Duc Loi Market Now Open at 18th and Mission: Impressive Selection, Reasonable Prices, Clean and Bright

There’s lots to be excited about. Our new friend Moka delivers a comprehensive report, beginning with the following handy table:


I have been waiting for weeks for this market to re-open. While itʼs not completely stocked, what theyʼre offering at the moment is pretty damn spectacular.

You can see the fruit and veg aisle from outside and it wonʼt disappoint you. The prices are reassuringly reasonable and thereʼs a huge mix of choices. I got a little weepy in front of the coconuts, of which, you can get three different kinds. Lots of lemons and limes (which never seem to be easily located when someone brings over a bottle of vodka) and bins of loose corn kernels and beans.

The rest of Moka’s findings and a big, pretty photo gallery after the jump:

The frozen food section blew my mind. Racks and racks of frozen meat balls! Frozen dumplings! Frozen squids! Frozen banana leaves! Frozen lychee bars! Frozen red bean paste! 900 types of frozen shrimps! Oh yeah and that ice cream stuff the ladies get so crazy for.

I am insanely excited about the cheap fresh noodles! I bought 4lbs for less than $5! The dried noodles are even cheaper. The meat selection is pretty comprehensive. Boneless skinless chicken breasts are $1.89/lb. There were seven different kinds of fresh shrimp. Not to mention that you can get your cow legs with or without skin. Make sure to check out the tubs of freshly gutted fish. The chicken feets looked clean and tender. Thereʼs a tank of swimming tilapia that you can ask the butcher to catch and prepare for you. Iʼm sure you get to pick the one you want.

In the milk/eggs/dairy section thereʼs fresh tofu and prepared bags of fried tofu. Which would be awesome in soup with quail eggs, yep theyʼve got quail eggs. Lots of quail eggs. Yeah yeah, thereʼs cow milk and soy milk and yogurt and cheese and all that usual stuff. I spotted fresh loaves of bread and their sadder bagged cousins. The real win is the massive amounts of tortilla options. Oh the tortillas. Youʼre covered if you like the Mexican snackies. Lots and lots of snackies.

Thereʼs a prepared food counter but the options looked pretty sparse. The main tubs were pinto beans and Spanish style rice. Iʼm sure the food rotating in and out will be a great bargain.

I spoke with one of the owners and their liquor license was definitely approved and they will officially offer booze in two weeks! When I asked about the sparse shelves she told me that they were, “excited about opening, maybe too soon!” Itʼs well lit, clean and everyone is really friendly. I was asked multiple times if there was anything I needed or was looking for. The checkout line situation is a little confusing. You sorta make one line and then wait for a register to wave you over.

Sadly, there arenʼt a lot of drink options. Coffees, teas, and 2 liter bottle options though not many canned sodas or a lot of fresh juice. They did have six different brands of coconut juice.

Itʼs the small things that matter. Like, being able to get toilet paper, dog food, nyquil, booze, and cheap dinner fixins all in the same place. Duc Loi, Iʼm glad youʼre back.

And orchids. They sell orchids.

Duc Loi
Mission @ 18th

14 Responses to “Duc Loi Market Now Open at 18th and Mission: Impressive Selection, Reasonable Prices, Clean and Bright”

  1. [...] does it say about me that I see a nice, thrift-minded review of a new grocery store and my first thought is to write a speculative essay regarding the effects [...]

  2. zinzin says:

    awesome that they’re back. they had a great – if a little dirty – store before (where you could buy fresh galangal).

    between duc loi (for asian) and Ranchito across the street (for latino and mid eastern), there’s no reason to leave the block, much less the hood.

  3. fsharp says:

    It’s refreshing to see a positive story about something going on in The Real Mission. You could travel around the world buying your food on Mission street and still spend less than 1/3 you would spend shopping at Bi-Rite. The writer’s enthusiasm is infectious!

  4. giant fur diaper says:

    Yay! I peeked in the other day and it looks massive. I’ve been waiting, what, three years for it to open back up? Thank you jebus!

