Fun Foodie Day Trips Around the Bay Area

Bring your appetite when you visit these nearby establishments that are more than just food for thought.

Credit: Ferry Plaza Farmers Market
Credit: Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

Written by Bill Zavestoski

If you're a foodie, you know you are fortunate to be living in the Bay Area, a culinary connoisseur's wonderland. These gastronomic getaways will tempt your taste buds and palate—and are less than a tank of gas away.

Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

On the grounds outside One Ferry Building

San Francisco

(415) 291-3276

Why Go? What better place for a foodie than a farmers market? This one showcases the fruits, veggies, meats, eggs, breads, cheeses and jams of more than 100 local farmers, food artisans, prepared food vendors and even restaurants.

Must Do: The market greatly expands on Saturdays, both in vendors and operating hours, so come for a hot breakfast or lunch from featured local restaurants. Like artisan street food? It's featured ever Thursday.

Insider Tip: Though the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture only operates the outdoor market, foodies will want to check out the private retail spaces inside the Ferry Building, most of which are food-themed.

The Fine Print: Open rain or shine from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.Tuesdays and Thursdays and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Foodie Adventures!

315 Sutter St.

San Francisco

(888) 498-2008

Why Go? Knowledgeable founder and host Chris Milano offers tour-goers not just a look at the culinary culture of several San Francisco neighborhoods, but an interactive history lesson on lifestyles and food traditions.  

Must Do: Try the North Beach-Chinatown combo tour, where you can sample everything from focaccia bread and pizza to dim sum and steamed pork buns. The other public tour covers The Mission (Latin food).

Insider Tip: Wear comfortable shoes (the tour takes 3 to 3½ hours and covers several miles) and you might want to seriously consider pants that have an expandable waistband. Book up to 30 days in advance.

The Fine Print: Public tours are given Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday at 11 a.m., though only the Mission tour is offered on Sundays. Cost is $79, though you can get a $10 discount by booking by email on the Foodie Adventures! site.

Achadinha Cheese Company

750 Chileno Valley Rd.


(707) 763-1025

Why Go? The artisan cheese movement has mushroomed in Marin and Sonoma, with more than 20,000 acres of land in the two counties producing nearly 100 different cheeses from cow, goat and sheep milk. See the “whey” it's done.

Must Do: Cheeseheads can view the entire ranch on Achadinah's 90-minute “Traditional Tour,” including the loafing barn, milking parlor, cheese plant and aging rooms. Yummy samples of the product are included.

Insider Tip: As long as you're on what has been labeled the California Cheese Trail, visit several more of the cheesemakers that are open to the public. Plan on a full day of nibbling.

The Fine Print: Advance online registration is required for the 90-minute tour at Achadinah. The cost is $15. A 2½-hour group tour (minimum 10) that includes a gourmet lunch and wine runs $75 a person.

Hog Island Oyster Farm

20215 Highway 1 


(415) 663-9218

Why Go? Do bivalves really have aphrodisiac properties? Tour Hog Island’s state-of-the-art wet storage tank systems and harvesting facilities on Tomales Bay to find out.

Must Do: Take a one-hour tour and tasting as you learn about oyster history, biology, watershed ecology and Hog Island's sustainable farming techniques.

Insider Tip: Since oysters are live seafood and must remain cold, bring a cooler if you plan to stock up on your visit. Purchase ice and shucking knives in the shop.

The Fine Print: Individual tours for families and small groups are $10 per person and are available on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Tours must be arranged in advance through Hog Island's website.


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