The best farmers markets in the Bay Area
One of the amazing things about living in the Bay Area is our year-round growing season. The region’s microclimates are responsible for this incredible bounty, and our dazzling array of farmers markets is without a doubt the best way to see, sample, and savor it.
Here’s a bumper crop of the Gig team’s Bay Area favorites.
Ferry Plaza Farmers Market (San Francisco)
Operated by the Center for Urban Education About Sustainable Agriculture, the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market is arguably the region’s most celebrated market. Set against the majestic backdrop of San Francisco’s iconic Ferry Terminal, the city’s best-known chefs have been known to frequent the market in search of inspiration for their culinary masterpieces.
Hours: Tuesdays, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.; Thursdays, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.; Saturdays, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Sunday Marin Farmers Market (San Rafael)
The Ferry Plaza Farmers Market is on Saturdays, and the Sunday Marin Farmers Market is on Sundays, so you could technically do both. It’s a tasty proposition. The third-largest farmers market in the state features 160 vendors and has a distinctly Marin County flavor. Located on the grounds of the Marin Civic Center – Frank Lloyd Wright’s last major commission – it’s the perfect place to sample the county’s unique commitment to locavore culture.
Hours: Sundays, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Fort Mason Center Farmers' Market (San Francisco)
A historic landmark. A bay-front view. The freshest produce this side of harvesting it yourself. What could be better? The Fort Mason Center Farmers' Market operates year-round, features 35 farmers and food purveyors, and is the perfect way to kick off your Sunday morning.
Pro Tip: Start early to beat the crowds or go later and top off your shopping excursion with a trip to Fort Mason’s popular new beer hall Radhaus, the landmark vegetarian restaurant Greens, or even The Interval, the Bay Area’s venerable bar/cafe/museum and home of the Long Now Foundation.
Hours: Sundays, 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Jack London Square (Oakland)
Founded in 1989, the Jack London Square Farmers Market is one of the oldest in the Bay Area. Set on the vibrant waterfront and featuring more than 40 vendors, it offers local produce, freshly prepared foods, food craft products, cooking demos, kids' activities, and plenty more.
Hours: Sundays, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Ecology Center Farmers' Markets (Berkeley)
Where else but Berkeley could you find a farmers market run by ecologists? There are actually three Berkeley markets, each featuring its own colorful display of local products, dairies, and bakeries, each reflecting its organizer’s mission of advocating for food systems and organic standards. It’s also been voted one of the Bay Area’s best by a variety of food-savvy publications.
Hours: Downtown Berkeley, Saturdays, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.; North Berkeley, Thursdays, 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.; South Berkeley, Tuesdays, 2 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Five farmers markets. One feast for the senses. If you’re looking for a fresh alternative to the grocery store or a colorful excursion for friends and family, a trip to your local Bay Area farmers market simply can’t be beat. We’ve listed a few of our favorites here, but you really can’t go wrong when there’s fresh produce involved. So grab your reusable produce bag, and start foraging!