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A spectacularly renovated Ferry Building opened in 2003, with a sprawling ground floor that is almost completely devoted to restaurants, produce stands and food stalls with unusually fine takeout (there is some other retail, but not much). Weekends and Tuesdays are the most crowded days, but are arguably the best times to visit, because the outdoor farmers' market that nearly surrounds the building is among the country's most impressive, chock-full of offerings from some of the Bay Area's best farmers.

Inside, the strong point is not necessarily the restaurants but the food shops: Boulettes Larder, Cowgirl Creamery, Acme Bread and Far West Fungi. There are some nice places where you can sit with a takeout lunch. In fact, on fine days, there are few more beautiful spots to eat than on a bench at the Ferry Building overlooking the Bay.

If You Go

Prices include tax and (where applicable) tip, but not alcohol. All are in the Ferry Building, on the Embarcadero at the foot of Market Street (www.ferrybuildingmarketplace.com).

BOULETTES LARDER 415-399-1155; Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Breakfast or lunch, Sunday through Friday, $20 to $50. Dinner after 7 requires special arrangements.

THE SLANTED DOOR 415-861-8032; lunch daily 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; dinner Sunday through Thursday 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Lunch for two about $45, dinner about $60.

TAYLOR'S AUTOMATIC REFRESHER 866-328-3663; daily 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Lunch or dinner for two: $30.

HOG ISLAND OYSTER COMPANY 415-391-7117; Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Lunch or dinner for two, $75.

In addition, check out the quite good Mijita for Mexican food, the Imperial Tea Court for tea and snacks, Recchiuti Confections for chocolates (especially the chocolate-covered salted caramels) and produce stands such as Far West Fungi, the most interesting retail mushroom operation in the country.

You can also visit the venerable farmers' market on the plaza (415-291-3276): all year on Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and starting this week, on Thursday, 4 p.m. to 8, and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.



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June 2011

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