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Asian markets closest to the Mission? [San Francisco]

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I recently moved to the Mission and am looking for a new place to buy my Asian foods...anything Chinese, Korean, Japanese and the like. I've noticed a lot of stores, like Duk Loi, say they're Asian markets, but when I go inside, it's mostly Mexican products. Does anyone have any tips? I saw there's a 99 Ranch in Richmond, but don't know if there's something closer.

Thank you!

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  1. There;s a 99 Ranch and Kuk-Je (big Korean market) in Daly City

    -----
    Kuk Jea Market
    2350 Junipero Serra Blvd, Daly City, CA

    99 Ranch Market
    250 Skyline Plz, Daly City, CA

    1. Manila Oriental Market might suit your needs.

      -----
      Manila Oriental Market
      4175 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94112

      2 Replies
      1. re: Euonymous

        Pacific Super is close to Manila. I find Pacific and Manila to be fairly similar, but Pacific has much better parking. Both are closer to The Mission than the Daly City markets. I'm pretty sure there's a bus right up Mission that will take you to Manila.

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        Pacific Supermarket
        2900 Alemany Blvd, San Francisco, CA

        1. re: realspear

          I do notice that the produce at MOM is better than Pacific, and they also have a more diverse selection of fresh fish.

      2. There's Casa Thai on 16th near Mission and the new giant Vietnamese market on the corner of Mission and 18th.

        For something larger, there's Manila (as noted), which is several miles south, or jump over the hill toward Sunset Super or the many stores on Irving.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Windy

          New giant Vietnamese market at Mission & 18th??? How wide is their selection, and what would you compare it to?

          Check out Hwa Lei on 16th just east of Mission, north side of street: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/605110 .

          1. re: david kaplan

            It's called Duc Loi. I haven't been inside yet, but it looks great.

            http://www.yelp.com/biz/duc-loi-super...

        2. when duc loi reopened, i noticed that it was understocked. i've peeked in a few times since, and it seems that the inventory is filling out, and if your looking for southeast asian or even chinese products, this market might fill most of those needs. otherwise, i would check out the aforementioned manila oriental market, just a quick ride on the muni. for korean and japanese, there isn't really anything near the mission. kukje in daly city is a huge korean market, if you have a car. otherwise it's japantown, at shops like nijiya, uoki, and super mira, and nearby on fillmore by geary, there's woori market for korean. it's tiny, but has all the essentials. otherwise i think its a BART or muni ride to the stockton st. markets for chinese, or a further trek out to clement st. for places like new may wah for chinese.

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          Nijiya Market
          1737 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94115

          Sakai K Uoki Co
          1656 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94115

          New May Wah
          719 Clement St, San Francisco, CA

          Super Mira
          1790 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA

          Woo Ri Food Market
          1528 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA

          3 Replies
          1. re: augustiner

            A little more info about Duc Loi with photos. Looks good.

            http://blogs.sfweekly.com/foodie/2009...
            http://blogs.kqed.org/bayareabites/20...

            The link to the kqed blog also mentions they have a good selection of Latin American groceries and make their own chorizo. It goes on to say "In the coming months, expect to see a deli with Vietnamese sandwiches and other popular takeout food. An underground parking lot will also open soon. "

            Really swell looking photo of what really does look like a happy dead pig ... but if pig heads make you squeemish, don't click on this link. That pig looks so happy it could make PETA rethink things
            http://missionmission.wordpress.com/2...

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            Duc Loi Supermarket
            2200 Mission St, San Francisco, CA

            1. re: rworange

              I agree with "yummyyy"... this is not a market that one could get many ingredients for Japanese, Korean, or Chinese cooking. The majority of the selection is geared towards Latino products. The Asian products that they do carry are more for SE Asian cooking.

              1. re: vliang

                I tried Duc Loi last weekend and was disappointed overall with their selection of Asian products. There are definitely Latino products in there to cater to the neighborhood but I found it pretty sparsely stocked. Some organic produce though, which is kind of nice.

