7 exceptional neighborhood markets in San Francisco

By Virginia Miller

San Francisco is lined with neighborhood markets, from charming corner grocers selling an array of gourmet goods to family-run, mom-and-pop shops that have been around for decades. The best shops make good use of small spaces with thoughtfully curated selections of the best cooking ingredients, condiments, breads, wine, craft beer, seasonal produce, imported products, coffee and the like. Here are seven of our favorites.

Dolores Outpost
With its hip signage, Dolores Outpost is not only the ultimate Dolores Park picnic supply stop, it’s also just a cool neighborhood market offering fun, thoughtful options to create a meal. In addition to Highwire nitro coffee on draft and small production wines, there are Japanese beers and canned sakes, canned gin and tonics and house made snacks and patés. For dessert, stock up on Hawaiian candies and chewy-crispy mochi muffins from Third Culture Bakery.
Neighborhood: Mission MAP

The Epicurean Trader

The Epicurean Trader
Having launched its original Bernal Heights location in 2015, The Epicurean Trader opened a second Cow Hollow shop in 2017, bringing their killer artisanal spirits selection—everything from vermouths and amari to cocktail recipe books—to both neighborhoods. Both stores offer highly curated “bests” in everything: chocolates, cheeses, jams, sauces, olive oils, and fresh loaves of bread from Tartine Bakery. In a city full of excellent neighborhood markets, Epicurean’s stores offer some of the finest selections of all things edible and drinkable in SF.
Neighborhood: Bernal Heights MAP Cow Hollow MAP

Merchant Roots
Opening May 2018 on Lower Fillmore Street, Merchant Roots is that ideal kind of neighborhood shop and café, serving daily changing pastas, sandwiches, and pastries alongside house-made jams, soaps, sauces, and a thoughtfully curated wine selection. Their delicious hand-made pastas and sauces are conveniently packaged fresh to take home and cook yourself. A chef’s table features intimate, after-hours tasting menus in the café covering literary, historic or culture themes.
Neighborhood: Lower Fillmore MAP

Lucca Ravioli Co. (photo: Robert Couse-Baker)

Lucca Ravioli Co.
A slice of Italy and an old school American-Italian market, Lucca Ravioli Co. has been an SF institution since 1925. Grab a number, then browse under a ceiling map of Italy for Italian goods like sauces, peppers, olives, cookies, breads, sardines and anchovies, olive oil, and vinegars. And don’t miss the extensive meat and cheese counter. Best of all, they sell their house-made pastas, sauces, and ravioli in five styles (traditional meat, spinach, cheese, pumpkin, and a rotating special) served in the same classic flat box for nearly a century.
Neighborhood: Mission MAP

Say Cheese
A neighborhood staple in cozy Cole Valley since 1976, Say Cheese is your OG European-style cheese shop and gourmet grocer. International wines, cheeses, and charcuterie dominate the tiny shop, but you’ll also find olives, chips, jams (think Calvados apple brandy jam from France) and chocolates, both local and European. There’s an array of options to bring to a picnic in nearby Golden Gate Park or for a take-home spread—and their generous sandwich menu and catered cheese and charcuterie boards expand your party options.
Neighborhood: Upper Haight MAP

Rockride Market Hall

Rockridge Market Hall
The ultimate food hall, Oakland’s historic Rockridge Market Hall celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2017. A shining example for gourmet markets everywhere, the European-style marketplace consists of many different individual shops–a deep wine selection, fish and meat counters, cheese section, a bakery, and handmade pastas from The Pasta Shop. You’ll also find everything from gourmet peanut butters and popcorns to honey and ice cream. An extensive takeout foods counter and foods to cook at home make it easy to plan a gourmand’s meal with little effort.
Neighborhood: Oakland MAP

