Two Cool Culinary Stores to Check Out in San Francisco

The folks behind Bernal Cutlery conjure up a surreal Dutch Masters still life for this knife display. (Photo by Eric Zepeda)

Knives Galore at Bernal Cutlery

You know the proprietors behind Bernal Cutlery in San Francisco have to have a rather macabre sense of humor to come up with a knife display like this one above.

They also know their stuff. Their shop, opened in 2005, boasts the largest selection of knives in San Francisco, including Japanese, French and vintage ones.

It also offers precision sharpening using Japanese whetstone grinding techniques, as well as classes to teach you how to care for — and best use — your knives at home.

Owner Josh Donald calls himself a knife geek. He even worked with stone while studying sculpture and poured metal in a foundry in order to refine his knife-sharpening skills even more. His team also includes two sushi chefs.

A hand-forged Japanese knife at Bernal Cutlery. (Photo courtesy of the store)

Just a fraction of the knives for sale. (Photo courtesy of Bernal Cutlery)

This year, Bernal Cutlery launched its online store, where you can find an extraordinary range of knives to suit your needs. How about a Japanese-version of a French knife handmade by a fifth-generation blacksmith for $448? Or a vintage French carving set with octagonal silver plated hollow handles and forged carbon steel blade for $80?

One visit will leave you knife-obsessed.

March to the New MARCH on Sacramento Street

You will be doing just that once you find out all the delightful things stocked at this new kitchen-dining-home store.

MARCH features items for the discriminating cook — from bespoke butcher block tables to handcrafted ceramics to exquisite table linens. You’ll also find pots from Brooklyn Copper Cookware, Lodge castiron cookware and AGA slow cookers.

MARCH sells its own line of spices, jams and vinegars. (Photo by Drew Altizer)

Additionally, there’s MARCH’s in-house line of jams and vinegars. Its spice line is prepared by Le Sanctuaire of San Francisco, where some of the city’s finest chefs shop for specialty equipment and ingredients.

Striking bowls for sale at MARCH. (Photo by Drew Altizer)The store's lovely interior. (Photo by Angie Silvy)

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  • Oh, I wish I could visit them.



  • Oooh, I’m a sucker for pretty bowls. Have to check out March soon.

  • A good knife is so important. Glad we have such great resources here.

  • I really wanted to buy sashimi knife from Japan so I actually asked my mom to bring it from Japan and she didn’t like it (she was so scared to go through custom with what she called “weapon” in the suitcase). I didn’t know we can find Japanese knives here. Maybe price is cheaper in Japan, but if my mom doesn’t’ want to do it again, I have to find other kinds in this store. I’m off to check the store now, online first. Thanks Carolyn!

  • I have that knife in the top two pictures, I like it a lot. It is easily the sharpest knife I have ever used.

  • I really need to get a good set of knives. The ones that I have are gnarly ones, that requires frequent sharpening. Time to retire. Not me, the knives 😉

  • I would love to visit both of these stores, but I have to say I’d especially like to geek out at the knife store. I’ll have to check out their website in the mean time… 🙂

  • Well now I know what two stores I’ll be headed to next time I’m in SF!

  • It looks lik 2 lovely cookery shops! Thanks! 🙂

  • Dear Carolyn,

    I actually love to look at chef’s knives and always have to resist buying a new favourite because I already have 2 beautiful ones and keep reminding myself they will probably outlive me if I take care of them properly.

  • I love everything about that first photo! These sounds like lovely shops, if I’m in the area I will definitely include them on my list!

  • I need to get back to San Francisco. My husband has family there but we haven’t been there in years. Both shops look like they’d be such fun to browse through. Hopefully March will have a website to browse through in the near future. This looks like someplace I could spend some time.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • We’ve gone kind of nuts over knives – first buying a set of Wusthof knives and then very generous sponsors for two Plate to Page workshops left me with gifts of an Ergo Chef Knife and a Zwilling/JA Henckels knife. We love them! My husband and I could spend ages in a knife store. And then home wares? Lovely, pretty, tasty things? Yes, thank you.

  • Oh reading your posts always makes me want us to be back in San Francisco and visiting all these awesome places!!

  • I’ll be checking these out. Have you been to the new Gourmet and More in Hayes Valley yet for all things French and most especially the cheese?

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