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Thai market in SF?

sf415 Feb 11, 2008 01:11 PM

Recently returned from Thailand and want to cook some of those tasty recipes I learned. Is there a Thai market in SF? I found mention of one in Berkeley, but am looking for something in SF city limits. Thanks!

  1. Paul H Feb 11, 2008 01:17 PM

    Look here (Markets with Thai Ingredients in the San Francisco Bay Area)

    I've been to Battambang Market in the Tenderloin, and while small and seemingly disorganized, they're stocked to the rafters with Thai products.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Paul H
      Robert Lauriston Jun 4, 2008 09:41 AM

      Re that list, I was in Tuk Tuk in Berkeley a few weeks ago and it looked like it was closing. Several of the aisles were empty, the freezers were empty and had for-sale signs, and there was a for-lease sign in the window.

    2. sfeater Feb 11, 2008 01:17 PM

      It is not specifically Thai but new may wah on Geary in the Richmond has always had everything i need to make Thai recipes. Green papaya, lime leaf, tamarind etc. There are also small neighborhood markets that will have these ingredients, a couple that come to mind are valencia farmer's market at 24th and golden produce on Church.

      Valencia Farmer's Market
      1299 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

      New May Wah
      719 Clement St, San Francisco, CA

      Golden Produce
      172 Church St, San Francisco, CA

      3 Replies
      1. re: sfeater
        david kaplan Feb 11, 2008 03:25 PM

        What is the Valencia Farmers Market, and which Thai ingredients do they regularly have?

        1. re: david kaplan
          sfeater Feb 12, 2008 01:44 PM

          It is just a small neighborhood market, but the family who owns it is Cambodian. When I used to live in the hood they would regularly dig up hidden items for me from the chock full shelves. Bean thread noodles, lime leaves, dried Thai chilies etc. It's not a destination place but my point is just that neighborhood places often have more then meets the eye

          1. re: sfeater
            Windy Jun 4, 2008 08:34 PM

            It's a wonderful store. And they do have odd-good things: blood oranges, the best fresh ground organic peanut butter, slices of tangy cream cheese.

      2. Robert Lauriston Feb 11, 2008 02:01 PM

        Does Bangkok Grocery still exist? 3236 Geary, (415) 221-5863‎. The places feature doesn't find it, maybe it went out of business.

        Battambang Market
        339 Eddy St, San Francisco, CA

        3 Replies
        1. re: Robert Lauriston
          SteveG Feb 11, 2008 03:19 PM

          I don't remember seeing it recently, but when it did exist it was less a grocery and more a market, as in Thai language movies and music. I think the only edible items were a few extracts and sauces.

          For the best selection in SF, I go to Battambang market on Eddy in the Tenderloin. For just a few more common items, I pick them up at New May Wah, which as mentioned above is not a Thai market but has a decent selection of all Asian ingredients and a reasonably complete selection of Chinese ingredients.

          1. re: SteveG
            Robert Lauriston Feb 11, 2008 04:48 PM

            I bought lots of Thai ingredients at Bangkok, they were pretty well stocked. But that's some years ago.

          2. re: Robert Lauriston
            sfwtchris Feb 12, 2008 01:56 PM

            I believe they are closed (out of business).

          3. d
            david kaplan Feb 11, 2008 04:54 PM

            Also, the vendor nearest the live chicken truck at the Civic Center farmers' market (Wed. and Sun.) always has Thai basil, lemongrass, Thai bird chiles, and Thai green eggplant, and usually has hot basil (bai ga-prow) and lime leaves.

            1. Kosmonaut Feb 12, 2008 02:37 PM

              The Alemany Farmer's Market has vendors that sell fresh kaffir leaves and you can get 5 fat stalks of lemongrass for 50 cents.

              Manila Oriental Market on Mission just after it crosses 280 has lots of Thai goodies as well.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Kosmonaut
                Dave MP Feb 12, 2008 06:14 PM

                I also recommend Manila Oriental Market - it has a pretty big Thai section with lots of Thai products.

                sf415, what products are you specifically looking for? As the above recommendations indicate, depending on what you want, you might find options closer to where you are at a primarily Chinese or Vietnamese market.

              2. w
                wontonsoup Jun 4, 2008 09:13 PM

                I realize you're looking for sources in SF. But when we lived in Berkeley, I could almost always do one-stop shopping for Thai at Berkeley Bowl: meats, fish, chilies, galanga, kaffir lime leaves (fresh), etc etc. And while you're there, get lunch and the rest of your groceries taken care of.

                1 Reply
                1. re: wontonsoup
                  Robert Lauriston Jun 5, 2008 09:31 AM

                  Berkeley Bowl does have most things, including fish sauce and a good Thai brand of coconut milk.

                  For more obscure ingredients:

                  Thailand Grocery
                  1704 University Ave, Berkeley, CA

                2. DezzerSF Jun 5, 2008 05:40 PM

                  Any of these places have "Golden Boy" fish sauce? Kasma Loha-unchit swears by it and it's become my favorite though hard to find. I did find it in Oakland at May Kong, they also have lime leaves and Holy basil. Next door is Lao Market, and they have plenty of fresh thai chilies sorted by color.

                  May Kong
                  1613 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94606

                  Lao Market
                  1619 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94606

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: DezzerSF
                    wontonsoup Jun 5, 2008 10:10 PM

                    Berkeley Bowl does carry the "good" brand of coconut milk : Chaokok? Also recommended by Kasma. Her tip for remembering this brand? The letters "OK" is in the middle of the name.

                    Battambang in SF would be a good bet for Kasma's favorite Golden Boy fish sauce. Paul H recommended thaifoodandtravel.com -- it's Kasma's website and chock full of shopping information, recipes, class info. Her classes are the best, hands down. I couldn't eat out for Thai for a year after I stopped taking classes from her.

                    1. re: DezzerSF
                      ...tm... Nov 10, 2008 09:18 PM

                      I'm 80% sure I got my Golden Boy fish sauce from Tuk Tuk market (in Berkeley) or the small Thai market diagonally across the street.

                      As a more general lime leaf suggestion--I bought a plant from the guy who sells plants (maybe only in the spring/summer months) at the Alemany farmer's market. I haven't worked very a hard to keep it alive and while it hasn't produced any kaffir limes yet, it easily keeps enough leaves on it for me to use them a couple times a month. I think a small one was about $10 and I have fresh leaves whenever I want, not frozen or accidentally dried in my refrigerator.

                      Tuk Tuk Thai & Asian Market
                      1581 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94703

                      1. re: ...tm...
                        jkingsle Nov 11, 2008 08:30 PM

                        Tuk Tuk in Berkeley usually has Golden Boy.

                        As for lime trees, it usually takes a few years for a tree to get comfortable with it's surroundings to start producing fruit. As for the leaves, it is best to cut branches, rather than just picking a leaves here and there when harvesting.

                        1. re: ...tm...
                          Kosmonaut Mar 21, 2009 10:40 AM

                          There's a citrus vendor at the Alemany's Farmer's Market in SF on Saturdays that almost always has fresh kaffir lime leaves. They're the vendor that sells the most citrus varieties - Rangpur limes, Buddha's Hand, kumquats, etc. They always set up their booth near the vendor selling the fresh eggs/duck balut.

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