San Francisco is home to many chain supermarkets, as well as lesser-known grocery stores and produce stands. Consumers who shop at larger stores can benefit from consistency in product quality, larger selection and low prices that smaller, independently owned markets generally cannot offer. On the other hand, those who support smaller markets can sometimes develop a rapport with store clerks, which can foster a sense of community within one's neighborhood and provide the buyer with more personalized customer service — including special orders!

A number of supermarkets targets a particular demographic, such as a particular ethnicity, and some establish a reputation for selling primarily ecologically sound products:




Most supermarkets in the city are forbidden by law to provide shoppers with typical nonbiodegradable plastic bags and instead hand out paper bags and reusable fabric bags. All supermarkets are required by law to have plastic bag recycling bins at all of their stores.