Outside Toby's Feed Barn in Point Reyes Station, it's all about homemade jam, local gossip, and live music every Saturday from June to October. The low-key, all-organic Point Reyes Farmers Market is smaller than many, but it's a prime example of how quality trumps quantity. Browse the booths featuring local oysters, grass-fed meats, artisan cheeses, home-grown sheep’s wool, olive oil, farm-fresh eggs, and picked-at-dawn vegetables.
After you’ve checked out all the offerings in the main space, look for a simple white banner in the back that says “GBD,” which stands for Golden, Brown, Delicious—three words that perfectly describe the incredible grilled cheese sandwiches made by Osteria Stellina. The secret recipe? Wood-fired Brickmaiden bread dipped in Straus Creamery butter and oozing Cowgirl Creamery cheese. Settle down on a hay bale and enjoy—this snack is perfect for fueling up before a hike in nearby Point Reyes National Seashore. But if you’re more into noshing than hiking, stroll downtown’s three or so blocks and you’ll find more culinary gold, like the crazy-good scones and muffins at Bovine Bakery and champagne-style honey mead at Heidrun Meadery.
Before you head to the market, be sure to check their calendar of events to see what will be going on. They host musicians playing everything from bluegrass to Brazilian jazz to Middle Eastern music weekly, and also welcome chefs and, in collaboration with Point Reyes Books, cookbook authors to take part in the Chef’s Booth series, where they can talk about their latest releases and lead a cooking demonstration with products featured at the market. (Alice Waters of Chez Panisse and French Laundry fame was an early participant.) Have kids? They’ll have a blast at the KidsZone, where there are crafts, a mini farm stand, and a play kitchen. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
If you’d like to have a knowledgeable guide unlock the secrets of Point Reyes’ foodie nirvana, ride along with the agricultural and culinary experts at West Marin Food & Farm Tours. Four- to five-hour tours offer insight into family farming and artisan food production and give you a backstage pass to see how cheese is made, oysters are farmed, and grass-fed animals are raised. Pick your flavor—the company offers an Oyster Lover’s Tour, Cheese Lover’s Tour, or the all-encompassing Flavors of West Marin Tour.