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Best Asian Market in San Francisco (using public transportation from Alamo Sq)

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I just arrived in San Francisco two days ago, and so far I am pretty impressed by food options everywhere (in general). I'm psyched to be here and I'll begin posting soon with all my eating adventures.

I am staying with some friends close to Alamo Square and I'll be using public transportation tomorrow, but I want to do some shopping at a good Asian market (something comparable to Super 88 in Boston for those who are familiar with it). I'm mainly hoping to buy things like tofu and vegetables, some canned goods like veggies and coconut milk and curry paste, maybe also fresh rice noodles or something like that. I was originally thinking I might go to Chinatown, but now I'm thinking it might be better to go to Clement St or to Irving St since it sounds like there are good places here too...I'm not familiar with any stores though, so what store should I go to? If there are any worthwhile snacks at a nearby place (or even in the store), even better.

Thanks a lot!

Dave MP

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  1. New May Wah on the 700 block of Clement St. is probably your best bet. They carry a good variety of Asian grocery as well as produce, meat, poultry and fish. You will also find plenty of snacks at nearly shops. Chinatown is pretty much limited to Chinese food stuff, not much for the other Asian countries.

    8 Replies
    1. re: PBSF

      Add my vote for New May Wah on Clement. Had a chance to cruise thru it a couple of weeks ago and noticed that they carry a very large selection of Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Chinese, Filipino and Japanese items (canned, bottled) that I haven't seen around along with produce, meat, poultry, fish, etc. Very interesting store.

      There are many shops in this block with bbq, dim sum, take out of all kinds.

      If you have time for lunch, go across the street to Ocean and try the lobster lo mein or stir-fried lobster with ginger and green onion....

      1. re: RWCFoodie

        Thanks for the advice, I went to New May Wah this morning and it was just what I was looking for....now I'm eating kee mao that I just made for lunch with the fresh rice noodles. New May Wah did have a good selection of canned thai curries, as well as good meat and vegetable section. This was also my first time in this neighborhood, I like it a LOT. I am excited about this city....thanks again

        Dave MP

      2. re: PBSF

        Does New May Wah also carry fresh rice noodles?

        1. re: peachblossom

          I was there last week and they had packaged wide cut fresh rice noodles. I would probably call just to make sure.

          1. re: peachblossom

            Yes, when I went today they had several types of fresh rice noodles....the wide flat ones (not cut), also 1 inch wide, then several rolls (some with shrimp and scallions, some without).

            1. re: Dave MP

              Dave, welcome to San Francisco! Since you seem to be a rice noodle afficionado, you'll want to go straight to the source. Full sheets, folded or unfolded, no preservatives can be found at Yung Kee (aka Yong Kee) in SF Chinatown. They don't have them first thing in the morning if you're an early bird on weekends, available after 10am or so.

              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                Excellent. Thanks for the recommendation, I'll probably be heading there sometime soon. Are they open 7 days a week? I ate a few too many rice noodles for lunch today though, so I might need to wait a few days anyway :)

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  Yes, open 7 days a week and usually on Christmas Day too. Most businesses in SF Chinatown are open every day of the year with a short break for some of them during Chinese New Year.

          2. For most of what you're looking for, try Chinatown, specifically Stockton Street and the sidestreets. Obviously, you know "Asian" is a huge category, right?

            Unlike Boston or Honolulu or Seattle or other cities, San Francisco (and the Bay Area) rarely has pan-Asian markets.

            For Chinese cuisine, you go to Chinatown. For Japanese, Japantown. For Filipino, Pacific Super in Daly City (or I think there's a market on 8th street in SF). For Korean, Kuk Je in Daly City. There are Vietnamese markets in the TL or the Mission.

            There is one pan-Asian supermarket probably similar to yours in Boston called Ranch 99. It's in Daly City, and while accessible to public transportation, it isn't necessarily easy to get to.

            By the way, Little Paris on Stockton street has a lot of the fresh rice noodles you're looking for.

            1. You're close to Woo Ri Market on Fillmore, which is Korean, and the Japanese supermarket in Japantown, both of which are good.

              1. If these markets don't fit your needs, try Ranch 99 in Daly City. It might be a hassle to get to, but it's at the border of SF/Daly City where I think it would be worth it. Ranch 99 is the largest Asian supermarket chain in the Bay Area.

                There are also several great asian markets (cleaner than Chinatown) in Japantown near Geary and Laguna. Hope this helps.