October 18, 2017Posted by Bethany Larson Bloch
The list of things that will get The HUNT San Francisco writer Lauren Ladoceour up before dawn is brief. The open-air flea market at the Alameda Point Antiques Faire in East Bay on the first Sunday of the month makes the cut though. Diehards and interior designers rise early for the opening of the gates at 6am. Within an hour or two, most of the good stuff — think mid-century modern coffee tables, Fiesta ware, vintage record cabinets — is bought up. A couple of other hints: first of all, you’ve got to haggle. In fact, the sellers expect it and might even be offended if you’re not willing to play the game. Just try to play fairly and aim for 20% off. Since everything is negotiable, it won’t hurt to compare prices at the hundreds of stalls. Also, bring layers and sunscreen. It’s windy and miserable at the start of this open-air market, but come 10am, the sun beats down hard and the fog clears to reveal an amazing view of the skyline across the bay.
Speaking of which, the bottom of Bernal Hill in SF is home to Alemany
Flea Market, which takes place every Sunday morning. It’s smaller than Alameda by far and has less of an emphasis on bona fide antiques, but the prices are lower and the hunt for treasures can be pretty satisfying: Lauren found an amazing Bakelite box amongst a heap of old luggage there.
In between Alemany and Alameda, right in the middle of the Bay Bridge, is the Treasure Island Flea. On the last Saturday and Sunday of every month, Lauren likes to take a water taxi out to the sprawling market and load up on small antiques, a hot breakfast burrito to warm up, and (later) popsicles to cool off. Out of the three markets, Treasure Island is the most adventurous, and well worth a visit even if you leave empty-handed.
About The HUNT San Francisco Writer: A lover of bourbon and bonfires, Lauren Ladoceour is a food and lifestyle writer based in San Francisco. Her job is mostly to hang out with chefs and bartenders and then write about it for magazines such as Food Arts, San Francisco and Yoga Journal. But come Saturday, she’s working on her biannual Weekend Almanac. She fully believes life happens Friday through Sunday and the best way to experience it is to get out of the house and try something new.