The best part of a visit to San Francisco is a trip to the Ferry Building Marketplace - a wonderful collection of vendors representing a wide spectrum of flavors and talents. A stay at the Hotel Vitale (right across the street from the Ferry Building) during our honeymoon allowed for four visits over the span of two days!

The main attraction for me is always Miette - a "cake boutique" and bakery.

Miette is a fantasy-land come true of whimsical sweet treats. There is one treat in particular that always wins my hard-earned cash:

For a salty treat, Boccalone cannot be missed. The slogan "tasty salted pig parts" isn't the most appetizing tag-line, but the artisan-quality, sustainably-raised meats are indeed super tasty.

The Muffaletto Panini is the ideal combination of flaky bread, thin layers of freshly cut meats and a delicious olive spread.

While devouring my sandwich, I discovered the unique goodness of Dry Soda and have been hooked ever since.

I'm always trying to find a U.S. rival for my favorite French chocolates and I think I finally found it at Recchiuti.

If you need a sweet treat to send a far-away friend, these chocolates will not disappoint. The Peanut Butter Pucks are perfected with the slight addition of fleur de sel that becomes apparent only after the chocolate is melting in your mouth. YUM.

If pastries are your passion, Frog Hollow Farm will not disappoint. My favorites were definitely the Pear Frangipane Button and the Mini Risotto Tartlet (sweet risotto pudding with candied orange zest, currants and vanilla!).

McEvoy Ranch has a lovely outpost at the Ferry building as well. They offer artisan gifts and a finely crafted line of body care items (the Verde Body Balm is amazing). The front table is decorated so beautifully with produce and flowers that you begin to see food as art and craft.

From talking with the "shop girls" (who also have exposure to the Ranch in Petaluma), I learned that Ranch tours happen in the summer. The dream of attending will definitely motivate a return to Northern California. In the meantime, I will just have to enjoy the story of Andrea's (aka Superhero Designs) amazing harvest experience!

Don't miss a visit to the Saturday Farmer's Market which brings together a spectacular array of farmers, food artisans and feasters.