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Moving to SF

hi there,

i'm moving to San Fran in a month or two from Boston. I was hoping that people might have suggestions for food stores to check out, both in terms of day to day shopping, as well as extravagant goodies for special occasions.

Specifically, I'd like to find:
- amazing cheese stores
- great charcuterie/boucherie
- japanese citrus, like Yuzu
- unbelievable sushi fish
- lobes of foie gras
- good deals on wine
- cheap kitchen supply stores
- iron chef clubs, if you have them out there
- anything else you love about SF food shopping/prepping/cooking!

Thanks in advance for your advice and help!

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  1. Cheese: Say Cheese in Cole Valley, 24th Street Cheese Company in Noe Valley, Rainbow Grocery in SoMa, and Cowgirl Creamery in the Ferry Building.

    Charcuterie: my favorite is the Fatted Calf booth at the Ferry Building on Saturdays.

    Wine: My absolute favorite place to get wine is K&L Wines in SoMa. Great website, prices lower than BevMo, very friendly and helpful staff, interesting selections. www.klwines.com

    Sushi fish: Yum Yum fish in the Inner Sunset.

    You're going to be in food heaven here.

      1. Welcome to San Francisco! Below are the places I use.

        Specifically, I'd like to find:

        - amazing cheese stores - Cowgirl Creamery

        - great charcuterie/boucherie - I go to Golden Gate Meats in the Ferry Building. It's family-owned, mostly organic, local, and the staff is incredible. (Last Sunday they brought me behind the counter to demonstrate how to butcher a chicken.) LOVE them.

        - lobes of foie gras - I know you can buy it at Golden Gate Meats, but I'm not sure where else.

        - good deals on wine - K&L's the best deal I've found

        - cheap kitchen supply stores - Divisadero around Hayes, I think, there's a used kitchen store that feels like an attic. Can't remember the name. AWESOME. Does anyone remember the name?

        - anything else you love about SF food shopping/prepping/cooking!

        - The Ferry Building is on my way home from work, so I get most of my daily groceries there, although the veggies can be overpriced (totally worth it on fish and meat, though)

        - Rainbow Foods is a co-op and a great place to get bulk staples like rice, pasta, flour, sugar, salt, etc. Bring your own bags or packaging, weigh them out--you'll save a lot of money (and make the environment happy, too). We get all of our cleaning products there, too.

        Generally, you'll find it's like a dream here. Fresh produce, seasonal foods, a lot of local organic stuff--it's incredible.

        1 Reply
        1. re: MuppetGrrl

          Absolutely agree regarding Golden Gate Meats -- they are terrific. Love the fact that I can get things like Wild Boar there too, without having to order from Polarica.

        2. I have not been very impressed by Golden Gate Meats. I'm spoiled by Fatted Calf, the Cafe Rouge (Berkeley) meat counter, and my local halal butcher (Indus Foods).

          Cookin' is the used cookware place on Divisadero. It's not cheap but the selection is enormous.

          1. For kitchen supply, check out Kamei on Clement. Very cheap and often quite high quality Japanese cooking implements, including top line knives.

            Check out Luca's on Valencia for imported Italian cured meats and for staples such as San Marzano tomatoes.

            For wine, K&L and Wine Club.

            Cheese, second 24th street cheese company

            Butcher, hard one, but Golden Gate is the better of the not so good in San Francisco. Go to Berkely to Cafe Rouge if you want better. Bryan's disappoints in terms of quality, e.g. their beef is not well marbled nor do they carry organic or grass fed options. For Foie Gras check out Polarica, but you need to buy in bulk and it is a great source for game meats.

            I love the farmers markets and I love Bi-Rite for being a good one stop shop in my hood.