  5. zinzin says:

    anyone know anything about the condos up above? market rate? affordable? family oriented?

  6. erich says:

    I was in the Duc Loi as well. Once the rest of the inventory arrives it’ll be great.

    From what I understand, the condos are market rate. I also hear (from a realtor) they didn’t spend as much as they should have for the fit and finish. I see open houses every weekend and no one going in.

    It also surprised me that given the amount they spent on the building, they still managed to put up a very cheap sign on the Duc Loi. I think a few extra bucks would go a long way for their business.

  7. zinzin says:

    hmm. i agree on the sign. from a marketing point of view, a little aesthetic appeal for the…uh…cool kid crowd would probably drive business. i’m there tonight whipping up dinner either way.

    condos, i just looked this up…


    seems like a 1/1 @ 750sft for 450K is on the low end of market rate? guy i know just spent 325K for 300sft at Cubix (not that he’s any kind of genius).

    a 4/2 @ 1400sft is a little tight, for 650K.

    market is a bloodbath on the sell side…if it’s true that f&f is lower end…. i bet they’d bargain.

  8. giant fur diaper says:

    @erich, it might seem like just a cheap sign but maybe that was intended. This way it doesn’t cost any electricity, fees for permits and public hearing on neighborhood impact of said sign, electrician charges, crane maintenance to replace bulbs and occasional repairs as well as design and art fees to make the sign. Save the occasional drop of a letter, oh what every ten years, the upkeep on this one is nothing more than going down the street to the sign shop and having a new plexiglass character cut and a brief scissor-lift rental to stick it up there.

  9. zinzin says:

    sorry about the link.


    you can search from there.

  10. Josh says:

    I’m glad it has (finally) reopened as the same great neighborhood resource it was before it closed (and sat there) rather than trying to be converted into a hipster yuppie boutique that’s doomed to failure like the poor Wang Fat Fish Market across the street.

    But the building is vomit-inducing… and a second-floor parking garage?!! On the busiest transit street in the city?!!

  11. zinzin says:

    @ josh – isn’t it the law that they MUST have a certain amount of parking to build condos? maybe elevating it was cheaper than excavating underground…?

    that said, if Weird Fish is any indicator, the little cafe they’re opening on the corner (that’s where the fish store was, right?) will probably do pretty well.

    there was something about it on eatersf the other day. they’re nice people, part of the boogaloo family of eateries (boogaloo, weird fish, st francis, now this…there may be others). long time mission dwellers.

  12. SFDoggy says:

    Wang Fat is apparently going to be turned into a “wine bar” of some sort, though they are avoiding that term. I assume that it will be like Weird Fish, casual funky and moderately priced — seems like a good addition to the neighborhood.

    And, I am definitely hitting Duc Loi today.

  13. [...] it coming for some time now, and today, the Duc Loi Market on 18th and Mission is finally open. Mission Mission has the review. Looks clean, looks reasonable, and liquor in two [...]

  14. Josh says:

    I remember when St Francis was really St Francis, and when the candy factory was … well, a candy factory not a bougie clothing store. :-/ Sad times but it happens I guess. At least La Mexicana is still there.

    Regarding parking, I assume the building was planned and permitted when the first round of demo and building started, at which time there were indeed parking minimums. Since then the powers that be have realized how lame and destructive that is to neighborhoods, and the Eastern Neighborhoods plan does away with those, even imposing parking MAXIMUMS, which are awesome and great.

  15. zinzin says:

    @ Josh – “Since then the powers that be have realized how lame and destructive that is to neighborhoods, and the Eastern Neighborhoods plan does away with those, even imposing parking MAXIMUMS, which are awesome and great.”

    that IS awesome. i didn’t know. hopefully it paves the way for better planning AND more housing.

    and la palma is still there too.

  16. [...] this weekend I would catch up.  Yesterday I got up early and instead of writing went to the new Duc Loi market on Mission at 18th, because I wanted to get some fresh produce and meat for an Indian [...]

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