Bi-Rite Market
The original, the great—Bi-Rite Market set the standard for all neighborhood markets with its highly curated picks of the best in everything, from chocolate to pastas, cheese to produce, crackers to pickles. It’s been an iconic, family-run shop since 1940—still with its original neon sign—and the Mogannam family has owned it since 1964, with brothers Sam and Raph taking over the store from their father and uncle in 1997. It’s as famed for the Bi-Rite Creamery ice cream as for the staff wine experts curating superb bottle selections, and no inch of space is wasted in the ever bustling original market—or its Nopa sister, which opened in 2013.
Neighborhood: Western Addition/NoPa MAP Mission: MAP

Email   Print   Tweet  

San Francisco

The best wine shops in SF that offer something extra

 
With all the wine shops in SF, a few of them rise above the rest, and these seven each do something a little extra—from unique tastings to food offerings to steaks—while topping it off with a hospitable attitude. Cin cin! MORE

San Francisco

Eat this Town

 
Summer might be heading into its final stage with school starting up again and the sun setting earlier, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of fun—and delicious—events and specials to take note of as August turns to September. MORE

San Francisco

7 legit Indian restaurants that are cheaper than a flight to India

 
Covering the gamut from casual to fine dining, chaat (Indian street food) to modern Indian “fusion,” here are seven of our most creative and best Indian restaurants. MORE

San Francisco

The Bay Area's best spots for frequent diners

 
In a competitive market like the Bay Area, it’s tough to turn guests into regulars, so a few clever establishments have created some enticing membership programs or frequent guest discounts to keep people coming back again—and again. MORE

San Francisco

Delight in a box: 8 inspired SF desserts for the intrepid partygoer

 
A frigid fog breeze may be blowing but these desserts will warm up any summer celebration. Perfectly portable, these treats express the best of the season and the Bay Area. MORE

San Francisco

The best steak frites in San Francisco

 
Ah, steak frites—it’s one of those classic dishes that’s hard to pass up when you see it on a bistro menu, and when it’s done right, it can inspire a craving that demands you return for more—very soon. Here are seven SF spots that get it right. Bon appétit! MORE

San Francisco

The best brewery and distillery tours around the Bay Area

 
Here are six distilleries and breweries that actually offer tours and tastings, all while schooling you on drink production. Drink local! MORE

San Francisco

9 spots for serious Southern cooking in San Francisco

 
Here are nine of the city’s better Southern joints, from Nawlins to North Carolina fare, from the down home to the upscale—with a little bit of California allowed, but not too much. MORE

San Francisco

7 of San Francisco’s best under-the-radar bars

 
These seven notable drinking destinations might not be on the hip radar anymore but strike that wonderful balance of approachable and downright talented. MORE

San Francisco

8 romantic restaurants that truly care where they source their food

 
Covering the gamut from casual to refined, here are eight unexpected Valentine’s (and beyond) date night options that put care into their ingredients and sources. MORE

San Francisco

11 coffee shops around San Francisco that have killer food too

 
Wake up early or enjoy a power lunch at these spots around the city offering outstanding food with equally special coffee. MORE

San Francisco

Eat this Now: Fall Edition

 
At any given time, it’s easy to find the makings of culinary greatness all over the Bay Area, but once in a while, something really jumps out and gets our attention. Here are eight of our favorites to make a beeline for right now. MORE

San Francisco

7 top spots for authentic dim sum in the Bay Area

 
The Bay Area's stellar and storied dim sum scene continues to expand—here are seven of our favorite spots in San Francisco right now. MORE

San Francisco

How 8 top Bay Area restaurants are staying fresh

 
These eight restaurants—some of them barely a year old, others a robust 20 years—are drawing crowds while still finding ways to stay fresh, encompassing new aspects, or reinventing themselves. MORE

San Francisco

SF’s best happy hours you can enjoy outside

 
It’s rare for San Franciscans to get a chance to enjoy outdoor patios and terraces without a sweater-and-scarf combo, but indian summer is coming, and that calls for a celebration MORE

