Castro Farmer's Market: Way better than I expected [San Francisco]
I'm not sure why I had such low expectations for the Castro Farmer's Market, but I did. Probably because the neighborhood markets I had visited a couple years ago seemed heavy on lavender, soap and a limited selection of expensive but Safeway-ready produce like cucumbers, strawberries and tomatoes.
Castro's Wednesday market is the one most convenient to my new place, and I've been impressed both times I've visited in recent weeks. Castro *does* have a soap stall, and a few packaged goods vendors (the same kraut people and Scream sorbet as FPFM; honey, Far West fungi) but they also have a decent selection of produce and enough vendors for comparison shopping.
I tried cheese curds at Spring Hill Dairy and Achadinha; I preferred the smooth, springy Achadinha curds to Spring Hill, whose lemon quark is an excellent breakfast or a light dessert.
Cap'N Mike's smoked fish and Prather Ranch both have stalls; there were maybe 8-10 produce vendors with a good array of choices. I picked up great herbs and lemon squash from the stall nearest Market Street, lovely apricots from Arata, curly endive and little gems, and both eggs and onions from Fifth Crow.
Overall, very happy to have this as my "home" market and excited to see where the season takes us.
Most of the same vendors are also at 22nd and Bartlett on Thursdays (the "Mission Community Market"). Both markets are relatively high-end price-wise compared to Alemany and Civic Center; on the other hand, Twin Girls Farm had some of the best yellow peaches I've ever had last week. Expensive at $3.50/lb but truly amazing.