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San Francisco

Debbie from San Francisco asked

Specialty food stores and farmer's markets

As much as I love my usual trips to Trader Joe's, I'd like to explore my other cool grocery shopping options in the city for fresh veggies, meats, cheeses, etc.  I'd like to buy local and organic if possible.  Any suggestions?

San Francisco

1 Answer
answered first by
Tim from San Francisco

Awesome!  I actually wrote about top specialty market and suppliers in SF, too, in my book The 4-Hour Chef.  Check it:


  • Swan Oyster Depot: An SF institution for almost 100 years, offering fresh local fish and oysters. It’s also a restaurant if you want to eat there.
  • Sun Fat Seafood Company: A ordable fresh fish, oysters, and fresh Dungeness crabs.


  • Seakor Polish Delicatessen and Sausage Factory: Sausages! (And if it’s your cheat day, get some of the poppy seed cake.)
  • Avedano's Holly Park Market: Besides grass-fed beef, duck fat, and take-out dinners, they also offer popular butchery classes.
  • Drewes Brothers Meats: A full-service butcher shop with all-natural, free-range meat. Try chicken from nearby Petaluma Farms and meats from Niman Ranch. If you’re looking for something they don’t have, they say they can get almost anything with one day’s notice.


  • Ferry Plaza Farmers Market: Besides all the produce, there are tons of food stalls and food trucks, the best of which are Primavera (for chilaquiles and tamales on your cheat day) and RoliRoti (for a porchetta sandwich on your cheat day).
  • Other Avenues Food Store: A great bulk-foods section and lots of local and organic artisanal products (like milk from Straus Family Creamery) aimed at healthy eaters and dieters.
  • Rainbow Grocery: An extensive bulk-foods section and fresh local produce, lots of it organic. It’s the largest worker-owned cooperative in the city, and it’s very popular with the hipsters in the Mission.
  • First Korean Market: Korean grocery items and prepared foods. (Try the kimchi.)
  • Jai Ho Indian Grocery: Packaged products from India, prepared foods, and spices.
  • Alemany Farmers' Market: Fresh produce (less expensive than the Ferry Building) and several hot-food stands, including Salvadoran food and hummus from the Hummus Guy. If it’s your cheat day, try the
    Bolani flatbread from the East & West Gourmet Afghan Foods stall.
  • Bi-Rite Market: A great place for local coffee beans, chocolate, wine, and cheese (and homemade ice cream for your cheat day). There’s also local produce, plus organic fish and meat.

Everything else

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