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Jul 20, 2006 09:27 PM

Best food in South of San Francisco – Markets (produce, cheese, meat, fish, bakeries, coffee etc)

This isn’t meant to be comprehensive or list every shop in the area ... only the best.

This is not my neck of the woods. I hope others will contribute.

If there isn’t a website, I listed a Chowhound report with the address. A newspaper article is the link if there were no Chowhound reports. Searching Chowhound will result in good tips for many of these shops.

I’ll update periodically with the suggestions in this topic noting additions with an edit comment at the end of this post.

I keep this list for my own info, so I don’t have to keep googling for websites. I would ask people NOT link to this in the future when questions about the best market, bakery, etc. are asked on the board.

Things change and it might discourage some great new hint. After a few days when a topic has run its course, then it's ok to link to this post as supplemental info, if anyone wants to.


Aki's Bakery (guava cake) - San Jose
Bijan Bakery, San Jose:
Dick's Bakery (Burnt-almond cake - San Jose
Fleur de Cocoa (pastries, croissants, chocolates) - Los Gatos
Greenlee's Bakery (cinnamon bread) - San JOse
La Patisserie, Cupertino
Shuei-Do Manju Shop (mochi)- San Jose
Sogo Bakery - Various locations
Van's Bakery, San Jose:
Wilson's Jewel Bakery - Santa Clara


Harley Farms – Pescadero
Milk Pail - Mountain view


Barefoot Coffee Roasters – Santa Clara
Los Gatos Coffee Roasting Company
Ten Ren Tea (SF and Milpitas


Yeah, a gazillion Japanese, Korean, Indian, Eastern-Euro shops to be added. Given the South Bay, perhaps the Dragers and Whole Foods should be listed under ethnic and everything else just under markets ... or just skip the ethnic category totally.

99 Ranch Market
AG Ferrari, various locations (Italian
HanKook Market (Korean -- Sunnyvale on El Camino)
Lion Market – various locations
Mi Pueblo, various locations
Mitsuwa, San Jose


Aptos Cerfified Farmers Market - Cabrillo College campus
Campbell Farmers Market
Los Gatos Farmers Market
Olson's Fruit Stand – Sunnyvale
Phipps Country Store and Farm - Pescadero
Sunnyvale Farmers Market


Cosentino's Market San Jose,Santa Clara
Country Sun Natural Foods - Palo Alto
Draeger's Supermarket
Gene's Fine Foods - Saratoga
Lunardi's Market - Los Gatos, San Jose
Milk Pail Market - Mountain View
Oakville Grocery - Stanford Shopping Center
Whole Foods - several locations


Chiaramonte's (sausages) Scroll down
Dittmer's Gourmet Meats & Wurst-Haus - Mtn. View
L & F Fish Market
Los Gatos Meats & Smokehouse
Race Street Foods (chicken, seafood
Schaub's Meat- Palo Alto (scroll down


San Jose Tofu Co.
Sogo Tofu (organic tofu) - San Jose


Koo-ki Sushi
Schurra's Candy
Are these guys still in business and any good?


Beltramos - Menlo Park CA
Are these guys still in business?

*** Edit Update on Jul 20, 11:30 PM with information from replies prior to that time.

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  1. A few additions, all enjoyed by our family:

    Bakeries and Bread:
    Fleur de Cocoa (pastries, croissants, chocolates) - Los Gatos

    Gayle"s Bakery & Rosticceria (breads, cakes, pastries, roasted foods) - Capitola

    Coffee and Tea:
    Los Gatos Coffee Roasting Company

    Farmers Markets and Farms:
    Aptos Cerfified Farmers Market - Cabrillo College campus

    1 Reply
    1. re: California Sunshine

      I read somewhere that Fleur de Cocoa was branching into gelato making. Has anyone tried their gelato?

    2. Ethnic Market: HanKook Market (Korean -- Sunnyvale on El Camino)

      1. Not a bad list so far, especially since you don't frequent the area much. I'm hoping that many South Bay hounds will chime in...

        In response to your questions, yes, San Jose Tofu is very tiny but still going strong. I've been very pleased w/ their tofu on the few occasions I've bought it from their shop. They are on Jackson St. in the heart of Japantown.

        What I can add:


        La Patisserie, Cupertino:
        Gourmet cakes and tarts, including wedding cakes. Good value for their class of desserts.

        Bijan Bakery, San Jose:
        I've only browsed, but everything there looks lovely and tasty. Some hounds prize their princess cake.

        Van's Bakery, San Jose:
        Light and delicate Asian-style cakes and confections. Had an interesting purple-hued and flavored taro cake once. Here's an example of a fruit-adorned birthday cake:

        Thanks for reminding me that I need to try Greenlee's next time I'm in SJ for one of our Viet lunches.


        HanKook as mentioned above is a fun place. Their deli section w/ all the funky pickled stuff looked better than it tasted IMHO, but I need to explore more. There's another Korean market just down the road (I'm blanking on the name). Selection isn't as good, but wow, the marbled beef cuts looked very good and cheap.

        Lion Market, San Jose
        I've been to the one on Tully and other one on Saratoga (near Bijan). Saratoga one is newer and cleaner, but I think the Tully one may have a bigger selection. Pan-Asian ingredients but concentrated on Vietnamese products.

