Foodie shopping destinations during BlogHer Food 2009

BlogHer Original Post

If you’re traveling to San Francisco for BlogHer Food 2009, you might want to leave a little extra room in your suitcase. Not only is this a city of great eating and drinking, this is a terrific city for culinary shopping and tourism.

If you only have time to make one stop, that stop should be the Ferry Building. This foodie Mecca opened in 2003 after a four-year renovation, and features a variety of small to large shops, restaurants and cafes. My favorites include Far West Fungi and their dazzling display of mushrooms, Cowgirl Creamery’s Artisan Cheese Shop, and Recchiuti Confections. But you can also have a cup of Blue Bottle Coffee, a bite of elegant pastry from Miette, a swanky snack at Tsar Nicoulai Caviar, taste some locally-produced olive oil at the McEvoy RanchStonehouse or stores, or pick up some Rancho Gordo beans at the Village Market. Check out Antonia Malchik’s review of her foodie tour on The Perceptive Travel Blog.

Though the conference overlaps with the Saturday morning Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market (held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.), it will also be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday and Tuesday—an option if you’re staying longer than just the weekend. This market is one of the area’s most fantastic, and busiest. On Thursday, the market features a much smaller list of farmers, but brings in a posse of street food vendors selling everything from smoked fish sandwiches to Korean BBQ tacos.

“The Ferry Building farmers market offers just about all the groceries you need, except perhaps, toilet paper,” said Shelly of an open cupboard. “It would take several months of blogging, or perhaps a book, to document the market in its entirety.”

San Francisco’s Mission neighborhood also offers a whole series of delights for foodie shoppers. From Bi-Rite Market (and, across the street, their fantastic ice cream store) to Rainbow Grocery to Lucca, where you can watch ravioli being made, to the many Latin markets that offer a variety of produce, there are a whole range of delights available.

Anita of Married With Dinner took Laura of (not so) Urban Hennery on a Mission Food walking tour, and her post describes each of their stops along the way. “If we’d only had an extra stomach, we could have kept walking all day.”

Laura of Vegansaurus waxes poetic about Rainbow Grocery in her post. “I plan to consummate my relationship with the vegan potato salad, give birth to a vegan donut and then raise it with the help of the kind hippie staff and several heads of organic lettuce,” she writes. “I like to call it, Living The Dream.”

Divadubonnet of Social Diva calls Lucca her “go-to store for just about any Italian foodstuff you could want.”

“The last time I was in [Lucca], they slipped a fabulous little Pecorino Romano recipe book into my already over-stuffed bag, and just as I was leaving, I heard a man say, ‘I’ve been eating this ravioli since 1951 when my mom used to cook it,’” wrote Divadubonnet. “If I stay in San Francisco, I’ll be saying something similar in thirty years.”

If books are more your thing, Omnivore Books is your place to go. This Noe Valley outpost offers new, used and collectible cookbooks, but extends beyond that to all kinds of other books on the topic of growing, raising and cooking food.

Looking for unique cookware? I have two places recommended by friends that should fill the bill. The first, Cookin’, offers a mélange of used (and sometimes rare) cookware, and is apparently kept packed from floor to ceiling with everything from old Le Creuset pieces to Moroccan tagines. Some people report the items can be pricey, but you’re paying for the expertise of the owner, who seeks out the pieces herself.

Second is Soko Hardware, which Biggie of Lunch in a Box recommends for cooking gear and bento accessories. This is not your average hardware store, although you can get hardware items as well. It’s located in Japantown, which has other fun restaurants and shops to explore, as well.

Finally, I leave you with one celebrity map. SFHaps discovered that Alice Waters had noted her favorite foodie spots (Omnivore Books is on the list) on a Google Map that is available for your perusal.

Ferry Building Marketplace
One Ferry Building
San Francisco, California 94111

Ferry Plaza Farmers Market
(Behind the Ferry Building)

Bi-Rite Creamery
3692 18th Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

Bi-Rite Market
3639 18th Street
San Francisco CA 94110

Lucca Ravioli Company
1100 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

Omnivore Books
3885a Cesar Chavez Street
San Francisco, CA 94131

339 Divisadero Street (between Oak and Page)
San Francisco, CA 94117

Soko Hardware
1698 Post Street (between Buchanan & Laguna)
San Francisco, CA 94115

Genie blogs about gardening and food at The Inadvertent Gardener, and tells very short tales at 100 Proof Stories. She is also documenting her year in photos at 365 in 2009.


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