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Had "A Gourmet Experience" lately?

I am looking for examples of food (and even non-food) shops -- NOT full-serve restaurants-- that provide a truly gourmet experience. I'm taking some folks on a food tour and want to show them the most chichi, upscale, premium, and delicious things that SF has to offer... ideally off the beaten path. In other words, off the tourist path, into the neighborhoods of The City.

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  1. This might be considered touristy, but I don't think you can do a complete food tour of SF without visiting the Ferry Building, esp. on Farmer's Market day. It's all upscale, all premium, and mostly delicious.

    I'd also add Lucca's and Molinari's delicatessens. And the kitchen store on Divisadero whose name I always forget, but that smells like an attic and is packed full of used kitchen equipment.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MuppetGrrl

      I think the store you're thinking of is Cookin' - upscale and premium only in its prices. Fascinating anyway.

    2. Check out the Bi-Rite Market on 18th Street between Guerrero and Dolores. Killer gourmet specialty market with killer prepared foods. It's also on the same block with Delfina, Delfina Pizza, and the spectacular Tartine bakery, which makes that block the up-scale gourmet epicenter of the entire Mission/Noe swath of the city.

      1. The most chichi upscale places are mostly not off the tourist path.

        And probably 85% of the most delicious things that are off the beaten path are the opposite of upscale.

        XOX

        focaccia warm out of the oven at Liguria

        slice of porcini pizza at L'Osteria del Forno

        pastry or apricot-ginger breads at Noe Valey Bakery (but you can hit them at the Ferry Plaza on Saturday)

        taco al pastor at Taqueria San Jose

        schwaerma at Truly Mediterranean

        Tartine

        taste flight at WINE in Embarcadero Center

        free meatballs at Schroeder's

        burger at Zeitgeist

        bahn mi at Saigon Sandwich

        1. Free meatballs? How come I don't know about this?!

          The other suggestions are great. I am soooo on-board with much of what you guys have suggested. What about non-food?

          1 Reply
          1. re: Barbiedoll

            Schroeder's has free appetizers and beer specials 5pm-7pm Thursday and Friday.

          2. K&L wine shop
            The Wine House
            24th street cheese shop in Noe Valley
            the markets on Stockton Street in Chinatown