Every last weekend of the month, Treasure Island fills up with food trucks, artisanal goods — ranging from ceramics to statues, jewelry, furs, clothing, oddities — and delicate little trinkets from past decades. Treasure Island Flea Market, founded by Ansanelli Productions in 2011, brings in large crowds every month.
The sellers are all local and the shops are affordable; I purchased an awesome vintage Levi’s jean jacket, some rings, and a jewelry box, all for $35. The stands are organized based on the items they sell: new and repurposed fashion, home décor, and miscellaneous vintage and antique items. There are also separate shops for independent crafters selling everything from sunglasses to soap. All of the tent shops are well curated and the employees are sweet and incredibly helpful.
My favorite tent was a vintage accessories shop, which had beautiful costume jewelry that Daisy Buchanan would have been proud to own. The shop also sold hand-embroidered 1950s box bags, and ridiculous 1970s platform boots. It was a vintage-lover’s dream come true.
If the promise of amazing vintage finds isn’t enough for you, the food alone is worth traveling for. They have something for everyone: ribs, chowder, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, rotisserie, baked delights, and so much more. I decided to get a chicken tikka Kati Roll and mango lassi. The Kati Roll was a spicy delight; a perfect mix of grilled chicken, spices, and chutney, while the mango lassi tasted fresh and sweet.
Aside from the great food and treasures, there is also a lot of entertainment. For starters, the market has some of the most beautiful views of San Francisco I’ve seen so far. The flea market also boasts DIY stations. I went to the button maker station, where I got to make buttons of my favorite album cover, “No Alternative,” and a Frida Kahlo self-portrait. The DIY stations change every month but there are other things to do, such as visiting a small petting zoo. The flea market also hosts live performances by local San Francisco bands. They also have other activities such as scavenger hunts and carnival games. And if all else fails, you could always people watch.
The Treasure Island Flea Market is a great way to spend a fun day because you can always find something interesting in every corner. From shopping to food, to entertainment and great views, this flea market has it all. I guarantee it will give you something to talk about for a few days.
You can get to the island by using your MUNI passes on the 5 and 108 buses, or taking a 16 minute drive from USF campus. Parking is free and easy to find. There is a $3 cash entrance fee, and I would recommend taking cash, since not all of the trucks take credit cards.