To get the most delicious seasonal, ingredient-driven recipes, F&W headed to our favorite all-in-one source: the dazzling Ferry Building Marketplace in San Francisco's renovated 1898 terminal building. Some of the best shops and restaurants there gave us excellent, eclectic recipes—from tenderloin steaks with sake-mirin butter to cocoa crème fraîche cupcakes.
Chef Traci Des Jardins, owner of San Francisco's powerhouse Cal-French restaurant Jardinière, looked to her Mexican-born grandmother for inspiration when she opened tiny Mijita in the Ferry Building Marketplace. The shop specializes in Mexican street foods like carnitas, tacos and aguas frescas as well as homey dishes like spicy meatball soup.
Shrimp and Avocado Salad
At the Ferry Building shop for his Prather Ranch Meat Co., founder Doug Stonebreaker sells natural and organic beef, lamb, pork and buffalo from animals raised on an all-natural diet (supplemented by treats like watermelon, peaches and almonds). Prather carries classic cuts and exotica like beef cheeks and pork belly.
Tenderloin with Sake-Mirin Butter
At Far West Fungi, John and Toby Garrone (who have grown and sold mushrooms for over 20 years) and their sons Ian and Kyle sell a huge selection of excellent fresh and dried organically grown mushrooms, including cultivated exotic and wild specialty varieties. They also carry everything from imported truffles to mushroom cheesecake and mushroom ice cream.
Salmon with Mushroom Sauce
The Ferry Building's LuLu Petite showcases the wood-fired, Provençal-style cuisine of San Francisco's sensational Restaurant LuLu. A combination retail store and take-out shop, it's a great place to get made-to-order sandwiches and salads prepared with the LuLu sauces, condiments and toppings that line the walls.
Crispy Fried Chicken Sandwiches
Frog Hollow Farm's Al Courchesne and his partners consider their Ferry Building venue an "urban farm stand" for their 120-acre organic farm in Brentwood, in the East Bay. Frog Hollow is known for its spectacular peaches and fruit preserves; pastry chef Rebecca Courchesne, Al's wife, is also famed for the fruit-filled and savory pastries she bakes on site.
Ham and Cheese Turnovers
Ultrafresh Olive Oil
The McEvoy Ranch retail shop in the Ferry Building sells the McEvoy Ranch Organic Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, made from hand-harvested organic olives that are grown on and crushed at Nan McEvoy's 550-acre ranch in Marin County. It also carries McEvoy's other estate-cultivated products like fruit conserves, lavender honey and olive oil soap.
Celery Salad with Pecorino
Fresh Tuna Salad with Avocado
Japanese entrepreneur Kozo Iwata opened Delica RF-1, his sleek Tokyo-style delicatessen, to pay homage to his idol, Alice Waters, and what has come to be known as her "delicious revolution." Iwata uses only local organic California ingredients to prepare sozai—Japanese meals consisting of many small dishes.
Asparagus with Sesame Dressing
Inspired by Parisian pâtisseries, Miette is a dainty pastry shop with pale-pink walls, decorative cake stands and a repertoire of exquisite cakes and pastries from self-taught baker Meg Ray and her partner, Caitlin Alissa Williams. Specialities include colorful macaroons packaged in whimsical polka-dot cellophane bags, lavender shortbread and gingerbread cupcakes.
Cocoa Crème Fraîche Cupcakes
Ferry Building Marketplace, 1 Ferry Building, San Francisco; 415-693-0996 or ferrybuildingmarketplace.com.