Current feedback on Restaurant Supply Stores
Checked out East Bay Restaurant supply this weekend. Large and varied stock, but I was not as blown away by pricing as I expected to be. Are there any other recommendations, with pricing as a priority?
A cursory search of Chowhound suggests the following:
Economy Restaurant Fixtures, SF
City Discount, SF
Chef's something, SSF.
Cash and Carry, San Rafael
County Restaurant Supply in San Carlos might be worth calling. They're probably a 10,000 square foot facility. I am not a restaurateur, I just know they sell everything from corpse-sized stockpots to pasta stations, and all the little things in between.
They are literally a block from the San Carlos Caltrain platform.
You might wish to consider online stores such as instawares, acemart, etc. Prices are usually very good and the selection is phenomenal. Chef's warehouse in SSF gets press now and then but I found them to have very few bargains with mediocre quality goods. They do have some discounts on All-Clad. However, if you have any interest in AC, you might wish to consider cookwarenmore.com. Always 33% off, with an additional 20% if you buy 4 pieces or during their twice a year sale when you only have to buy one piece. Kamei is a supply store on Clement. It has a lot of asian style dishes and cookware. Prices are very low and it might be worth a look. Perfect Edge in San Mateo (17th Street to Palm Avenue) is a great place for knives and worth a trip. They are reducing stock in general kitchen items (cookware, etc) and seem to have been running sales this summer. County is OK but at least on some items - e.g., heavier weight hotel pans and mixing bowls - they don't seem to stock better goods. Internet is probably best for those items. They do however have super big stockpots (as does Economy in SF and East Bay). Finally, if you are in the city - it's worth checking out two "100 yen" stores - Ichiban-kan in Japantown (also in San Mateo) and Daiso (Serramonte, Union City, SJ, soon to be in MV). These types of stores stock all sorts of interesting stuff. Of the two, Ichiban has better quality overall and is a great place for low prices and excellent made-in-Japan quality bowls and dishes. Many Daiso prices are only $1.50/piece whatever the item. Also a good place for dishes.
Good point about County in San Carlos. They dont have much upscale stuff. The knives are dwcent though. The kitchen ware is pretty typical of the items one would find in a restaurant kitchen, which I'd say is not like the stuff at most home cook stores.. The service ware is def low end. Good for basics like white plates. They have some stuff that you see in cafeterias too, trays, lightweight silverware, etc. I like them for kitchen tools and supply.
East Bay Restaurant Supply (49 4th St Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 465-4300) is supposed to be very good, though I haven't personally visited to check it out.
I have been increasingly disappointed with East Bay Restaurant Supply. I think the selection is minimal and there is a lot of junk, and prices aren't that great. (They do have good service on large appliance purchases, however.) I'm from LA and have been spoiled by Surfas, which is a great store. Surfas has an online store but any time I'm back in LA I stop by and always end up getting something. A friend recommends a restaurant supply store in SF near the Cesar Chavez onramp to 101, but I haven't been there and can't remember the name.
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