We are fortunate to live in an area that, despite an exorbitant cost of living, still manages to support a vibrant scene of artists, artisans, craftsmen and craft food purveyors. So this season I encourage, nay implore you to shop micro-local and support the folks who put their heart and soul into their handiwork. Here's a list of upcoming events where you can find the best and brightest.
Hit up the Bayview Underground Food Scene Community Pop-Up Market tomorrow and each Thursday to get your hands on some serious indie eats. Pick up some organic beauty products from Beautiful You organic beauty products, grab sweet stuff from Earl’s Bread & Brittle, SF Honey & Pollen Co. and Yvonne’s Southern Sweets as a stocking stuffer, and stock up on Gratta Wines for holiday entertaining. Plus, yummy nibbles from a global array of food providers. Thursdays through February, 5-7:30 pm. Bayview Opera House, 4705 Third St. @ Mendell, San Francisco.
Friday, head across the bay to Kitchener Oakland's First Friday pop-up. Focused more on ready-to-eat foods from folks like Barbarian Gourmet, Powered by Pork and Sabor Brasil, you can also stock up on bottles from Periscope Cellars (free tasting!) or just sip on some Linden Street Brewery suds. Friday 12/6, 6-10 pm. 372 24th Street, Oakland.
Saturday, check out the very popular New Taste Marketplace on Potrero Hill. A huge selection of local foods will be represented, including a few giftables like Il Fiorello's local olives and oil, Hive 707's hyper-local honey, and Jerk 'n Pickles jerky and pickles. But you'll probably bust a gut tasting everything else there. Periscope and Linden Street will again be representing. Saturday 12/7, 11 am-5 pm. 500 De Haro, San Francisco.
Saturday and Sunday, the Jingletown Winter Art Walk decks the walls with local artists' works, including our pal Sam Breach's stunning photography. Textiles, jewelry, and much more, all in a charmingly gritty industrial neighborhood. Saturday and Sunday, 12/7-8, 11 am-6 pm. Various locations in Jingeltown, Oakland.
Also this weekend hit up the SFMade Holiday Gift Fair for, yes, handmade gifts from and themed on San Francisco. Nifty coasters, prints, bags and more, all with a SF motif -- including my favorite, Drywell Art. Saturday and Sunday, 12/7-8, 10 am-5 pm. Fort Mason Fleet Room, San Francisco.
The same weekend and also at Fort Mason is the Museo Italo-Americano's Mercato di Natale, featuring a variety of crafts, jewelry, and of course food. Saturday and Sunday, 12/7-8, 10 am-6 pm. Fort Mason, Building C, San Francisco.
If you're headed south, swing by Happy Girl Kitchen's Holiday Craft Market in Pacific Grove for a carefully curated group of local artisans, featuring, and I quote, "glasswork, ceramics and pottery, knitting and crocheting, baking, preserving, air plants, candles and cordials, kids corner, printmaking, paintings and MORE!!!" Sunday, 12/8, 10 am-4 pm. 173 Central Ave, Pacific Grove.
Next Friday, local food incubator La Cocina will have their annual marketplace, showcasing many of the artisans whom they've helped usher into the world. Longtime favorites like Kika's Treats and Clairesquares (pictured, above, from a previous marketplace) will be there, as well as many others. Friday, 12/13, 11 am-7 pm. Crocker Galleria, 50 Post St, San Francisco.
That same evening, come to our 'hood for Let It SNoe, the final microhood project put on by The Bold Italic and Google Local. Shop the local boutiques in fair Noe Valley, and enjoy drinks, treats and "unexpected delights." Friday, 12/13, 6 pm-?? Along 24th Street, Noe Valley, San Francisco.
The artsiest, fartsiest spot in Oakland, the Crucible will be hosting their annual Holiday Gifty Art Sale and Open House. In the huge 56,000 square foot space, watch industrial art demos, sip and nibble delicious fare, and shop for art, jewelry and, uh, bicycles? Yes, bicycles. Saturday, 12/14, 12-6 pm and Sunday, 12/15, 12-5 pm. 1260 7th St, Oakland.
The Bay Area Homemade Market takes to Berkeley's FIREHOUSE.ART.COLLECTIVE, with a healthy selection of local artisans. Think brittles, cookies, jams, soaps and plenty to eat on hand. Satueday, 12/14, 12-6 pm. 1790 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley.
The South of Marketplace Holiday Fair brings yet another (and as yet unlisted) cadre of crafty souls. Bonus prize: A photo booth, so put on your showiest garb and grab a snap. Sunday, 12/15, 11:30 am-6 pm. 1425 Folsom St, San Francisco.
Last but most certainly not least, just in the nick of time, the Renegade Craft Fair takes to the vacuous Concourse Exhibition Center with more than 250 (!) makers; of course food, drink and music; yup, another photo booth; plus cool workshops to make your own woodcut maps and wood beer case. Saturday and Sunday, 12/21-22, 11 am-6 pm. Concourse Exhibition Center, 635 8th St, San Francisco.