Farm Fresh in the Heart of the City
A guy in a chicken hat sells organic eggs under a sign that says We Grow What We Sell. An eclectic selection of mushrooms await purchase at Far West Fungi. Orchids are on sale for as little as $7.
This is the Heart of the City Farmers Market right above the Civic Center/UN Plaza BART station, and it’s bustling with energy as shoppers sample berries, peaches, cherries and other farm-fresh delights.
Heart of the City Farmers Market opened in 1981, and is the only independent, farmer-operated non-profit farmers market in San Francisco, according to its website. The market is open on Wednesdays and Sundays, year-round.
At Heart of the City you’ll find about 30 stands selling a range of produce and baked goods. The fish stand sells everything from lobster to squid to hasa-hasa (a type of mackerel used in Thai cuisine).
The harvest includes luscious red bell peppers, deep green zucchini, vibrant purple Japanese eggplants, bok choy by the bunch, local honey from Marshall’s Farm and non-GMO samosas (a savory baked pastry popular India).
When you're done filling your bags with local produce, wander down and relax by the fountain at the Art Institute of California. Visit the other end of the market to admire the statue of South American general Simon Bolivar mounted atop his steed or the gilded dome of San Francisco City Hall (which some call the Taj Mahal because of its 24-karat gold-leaf finish).
Aside from serving BART riders, the Heart of the City Farmers Market takes pride in bringing nutritious food choices to low-income residents. The farmers market accepts EBT, WIC, Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program coupons and VeggieRX.
Bring an extra shopping bag or two. It's hard to fill only one given the range of quality food on display.