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San Francisco's Best Gourmet Food Stores

Growing up among San Francisco's rich melting pot of cultures, I realized early on that I lived in a food mecca. Surrounded by friends of Korean, Chinese and Vietnamese heritage, I took weekly cooking lessons from many of them and, before long, I was pickling my own kimchi. Those days are long gone now that I live in New York (although I still love kimchi), but one thing stuck with me: the importance of a good specialty market.
If you want to get your hands on superior-quality meats, cheese, wines and produce in the Mission, this is your place. (Credit:


3639 18th St
(between Guerrero St & Oakwood St)
San Francisco, Calif. 94110
Neighborhood: Mission
(415) 241-9760
Bi-Rite Market

If you want to get your hands on superior-quality meats, cheese, wines and produce in the Mission, this is your place. Much of Bi-Rite's meat and produce is organic and hormone free thanks to their relationship with Soul Food farms and other local growers offering free range chickens and eggs. Bi-Rite also carries hard-to-find speciality meats such as rabbit and bison and cooks up delicious housemade sausages. The store's popularity has helped it to branch out to a new location, coming soon to 736 Divisadero.

Canyon Market

2815 Diamond St
(between Chenery St & Wilder St)
San Francisco, Calif. 94131
Neighborhood: Glen Park
(415) 586-9999
Canyon Market

Glen Park's answer to Bi-Rite in the Mission, Canyon Market specializes in hormone-free meat and organic produce. Canyon Market also makes delicious gourmet sandwiches and other prepared foods and gets it's daily baked breads and desserts from Destination Bakery up the street (also not to be missed).

Ferry Plaza Marketplace

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, Calif. 94111
Neighborhood: Embarcadero
(415) 693-0996
Ferry Building Marketplace

Located within the historic Ferry Building at the foot of Market Street, the Ferry Plaza Marketplace offers a myriad of specialty shops and high-end cuisine restaurants. Local vendors sell coffee, aromatic olive oils, wines, fresh produce, decadent sweets and more. Some standouts  include the Golden Gate Meat Company, which offers venison and wild boar, Far West Funghi and their impressive selection of exotic mushrooms and Cowgirl Creamery – the Bay Area's star of the artisan cheese world.

Bryan's Grocery

3445 California Street
(between Laurel St & Locust St)
San Francisco, Calif. 94118
Neighborhood: Laurel Heights
(415) 752-0179
Bryan's Grocery
Bryan's is reminiscent of a smaller Whole Foods sans the long lines and lack of parking. The prices are slightly higher than Whole Foods, but it's worth it for the shopper her cares about top-notch produce, meat and fish. Bryan's also offers the hard-to-find Kobe beef and American wagyu Kobe beef.

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