They’re the ones who know your favorite bread or give you the best wedge of cheese. They call you by your first name and give a little piece of candy for little Jimmy.

They’re the neighborhood grocer right around the corner.

Sometimes I get a bit nostalgic and I think about a simpler time, and sadly I’m old enough to remember those days. And while I didn’t grow up in San Francisco, I still find the corner market a quaint reminder of a time when grocery shopping was indeed local.

San Francisco has some of the most interesting neighborhoods, and several of them still have interesting corner markets. Unfortunately, there are fewer and fewer each year. Over the last few weeks, I captured some of them for this photo essay.

Here are a few of the markets I featured. Do you shop at any of them?

Mama's Market on Duboce Street

Mama’s Market on Duboce Street

Ripe tomatoes on the street (shot in the summer)

Ripe tomatoes on the street (shot in the summer)

The Upper Terrace Market on 18th Street.

The Upper Terrace Market on 18th Street.

And here’s the full slideshow. If you live near a corner market, support them and shop local. They’re the heart of a neighborhood.

As always, check out my Exhibits page for more of my food image slideshows.

5 Responses to Photo Essay of the Corner Grocer Around San Francisco

  1. Carolyn Jung says:

    I love markets like this. They really do add so much to a neighborhood. Not just convenience, but character and spirit.

  2. Tara says:

    What a great idea for a post! I always drive by Mama’s on my way to work and wondered if it was a good corner grocer or those dirty versions. I will have to stop by next time I’m in the area!

    Also like the Evergreen shout out in the Richmond district! It use to be a pharmacy when I went to middle school, glad to see it becoming more produce.

    • Ben Ben says:

      I can’t vouch for what’s inside Mama’s, just that it had a dramatic corner presence. 🙂 A lot of these corner grocers are turning to be more gourmet to try to get the boutique, high-end neighborhood shopper, or they focus on liquor. I was sad to see a really quaint corner market on California Street in the Richmond turn into a hybrid cafe to stay in business. Times are changing.

  3. hungry dog says:

    Upper Terrace Market is literally around the corner from my house! That’s funny that you found it…no one knows about that spot.

    • Ben Ben says:

      I just drove by there one day after visiting a friend who lives in that area. I love the view of the city from that corner! That’s a fun neighborhood!