Where in San Francisco can you find homemade sour cream, a pint for $1.51? Wild smoked salmon for $9.99 a pound, and fresh based pound loaves of raisin bread and Bavarian sour rye bread for $2.19 each? If you guessed somewhere on Geary Street you'd be right. Perhaps the onion dome of the Russian Orthodox church tipped you off, this is a Russian neighborhood. And there are quite a few Russian stores along Geary Street right around 20th Avenue.
If you are looking for unusual ingredients like Russian pastrami, frozen pelmenyi dumplings, kefir, caviar, farmers cheese and lovely honey with pine nuts look no further than New World Market. Because many of the packages lack English labels you can be as adventurous as you like. Some of my top discoveries have been a sour plum barbecue sauce, marinated mushrooms, Russian bacon, and frozen packages of puff pastry squares.
But even if you just want to stock up on "basics" you'll find lots of great stuff here. With a deli counter running the length of the store you can try one thing after another whatever your tastes may be. There are prepared Russian salads and entrees and tons of packaged goods that are priced very reasonably almost without exception.
New World Market
5641 Geary Blvd. @ 21st