Nosa Ria Spanish Market
The journey began on foot. A 110 kilometer walking trip on the Camino del Santiago solidified a life-long love of all things Spanish. Manuel, a native of Galicia, Spain and Krista, an American, both realized on that trip that they were ready for change in their lives, and that change was to be Nosa Ria, a newly opened Spanish market in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley neighborhood.
The couple wanted their store to be more than a purveyor of goods, “we wanted it to be about hospitality, and educating people about Spanish products,” says Krista. Generous samples of cheese are offered; a picture of black-footed Iberian pigs (the source of jamón Ibérico) is displayed on the counter. And the couple is happy to dole out advice on everything from Spanish recipes to advice on where to visit in Spain. “We see ourselves as ambassadors for all things Spanish,” says Krista.
The shop is relatively small, but well stocked with everything from the finest 5J (Cinco Jotas) jamón Iberico (carved off the leg) to Cola Cao, a chocolate drink that Manuel assures me all kids grow up drinking in Spain. In the Spanish tradition of canned gourmet seafood, they offer mejillones en escabeche (marinated mussels), sardinillas (tiny tender sardines), and pulpo (the octopus that is Nosa Ria’s logo).
Located on a heavily trafficked corner of Hayes Valley, the shop manages to feel intimate and homey. Manuel laughs, “My friend came in and said, 'you’re just doing exactly what you do at home.' This doesn’t feel like work to us, it makes us happy to share the things that we love.”
Nosa Ria. 500 Laguna (corner of Fell), San Francisco Open Tuesday-Saturday 11-7; Sunday 11-5.
Nosa Ria is one of the only places in SF that sells authentic products imported from Spain. To check it out, and get directions to the store, click here: www.nosaria.com
Text and research Samantha Jones Photographs by Colin Clark. To check out Colin's work, click here.