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    Breakfast in San Francisco: the Ferry Building Marketplace

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    Martí Micolau

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    San Francisco is a vibrant city, full of attractions and places to admire. While you are on vacation in this beautiful town it might be useful to know that there is a place like the Ferry Building Marketplace, the ideal destination to do breakfast in San Francisco.


    • History of the Ferry Building
    • Where is it and when to visit it
    • To see
    • Where to eat
    • Where to sleep in the area

    History of the Ferry Building

    Once the Ferry Building it was an important transport hub: in the 20s, 50000 commuters poured into it every day from the vicinity of the bay, making the place a sort of hectic crossroads. Today the Ferry Building presents itself in a completely different way: a place of quiet and tranquility, where, in the morning breeze, an evocative bell tower inspired by the Giralda stands out, the bell tower of the Cathedral of Seville which has been beautifully displayed for more than 100 years. .

    During the 50s, when the use of ferries as the main means of transport in the bay began to decline, the building began to be less and less used, so much so that its spaces were also used as offices. The turning point came at the beginning of the new millennium when an impressive restoration project was launched that transformed it into one of the most renowned markets and meeting points in the city.

    Despite this profound renewal, it still continues to play its role as a ferry terminal today. In fact, transport also departs from here for some well-known tourist areas such as Sausalito, Tiburon, Oakland and Vallejo.

    Where is it and when to visit it

    The Ferry Building is located in the busy Embarcadero area across from Market Street. The historic tram cars of lines E and F stop right in front of the structure.

    - orari di apertura General of the Ferry Building are as follows:

    • Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 19:00
    • Saturdays from 8:00 to 18:00
    • Sundays from 11am to 17pm

    The only days off are for Christmas, Thanksgiving and January 1st. However, keep in mind that the opening hours of the individual shops within the market may vary from case to case. For this reason, I invite you to consult the official website if you want to be sure to find the shop of your interest open.

    The best times for visit the Ferry Building are on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10:00 to 14:00, when there is Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, when stalls of all kinds are arranged around the building, leaving you with a wide choice for your breakfasts or lunches. This market is well known for the quality of its local products, so much so that it is estimated that almost 40.000 people visit the market every week.

    To see

    Once you arrive in the area you can then decide whether to visit the market around the building (on the days in which it takes place) or enter the building and discover the many craft shops and restaurants that are housed here.

    There is also the possibility to go up to the upper floor where, however, there are no shops but you will only have the opportunity to observe the swarm of people below you from above.

    But the most fascinating point is certainly outside. As soon as you cross the building you will find yourself in a beautiful pier, facing the sea of San Francisco, where the morning breeze, seagulls and street musicians combine to create a decidedly poetic atmosphere.

    Where to eat

    Have breakfast at the tables on the pier, perhaps with a portion of poached eggs with pecorino cheese with truffles and polenta (the specialty of Boulette's Larder), or with excellent toast with homemade berry jam accompanied by delicious organic fruit juices it's a unique experience: ideal for making a breakfast in San Francisco something unforgettable.

    However, here is a list of the other main restaurants and eateries within the Ferry Building, however, keep in mind that prices can be a bit higher than average.

    • Acme Bread Company: a vast assortment of bread of all shapes, types and sizes. All obviously handcrafted after a careful selection of the best flours.
    • Biscuit Bender: the kingdom of both sweet and savory homemade biscuits that will most likely be able to satisfy everyone's tastes.
    • Blue Bottle Coffee: certainly one of the recommended places to have breakfast thanks to the wide choice of coffee and desserts. I don't know if it will make you miss a Spanish espresso but it's worth a try.
    • Brown Sugar Kitchen: in this restaurant you can taste the cuisine of chef Tanya Holland whose mission is to reinterpret the classic soul food recipes of the southern United States in a modern way.
    • Hog Island Oyster Company: if you want to eat here you will have to arm yourself a little patience (or be lucky) because the queue to enter is always long. Once seated you will have the opportunity to appreciate a much appreciated seafood, among all the oysters are definitely worth, with a beautiful view of the bay.
    • Dandelion Chocolate: chocolate lovers this is the place for you. Here you will find dozens of different types from various parts of the world. If you are visiting San Francisco in the winter or on a cold day it is also the perfect place to have a hot chocolate.

    However, this is only the tip of the iceberg. If you want to plan your visit in detail, I suggest you consult this page of the official website where you will also find the opening hours of each single store.

    Once you have enjoyed your breakfast or lunch, you can therefore dedicate yourself to a visit of the city with a full and satisfied stomach; if you are looking for an itinerary you can see my post Visit San Francisco: here are 7 attractions not to be missed.

    Where to sleep in the area

    If you want to find a hotel in the immediate vicinity, you can read the section dedicated to the Ferry Building in the in-depth analysis with our advice on where to sleep in San Francisco.

    Our tips on where to sleep in San Francisco

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