FoodTravel & Day Trips

14 Best Places to Eat and Shop at the Ferry Building (2023)

The Ferry Building Marketplace in San Francisco, California provides visitors with a unique opportunity to experience San Francisco’s culinary wonders all in one place.

As a Bay Area local, I can tell you that the Ferry Building Marketplace is the real deal. Between its central location, historic building, and amazing food and shopping, the Ferry Building is definitely worth visiting.

Let’s explore some of the best places to eat and shop in the Ferry Building Marketplace.

Dandelion Chocolate

Dandelion Chocolate
Dandelion Chocolate. Author’s photo.

Dandelion is one of the Bay Area’s best chocolate places. In addition to their main store in the Mission District, they have a fantastic outpost in the Ferry Building.

Stop by to sample their single-origin chocolate bars and even see a brief demo on how chocolate is made.

Gott’s Roadside at the Ferry Building Marketplace

Outdoor tables at Gott's Roadside
Outdoor tables at Gott’s Roadside. Author’s photo.

Craving a tasty but casual lunch or dinner? For over 20 years, Gott’s Roadside has served the Bay Area with tasty burgers, shakes, fish tacos, and more.

Gott’s Roadside originated in the Napa Valley. Their Ferry Building location is a great place for a family-friendly meal.


Miette at the Ferry Building
Miette at the Ferry Building. Author’s Photo.

Miette Bakery is known for its French macarons. You can get macarons at Miette’s Ferry Building location. 

But you can also get little bags of all kinds of traditional and exotic candies. My kids absolutely love this place. 

ACME Bread

Acme Bread
Acme Bread. Author’s Photo.

ACME Bread might sound like the name of an East Coast supermarket. But really, it’s a fantastic local sourdough bread bakery that also makes loads of other baked goods.

If you’re after some iconic San Francisco sourdough, check them out.

Tsar Nicoulai Caviar

Tsar Nicoulai
Tsar Nicoulai. Author’s Photo.

Tsar Nicoulai has been one of the Bay Area’s iconic locations for caviar since 1984. 

This Ferry Building staple sells tins of all types of caviar. It also features a variety of caviar-focused foods.

Their caviar is made in America and is one of the only caviars to get a coveted Green rating from the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Carmel Honey

Carmel Honey sells locally made honey from bees in the Carmel, California area, just South of the Bay Area.

This tiny stand lacks a big flavor punch, with multiple types of local honey from bees feeding on many types of flowers.

My favorite is their wildflower honey, which has a rich color and unique floral flavor.

Book Passage

San Francisco is known for its independent bookstores. Book Passage brings the Bay Area’s book-loving spirit to the Ferry Building.

This bookstore features local titles, a large selection of books about social activism, and the kinds of new novels and nonfiction books you’d expect to see curated at a great independent bookstore.

Book Passage is located towards the back of the Ferry Building, right by the docks where ferries depart.

Fort Point Beer

Fort Point is a historical site by the Golden Gate Bridge, and Fort Point Beer is named after it. This local brewery makes delicious lager-style and IPA beers.

You can grab a pint at their Ferry Building location, or purchase Fort Point beer at many Bay Area restaurants and even grocery stores.

Hog Island Oyster Company

Hog Island Oyster Company’s main outpost is up in Marin County. But this Ferry Building location brings their iconic fresh oysters right to downtown San Francisco.

Oyster gathering has been part of North Bay life since indigenous people occupied the Bay Area’s lands, and several oyster farms still operate in Marin.

Hog Island brings both local oysters and oysters from further abroad to Bay Area diners.

Humphry Slocombe

Humphry Slocombe
Humphry Slocombe. Author’s Photo.

Humphry Slocombe ice cream is a true Bay Area original. I love visiting their locations in the Mission District and also in Berkeley.

Humphry Slocombe sells some of the most unusual and unique ice creams I’ve ever tried. Flavors like matcha tea, black sesame, and even Secret Breakfast (bourbon and cornflakes) appear on their menu.

Their scoop shop at the Ferry Building has an unusually large menu. They do have a plain vanilla flavor, but you’re better off trying something a little wilder.

Blue Bottle Coffee

If you’re from out of town, you may never have heard of Blue Bottle coffee. 

But if you live in the Bay Area, you can immediately rattle off your favorite Blue Bottle locations (mine are the small store at Santana Row and the location in downtown Palo Alto.)

Blue Bottle is a local favorite, serving excellent espresso, lattes, and cold brew coffee. You can grab a cup at the Ferry Building before boarding your boat.

Recchiuti Chocolate

Recchiuti at the Ferry Building
Recchiuti at the Ferry Building. Author’s photo.

Many San Franciscans have never heard of this chocolate place. It started in the 1980s, but is often overshadowed by the better-known Ghirardelli and flashier Dandelion.

That’s a shame, as Recchiuti serves up some amazing artisan chocolate. Their Dark Milk chocolate is amazing and a perfect counterpoint to the extremely dark confections of Dandelion and other Bay Area staples like TCHO.

Storehouse Olive Oil

Storehouse olive oil
Storehouse olive oil. Author’s photo.

As the name implies, Storehouse Olive Oil sells a variety of California olive oils. California is known as a major olive-growing state, and our local oils are top-notch.

Storehouse goes way beyond just selling oil, though. They also feature a variety of slices and unique spice blends that you can use to spice up (literally) your dipping oil.

I love their Harissa, which gives your olive oil a tasty Middle Eastern flavor and a slight kick. They even have a Ferry Building blend that’s unique to the location.

Slanted Door

If you’re looking for fine dining at the Ferry Building, or you’re taking a date there, check out Slanted Door.

Slanted Door is an upscale Vietnamese fusion restaurant. It’s pricey, but Slanted Door has notch Vietnamese cuisine that’s blended with California farm-to-table influences.

There’s another Slanted Door at City Center in San Ramon, but the Ferry Building location is the original and I like the food better there than in San Ramon.


People walk outside the Ferry Building.
People walk outside the Ferry Building. Author’s photo.

The Ferry Building Marketplace is not a mere tourist trap. You won’t find big chain stores here. There’s no McDonalds in sight!

What you’ll get instead is some of the Bay Area’s best food and artisan goods, all gathered together in one easily accessible, totally walkable place. I recently walked from the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero to the Ferry Building and it only took 3 minutes.

If you’re in San Francisco, you should absolutely stop by the Ferry Building and give any of these places a try.

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is a food and travel photographer and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographic work routinely appears in publications including Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times and his writing appears in IEEE Spectrum, SFGate, the Bold Italic and more. Smith holds a degree in Cognitive Science (Neuroscience) and Anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University.

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