as it is a celebration of life in the Bay Area. hogislandoysters.com
Opened last month, Simurgh Bakery started as a pop-up at East Bay farmers markets in 2017, with founder Hatice Yildiz offering her signature pistachio baklava (made with Antep pistachios imported from Gaziantep, Turkey’s baklava capital) and other Middle Eastern fare. With fresh phyllo dough, Yildiz creates a range of boureks (savory pies) and more. We also love the handrolled grape leaves, stuffed sun-dried eggplants, Turkish delights, oven-baked rice puddings and gluten-free almond cookies. simurghbakery.com
The bustling farmers market at the Ferry Building Marketplace supports local growers and producers.
The debut of this creperie from husband-and-wife duo Patrick Ascaso and Joanna Pulcini-Ascaso of beloved family-owned Le Marais Bakery created a buzz this spring. The venue, a celebration of naturally leavened-style crepes (a cornerstone of casual French cuisine), offers a selection of both savory and sweet crepes and artisanal all-butter croissants and pastries. grandecreperie.com
Boulettes Larder + Boulibar
Chef Amaryll Schwertner combines her love for the best Northern California ingredients with her wide-ranging knowledge of global foodways, flavors and aromas. In a space that feels as personal as a private kitchen, Boulettes Larder is the quintessential farm-to-table experience. Don’t overlook Boulibar, a perfect space for after-work cocktails and small bites. bouletteslarder.com
The intimate Boulettes Larder Boulibar
Ferry Plaza Farmers Market
The California-certified farmers market, which is operated by Foodwise, is open year-round on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, rain or shine. The large Saturday market is held in the back plaza overlooking the Bay, along the south side of the building, and in front of the building along the Embarcadero. The Tuesday and Thursday markets take place in front of the building. All three weekly markets offer produce and flowers from top Bay Area farms, many of which are organic. Visitors also will find meat, seafood, and artisanal specialties (think bread, cheese and jam) and street food for brunch and lunch. Fun fact: More than 300 Bay Area restaurants shop at the market each week. ferrybuildingmarketplace.com, foodwise.org
Golden Gate Meat Company
The Offenbach family’s butcher shop and charcuterie carry only natural and organic meats, featuring Meyer Natural Angus beef and Green Circle organic beef. Don’t overlook homemade sauces, dry rubs and seasonings. Insider’s tip: The venue also offers daily lunch and dinner specials. goldengatemeatcompany.com
All things beautiful emanate from this shop for those looking for uniquely crafted tabletop, cooking, dining and garden items. We love the distinctive furniture, garden tools and baskets, plus handmade ceramics and linens. Stop by regularly, as the merchandise changes with the seasons. thegardener.com
Take a trip to Latin America without leaving the Ferry Building—this casual restaurant concept serves inventive street and comfort food that receives raves from gourmands. Vibrant decor and music serve as inviting sidekicks at this authentic eatery. cholitalinda.com
Humphry Slocombe is known for its outrageously fun ice cream flavors.
The artisans at Tsar Nicoulai craft small-batch American caviar without the use of antibiotics, growth hormones, GMOs or synthetic preservatives—the company is also the nation’s only eco-certified sturgeon farm. The cafe features a seasonal menu inspired by its farm and complemented with exotic tastes from its international partners. tsarnicoulai.com, caviarcafe.com
Tsar Nicoulai caviar
There’s a reason this purveyor of all things sweet has more than 200,000 Instagram followers and recognition from The New York Times and Bon Appétit: It’s one of the most outrageously fun ice-cream joints in the country. Its tagline is “chef-curated ice cream for adults” (with flavors like Secret Breakfast and Blue Bottle Vietnamese coffee), but kids will adore this place too. humphryslocombe.com
New, authentic bites from Señor Sisig
Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant
Mimicking the style of European wine merchants, this classic, hands-on, service-oriented shop is the perfect space to taste, learn about and buy great wine, spirits, craft beer and sake. The nearly 3,000-square-foot shop is carefully curated by its owners Peter Granoff, a master sommelier, and Debbie Zachareas. Sit at the dark wood wine bar and look for smaller production wines from around the world. The selections change weekly. fpwm.com
Acme Bread Company
The legendary Berkeley-based bakery, which has been a mainstay at the Ferry Building for nearly 20 years, creates an array of breads and treats 24 hours a day. Favorites include the pain epi, a French-style baguette cut by hand to resemble a wheat stalk, and the Edible Schoolyard levain, a flavorful whole-grain loaf developed in keeping with the principles of Alice Waters’ Edible Schoolyard Project. Visitors also will find sandwiches, pizzas and pastries with ingredients that change with the seasons. acmebread.com
Opening this month is Señor Sisig, a Filipino-fusion Bay Area hot spot founded 11 years ago by childhood friends Evan Kidera and Gil Payumo. This is the brand’s third brick-and-mortar location. Influenced by the founders’ upbringing, Señor Sisig celebrates Filipino and Mexican heritage. Spearheaded by Payumo, who’s the restaurant’s head chef, the Ferry Building menu offers classic Sisig burritos, tacos and nachos, along with an expanded vegan menu. Bonus: This will be the first Señor Sisig venue with a focused cocktail menu. senorsisig.com
Photography by: REMY ANTHES; SARAH CHOREY; COURTESY OF FOODWISE; COURTESY OF FOODWISE; SEAN VAHEY; CAVIAR/SISTER SELIG; MARCO SANCHEZ; EMILY DULLA;