Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Apr 13, 2014 05:41 PM

Any recs for Chinese specialty food shops in bay area?

Hi - I'm a big fan of stores like Red Blossom Tea and Aroma Tea Shop in SF, bakeries like Sheng Kee and Kee Wah and newer arrivals like 85C that make (or import) really high quality versions of old Chinese favorites.

Are there are any similar "specialty" or "gourmet" Chinese food shops around the bay area? I'm not asking about restaurants, but rather looking for places that sell snacks, teas, candies, spices and other pantry staples.

Thanks so much!


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Sunset Super, New May Wah, Ranch 99. These are Chinese supermarkets.

    1. Thanks - I'm definitely aware of the supermarkets. I'm more looking for specialty shops that are selling more craft or artisanal versions of the products you can find more generally at Ranch 99, in Chinatown et al.

      For example, like a shop selling TCHO chocolate vs. Hershey.

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          Melanie, thanks again for this recommendation. I visited Heartland today and tagged on a report to your original post. Really fantastic spot and exactly what I was seeking. Now if only I could find a store specializing in Chinese beef jerky and assorted Chinese sweet brittles and candies! ~Wes

          1. re: WesAtRedBean

            The place for Chinese beef jerky is Jackson Market. I have not tried it, been around for years.

            Wycen also makes beef jerky, besides sausages. It's alright but not so special.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              I stopped in at Jackson Market yesterday...after a march up the hill from Stockton St that left me completely out of breath. Wonderful little store -- thanks for the recommendation!

              Made me smile to see the storefront almost entirely empty, except for a jerky-making operation furiously working in the back kitchen. That's focus.

              I tasted the original recipe beef jerky. Delicious, with a very simple ingredient list: beef, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, starch and water. Available for purchase in person and online at the URL Melanie shared.

              1. re: WesAtRedBean

                Ok, so after all these years, your report motivated me to check out Jackson Market. The empty shelves were a surprise, but I guess when you do one thing really well, every thing else is extraneous. And the jerky is good. I bought some of the original and some spicy. The spicy is not that spicy hot, just some heat from red chile flakes dusted on top. I'm kinda sorry I didn't buy some of the jerky bits for a discount price too.

                Parking in that area can be a bear. But conveniently, there's a green zone in front of the cleaner next door. So it's very easy to drop in.

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  I agree with your assessment. It's tough to categorize the jerky...the preparation isn't 100% traditionally Chinese per se (even though oyster sauce and soy sauce are the first two ingredients) — it's more "Chinese-influenced" in my book. That said, it's good stuff and a fun snack. I polished off my bag in a couple of days.

        2. Mow Lee Shing Kee & Company - 774 Commercial St SF - just below Grant Ave. They are an old establishment that makes Chinese Sausage and other preserved meats. Not many of these left. Old school vibe.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              Thanks for the link!

              From that list, Mandarin Delight and Gold Mountain are out of business, maybe more.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                Gret resource there. I'll point out that Wycen Foods (which could be considered artisanal) has moved to 832 Stockton, and Gin Wall Hardware, sadly, is gone.

                Also, Dick Lee Pastry has moved to 716 Jackson St. and Gold Mountain is gone.