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aug 25 2010

San Francisco: The 5 best farmers markets

Watermelon Radishes at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market (Courtesy wallyg/Flickr)

Where the chefs shop: The Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

Considered one of the top farmers' markets in the country, and a magnet for the area's locavore chefs, purveyors set up outside the food-centric Ferry building—whose tenants include Cowgirl Creamery and Miette's pastry shop.

Our fresh pick: maple breakfast croissants from 4505 Meat's, which you can take down to the benches overlooking the Bay.

When: Tuesdays, 10am–2pm

Thursdays, 10 am–2pm

Saturdays, 8am–2pm

Open late: Upper Haight Street Farmers' Market

Over 30 farmers and food producers set up stalls catering to the after-work crowd—and occasionally there's live music, too.

Our fresh pick: Marshall's Farms small batch raw honey.

When: Wednesdays, 4–8 pm

Most scenic: Fort Mason Center Farmers' Market

Located near Fisherman's Wharf and the Marina, the stretch of green at Fort Mason offers stunning views of the Bay, including Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge, and is a favorite spot for kite flyers. (Bonus: free parking.)

Our fresh pick: The sustainably-farmed grilled meats from the roving Roli Roti truck.

When: Sundays, 9:30 am to 1:30 pm

The newest: Mission Community Market

Revenues from this month-old effort—featuring fresh fruit, homemade empanadas, and locally-made arts and crafts—will be reinvested into community activities, public murals, and after-school programs at the market.

Our fresh pick: For grown-ups? Thirty varieties of apples from Hale Farms. For kids? A writing workshop with Dave Eggers' team from the 826 Valencia tutoring center.

When: Thursdays, 4–8 pm

One day only: The Underground Farmers Market

An event that's grown from a house party to a 50-vendor extravaganza (over 1,200 people attended the last one), this to-do features food made and grown in urban gardens, backyards and kitchens right here in the city. Unlike at regular farmers' markets, sellers don't have to use a commercial kitchen, so small batch growers, bakers and cooks who are priced out of the Ferry Building sell here instead. Because it's considered a "private event" you must sign up to attend.

Our fresh pick: We love it all—from the locally-foraged mushrooms and raw chocolate to the mixed drinks.

When: Sept 11th from 11am–4pm (Admission: $2) and 6–11pm (Admission: $5) at SomArts

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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