          2. Thanks all for your responses! I tried Duc Loi on 18th and Mission...I thought it was just OK. Didn't actually seem to have that many Asian goods. But it is very convenient. I'll be sure to check out all your suggestions. Thank you!!

            12 Replies
            1. re: yummyyy

              I live in the Mission and am often on the hunt for Asian groceries. Like many others on this board, I found Duc Loi to be somewhat understocked and disappointing (though occasionally I'll pick up some veggies or noodles there). Hwa Lei, which another poster mentioned, is great for staple foods such as jarred sauces, dried noodles, jasmine rice, and other pantry items. They have a stunning amount of inventory for a relatively small space, and it's pretty much my corner store, so I can't complain. You can also find lap cheung, preserved duck eggs, fish balls, bitter melon, and Thai bird chiles here. There is a heavy emphasis on Thai and Vietnamese ingredients, but also some Chinese items available.

              To really stock up on Asian ingredients though, you need to venture further from Mission. Not as far as Daly City, but still difficult to get to without a car are the markets in Richmond and Sunset. The ones I seem to end up at most often are Sunset Super at Irving and 25th or (probably my favorite), Richmond New May Wah, which has a huge seafood, produce, and meat selection, and appears to be cleaner than your average Chinese market.

              Another interesting resource in the Mission is Bombay Bazaar on Valencia. Not super well-stocked given its size, but a good place to grab inexpensive Indian spices, pulses, and pre-made curries, as well as ghee and paneer. Venturing completely out of Asia, I also often stop by the Greek Market on Mission for tarama and the Middle Eastern market (Samirami's) at 25th and Mission for fresh pitas, pomegranate molasses, and other Mediterranean ingredients.

              1. re: possumspice

                Links

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                Bombay Bazar
                548 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA

                Hwa Lei Market
                2970 16th St, San Francisco, CA

                1. re: possumspice

                  I had mentioned Hwa Lei above, and I should add that they don't carry my preferred fish sauce, Golden Boy brand. I've only seen that brand in SF at Battambang in the Tenderloin and have been meaning to check Duc Loi for it.

                  1. re: david kaplan

                    my vietnamese friend who is an avid cook (her bun bo hue is outstanding) swears the only fish sauce brand to buy is three crabs (pic here: http://importfood.com/satc2401.html

                    )

                    not sure if hwa lei carries it (can check tomorrow) but the price tag on my current bottle indicates you can definitely get it at 23rd & irving market.

                    1. re: possumspice

                      just ran over to hwa lei and though they have 4 or 5 varieties of fish sauce, they don't have three crabs brand. nor do they have the tamarind chili paste i was looking for. guess a trip to inner richmond is in my near future.

                      1. re: possumspice

                        Manila Oriental Market (MOM) on Mission just north of Silver carries Three Crabs brand fish sauce and lots of other Asian and Southeast Asian ingredients.

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                        Manila Oriental Market
                        4175 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94112

                  2. re: possumspice

                    Ooh - I'll have to try Samirami's. I've been looking for a good Mediterranean supply spot.

                    1. re: emmaroseeats

                      Samirami's link

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                      Samiramis Imports
                      2990 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                    2. re: possumspice

                      Following up on my earlier post, Duc Loi really appears to be making improvements over the past few months. The stock was a bit sparse right after they opened, but recent trips have revealed harder-to-find ingredients like curry leaves and fresh (unrefrigerated) rice noodles, which I used to have to trek all the way to the Richmond to get. Also spotted spam musubi, though it doesn't look nearly as appetizing as the Mitsuwa version.

                      1. re: possumspice

                        If you're near Duc Loi and you want fresh rice noodles, you could buy them right from the rice noodle makers on the south side of 16th between Mission and So Van Ness, roughly across the street from Hwa Lei. Not sure there's any signage, and you have to ring the doorbell on the gate.

                        1. re: david kaplan

                          wow, that is an excellent tip, thanks! wonder why hwa lei doesn't sell fresh rice noodles...

                      2. re: possumspice

                        Bombay Bazar has apparently closed.

                        http://missionlocal.org/2010/11/bomba...