San Francisco

Where to eat before going to the funniest comedy clubs in SF

 
If you’re heading out to a local San Francisco comedy club, why not turn it into a delicious date night? Prepare for some side-splitting comedy with drinks, snacks, or dinner before the show. MORE

San Francisco

The best fried chicken sandwiches in SF right now

 
In the Bay Area there is no end to the varying iterations of fried chicken, but regardless, nowhere is juicy fried chicken more gratifying than when stuffed into a sandwich. MORE

San Francisco

Dinner and a movie, perfected

 
Whether you’re on date night or just having a fun evening on the town, here are nine delicious and convenient options for making the perfect dinner and a movie night out. MORE

San Francisco

Where to have a barbecue in a backyard that isn't yours

 
We’ve put together a list of our favorite spots with barbecue and outdoor dining, where you can channel all the spirit, fun, and great food of the backyard summer BBQ, without actually hosting it yourself. MORE

San Francisco

Welcome to the new wave of
house-made charcuterie in SF

 
A new wave of chefs in the Bay Area have taken to the craft of house-made charcuterie lately—good news for lovers of all things meaty. MORE

San Francisco

8 cool alternatives to the typical Easter brunch

 
It's time to shore up your plans for this year’s Easter brunch, and San Francisco has so much to consider—from famous fried chicken to a Japanese breakfast set, from family-style Italian feasts to music and movies accompanying your BBQ shrimp and grits. MORE

San Francisco

8 of our favorite tea shops and houses in the Bay Area

 
Rich in tradition, terroir, and technique, this modest drink offers a lot to appreciate. And lucky for us, we have plenty of awesome shops to act as our suppliers and guides. MORE

San Francisco

8 crazy good ways to get your Taco Tuesday on in San Francisco

 
There’s no denying the harmonious beauty of cheap beer and discounted fill-your-belly tacos. Here are eight of our favorite Taco Tuesday deals to check out around the Bay Area. MORE

San Francisco

Ancient grains and modern mixes—SF’s 5 best grain bowls

 
We’ve dug into bowls all over the Bay Area, from a forward-thinking, high-tech, high-health chain that started in San Francisco to an artful bakery with seasonal bowls, to find the ones we can’t live without. MORE

San Francisco

Drink This Now—The 10 best mocktails in San Francisco

 
San Francisco's behind-the-bar talents have kept teetotalers in mind with plenty of legit, walk-the-walk booze-free options. MORE

San Francisco

Eat this Now—The Wellness Edition

 
In a city like San Francisco, some of the tastiest dishes around also happen to be inspired by wellness and mindfulness. Here are 10 of our favorites to start your year off right. MORE

San Francisco

7 diners in San Francisco that dish out seriously good grub

 
For those times when you just want a plate of comfort food with a side of nostalgia and some ketchup, San Francisco’s bustling diner scene has your back. MORE

San Francisco

7 breakfast sandwiches in SF worth waking up for

 
When you’re going to go out and pay for a breakfast sandwich, it better be something pretty damn special. Here are seven breakfast sandwiches in San Francisco that will definitely brighten your morning. MORE

San Francisco

7 SF bakeries that will rock your world

 
When it comes to showing their love for great pastry and baked goods, San Franciscans have at least one consistent way of making their affection clear: getting in line. Here are seven favorite bakeries worth the sweet reward at the end of the queue. MORE

San Francisco

Feed Love: San Francisco

 
It’s no surprise that the restaurants in San Francisco are especially attuned to the needs of the community. Here are 10 restaurants that help feed love by fostering community, positivity, and peace through charity programs—like helping people rebuild their lives, donating money to public schools, and acting on their dedication to environmental conservation. MORE

San Francisco

8 Bay Area farmers markets you’ll want to browse this fall

 
Here are eight markets that prove once again that the San Francisco Bay Area is one of the world’s best places to pull up a fork. MORE

San Francisco

9 delicious San Francisco burgers for $10 or less

 
You'll likely never use words like "cheap" or "inexpensive" when referring to SF rent, but they can be applied when it comes to the search for a great burger. Here are nine favorites around the Bay Area for $10 or less. MORE

