HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Are you making a specialty food? Tell us about it

Looking for cool kitchen stores - Bay area

SushiTarian May 3, 2009 04:36 PM

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!

  1. Xiao Yang May 5, 2009 07:48 PM

    Found myself waiting for the Sutter St. bus in front of Alessi's flagship store. Definitely unique, definitely upscale kitchen gadgets are among its wares.


    1 Reply
    1. re: Xiao Yang
      SushiTarian May 8, 2009 01:11 PM

      wow !! Thank you all so much for all your suggestions !

      thank you!

    2. b
      bdl May 5, 2009 07:24 PM

      Perfect Edge Cutlery in San Mateo for a great knife selection (and lots of other stuff there. the people working here know their stuff.

      1. k
        keg May 5, 2009 07:01 PM

        Ratto's in Oakland used to have some unique items. Occasionally enamel gratin dishes. Swedish potato peelers. Other oddities.

        Thomas Cara sells high end counter top espresso equipment and accessories.

        K. Doving is industrial. Bought a long neck sausage grinder that is a workhorse. So much less tedious than all the short necks out there.

        1 Reply
        1. re: keg
          Robert Lauriston May 6, 2009 08:18 AM

          I think Ratto's dropped all of its kitchen stuff when it consolidated into a third of the original space.

        2. Chuckles the Clone May 5, 2009 06:11 PM

          What's up with Pacific Sales which seems to have opened up in Emeryville in the old CompUSA place near Home Depot? Chain from down south, the website seems to suggest? Worth a trip? My oh my, yelpers do not like them not one little bit.

          1. g
            Giselle May 5, 2009 10:48 AM

            I think in San Mateo there is at 1640 palm avenue a perfect edge cutlery and chefs supply store which has a lot. Not sure if it has what you want exactly

            1. scarmoza May 5, 2009 08:36 AM

              M & V Trading Company. Three locations and an online store.

              2341 Irving St
              (between 24th Ave & 25th Ave)
              San Francisco, CA 94122
              (415) 665-8383

              251 E 3rd Ave
              San Mateo, CA 94401
              (650) 558-9780

              486 Barber Ln
              Milpitas, CA 95035
              (408) 432-9899


              1. h
                himbeer May 5, 2009 01:08 AM

                Lol, I was trying to see if that place in Laurel Village was still there. ets hokins? And discovered that you can buy a logoed $500 countertop fridge from shop49ers. Oh, not what you meant?

                Don't forget hardware stores like Cliff's, Fredericksen's, Cole.

                1. m
                  Morticia May 4, 2009 07:44 AM

                  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!

                  1. Xiao Yang May 3, 2009 09:03 PM

                    "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
                      surfstud May 4, 2009 09:31 AM

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

                      1. re: surfstud
                        Xiao Yang May 4, 2009 06:55 PM

                        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
                          keg May 5, 2009 06:56 PM

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

                          1. re: keg
                            wally May 5, 2009 07:15 PM

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

                      2. m
                        ML8000 May 3, 2009 07:08 PM

                        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
                          surfstud May 3, 2009 08:01 PM

                          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
                            ML8000 May 3, 2009 09:32 PM

                            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
                              surfstud May 3, 2009 11:20 PM

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

                              1. re: surfstud
                                Jumbo_Jack May 4, 2009 11:13 PM

                                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. http://www.eastbayrestaurantsupply.com/

                                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
                                  wolfe May 5, 2009 07:08 AM

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

                                  1. re: wolfe
                                    Jumbo_Jack May 5, 2009 04:03 PM

                                    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
                                      Melanie Wong May 5, 2009 05:03 PM

                                      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
                                        Sarah May 5, 2009 05:30 PM

                                        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
                                    yimster May 5, 2009 08:15 AM

                                    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. Robert Lauriston May 3, 2009 05:44 PM

                            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
                              Paul H May 3, 2009 07:03 PM

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

                              1. re: Paul H
                                Robert Lauriston May 4, 2009 02:47 PM

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

                              2. re: Robert Lauriston
                                Paul H May 5, 2009 08:43 AM

                                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
                                  Robert Lauriston May 5, 2009 10:57 AM

                                  Oh, how did I forget:

                                  Soko Hardware
                                  1698 Post St, San Francisco, CA

                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                    Paul H May 5, 2009 01:14 PM

                                    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
                                      Robert Lauriston May 5, 2009 03:57 PM

                                      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. s
                                  surfstud May 3, 2009 04:56 PM

                                  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
                                    Deeg67 May 5, 2009 08:05 AM

                                    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
                                      walker May 12, 2009 08:53 PM

                                      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
                                        Paul H May 12, 2009 08:57 PM

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

                                  Show Hidden Posts