Tony Bennett used to sing “I left my heart in San Francisco“, but in my case I left mine in Madrid.
I love San Francisco and the Bay Area but my home is Madrid, no matter where I travel to, where I relocate to and where I end up living. And so in this section I intend to compile the stores, restaurants, events and other places with Spanish flavor and that bring a little piece of my home to northern California.
- Spanish specialties in Mountain View: Cascal Restaurant
- Spanish cuisine in Menlo Park: Iberia Restaurant
- Tapas and Paella in San Jose: La Catalana
- Tapas and restaurant in San Jose: Picasso’s
- Pinxtos in Los Gatos: Donostia
- Spanish restaurants in San Francisco: Alegrias, Zarzuela, Bask, B44, Piperade, Thirsty Bear, Canela, Contigo and Patio Español.
SPANISH GROCERY STORES
My favorite is La Española Meats. I have recently ordered the usual suspects (lentejas, turron, pimientos del piquillo, chorizo, fuet, queso, etc.) and I am very satisfied with the retail price, the quality of the products and the service. The only problem is the shipping costs. In my opinion there are too high.
La Tienda Best of Spain and The Spanish Table they are also two online stores specializing in Spanish food products and I am sure I will try them very soon, although my fist impression is that they are more expensive than la Española.
In tiny and cute downtown Mountain View the Deli grocery shop Ava’s Downtown Market and Deli has a section with Spanish products including “turron” and Spanish cheeses and cold meats.
In Menlo Park next to the Spanish restaurant Iberia the shop Rock of Gibraltar sells food items too.
And other deli shops stocking a few Spanish products are: in Los Altos DeMartini Orchad and Sigona’s Farmers Market in the Stanford Shopping Center
But you don’t need to go to a deli store, many supermarket chains in the Bay sell Spanish specialties. For example:
- Costco: manchego cheese and iberico ham;
- Sprouts: Spanish tuna filets in olive oil;
- Whole Foods: Spanish cheeses including Idiazabal;
In San Francisco and San Jose: The Wine Club is one of my favorites. They have: Dinastia Vivanco, Faustino, Viña Ardanza and even Fino Tio Pepe.
In Menlo Park: Beltramos sells Pedro Ximenez and Txacoli as well as a large wine selection.
In Redwood City: K&L Wine Merchants whose range is one of the most comprehensive with Viña Arana, Dinastia Vivanco, Marques de Murrieta and Txacoli again.
Most supermarkets in the middle-price range (i.e.: Safeway, Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, etc.) carry Spanish (mostly Rioja) wines such as Marques del Riscal and Marques de Cáceres. However they are usually overpriced.
The beverages chain BevMov has a wider range than any grocery store in the area. Besides the above, they also carry Cune, Campo Viejo and a few Ribera del Duero options like Pesquera.
Most organic food stores, including large retailers like Whole Foods usually have a short but interesting offer of organic Rioja wines and cava.
Do you know of other shops with Spanish flavor?