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where to find fresh sugar cane juice in SF?

  • xepht Apr 13, 2008 04:30 PM

anybody know where i can find fresh sugar cane juice in or around SF?

thanks!!
frances

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  1. Fresh sugar cane is available at Alemany farmer's market, and probably heart of the city. It may also be available at Chinese supermarkets. If you have a juicer, it should be quite easy to juice yourself.

    1. Funny you should ask because I was at the Pacific East Mall in El Cerrito/Richmond yesterday and noticed there's this new HK snack type place next to 168. I didn't have a chance to check it out but they did have a sign that said fresh sugar cane juice.

      1 Reply
      1. re: calalilly

        thanks for the info! i'll check these places out.

      2. Baguette Express on Larkin has fresh sugarcane juice.

        1 Reply
        1. re: alag

          I think I've seen it at other places in the Tenderloin too....maybe at Lee's Sandwiches? But Baguette Express is a good suggestion.

        2. Definitely at Lee's Sandwiches on Larkin. Must get everytime I frequented that store.
          625 Larkin Street @ Willow St.
          San Francisco, CA 94109
          Phone: (415) 929-6888
          Fax: (415) 929-6999

          1. Irving Street Dessert Cafe at 20th Ave. They juice it to order. I didn't try it but noticed the other customers ordering it.

            2 Replies
            1. re: whatsforlunch

              Can you tell me more about Irving Street Dessert Cafe? What's good? I've never tried it, but I've passed by....I usually end up at nearby Wonderful Foods.

              1. re: Dave MP

                Own by the same people who own Irving Street Deli down the street. I just went in for a bahn mi and haven't tried anything else yet. Menu has a little bit of everything -- instant noodle, bahn mi, sago, peanut butter toast. But I can't recall if they have boba.

            2. Alright, listen up. I'm about to give the definitive sugarcane juice review for SF ;)

              I went to Irving Street Cafe & Dessert @ 20th on Saturday. The sugarcane juice I had there was far beyond anything I've ever had before-- much greener and grassier than what I was accustomed to. I'm actually not a huge fan of regular sugarcane juice but I could drink this stuff straight. Really good!

              With a renewed interest in the stuff, I decided to try the two places in the TL. They serve the far inferior (in my mind) browner, sweeter stuff with a lot less flavor. If you're a fan of this stuff I strongly suggest you try the stuff on Irving. It's like night and day/grape juice and wine.

              I'm excited I've seen the light but a little discouraged that I can't find the good stuff here in the city. I'm not even sure it's a matter of freshness, I think it's different sugarcane.

              I hope that helps.

              Oh, and I went to Alemany farmer's market this weekend. No sugarcane, although I misread and was looking for the juice. Either they packed up early or just weren't there.

              6 Replies
              1. re: 3030vision

                Thanks for the report. I was at Alemany on Saturday and I don't remember seeing sugarcane - though I might have missed it. Two weeks ago, I was at the Sunday Civic Center Market and I definitely saw sugarcane there. Sadly there is no one juicing it :(

                1. re: 3030vision

                  Its been a LONG time (maybe ten years) but i distinctly remember some pretty great sugar cane juice at Bombay Ice Creamery on Valencia at 16th. The ran it through a series of rollers to extract the juice and after the first pass added a finger of ginger and a wedge of lemon for some really great flavor.

                  Perhaps its worth stopping by to check out, unless someone else has a more recent report suggesting otherwise . . .

                  1. re: tex.s.toast

                    I checked this week and Bombay Creamery on Valencia no longer carries sugar cane juice. Guess it wasn't big with Mission hipsters.

                    Also took a trip out to Irving Cafe and Dessert and they're no longer using the green sugar cane. Guy told me they were having problems with consistency and that people were complaining it was too grassy. Duh, that's why it was so good! They still have good sugar cane juice but I think it's similar to the sweeter variety to what you'll find elsewhere in the city.

                    1. re: 3030vision

                      Have you ever tried the fresh Pennywort juice they sell at Little Vietnam on 6th ave.?

                      Its not made there. but its sold in an unlabeled plastic bottle. along with pandan soy milk, and plain soy milk.
                      I was a huge fan of the pennywort when i lived over there. very grassy. not horribly sweet. and green, not brown like in the canned versions.

                  2. re: 3030vision

                    They definitely had sugarcane at Alemany this weekend. Someone almost took my head off with a bunch of them. They were pretty and purple, and on the side closer to the freeway.

                    One of the keys to getting good sugarcane is that it has to be freshly extracted. It sits around for awhile and all you get is sugar. Try the kumquat-sugarcane or the strawberry-sugarcane for something different.

                    The sugarcane places in Grand Century mall in San Jose are pretty good. More grassy and less sweet than the place on Irving.

                    Also, I know this is wacky, but the cooking at the deli is better.

                    1. re: sfbing

                      Been a while since this thread was started, but for what it's worth I went to Irving Cafe & Desserts last year to stock up on sugar cane juice and I was really disappointed that they had switched to the more common, sweet sugar cane-- not the grassy version that I enjoyed so much on my earlier visit. I asked them about it and they said something about problems with consistency and customers not like it as much (I'm thinking more the latter). So anyway, I'm back to my search for the tastier, green, grassy version in the city if anyone can help!

                      Also for the record: I'm pretty sure every place I got sugarcane juice in the city (mentioned above) pressed it fresh.

                      -----
                      Irving Cafe & Dessert
                      1919 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122