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                        Bombay Bazar
                        548 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA

                    3. A quick web search for thai markets in SF led to this pretty awesome list:
                      http://www.thaifoodandtravel.com/mark...

                      It includes lots of the places mentioned on this thread. Clicking on the links leads to a 2-3 line review with a focus on availability of Thai ingredients.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: possumspice

                        Thanks for the awesome replies! I checked out almost every one. I think I settled most on Duc Loi and Bombay Bazaar. I was able to fill most of my needs through these places, with the occasional visit to 99 Ranch in the burbs. :-p

                        I wonder if there is more to be found in the Sunset?

                        1. re: yummyyy

                          22nd & Irving is worth checking out.

                          -----
                          22nd & Irving Produce
                          2101 Irving St, San Francisco, CA

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                            Do you mean 23rd and Irving? 22nd and Irving is a lovely store, but based on the teas, feta, and canned foul, the owners are from the Middle East.

                            Sunset Super has two big stores, one on Irving near 26th and the larger one out on Vicente. If you're going that far though, you might as well get on 280 and drive to Kukje (Korean).

                            1. re: Windy

                              22nd and Irving seemed far less Middle Eastern and more Chinese-y on my last visit a couple weeks ago. But I agree that Sunset Super or 23rd & Irving might be a better match for the OP.

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                              1. re: Windy

                                22nd & Irving Produce seemed more Chinese to me, but they have a pretty eclectic selection.

                                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                  The shift to more Chinese is recent, previously it was more Mediterranean/Middle Eastern.

                                  * * * * *
                                  Ninth Annual Chowing with the Hounds Picnic! October 3rd, 2009, details and registration info
                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/652687

                                  Chowing with the Hounds Picnic, 2008 Report.
                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/560808

                                  Recipes from the 2008 Chowing with the Hounds Picnic!
                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/560850

                          2. re: possumspice

                            I'm a huge fan of the Battambang Market in Tenderloin for my Thai ingredients. Huge downside is it's not super fun to walk through that particular block and if you drive, there is never parking since the police station is next door and cop cars park all over.

                            339 Eddy St
                            (between Jones St & Wagner Aly)
                            San Francisco, CA 94102

                          3. Last week I did a quick browse in Duc Loi for the first time in ages. I picked up a bag of homemade potato chips, $2. They're pretty greasy. Unsalted, I had to wait till I got home to add some kosher salt to bring out some flavor. Pretty good potato taste, some were underfried and tough. While I might purchase them again, I didn't find them crave-worthy.

                            They're on top of the deli counter. Alongside were other kinds of chips, e.g., taro. Wondering if anyone has tried those and if they're any better.

                             
                            1. duc loi is one of the best and most unorganized supermarkets in the city. that being said, they have all common asian products (literally one aisle has asian products on one side, mexican on the other), it just might take a while to find what you need. that being said, the owner who is always there speaks competent vietnamese, chinese, spanish, and english, and is always looking to add new products that her customers want.

                              still the only supermarket in SF that has organic products, asian products, and hispanic products - she really understands the neighborhood.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: vulber

                                I've had some pretty mixed experiences with Duc Loi. I don't know if they keep their fresh food/produce stored inappropriately or what, but I once saw green mold growing on the fresh rice noodles (I've never seen that in a single other Asian market, no matter how rinky dink or sketchy). I also once grabbed a sweet potato from the organic bin that was so rotten it pretty much disintegrated in my hand...pretty disgusting. The organic shallots are also often past their prime. I stop in there for emergencies, but most of that produce just doesn't look that fresh and appealing to me.

                                On the other hand, their avocados are consistently some of the better ones I've found in the area. More or less perfectly ripe. Maybe their laissez faire attitude towards food storage works when it comes to avocados.

                                Edited to add that I also don't care for their bahn mi: overstuffed and too sweet. Lacking all of the subtle balance of a well-made bahn mi.

                                1. re: possumspice

                                  i will defintiely agree with you on their bahn mi. produce seems hit or miss depending on the day. i usually will just go across the street to mi ranchito for cheaper produce. all of the meats are consistently fresh, usually butchered that morning, and ive never had any freshness issues with stuff in the dairy aisle