San Francisco

7 ice cream spots you’ll want to hit before the end of summer

 
San Francisco may be swaddled in a blanket of fog and only reach a summery high of 64 if we’re lucky, but that doesn’t stop us from enjoying ice cream. MORE

San Francisco

The best (affordable) outdoor dining in San Francisco

 
The City by the Bay is packed to the gills with heated patios and garden seating so charming you won’t even notice that you’re wearing three scarves and an extra pair of pants. MORE

San Francisco

7 wineries where the food is as good as the booze

 
With everything from full multi-course sit-down meals to smaller bites and more casual sips and nibbles, the options in wine country today are as diverse as they are delicious. MORE

San Francisco

Where to eat barbecue in SF this summer

 
The Carolinas, Tennessee, Texas, Kansas—you name it. You can find all those factions and more represented in the Bay Area this 'cue season. MORE

San Francisco

Eat This Now: 6 must-try dishes in San Francisco right now

 
New openings in San Francisco seem to be at a peak right about now—so much so that it can be tough to keep up with all the constant deliciousness in the city. But we can try, can’t we? MORE

San Francisco

SF’s hottest restaurants for $35 and under

 
As it turns out, San Francisco is ripe with affordable prix fixe options, from special lunch and brunch deals at some of the biggest-name restaurants to affordable dinners at trendy hotspots. MORE

San Francisco

Eat to live—6 places where eating out is almost as healthy as making it from scratch

 
So often, going out to eat means sacrificing—not just on cost, but on clean and smart choices, too. In the spirit of treating your body as well as you treat your palette, here are six awesome restaurants and cafes around the Bay Area where eating out—and eating well—is almost as clean as dining at home. MORE

San Francisco

7 Bay Area spots where both the food and the show are first-rate

 
In a city that offers so much and at such a high level, it’s only natural to be a little greedy: You want both your dinner and your show—dancing, live music, comedy—to be worthy of the spotlight, instead of one greatly outshining the other. MORE

San Francisco

5 Vietnamese hot spots for under $20

 
San Francisco’s patchwork quilt of cultures and ethnicities is a big part of what makes it such an exciting culinary capital, and Vietnamese holds an important place in the city’s dining landscape—here are six of our favorite spots where you can eat for under $20. MORE

San Francisco

7 buzzy spots worth the hype for less than $25 per person

 
A dinner check in SF can rival your monthly rent before you know it. But have no fear, it’s still possible to sample fabulous cuisine at top restaurants without taking out a second mortgage. MORE

San Francisco

San Francisco’s best bets for ordering in

 
In our on-demand world, you can have practically any sort of meal brought right to your front door, and with ease. So what can you count on when you want dinner delivered? Here are five of our picks for types of food that travel well—and where to get it. MORE

San Francisco

Surprise your dinner party host with something rad beyond wine

 
In vino veritas—and the truth is there’s probably something else you could be bringing to that dinner party besides wine. While there’s nothing wrong (and everything right) with the old-standby, there’s also a whole other world of fine, local goodness that can make the party that much more memorable. MORE

San Francisco

$25-and-under date ideas

 
Here are eight restaurants in the Bay Area where you can have a delicious but affordable date night—whether your after festive, casual, hip, intimate, or playful. MORE

San Francisco

Eat This Now: 9 must-try dishes in San Francisco right now

 
With San Francisco's diverse and delicious food scene, you barely have a chance to visit last month’s hottest new dishes before you're all wrapped up in the excitement of the next new thing. If you're still playing catch-up too, here are nine favorite dishes to check out around town right now. MORE

San Francisco

How to feast well on Korean fare for $25 or less

 
If you’re smart and play your cards right, you can find places where bountiful Korean feasts are offered at a real bargain—and that’s not even counting the banchan, the impressive spread of kimchi and other accent plates that come complimentary with your order. MORE

