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Nov 26, 2009 12:21 PM

Specialty food stores?

I'm looking for great specialty food stores, candy, cheese and the like, in Northern CA, so I can put together a shopping tour for myself. Coastal, inland, mountains, all are fair game. Thanks in advance for your advice.

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  1. You should post on the California board for places outside of the Bay Area.

    Boccalone Salumeria - 1 Ferry Building # 21 San Francisco, CA
    Cheeseboard Collective - 1504 Shattuck Ave Berkeley, CA
    Farmstead Cheeses and Wines - 6218 La Salle Ave Oakland, CA
    Fatted Calf - 644-C First Street Napa, CA
    Koreana Plaza - 2328 Telegraph Ave Oakland, CA
    Lehr's German Specialties - 1581 Church St San Francisco, CA
    Mitsuwa - 675 Saratoga Ave San Jose, CA - Japanese supermarket
    Nordic House - 3421 Telegraph Ave Oakland, CA
    Oasis Market - 3045 Telegraph Ave Oakland, CA - Middle Eastern
    Pasta Shop - 5655 College Ave Oakland, CA - wide selection of stuff
    Sousa's Discount Food & Liquor - 1584 Washington Blvd Fremont, CA - Portuguese
    Spanish Table - 1814 San Pablo Ave Berkeley, CA
    The Gourmet Corner - 873 N San Mateo Drive San Mateo, CA - French
    Tokyo Fish Market - 1220 San Pablo Ave Albany, CA - Japanese grocery
    Zand Market - 1401 Solano Ave Albany, CA - Persian

    6 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      This is exactly what I am looking for, thanks.

      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Lao Market - 1619 International Blvd Oakland, CA
        Kuk Jea Market - 2350 Junipero Serra Blvd Daly City, CA - Korean supermarket

        99 Ranch and Lion - many locations - Chinese / pan-Asian supermarkets

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          I also like Milan Market, an Indian grocery on University and Ninth in Berkeley. In addition to a vast array of bulk spices, they carry English biscuits (ginger snaps, etc.) that are fab. If you want to rent a video, too, you came to the right place.

          1. re: oakjoan

            Oh yeah, Milan has the biggest selection of Indian spices I've found.

            Milan International - 990 University Ave Berkeley CA

        2. re: Robert Lauriston

          The best Portuguese market in the Bay Area is Trade Rite Market located in the Little Portugual section of Alum Rock which has some great bakeries (especially Popular), a terrific fish shop specializing in dried fish, a Portuguese cafe (Docato) and restaurant (Sousa's)

          Other Portuguese stores in this list

          Royal Market in SF is one of the best Eastern European marketis in the Bay Area. Other markets with addresses can be found in these lists

          Favorites of mine in those lists are Crossroads World Market (prefer Palo Alto location to Hayward), Delikatesi (Concord), Dittmar's (Mountain View), Euromart (Palo Alto), Israel Kosher (SF), New World Market (SF), Polish Deli (Palo Alto), Russian Family Bakery and Deli (San Bruno), Seakor (I prefer Campbell to SF), Winmart (Sunnyvale), Gastronam (SF)

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            European Turkish Market - 1138 Chula Vista Ave, Burlingame, CA

          2. Raymond & Co, Glen Ellen
            Whole Spice, Oxbow Market Napa

            Raymond & Co
            388 Devlin Road, Napa, CA 94558

            1. Miette Confiserie for a good (albeit overpriced) selection of specialty candies and chocolates, both imported and domestic.

              Paulette Macarons- pretty decent macarons. Can't find truly outstanding ones in the city that I know of, and certainly nothing comparable to Paris. With that said, these are still quite lovely and worth checking out. They also sell Mariage Freres tea.

              Humphrey Slocombe- crazy ice cream maker churning out flavors like Olive Oil, salt and pepper, foie gras, candied jalapeno-strawberry, coca-cola/red wine sorbet...flavors change all the time.

              Wandering through the Ferry Building is always fun. Same for the Alemany Market.

              1. If you head down the coast you can hit the Trifecta of Phipps Store in Pescadero, house of many, many dried legumes and specialty vinegars, then very nearby is Harley Goat Farm with many fine chevre interpretations. The ricotta is fantastic. Don't miss a look at the hayloft turned dining room. North of there in El Granada is Creekside Smokehouse, where even butter isn't safe from the smoke treatment.

                1. I feel like this follows up on this thread - would everyone mind sharing where they buy their salt? I am putting together a salt sampler as a Christmas gift (seems to be the 'thing' this year). I usually do my tea/salt/jam/cheese shopping at Country Cheese on Hopkins in Berkeley. They have about 6 types of salt behind the counter: Fleur de Sel, gray sea salt, smoked salt, Balinese sea salt, and Himalayan pink salt. They also have lavender salt, but I'm not so sure I'd include that. I saw they also have packaged Flor de Sal right now.

                  Where do you buy your salt?

                  Country Cheese
                  1578 Hopkins St, Berkeley, CA

                  3 Replies
                    1. re: meels

                      We were in Oakville last weekend and stopped at Dean & DeLucca. They had a large selection of salts in bulk jars so you could buy as much or as little as you'd like. I would bet they had at least 20 different types. They also let you taste the salt.

                      1. re: goodeatsgal

                        Market Hall in Oakland, The Pasta Shop in Berkeley.