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Jun 26, 2007 12:45 PM

Gourmet Markets

I'm driving up to SF from LA this weekend. All set to visit the SF Farmer's Market, eat at Zuni and with friends at Perbacco.

I'm wanting to do a little gourmet market tour. Anything specializing in Italian and/or cheese. Anything i shouldn't miss? Staying near the SF Farmer's Market--willing to drive, prefer to walk.

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  1. There are a number of gourmet food shops inside the Ferry Building, including one specializing in Italian foods (i Preferiti di Boriana), a good Italian deli (Mastrelli), and a great cheese shop (Cowgirl Creamery). http://www.ferrybuildingmarketplace.c...

    You can walk to AG Ferrari, an Italian specialty store, which is on Mission Street at 3rd. If you want to walk to North Beach there are a number of Italian delis, including Palermo Deli and Molinari.

    There are quite a few good cheese shops in the city, including Cheese Plus (Russian Hill), Say Cheese (Cole Valley) and 24th Street (Noe Valley).

    1. Just take a walk of North Beach. Still plenty of delis and shops specializing in Italian foods. Then there are places like LIguria Bakery where you can pick up some foccaccia.

      1 Reply
      1. re: cmvan

        North Beach still has several Italiian bakeries, but there's not much other food shopping left. Molinari's and Panelli Bros. (delis) and Little City Market (butcher) ... what else? A. Cavalli's worth a visit but no food I can recall. XOX Truffles is gourmet though not Italian.

        Most of the old Italian shops have been turned into cafes or restaurants. Plenty of those.

      2. Take BART to the East Bay. Go to Rockridge and hit up Matket Hall Foods right outside the station (good gourmet shop, great cheese selection), or go to the downtown Berkeley stop and walk 1/4 mile north on Shattuck to go to The Cheese Board (and maybe stop at Chez Panisse while you're there).

        3 Replies
        1. re: LarryW

          Though I live only three blocks from the Cheese Board, I'd have to say the experience on College around Market Hall would be FAR superior to N. Berkeley. Aside from a trip to Chez Panisse to say you'd been there, N. Berkeley's a great place to live but I wouldn't wanna visit there. While at Market Hall, get lunch at Wood Tavern. Yummo!

          1. re: lintygmom

            I'm gonna second the Ferry Market - you can spend an entire afternoon in there. The Cowgirl Creamery is a must-visit if you're looking for cheese. They carry their own cheeses made up in Point Reyes using organic milk from the Straus dairy, my personal favorite is the Mt. Tam. They also carry cheeses that will be familiar if you're into artisanal producers. Also don't forget to sample and pick up a bottle of Stonehouse or McEvoy Ranch olive oil (maybe both!) and grab some mushrooms from Far West Fungi!

            1. re: lintygmom

              The Rockridge Market Hall is impressive, sort of like a small neighborhood version of the SF Ferry Building, but I can't think of any other notable food shopping around there. Restaurants galore, but no need to leave SF for that.

          2. Well after your visit, but in case others wonder, Bi-rite is a nice field trip from downtown. Grab a snack there, or a sweet at Tartine, or even better an ice cream cone at Bi-rite Creamery across the street, which you can enjoy at Dolores Park (Dolores Beach on a nice day). The streetcar trip up Market, either via the J Church or the F-line with a transfer underground to the J at Church, is easy enough and the J-Church line once it exits the subway is particularly scenic to 18th St. Could be a nice break from being downtown.


              An independent grocery store that puts everthing in LA to shame. The store in Burlingame on El Camino and Trousdale isn't far from the 101 or the 280 and has a big deli, bakery, as well as great produce and Italian specialties.