San Rafael Farmer's Market / Marin County / California

8.24.2011


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San Rafael is located in Marin County, a mere 20 minutes over the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. One of my closest friends lives there and this is her local market. I really wanted to check out the farmer's market at the ferry building in the city but time was permitting. This market however blew my mind. Its literally 3 times the size of Union Square Greenmarket which I frequent. California kinda puts us to shame, just when I thought we had a big market. But saying that, it makes sense since so much is growing just right over the hill.

They had a really nice selection of seafood and fresh oysters. Oysters the size of my hand, which they grill and drown in butter. In addition to the four rows of veggies exploding out of the stalls, you will find incredible flowers, and food vendors. Fish tacos, roasted chicken, indian food, you name it, its there. With the addition of some local craftsmen and live music I could of easily chilled here for hours.


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Firstly the fruit in California and Mexico are insanely delicious. I was blown away by the fruit during our trip to Tulum, Mexico and now I know that its the entire west coast. It makes eating fruit anywhere else seem like a total utter disappointment. No exaggeration, when you pop a berry into your mouth that is total perfection. The ripe fruit that had just been basking in the sun absorbing all that sweet goodness. It pops in your mouth and you can taste the warmth and smell the terroir. Blackberries grow wild along roads, tempting you to stop at ever bush. The smell of Northern California is one I will never tire of. The slight breeze carrying the smell of pine, wild fennel and the sweet scent from flowers. Even in the city the air is clean, fresh and smells of flowers. A nice change from the trash smelling streets of NYC. I am not sure how they pulled it off but maybe we need to take after them.

Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese is one company I feel I need to talk about. Their cheeses were so bloody delicious that I have been searching every shop in town trying to find it here on the East Coast. Their blue cheese is extremely well known in the area and for good reason. Its perfection and their mozzarella some of the best Ive ever had. Serious kudos, and I will be visiting them when I go back. Must have more Point Reyes Blue CHEESE! If you've had it then you know!

Sonoma, Napa and Point Reyes are serious foodie spots.Within a 20-30 minute drive from the city you are a redwood forest, a vineyard or on the beautiful coast. I really didn't have enough time! I want to spend months exploring every winery in Sonoma & Napa. I didn't make it to Marshall where all the oysters come from (bummed). There are so many things I want see. I need to spend a more time in the city eating at all of the awesome restaurants I have on my list. San Francisco I will be back! Saying that I did see a lot in the few days I was there.

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19 comments:

  1. You totally need to come back and hang out more, Nicole! (and so glad you tried Point Reyes blue. It's so good.)

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  2. Wonderful visual vacation. Their markets are amazing! In the Palm Springs area farmer's markets are new, and I'm hopeful at some point we might have one like Marin or Davis.

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  3. These pictures are beautiful! I have just recently found your site and it has fast become a favorite.

    We are blessed on the West Coast to have the bounty that we do... and, I have to say NorCal is a food heaven. I am from Southern California, and recently made a trip to Napa. The food was so amazing that I came to the conclusion that I live in a flavor desert. There is something about food that comes from the region you were in, just north of SF. It was the highlight of my vacation, as it sounds like it was a highlight for you too.

    And, yes, get to the Ferry Building next time. It is a wonderful Farmers Market.

    Wonderful site... thank you so much for sharing!

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  4. Wow! What gorgeous ingredients and those oysters are friggin huge! Looks like a wonderful trip, and you captured it all beautifully with the camera.

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  5. What a lovely place, these pictures are beautiful! I love going to markets, it always makes my day~

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  6. You and I have had to same emotional reaction to this part of the country! I remember calling my husband in TEARS and begging him to pack up his bags. We were moving when I returned home. So much fun to see your beautiful photos and take this journey with you.

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  7. oh gosh i cannot wait to move to SF to go to all the farmer's markets! only 5 more days...!

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  8. These photos just blew my mind! Amazing and so-so beautiful!!!

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  9. I moved to the bay area from the east coast two years ago and like you, have been absolutely blown away by the quality and variety of produce in our farmer's markets! Glad you got to experience that as well.

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  10. the colours in these photographs made me so happy ... I love it when you take your camera to these fabulous markets!

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  11. You hit the biggest and most impressive farmers' market in the area, so I wouldn't be too sad about missing the Ferry Plaza market. Plus, there are fewer tourists at the San Rafael market :)

    Your trip here was too short, you need to come back so that we can hang out!

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  12. One of the best farmers markets in the nation and I guarantee it rivals many in the entire world! We are so lucky to live in Northern California. It's an addiction that a foodie like me will most likely never wish to leave.

    Today, I'm returning back home to Yountville {wine country} after two weeks in Georgia. I cannot wait to indulge in healthy local great tasting food again.

    Great post!

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  13. That market sounds fab! It's hard to believe the size of those oysters. Too much food to try and too little time ..

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  14. I live a mile from that farmers' market and, as you've mentioned, can spend hours there on the weekends. Even better (almost) is the Thursday morning market. It's typically a crew of chefs quietly scouring the stalls for the freshest, most unique ingredients. And, Point Reyes Blue! I almost always have a wedge of it in my refrigerator. Were you able to make it out to Cowgirl Creamery, as well? Lovely photos, once again!

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  15. What a delightful market...gorgeous photos and tour :)

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  16. I love reading about other people's experiences with all the wonderful food found in my area! I am so lucky to live in San Francisco and can enjoy all of the above foods any given day. Glad you enjoyed it as much as I do.

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