The SF Underground Market is the city’s worst-kept secret. About once a month, some of the bay area’s artisans of edible crafts get together and throw a party. The scene, filled with music and cookery aromas, is packed to the gills with people grazing between vendors’ stalls. The vendors sell take-home products by day and cook up hot food and desserts by night. Sounds like a farmer’s market, so why underground? Well, these vendors have been honing their craft in home kitchens or are just getting their business off the ground. Without a commercial kitchen or a health inspector, you’re exploring the tasty nibbles of a secret San Francisco. Except, it’s not very secret with lines around the block during all hours of the event and some vendors hitting it big with pop-up restaurants, food trucks and more. Still, for that moment, it’s just you and a few hundred food-loving explorers, tummies full of beer, cheer and nosh, happily bumping into each other with plated bites, peering at what good finds the person next to you scored.
B didn’t have much to say about this chicken empanada, but he did scarf it down – tamalenation
The mac n’ cheese with mascarpone and other cheeses was beautifully golden and had a great crust, and was very creamy. I missed the sharpness of cheddar, though – baia pasta
The longest line in the house was for a chef freshly cooking up four simultaneous pans of duck confit gnocchi with cherries and duck jus, a beautiful thing to behold. At $5 a bowl, truly the best deal of the night even though B couldn’t taste the duck – sf delicious
I’ve never before had this made-to-order Vietnamese shrimp and bean sprout crepe, and although I found it a bit mushy, the flavors were divine – little knock
Not just any Belgian waffle, this authentic Liège waffle has the sweet, chewy crust from the honking balls of pearl sugar in the batter. This…this was amazing – Suite Foods
The scene below: cooking up dumplings and burgers (in matching aprons!) and waiting in line for not-so-secret snacks.