Farm-to-table fresh in Millbrae
Saturdays and farmers markets have become forever entwined, and everyone seems to have their favorite. As great as the larger markets are for offering lots of variety, they sometimes lack the charm that smaller markets provide. Often, smaller markets are also more accessible and don’t require a car to get there.
The Millbrae Farmers’ Market, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, is one such market that, though small, packs quite a variety of offerings within a seven-minute walk from Millbrae’s BART station. Nestled in a small parking lot and sandwiched between the city’s downtown corridor and El Camino Real, this year-round market offers everything from flowers to fresh vegetables and fruits and bread.
BART’s cross-platform connection with Caltrain makes it easy to access El Camino Real by foot by exiting the terminal on the Southwest side where Caltrain runs south. This is also referred to as the Millbrae Intermodal Station Drop-Off. Walk a couple hundred feet on Linden Ave. and you’ll arrive at El Camino Real where you’ll head north three blocks to Victoria Avenue. From there you’ll cross the street and enter the market.
Shop for seasonal produce, Asian greens, and pick up fresh eggs and honey from Queen Bee Honey. There’s always a fresh flower or plant vendor, and Cuneo Bakery has a stand with focaccia and other specialty breads. Fresh-baked scones from Made Out of Dough and Philippine coconut rice desserts from Binka Bites offer treats that aren't available at many other places.
Vendors often know customers by name and there’s a real sense of community at this friendly market. Once you’ve loaded up on produce and other goodies, stroll north down Broadway towards Hillcrest Avenue and visit the old-school butcher shop, Pape Meats. Let the butchers know what you’re thinking and they’ll make suggestions. Or, simply tell them what you’ve just picked up at the market and they’ll probably create the menu tailored to your bounty. Before you exit, pick out a bottle of wine to go along with the meal from the space’s other tenant, Bacchus Wine Shop.
Before you head back to BART, fuel up with a stop at Ben Tre, halfway between the farmers’ market and BART on El Camino Real, for pho or other Vietnamese fare. They open at 10 am so if you need to eat before you shop, you can always reverse the trip and enjoy this popular spot before they get busy. Either way, you’ll have a full stomach and a full tote full of goodies to take back with you.