Lime Meringue Tartlette from Miette ($7)
The cool thing about the Ferry Building is that you can get restaurant-quality food without actually having to sit down at a restaurant. Case in point, this elegant tartlet from Miette. A sturdy, cookie-like graham cracker crust is filled with a smooth, tart lime filling and topped with a cloud of ethereally light meringue. While the meringue looks shiny and almost hard upon first glance, it actually dissolves on contact. (Pro tip: Snap your instagram photos before you take a bite.) This perfectly executed pastry is a mix of tart, sweet, crunchy, and creamy, and reminds you why limes deserve more of the spotlight in desserts. In terms of size, I'd say it can easily feed two, especially if you've picked up a "main course" as well.
Lime Meringue Tartlette from Miette
Grapefruit Macaroon from Miette ($1.85)
If you don't have room for a whole tartlet, consider this seasonally appropriate macaron. Macarons are the cookies that Miette are best known for, and the reasons are on display here. The shell is two ground-almond meringue cookies—light, crisp, and packing a ton of nutty flavor on their own. The center is a smooth, tangy grapefruit buttercream that makes the delicate cookie into a perky little bite.
Pear Ginger Cake from Frog Hollow Farm ($4.50)
Chocolate Brownie Cookies with Sea Salt from Boulette's Larder ($0.75)
Boulette's Larder can be pricey, which is why I was surprised to see these reasonably priced cookies in the display case. But it wasn't the price that made me buy a second—it's that they're freaking delicious. The cookies are intensely chocolatey with a fudgy, not cakey, texture. They very much felt like little pieces of fudge brownies, complete with a crinkle top. The salt enhanced the chocolate flavor without being overdone.
Meyer Lemon Donut from Pepple's Donuts ($3)
Pepple's are vegan doughnuts, which might explain right away why they can be a divisive treat. Dense and a little bready, those looking for a traditionally light yeasted doughnut should look elsewhere. But Pepple's is smart about their treats—to counterbalance the denser doughnut their glazes are always bursting with flavor. The Meyer Lemon is especially so, with its bright, citrusy, slightly floral flavor. It really wakes up the doughnut and I promise, there's no mistaking this glaze for regular old lemon.
Brazilian Honey Cakes from Kika's Treats ($7.95 for 6)
Every time I'm at the Ferry Building, I like to stop by La Cocina, a non-profit food business incubator stall that sells a selection of local treats. They're the ones who got me hooked on Kika's Treats, a San Francisco company that makes chocolate-covered confections using an array of alternative sweeteners. The Brazilian Honey Cakes are little pieces of "pao de mel," aka honey bread, covered in dark chocolate. The cake portion is dense and spiced with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and a bit of coffee. Each is about 1 inch square, making them the perfect two bites to go with your Blue Bottle Coffee or as a tasty to-go souvenir.