        Mitsuwa, San Jose
        Japanese chain w/ fresh fish and meticulous packaging to marvel at.

        Mi Pueblo, various locations
        More details about San Jose location on yelp:

        Dakao, San Jose
        More of a Viet deli than market, but I needed to squeeze this gem in somewhere. More details on jatbar:

        There's also that Halal market on El Camino that has been written up. There are some Indian markets that I'd like to check out. Any pointers?


        While I haven't been, have heard good things about Los Gatos market on Sunday. Anyone have highlights of this market?

        Not sure if this fits in w/ your geography, but Swanton Berry Farm should be mentioned:
        U-pick should be going strong right now. The berries have been getting better and better. Boysenberry jam that I tasted there recently was quite good.


        What's particularly good at Lunardi's?


        L & F Fish Market
        1448 E. Santa Clara St.
        San Jose, CA
        (408) 998-4021
        Went there based on your tip, so thanks! Nice little Portuguese market w/ salt cod, skate wing, sausages, and some canned goods.

        Dittmer's is great. Browsed Race St. Poultry once and wasn't that impressed. What's particularly good there? How's the attached eatery?


        AG Ferrari, Sunnyvale (in same center as CJ Olson's
        Specialty Italian goods but pretty pricey and turnover may be an issue at this location. They are very generous w/ samples though and do carry burrata from Italy. Good place for pannetone during holidays.

        Los Gatos Meats & Smokehouse
        Haven't been but remember reading good things. Can others elaborate?


        Koo-ki Sushi
        I've been meaning to check out these handmade confections for a long time. Anyone actually been to the retail shop?

        They are closing soon, but have to plug:
        Lou's Living Donut Museum, 387 Delmas, San Jose
        Legendary donuts, especially the seasonal pumpkin, but last word is that they are closing at the end of July.

        Thanks for bringing this topic up! Reminds me of all the places I've been meaning to check out, mostly due to tips from other hounds over the years. And thanks to Nathan P. for being my foodie outing buddy and exploring many of the aforementioned hotspots w/ me.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Carb Lover

          THANKS Carb Lover !!! ... and California Sunshine and kc72 ... as of this post I've incorporated your suggestions into the OP.

          Swanton is always in MY geography, unfortunately it falls outside the geography of this board. The cut-off is Pescadero. Also Gayles Bakery in Santa Cruz is a California board topic.

          I love the Los Gatos farmers market. Thanks for reminding me. The Los Gatos Coffee Roasting company is nearby and I enjoyed that as well, but forgot about it.

          I forgot all about L&F Fish ... and I was the one who reported it (blush) ... glad you liked it. There probably isn't a better place for salted fish in the Bay Area.

          There are a few more places I need to add that I've visited in the South Bay. This just came off of a Word document of SB businesses I was collecting for my own info.

          You know, I never liked Race Street when I lived down that way, but it certainly has survived all these years so they must be doing something right.

          I didn't put Dakeo on there since it sounded from the write-up that is was more of a restaurant than a grocery. Am I wrong? Sounds like a great sandwich shop though.

          I absolutely want to get down to Los Gatos Meats & Smokehouse since I've heard so many good things about it.

          I did a rare thing and listed Milk Pail twice. While it is a Montery Market/mini-Berkeley Bowl type of place, the room of over 600 pre-cut cheese qualifies it as both a market and a cheese destination. Even thought stuff is pre-cut, they have cheese I haven't seen anywhere else in the Bay Area.

          Thanks all again.

          1. re: rworange

            I only live a few blocks from Race Street but I hardly ever go there. They seem overpriced and not that special. I go to 99 Ranch usually for fish. The fish & chips is decent. Well, the fish is, the 'chips' are limp french fries. Every couple of years I get a craving for it and stop in.

            International Food Bazaar is a great little market full of Middle Eastern treats. They have several kinds of feta, fresh halvah, a modest but decently priced selection of olives, tons of fascinating imported canned goods, and have recently added a halal meat market. I've been able to buy fresh (yellow, crisp) dates there in season (which is coming up soon...)

            International Food Bazaar
            2052 Curtner Ave., San Jose
            (408) 559-3397

            Andy's Orchard is the place for fabulous, tree-ripened, heirloom fruits. Go to one of his tastings and orchard walks -- it's an eye opener and palate pleaser. He has dozens of varieties that you won't find elsewhere. Peach/nectarine/plum tasting coming up on July 29.

            Andy's Orchard, Morgan Hill

            The Prolific Oven has excellent cakes that aren't overly sweet. I know many devotees. I've only had a few of their selections but have liked what I've had. I think the Chocolate Orange Almond is considered one of their signature cakes.


            I particularly like the packages of fresh tortillas from Mi Pueblo. Happiness is a package of still warm tortillas.

            So many more! I feel like a slacker for not having checked out more places. All those Indian shops. All those Vietnamese shops. So many possibilities.

        2. Koo-ki Sushi

          The retail store is very small. I usually call ahead to order what I want and then go in to pick it up. The candy sushi looks very realistic. Most people I know don't want to eat it - but my daughter loves them.