Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market
The Spread: Some 85 vendors and growers spread out around the waterfront Ferry Building on Saturdays in San Francisco, the No. 7–ranked city for markets in our America's Favorite Cities survey. Well-known local chefs (like Annie Somerville of Greens and Craig Stoll of Delfina) vie here year-round with home cooks for specialty ingredients like Maitake and Bear's Head mushrooms; Meyer lemons and Tahitian pomelos; persimmons and Mission figs; and squash blossoms and cactus pears.
Most Unusual Find: The odd-sounding but wickedly satisfying Korean-style street snacks-including garlic-chicken rice balls wrapped in thin egg pancakes and kimchi-spiked, seaweed-wrapped short rib "tacos"—from Namu (an outpost of the eponymous local restaurant).
Best Bites: Chef Daniel Patterson's Il Cane Rosso (Marketplace Shop #41) has terrific fried-egg breakfast sandwiches and note-perfect salads. An outpost of Blue Bottle Coffee Co. (Ferry Bldg. Shop #7) delivers exotic micro-roasts and ethereal Belgian waffles. On Saturdays, local chefs queue up at Primavera Tamales for organic-masa mole tamales doused with roasted-tomato salsa.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.