Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Jul 28, 2009 11:41 AM

Ferry Building's best on a weekday? Food sampling tour suggestions please!


We are a family of Easterners coming to SF for a few days in early August.

We enjoyed the tasting tour in Philly but thought it was reasonable to map such a walk on one's own if directed by those more savvy.

I would like to walk, see, sample, and buy the don't-miss at the Ferry Building, but I can't go on Farmer's Market day. We can splurge a little here and there but love the bargains.

What do you suggest with kids, 7 through 13?

What can I tell you about our tastes? We like cheese, bread, ethnic, garlicky, sweets, and quirky local. My husband loves great beer, especially darker, and dry red wine. A logical path to follow, stops to make, single or multiple suggestions would be much appreciated.

Afterwards, I think we will take the ferry to Sausalito to walk around!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. hi sky.

    pack a picnic basket (canvas bag, actually) from goodies at the ferry building (cured meats, cheeses, breads, fruits, terrines, etc.. don't forget the wine) and take the ferry to angel island. hike to the top of mt. livermore and enjoy stunning views of the bay.

    angel island is a fantastic destination with great history. lots more fun to walk than sausalito.

    1. There aren't many don't-miss items on a weekday, but you could put together a great picnic with bread from Acme, cheese from Cowgirl, cold cuts from Boccalone, salad from Out the Door, rotisserie stuff from Cane Rosso, pastries from Frog Hollow, chocolates from Recchiuti.

      The wine shop is a fine place to pick up a bottle. There's no notable beer selection or ethnic food compared with what's available elsewhere in SF.

      1. Unfortunately, on non-market days the Ferry Building doesn't provide much in the way of samples, nor is there much in the way of cheap and/or ethnic goodies. It's pretty much high-end artisan products, although there's a lot of deliciousness in a 85 cent Acme roll.

        If you can't make it on Saturday, can you make it on Tuesday?

        1. What days of the week?

          Here's a list to get you started

          Visitng SF. Eat like a local not a tourist.

          In that list is a nice walking tour of the Mission that combines food with viewing the murals.

          As you find places you like, you can put together your own list. You can make it a private list so it doesn't appear on the board.

          I'd personally vote for the ferry to Tiburon rather than Sausalito. The ferry is nicer. You can catch it next to the Ferry Building. Tiburon isn't as touristy. Here's a list of restaurants there. Clicking on the name will bring up the restaurant record with websites, if any, and linked reports. Cottage Eatery has had some good reports. Casa Manana has had thumbs up for the pupusas.

          1. I would definitely try to go on a Tuesday or Thursday between 11-2. Both days have farmer stands, and the peaches right now are really good.

            Tuesday: farmer's market, stands outside selling tamales, hamburgers from Prather Ranch
            Thursday: smaller farmer's market, more stands selling prepared foods like wood-fired oven pizzas, tacos, hot dogs, and Korean tacos. Great for grazing with a family, tables set up outside.

            Inside, Scharffenberger usually has a lot of samples out. Rechiutti sometimes has one or two. You can taste olive oils and gelato.

            If you would like to picnic, the suggestions that people have already made are right on the money, with the addition of Blue Bottle for coffee and hot chocolate for the kids. For beer, maybe Hog Island would have a decent selection?