Oh the agony in not being able to bring home a cooler on the airplane.
I miss being able to buy local, freshly picked, organic produce for the same price as the conventional, not-freshly-picked produce in my area. Plus, it's such a pleasure to meet these hard-working farmers in person and allow them to tell you all about their delicious food and exotic specimens. They are proud of what they do, and with good reason.
If you visit San Francisco, do yourself a favor and do not miss the historic (and amazingly restored) Ferry Building just off the Embarcadero at Market Street. Inside are permanent gourmet food vendors that are open every day. On Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays are the outdoor farmers markets both in front of and behind the building. These are not-to-be-missed.
Note: the Music Man pictured below is always entertaining...drop by for a minute and enjoy his amazing rhythmn.
My favorite food vendors include:
Saint Benoit Yogurt (handmade, artisanal yogurt that brings you right back to Paris in a matter of seconds; not surpringly it's made by a Frenchman!)
Downtown Bakery of Healdsburg (this Sonoma eatery boasts the best gallettes I've tasted EVER; try the quince & pear version first; can I get the recipe for the pastry dough pretty please?)
Recchuiti (a permanent fixture on the interior, which is a blessing to us all; try the tarragon grapefruit chocolate and you'll know what I mean)
Golden Gate Meat Company (the Husband swears this is the best pastrami sandwich he's tasted in his entire life; you'll find all sorts of high-quality meats here)