By Darya Mead
Sunday mornings can be lazy, at home pancake and bacon breakfast days, or you can get the kids going early and head out to the Stonestown Galleria near San Francisco State, in the Lakeside District of San Francisco. No, you’re not headed to the mall but to the Macy’s parking lot where a small but appealing Farmer’s Market is taking root. Stonestown has that lost in time, seen better days feel and the Sunday market breathes new life into the dingy surroundings. Usually there are two aisles, with a mixture of organic and non-organic produce as well as food vendors and entertainment.
Open for a few years, this market is small but growing in popularity. Ample parking with no hills to climb and rotating attractions such as bouncy houses, a balloon lady and live-music, attract many kids and parents. The bouncy houses are not cheap but definitely are a hit with the kiddos and the occasional adult that plunges exuberantly down the bouncy slide. You can buy a booklet of tickets if you plan on making it a regular Sunday outing. Seasonal activities like pumpkin decorating add to the appeal.
If you haven’t eaten breakfast and have that groggy Sunday morning feel, the food vendors will be enticing… make sure you don’t fill up on all the samples though, because dining delicacies await. Gourmet drip coffee, dumplings, kebabs, soul food, gumbo and the cutest mini cupcakes you’ve ever seen are for sale on any given Sunday. You can buy hummus from the Hummus Guy or gourmet cheese and tofu from artisans, but the scent that permeates the air is that of Belgian Waffles, made to order. Order one plain with a dusting of sugar or smothered in nutella!
The vendors seem to rotate, sometimes a lovely lady from the Central Valley selling organic meats, sometimes a grandma who makes a myriad of flannel pajama bottoms in all sizes from kids to adult. She chats about how she started her business creating these pants for swim teams, and how she makes the rounds of Bay Area swim meets selling her creations. The patterns are unusual and whimsical; purple giraffes, apple green aliens and old-fashioned cowboy prints, to name a few.
Fish, flowers and a Farmers’ Market staple of kettle corn can also be had. Tables are set up near the live music and kids often spontaneously groove to whatever style of music is playing.
The hours of the market are from 9-1, and if you bank at Wells Fargo, there is a bank conveniently located on the corner, in case your cash flow is paltry. Public transportation is near by and it makes a great stopover before a trip to the San Francisco Zoo or Stern Grove.
REVIEWS ON YELP http://www.yelp.com/biz/stonestown-farmers-market-san-francisco
Link for Stonestown Market http://www.agriculturalinstitute.org/market-map/