TakePart Tastemakers

San Francisco

San Francisco is synonymous with good food. Talented chefs and access to amazing produce give this city a head start in all things culinary. But no matter how bright the spotlight, San Francisco never fails to deliver hidden gems, like a shop that focuses on sweets made without high-fructose corn syrup, or a fun co-op featuring amazing artisan cheese. "Food done right" isn't just a tagline here—it's a way of life.

Avedano's Holly Park Market

avendanos.com

235 Cortland Ave.,
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 285-6328

This is a butcher shop from our collective Americana memory. The meat and fish are sustainably grown (or caught) and come from animals free of synthetic hormones, steroids, and antibiotics; and are, whenever possible, from “local and responsible” sources. Once the butchers have the meat in the shop, they cut it by hand (well, they use saws and cleavers and boning knives, but they create the cuts individually and with care). Along with the old-fashioned meat counter that includes plenty of advice and cooking tips, if that’s what you’re looking for, this shop offers up meat boxes every Friday (pre-order only), from the Lean and Mean (17 pounds for $150) to The Housewife (27 pounds for $195). Think of them as a multi-sourced CSA, with a mix of cuts and animals to keep the most jaded cooks on their toes.

And, in the spirit of the best independent shops, Avedano’s wants its consumers to know more about sustainability and how to do for themselves. So there are classes: Butchery for Adults, covering the “basics of home butchering,” which in their minds involves being able to break down a lamb and a pig, as well as classes in curing, carving, and sausage making. There is no doubt that if you want to learn something about butchery and ask nicely, they will try and set it up. Bonus: The shop is run by a trio of hip, savvy lady butchers.