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May 3, 2009 04:36 PM

Looking for cool kitchen stores - Bay area

Hi there !

I am looking for cool kitchen stores in the Bay area selling stylish, unique and higher-end products. Do any of you have recommendations?

Thank you in advance!

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  1. Aside from the usual suspects...Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table, the latter being so impossible to shop, I would suggest a trip to Mill Valley and visit Tyler Florence's shop. He has a great selection of high end cookware, utensils and some really interesting giftware not to mention the largest cookbook library I've ever seen. The library where all the books are for sale, has a big overstuffed leather sofa and club chairs and a fireplace lit on days like today. I believe it's open 7 days a week.

    Tyler Florence Shop
    59 Throckmorton Ave, Mill Valley, CA

    3 Replies
    1. re: surfstud

      I have to second Tyler Florence - it's definitely high-end, but they have some wonderful quality cookware and kitchen supply, and it's a thoughtfully designed space. In addition, Tyler himself is in there all the time (and a helluva nice guy) if such things are of import to you...

      1. re: Deeg67

        I used to live in MV and today, after walking on Mt. Tam, I stopped by the store (I did not know it was there -- it's been there a year.) Very nice people working there and, as mentioned, lovely library with leather chairs/sofa. Store has beautiful displays. I bought some small items, held off on the kyocera peeler -- almost $18. I didn't think I really needed a new one yet, but I've heard they are great. (Beautiful restroom, too!)

        1. re: walker

          Save your money on the Kyocera peeler. Fragile and unwieldly.

    2. Some of these places are higher-end and some aren't.

      Also Forest Restaurant Supply, 2010 Cesar Chavez.

      Le Sanctuaire
      315 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94108

      Kamei Restaurant Supply
      547 Clement St, San Francisco, CA

      Economy Restaurant Fixtures
      1200 7th St, San Francisco, CA

      339 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA

      K Doving Co
      1171 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA

      Limn Co
      290 Townsend St, San Francisco, CA

      6 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Limn? High end kitchen cabinets and appliances, yes. But that's about it, no?

        1. re: Paul H

          Maybe, I can't remember. Limn's definitely high-end and a fun place to visit.

        2. re: Robert Lauriston

          Robert's list has some gems. The two most interesting "kitchen stores" in San Francisco are Economy Restaurant Supply because it is a gigantic warehouse full of commercial cooking equipment and supplies, and Le Sanctuaire because it is one of the few places in the country with leading edge chemicals, spices and equipment. Plus, a visit to Williams Sonoma in Union Square and Sur la Table in the Ferrybuilding will always be entertaining.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Oh, how did I forget:

            Soko Hardware
            1698 Post St, San Francisco, CA

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              Good one! Great selection of Japanese knives and kitchenwares. And, speaking of Japanese knives (and those hard to find titanium serving chopsticks!)...

              Woodline Japan Woodworker
              1731 Clement Ave, Alameda, CA

              1. re: Paul H

                In the East Bay, there's also Hida Tool, and the housewares shop in the old Tokyo Fish store (in front of the bigger new Tokyo Fish store).

                Tokyo Fish Market
                1220 San Pablo Ave, Albany, CA 94706

                Hida Tool & Hardware
                1333 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA

          2. Daiso in Serramonte has a great assortment of $1 Japanese kitchen items.

            Daiso California
            146 Serramonte Ctr, Daly City, CA

            9 Replies
            1. re: ML8000

              Daiso is not higher-end or unique. I was there last month for the first time and found it to be mostly cheap junk, sorry.

              1. re: surfstud

                High end, no. Stylish and unique...that's subjective. I've gotten stuff there (for cheap no less) that would cost 5-10x elsewhere if you could find it. No need to apologize, you probably just didn't look carefully.

                1. re: ML8000

                  I've been involved in retail for 30 years and it doesn't take long for me to spot inferior products.

                  1. re: surfstud

                    Daiso is a nice alternative/complement to the more common Chinese and Korean stores in sourcing unique, hard to find items. Like strainers, steamers, and skimmers in particular sizes and shapes. I've seen plenty of people walk into an Asian market and remark "i've been looking for something just like that for a long time."

                    I do like East Bay Restaurant Supply in Oakland. They've been getting way more 'retail' in the past decade or so... it's huge space you can wander around in and look at whisks the size of a shovel.

                    If you're just going for unique, there's the Spanish Table in Berkeley. I've only ever stepped inside/window shopped while drinking at the Albatross, but it's very authentic.

                    1. re: Jumbo_Jack

                      They have a good selection of Spanish pottery and who can do without the essential 90cm paella pan.

                      1. re: wolfe

                        Going a bit off topic... but do you actually own one of those??

                        I was interested in getting a paella pan once, but the burden of storing it all the time kept me from buying it.

                        To channel alton brown: is that paella pan a huge uni-tasker, or have you found other uses?

                        1. re: Jumbo_Jack

                          I have a huge copper paella pan (not quite 90cm, 18 serving size) that I bought in france 10 years ago. I've made paella in it exactly three times. Mostly it hangs out on top of my refrigerator.

                          1. re: Melanie Wong

                            Hah! I have a friend who bought 3(!) of them for a big dinner party. Wonder what she's done w/them. Haven't look on top of her fridge though ...

                      2. re: Jumbo_Jack

                        Daiso, is not high end but they have some really great gimmick items I love. Not must have but I go one every other month to see what they have that is interesting.

                        But read where the product is made, most are not made in Japan and are copy made in China.

              2. "Stylish, unique and higher-end." Why am I the only one to think immediately of Biordi Italian Imports in North Beach?


                4 Replies
                1. re: Xiao Yang

                  Probably because Biordi is limited to tabletop and giftware and the OP asked about kitchen stores.

                  1. re: surfstud

                    Well, Biordi does have a large selection of kitchen counter items like ingredients containers and utensil containers, and I recall seeing chicken cookers in there in the past.


                    1. re: surfstud

                      If a Carerra marble mortar and pestle count as kitchen equipment..... yeah.

                      1. re: keg

                        As one who bought one from them over 15 years ago and uses it at least three times a week, it does.

                  2. I see that Robert mentioned "Cookin'" on Divisidero (between Page and Oak) - and I second that. It's definitely the best collection of vintage and ecclectic cooking-related items, although the store is a bit cramped, the prices sometimes seem on the high side, and the owner...can be a bit mercurial. But definitely worth checking out!