It's been wonderful to see the proliferation of farmer's markets in the Twin Cities, even if our season is woefully short. They're everywhere, it seems, and good on us for making it so.

But as wonderful as all the small ones and Minneapolis' sprawling setup and St. Paul's fiercely locavore mart are, there's still nothing quite like the one on the plaza outside San Francisco's Ferry Market building. (10 a.m.–2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays).

On my first visit,  I bought asparagus, artichokes, heirloom tomatoes, blueberries and fingerling potatoes. Yes, they were all in season at the same time, at least from someplace in California.

Not only is the array of produce preposterously cool, but the prepared food is amazing: Mexican breakfasts, Italian sandwiches, all manner of seafood, yummerific little pies.

The people-watching is pretty terrific, too. Oh, and the setting is spectacular in more ways than one: It's right on the bay, and inside the building there's even more amazing food, including top-notch stores devoted to caviar, tea, wine, cheese and bread.

I can't imagine a San Francisco visit without it.