Discover a new delicatessen that sells Mexican spirits & specialties in Nob Hill

There is a new neighborhood "Mexicatessen" bottle shop and specialty market that brings together unique spirits and foods from Mexico and California. Each day, Tahona Mercado has fresh, locally made tortas, tamales, and desserts. And there’s a wonderful selection of imported food and drinks to discover, including an extensive selection of mezcals, tequilas, chocolates, coffees, salsas, quesos/cheeses, salsas/moles, tempache, cider, beer, wine, and much more.

For a small, corner shop in San Francisco’s Nob Hill, there’s an abundance of spirits and specialties that express love for Mexican cuisine, both traditional and trendy. It’s also worth noting that they work with a number of local food producers such as La Cocina and Proyecto Diaz and source fresh, organic produce.

Grab some chips, queso, and sandwich along with a fizzy drink and walk to Huntington Park near Grace Cathedral for a picnic. 

Vibemap Tip

Vibemap has been a fan of Tahona Mercado since the shop first opened during the pandemic. So we were thrilled to speak with its owners, Emily & Steven. 

Tell us a little about starting Tahona Mercado (during a pandemic)? 

The reasons behind why we opened Tahona Mercado are many. The first one being that we thought that a retail store was the safest way to share our love of agave spirits and Mexican culture with people, without having to remove masks and ride the crazy rollercoaster of opening and closing a restaurant. (The idea came to us last summer before vaccinations!)

As you know, last year was really hard for restaurants and the producers and growers who supply them--mezcaleros in Mexico included. With retail stores being considered essential businesses it just made sense to us to open one! 

What’s the vibe at Tahona Mercado?

We hope to provide our guests at Tahona Mercado with the same level of attentiveness and care as they would expect at a nice neighborhood restaurant, and to really get a sense that their support means a lot to us and the makers. We have taken a lot of care to source our products, and we are so excited to have the platform to support growing businesses like ours in the process.

The whole idea behind the store is to celebrate the artisans who make these insanely delicious products: We want to keep that front and center. We don't carry big names such as Casamigos tequila, but we promise that we can find something that you will enjoy even more! 

If there was one thing you’d like folks to know before they visit Tahona Mercado, what would it be? 

Some people come into the store with the preconceived idea that all mezcal is smokey and gets you really drunk, really fast, but that is not the case! Mezcal is unique and terroir driven, and it helps to understand mezcal in a similar way as you would wine.

Different agave species have their own unique characteristics of course but there are many other factors that contribute to the final product, such as location, climate, traditional methods of production, and the hand of the maker. We hope to convey the complexity of each mezcal while celebrating the mezcaleros who produce it whenever we help you make a selection. 

Anything else we should highlight or share, like any upcoming events, specials, etc?

We are busy coordinating pop-ups and other tasting events to support all the incredible vendors who we are excited about. The best way for people to stay up to date on information is by signing up for our newsletter or following us on Instagram @tahonamercado.


About the Author:

Steve Pepple

Steve Pepple is the co-founder of Vibemap and a designer and technologist working at the intersection of people, data, and civic life. He consults for governments, startups, and nonprofits design, prototype, and connect people with better city experiences.