I last visited Old Oakland’s Housewives Market three years ago. While some vendors have change names, it remains timelessly the same, the few changes for the better.
It was always an ‘interesting’ market, but to be truthful a little disorganized and messy. I wouldn’t rush to shop there, but enjoyed browsing.
The Housewives did some house cleaning and the shops are sparkling and doing an excellent job of displaying their wares.
I don’t remember the metal chairs and tables in the middle. It is a nothing-fancy, nice area to grab a bite while shopping. Park benches inside allow sitting and organizing grocery bags. Ferry Plaza should get the hint that a few benches here and their might make shopping easier and more enjoyable.
The market tidied up without going upscale. Tourists don’t’ make this a destination, but the local community does. There are fresh food products from the four corners of the world ... Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.
I wrote separate posts about some of the bigger shops in the market. They deserve a little attention and regulars might be more likely to post with tips if they are in separate topics rather than buried in a huge post. Links are at the bottom.
A few shops too tiny for their own post:
Sunshine Café serves mainly fresh fruit smoothies and coffee. For food there’s only the Chinese chicken salad ... also available in shrimp and vegetarian versions. On Friday it had seafood paella as a special. Since it is located a few steps away from a seafood counter, this might be a good thing. It actually is the busiest of the shops. Smoothies are $2.75 and include fresh avocado, mango, kiwi, strawberry, papaya, banana, banana/mango, kiwi/mango and coffee.
I feel bad now after writing about all the other shops, that I didn’t take a closer look at the tiny Sam’s Wines and Liquors tucked in the back. They have some interesting sodas of the Nehi and Delaware Punch type. But other than selling lottery tickets, I’m not sure what unique things they might offer.
The SF Chronicle briefly notes:
“Swan's Marketplace: Located in a restored 1917 white brick building, Swan's includes a sushi restaurant, art galleries and low-income apartments, as well as several food vendors. These vendors make up what is known as the Housewive's Market within the Swan's complex.”
Reports about other shops:
Taylor's Sausage – home-made pork cracklings & the prettiest spareribs
Jack's Meats and African Foods – bat mushrooms & Hudson Valley chicken
Sincere Seafood Company – Blue gill, white perch & gasper goo
J. & S. Deli & Smoked Meats – Chinese fast food, smoked turkey tails and turkey headcheese
More info in the Old Oakland Historic District link