I swear this isn’t a food blog. But seriously, a neighborhood (or whole entire portion of the city) is only as good as the food it offers. And anchoring the West Portal-ish hood to its naturally delicious roots in San Francisco delights is Guerra’s Meat Market.
Owned and operated by the brothers Guerra, Paul, John and Roberto, this is more than just a stop to grab your chops and run. While the place has been around since 1954, over the last few years there’s clearly been an effort to offer more than ever. The seafood case is abundantly stocked with local petrel, wild snapper, oysters and just-off-the-boat dungeonous when it’s in season. In addition, the fruit and veggie bins are piled high with organic produce, so you can forgo the trip to the supermarket. Oh, and if you don’t want to cook at all, they’ve got your number too! Every day of the week, they’re cooking up a dinner special so you can drop by, grab your chicken cacciatore, heat and eat. Want to make sure they don’t run out before you get there? Just call or place your order online before 1pm and it’ll be waiting for you between 4-7pm. Just like that!
Of course, dinner is just one piece of the puzzle. Guerra’s deli is masterful. Honey ham, roasted turkey and roast beef are prepared in house. Ask for the honey ham sliced super thin (because it just tastes better that way, trust me) and they’ve got you covered. Chicken salad lover? Yes! This is one of those places that pulled the chicken apart and adds just the right amount of mayo to bind it. They could crush it just selling this one item alone. But thank god they don’t because then we’d never experience their killer sandwiches!
Part meat market, part deli, any description of Guerra’s would remain incomplete without mention of the people. In addition to the brothers, most of the butchers and crew have been working in the shop for decades. This is the town square, the Cheers bar, the place where everyone (or everyone of the butchers at least) knows your name. When the Giants are playing, you can be sure the radio is on and you’ll get the full play-by-play with you pick up your 2 pounds of flank steak. A social event as much as a shopping trip, this little Italian hold out offers some old school experience where typical supermarkets and big box stores just can’t compete.
Guerra’s Meats 490 Taraval St, San Francisco, CA 94116