This elusive Russian market is a half block away from Safeway at Ocean beach. The owner of Europa Express on Irving is a part owner.
However, the excellent Irving Street market acknowledges the neighborhood where it is located. It appeals to Americans and Russians.
The market near the beach is all Russian, maybe the most Russian market I’ve been to in the Bay Area. There is no deli counter, but a long refrigerated case along one aisle carries packaged dairy and deli products.
There are big open white plastic buckets with pickles, apples and tomatoes that can be plucked out with tongs.
Clear plastic deli containers had seven different types of red caviar. There were lots of Russian salads like oliver, vinegret, beet, marinated mushrooms and salat shuba (herring salad)
The one odd thing was the two containers of what I assume were Asian salads … one seaweed salad and one teriyaki squid … I have no clue why. I didn’t see another thing that wasn’t hard-core Russian food in there.
They have a number types of farmer’s cheese … the real kind … if you are Eastern European, you know what I mean. There were jars of red and white horseradish from Russia.
House-baked bread is a tiny stretch. The bread is baked at the Irving Street location. These are great, hearty Russian breads, maybe the best in the Bay Area, but I haven’t tried enough of them yet.
They also have a lot of breads and baked goods from Brooklyn including some nice-looking poppy seed breads.
There’s the usual refrigerated case of cryovacked sausages and meats.
There are lots of wrapped candies and chocolate bars. I guess even the Russians are into premium single-origin chocolate. There were these bars totally in Russian except for things like 80% and various names of countries that produced the chocolate.
The fresh produce has the names of the veggies in Russian. There’s a small liquor section and various groceries … there’s a really large selection of canned sprats.
Then there is the fish case. Tubs and packages of all sorts of pickled, smoked and preserved fish … and large open boxes dried fish … the entire back section has the aroma of eau de seafood … you have been warned.
Google map of SF Bay Area Eastern European Food
Europa Express 2
728 La Playa St, San Francisco, CA