            1. There is also a great pan-Asian supermarket chain in the SF Bay Area (and also in greater LA) called 99 Ranch Market. They sell all sorts of high quality live and fresh fish and seafood, excellent pork and poultry (real butchers,) all sorts of Asian vegetables and fruits, sauces, noodles (both fresh and dry,) tofu products, frozen dumplings and other dim sum, tea, oils, vinegars, etc., etc. The closest one to San Francisco is in Daly City, about 10 miles out of the city. It's definitely worth a trip. I go there often.


              Daly City Store
              250 Skyline Plaza
              Daly City, CA 94015
              (650) 992-8899
              Hours: 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM (Sun - Sat
              )Manager: Mr. Kin L. Fong
              Assistant Manager: Mr. Randy Chu

              3 Replies
              1. re: Nancy Berry

                There's also one in Richmond, a few miles up the freeway from Berkeley. Their produce isn't usually very appealing compared with the great stuff you can get at the farmers markets.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  But there are some items, like fresh water chestnuts or fresh bamboo shoots or galangal, that aren't available at farmers markets. I agree, though, that the farmers at markets like Alemany or Serramonte, sell better looking Asian vegetables, especially during the summer and fall.

                  1. re: Nancy Berry

                    True, but for produce that's not grown in the area, Berkeley Bowl is much better than 99 Ranch.

              2. For kitchen supply, the Le Creuset Outlet in Vacaville has some amazing deals on Le Creuset cookware (not cheap, but once you're hooked you wont want anything else). If you get on their mailing list they'll send you a coupon for the big, biannual sale (30% of already discounted prices.) I got a couple of pieces that would retail at $450 for $200!!!

                For cheese, you can't beat Cheeseboard in Berkeley.
                For charcut, Fatted Calf is king.

                6 Replies
                1. re: Morton the Mousse

                  A LE CREUSET OUTLET? I'm going to die.

                  OK, now y'all have convinced me to drag my ass down to the Ferry Building on Saturdays to the Fatted Calf. Do they carry a wide variety of meats? Where are they located?

                  1. re: MuppetGrrl

                    Unfortunately, you just missed Le Creuset's big sale. Get on their mailing list now so that you'll get a coupon for the Winter sale (regular sale is 20% off, with coupon you get 30%.) They sell superficially blemished "seconds" so you can get outlet discount + seconds discount + 30% off which amounts to about 50% off retail.

                    Fatted Calf doesn't really carry meat so much as charcuterie: salamis, sausages, pates, terrines, etc. I recommend that you join their email list at fattedcalf.com so that you receive the weekly menu in advance.

                    1. re: Morton the Mousse

                      Thank you SO much. I love sausages and salamis, but I mainly use GGM for chicken, pork, etc.

                      And thanks a mil for the Le Creuset rec.

                    2. re: MuppetGrrl

                      Fatted Calf's stand is along the south side of the building at the Saturday Ferry Plaza market. They're also at the Berkeley Saturday farmers market.

                      1. re: MuppetGrrl

                        Le Creuset is also in the Gilroy outlet center, at the other end of the Bay Area.


                      2. re: Morton the Mousse

                        Another good thing about the outlet even during non-sale times, is their policy of giving you a 20% discount on your total sale if you buy 5 items or more, and lids count as separate items (so, for example, a covered dutch oven counts as 2 items,) as do small things like silicone spatulas, etc.

                      3. Don't think I've seen it mentioned, so: The Cheese Board in Berkeley has IMO a tremendous range of great cheeses, as well as great baked goods (check out their pizza place next door), also in Berkeley is Acme Bakery and Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, also North Berkeley wines is there. You're going to love the bay area for its tremendous food and restaurant selections !

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: mikester

                          As Morton said, you can't beat Cheese Board for cheese, but to pair with them you're better off with a pain d'epis or levain from Acme.

                          Farmstead in Alameda is another superior cheese shop.

                          Kermit's primarily an importer. Some of his wines are available at a discount elsewhere, e.g. at the SF Wine Trading Company. But you won't find as big a selection elsewhere.

                        2. wow, thank you all so much for this trove of great information! I can't wait to get out there - it sounds unbelievable!