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halland

Foodie Shopping in SF

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I'll be in SF for an extended weekend in October and while I'm finding no shortage of places I want to eat, I am having a hard time finding the interesting foodie shopping destinations that I'll also want to check out.

In particular I'm looking for (cook)bookstores, cool restaurant supply shops, ethnic markets, kitchenware shops that aren't Sur La Table, etc.

What ethnic populations are unique to the Bay Area, if any.

I'm coming down from Seattle, so Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Asian foodstuffs are plentiful. I seem to remember hearing there was a large Arabic population, any markets or shops that I must check out?

Thanks,

Hal

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Well it is pretty easy to direct you to Chinatown for Chinese stuff. However, a really fun time can be had at SF's Japan Town where Shawn, Squeat Mungry, and I spent a great afternoon.

Squeat also introduced me to Yum, at 1750 Market, a really cool gourmet store a few doors down from Zuni.

The Ferry Building is another obvious choice, having been discussed ad nauseum.

Edited to add that I apologize I didn't read your question well enough to see that you already HAVE Asian -- and are looking for Arabic.

Mea culpa.


Edited by Carolyn Tillie (log)

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In the Mission district, La Palma delicatessen is great and it's on a neat-o section of 24th street. (2884 24th St @ Florida). You can get anything from carnitas by the pound to frozen banana leaves to molcajetes, tortilla presses, and of course tons of dried chiles. All along that street are great hispanic restaurants (and a thai or two) and delis.

Rainbow Co-op is a pretty interesting foodie destination, too. (http://www.rainbowgrocery.org/) It's very SF, very organic and has the largest vitamin/dietary supplement area I've ever seen. Has a good array of organic local produce, excellent cheeses and huge bulk section of everything from amaranth to spelt flour. No meat, though.

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Even though I grew up in and still frequently visit Seattle, I always go to Kamei Household Wares and the sister restaurant supply store when I'm in SF. Haig's Deli used to have a decent selection Middle Eastern stuff, but it wasn't just devoted to that (you could get UK chocolates and things like that too). I'm guessing you'd have better luck in the East Bay, but I don't know where, because I don't live there any more.

A. G. Ferrari is worth a stop, there are several locations and he offers Italian foodstuffs I haven't seen in Seattle's usual shops. The jams, chocolates, honeys, cheeses, savory seasonings and vinegars all end up in my mailorders.

regards,

trillium

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For Italian, I'd go to Lucca on Valencia before A.G.Ferrari -- the latter is way expensive, though they do have gorgeous stuff. I recently have fallen in love with 24th Street Cheese Co. in Noe Valley, which has oh so much more than cheese (but plenty of that stuff too).

For great used pots, pans and whatnots, Cookin' on Divisadero is the place, but the owner is a bit of a freak.

Not sure where to find a density of Arabic stuff -- there may be areas in the Bay Area that have lots of that, but there's not really a visible presence in SF per se.


Hedonia

Eating, drinking and living the good life in San Francisco

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I second the Lucca recommendation. Excellent prices and selection, plus the atmosphere is nice and old school. Their wine buys are usually fantastic.

I usually go to the one at 1100 Valencia in the Mission, but there is also one in the Marina at 2120 Chestnut street. I assume they are two branches of the same place?

http://travel.yahoo.com/p-travelguide-2732...san_francisco-i

http://sanfrancisco.citysearch.com/profile...__0_profile_2_1

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I second the Lucca recommendation. Excellent prices and selection, plus the atmosphere is nice and old school. Their wine buys are usually fantastic.

I usually go to the one at 1100 Valencia in the Mission, but there is also one in the Marina at 2120 Chestnut street. I assume they are two branches of the same place?

http://travel.yahoo.com/p-travelguide-2732...san_francisco-i

http://sanfrancisco.citysearch.com/profile...__0_profile_2_1

Different owners not related at all.


Bruce Frigard

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"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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For Italian, I'd go to Lucca on Valencia before A.G.Ferrari -- the latter is way expensive, though they do have gorgeous stuff. I recently have fallen in love with 24th Street Cheese Co. in Noe Valley, which has oh so much more than cheese (but plenty of that stuff too).

I love Lucca and second the recommendation, but feel compelled to mention that if you're interested in San Francisco's Italian-American community and food, you're going to want to spend some time walking around in North Beach.

Be sure to check out Molinari's delicatessen. For baked goods visit Danilo Bakery, Stella Pasticceria and Liguria. Grab a panino or meatball sandwich at Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store. If you're a coffee drinker, treat yourself to a pound of Graffeo's. A. Cavalli & Co. is mainly an Italian newsstand and bookstore, but they also have an interesting selection of imported Italian kitchenware. Little City Meats has some wonderful sausages. Great gelato at Gelato Classico.

Cheers,

Squeat

Edit to add: San Francisco's Arabic population (largely Palestinian) is not nearly as concentrated into a single neighborhood. (In fact, many of our corner "mom-and-pop" groceries are run by them throughout the city.) There is a halal butcher in the Tenderloin that you might want to take a look at: Salama Halal Meat on Geary. Queen of Sheba grocery on Sutter also has halal meat and other mediterranean/Middle Eastern goods.


Edited by Squeat Mungry (log)

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Wow. Looking back I can't believe no one has mentioned the Mission District, the heart of San Francisco's Latino community, for some reason largely ignored by tourists. Formerly an Irish/Italian and later largely German neighborhood, today about 50% of the Mission's residents are of hispanic origin -- either immigrants themselves from Central and South America, or descendants of a large wave of immigrants from Latin America (mainly Mexico) in the 50s and 60s. Taquerias and 'Mexican' groceries abound, as do 'Tapas' restaurants, Columbian restaurants, Peruvian, etc. The Mission is 'foodie' heaven.

My favorite taqueria is La Taqueria -- their al pastor is amazing, but if you want carnitas go to La Cumbre. Visit the Mission Market at Mission and 22nd. Their meat department is fantastic. Limon has wonderful Peruvian food. Lots of restaurants, bookstores, galleries on Valencia. Walk down 24th Street for all kinds of Latin American food and shops.

Cheers,

Squeat

Edit oh oops I now see absonot has covered the Mission!


Edited by Squeat Mungry (log)

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In the Mission district you want to hit Bombay Bazaar (on Valencia btw 16th & 17th St)

for spices, and all things Indian, including ice cream.

I would skip the Mexican food around here, although it is prefered by some, (too Americanized), the food is much better around 24th St.

Lucca, as mentioned, (22ndSt & Valencia) is a temple and not to be missed. Homemade Ravioli since 1924 or so.They also import a TON of stuff for most restaurants in SF so the prices here are better than anyone. period.

In China town, (a short walk to/from North Beach), I would go to The Wok Shop, on Grant, for every kind of Asian cooking gadget imaginable (This is not Sur La Table). Fun place.

Have a great trip.


"Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only food: frequently there must be a beverage."

Woody Allen

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Ooh -- Bombay Bazaar -- how could I forget that? It's also important to note that Lucca does carry a goodly amount of Argentinean product, as there was a significant influx of Argentines after the economy crumbled a couple years ago. There's a major Italian emigrant culture there, and so now you can find both anchovies in oil and dulce de leche at Lucca and around the Mission.

There's loads more in the Mission, as noted, especially along and around 24th street, but I don't have many specific recommendations. I just poke my head in here and there.


Hedonia

Eating, drinking and living the good life in San Francisco

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You might also want to look at the Berkeley and Oakland thread I just posted this week for ideas across the Bay...if you are willing to BART/drive, that is. :smile:


"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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