36 minutes in Millbrae


Victoria Avenue & El Camino Real
Millbrae, CA 94030
United States

BART Station:


Walk Time:

Seven minutes

The Millbrae Train Museum. Photo courtesy of the Millbrae Train Museum.

Railfans and foodies alike will find good reason to visit the southernmost BART stop on the Peninsula — Millbrae. Experience a railroad museum, a year-round farmers' market that offers everything from flowers to fresh vegetables and fruits and bread, an old school butcher shop, and a family-owned Vietnamese restaurant serving yummy comfort food. It's all just steps from the Millbrae BART station.

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Just south of the Millbrae BART station, there's a train museum that opened in 2004 at the former Millbrae Southern Pacific Train Depot. Unfortunately, the Millbrae Train Museum is currently closed, but you can still observe the train depot and some of the old cars from the outside. Inside, there's an evolving set of exhibits, including an authentic railroad telegraph station, baggage handling equipment, and a Pullman sleeper car. The museum is eager to open and will do so once San Mateo County gives the go-ahead. For more information, visit the Millbrae Historical Society website.

Moving a bit north and across El Camino Real, you'll come upon the Millbrae Farmers Market. 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 is open every Saturday year-round. Photo courtesy of Fotos by Flee.

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.

Greens at the Millbrae Farmers' Market. Photo courtesy of Fotos by Flee.

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.

Flowers at the Millbrae Farmers' Market. Photo courtesy of Fotos by Flee.

Shop for seasonal produce, Asian greens, and pick up fresh eggs and honey. There’s always a fresh flower or plant vendor, specialty breads for sale, and plenty of desserts. Vendors often know customers by name and there’s a real sense of community at this friendly market.

Pape MeatsPape Meats butcher shop. Photo courtesy of Fotos by Flee.

Once you’ve loaded up on produce and other goodies, stroll north down Broadway towards Hillcrest Ave 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 a 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.

Bacchus Wine Shop. Photo courtesy of Fotos by Flee.

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 11am 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 of goodies to take back with you.

Food from Ben Tre. Photo courtesy of Ben Tre.

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What's your favorite spot in Millbrae? Have a suggestion for our next 36 minutes feature? Let us know via social media, @SFBARTable #SFBARTable! Keep up with us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter to see all of the best BARTable (virtual) events, places to eat (grab take out from) and have fun (outside) around the Bay. 

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