San Francisco

San Francisco's best Indian eats for under $20

 
Filling, flavorful, spicy, and appealing to almost any dietary restriction, Indian also makes for some of the best bang for the buck meals you can find in San Francisco. MORE

San Francisco

7 late-night Happy Hours worth staying up for

 
If you're putting in crazy overtime hours and can't make the early bird deals around town, check out these “reverse” happy hour specials—think dollar oysters, $4 beers, and half-off bottles of wine—that are offered late night, if not all day. MORE

San Francisco

6 bang-for-your-buck brunches

 
Weekend brunch can quickly turn into a rather expensive habit, it doesn't have to be that way. Here are six of our favorite budget-friendly brunch options. MORE

San Francisco

6 spots where bringing the kids and loving your meal aren’t mutually exclusive

 
Date night comes but once a week, so great dinner spots that also extend a generous welcome to families are always a boon for parents. The kids might not need much, but the right menu—and a few helpful touches—can make all the difference, granting you some precious extra moments to enjoy the meal. MORE

San Francisco

On the Blackboard: French under $30

 
While classic French cuisine might fly under the radar in San Francisco, we’re drawn under its spell from the first whiff of a freshly baked kouign-amman to the last bite of ratatouille. MORE

San Francisco

Pro Picnicking: 7 ways to raise your picnic to an 11

 
If summer in the Bay Area means one thing, it’s getting outside as much as humanly possible. Of course, this means eating outside, too. MORE

San Francisco

San Francisco’s best under-the-radar desserts

 
You can’t throw a James Beard award in San Francisco without hitting a restaurant that could serve you up an amazing meal at the drop of a hat. But let’s not forget what comes at the end of every meal: Dessert. MORE

San Francisco

5 group dinners that won’t cost you an arm and a leg

 
The best thing about group dining—aside from getting to share a meal with a large collection of friends and loved ones—is that more people means more food to taste. Of course, you do have to play it a little smart in these situations, or you could still end up breaking the bank. Here are five favorite SF spots for special occasion group dining that won’t force you to drop such serious coin. MORE

San Francisco

7 SF markets for all your culinary needs, from essential to esoteric

 
Part hang-out and gathering place, part grocery store and coffee shop, the history of small markets in this gold rush town is a long and storied one. Here are seven of our top picks for places that carry everything you need and crave. MORE

San Francisco

$25-and-under steaks that are a cut above

 
There is no shortage of stellar, classic steakhouses in SF, and unfortunately, many are also fantastically expensive. But if you steer clear of the big-ticket cuts and hunt out lunch and brunch deals, there are plenty of affordable, $25-and-under steak options to be found around town, too. MORE

San Francisco

Will drive for food—8 places worth the gas or electric charge

 
There are plenty of real-deal destinations not too far from SF—discover a hidden gem or a beloved local spot that’s virtually unknown to city dwellers. Either way, adventure awaits. MORE

San Francisco

How to indulge in the omakase experience on a perfectly sane budget

 
The appeal of omakase is easy to understand, but the result is often a tab that stretches comfortably into the triple digits. It doesn’t have to! be that way, however—here are seven SF spots where you can get awesome omakase for $100 or less. MORE

San Francisco

5 restaurants that should have a Michelin Star

 
These five restaurants have received no shortage of accolades and award nominations themselves, but none of them have received a Michelin star yet—and we think they’re all especially deserving of it. MORE

San Francisco

7 restaurants where you want to eat at the bar

 
Eating at the bar, you get all the perks of a table without the fuss of a reservation. Even better is when the bar delivers its own set of specials, priced just right for one or a crowd. MORE

San Francisco

Vegetarians get stoked for four courses at Cha Ya & more...

 
At this point, it’s a novelty to find a restaurant that doesn’t offer at least something vegetarian, but we went a step further, finding you the best straight up vegetarian prix fixe and tasting menus in town that are also sensitive to the old wallet. MORE
x