perks for your palate.
7 SF markets for all your culinary needs, from essential to esoteric
These just might be the best meatballs in SF
Operating as a grocery on Eighteenth Street since 1940, Bi-Rite Market has a long history of feeding the people what they want. Revivified as a corner store in the late 1990’s by Sam Mogannam (he is the second generation of his family to run the space), Bi-Rite kick-started the movement towards support of sustainable and local foods at the store level. The newest Bi-Rite location in Alamo Square offers a similar curated selection as the original, in a larger space. The daily rotating dinner menu includes the insanely popular meatballs and fried chicken, while on the sandwich board the Olympia, made with Olympia Provisions salami, cotto, mortadella, and capicola, is kitted out with provolone pepperoncini, Italian dressing, and aioli, all atop a Semifreddi’s ciabatta roll. Finish off your experience with a scoop of inimitable buffalo milk gelato from Sonoma’s Double 8 Dairy.
Where: Mission District: 3639 18th St., San Francisco, CA 94110; Alamo Square: 550 Divisadero St., San Francisco, CA 94117
Telephone: Mission District: 415-241-9760; Alamo Square: 415-551-7900
Hours: 9 AM–9 PM daily
Where Guanajuato-style sope salad and Vietnamese pho happily co-exist
Temporary by design, this community space/food court sits in an unused street level space that will someday house a permanent market and residential apartments. The Hall features six independently owned food vendors and a long bar. Eclectic international dining options includes tofu verde from Moroccan-Peruvian Cassia, naan wraps from Raj & Singh, lamb burgers from The Whole Beast, crab Louie salad from Fine & Rare, sope salad from La Cocina alum el Pípila, and pho from food truck favorite, Little Green Cyclo. The bustling scene includes moms with strollers alongside the laptop lugging crowd, plus a local assortment of freaks and geeks.
Where: 1028 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94102
Hours: Mon–Sat 11 AM–8 PM; Closed Sunday
Local Mission Market
Home cooking by the Mission’s home cooks
Far from the Mission’s bustling nightlife scene, in the neighborhood’s outer reaches, Local Mission Market takes the concept of local food to a whole new place: the store itself. To source their selection, owners Yaron Milgrom and Jake Des Voignes have visited every Northern California farm that sends only in-season produce (no tomatoes in January, for example), meat, and cheese. Everything, from kimchi and pasta to sausages and bread, is direct from the farmer or made in-house in a prep kitchen elevated above the shop. Guided by the “made here” principle and their dedication to the neighborhood, the team also run Local Cellar and Local Mission Eatery and attract a dedicated following from near and far.
Where: 2670 Harrison St., San Francisco, CA 94110
Hours: 9 AM–9 PM daily
House-made muhammara and gorgeous fresh flowers
On a quiet Noe Valley corner, Bom Dia quietly radiates the sunny spirit of the Mediterranean. Its name, Portuguese for “good morning,” is a nod to the small markets of Spain and Portugal where a great cup of coffee, fresh pastry, and picnic or supper provisions are as expected as the sunrise. Owner Shivani Ganguly and her team craft a plethora of grab-n-go items such as farro and tabbouleh salad and muhammara in the tiny kitchen, while fresh ricotta tartines and other baked goods arrive from San Francisco’s SandBox, Goodie Goody, and Little Bee bakeries. A wall of wine features international selections, including well-priced options for weekday dinners. Produce comes from Feed Sonoma, and flowers are sourced from farms often too small to have their own distribution network. And the coffee? That comes from San Francisco’s Four Barrel.
Where: 1598 Sanchez St., San Francisco, CA 94131
Hours: Sun–Thu 7 AM–9 PM; Fri–Sat 7 AM–10 PM
Wine, cheese, and picnic delights
A shop the size of a postage stamp is not uncommon in North Beach, and the tiny Little Vine makes the most of its Lilliputian dimensions. Small production wines, mostly from California and Europe, line one wall from floor to ceiling, and bulk olive oil is stored and poured from a nook. Cheeses, curated by San Francisco Cheese School Director Kristi Bachman (who also takes care of Union Larder’s assortment), are stacked cheek by jowl in and atop a cooler. Coffee from Oakland’s Bicycle Coffee Company, made to order sandwiches, salumi and fresh meat, and bread all find space. Shopping for dinner is, quite literally, all within arm’s reach.
Where: 1541 Grant St., North Beach, San Francisco, CA 94133
Hours: Tue–Sat 11 AM–7 PM; Sun 11 AM– 5 PM, closed Monday
Grab a glass of wine—there are 40+ selections—and a bite of dinner
Tall-windowed Union Larder, the newest shop from Little Vine owners Jay and Melissa Esopenko, sits along the Hyde Street cable car line, but the hum inside this wine shop/restaurant/store comes from customers at the long bar, sipping one of over 40 California and beyond wines by the bottle (most are also available by the glass). The Larder, a menu of mostly small plates such as uni paté or house cured arctic char, arrives from chef Ramon Siewart who crafts much of the charcuterie menu in-house, including lonza and bresaola. Cheeses from Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese and Cowgirl Creamery, among others, find their way into Reubens and fondue. A few packaged items are offered, too.
Where: 1945 Hyde St., San Francisco, CA 94109
Hours: Tue–Wed 5 PM–11 PM; Thu–Sat noon–11 PM; Sat 5 PM–9 PM
Your go-to for killer chocolate chip cookies baked fresh daily and signature French macarons
With roughly 22,000 square feet of shop space, The Market is an expansive food hall, its sheer scale on par with New York’s Eataly. Walk in from Market Street and enter the café first, where Samovar tea and chocolate chip cookies made in-house by baker Adam Becker are a huge draw. Step further inside and the choices are legion: Over here, a sushi and oyster bar; over there, a butcher shop where you can order a whole goat or pig and the in-house master butcher will take care of the rest. A seafood counter that adheres to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program, a pizzeria, a taco and tapas bar, and a grocery store that stocks the staples are all here, and all highlight local products. Independent stands—Nuubia chocolate, Azalina’s Malaysian, and Project Juice—appeal to the mix of tech workers (Twitter is upstairs) and tourists who pass by. The possibilities for cross-pollination are mind-boggling.
Where: 1355 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94103
Hours: 8 AM–10 PM daily (café opens at 7 AM)