San Francisco's culinary influences draw from every corner of the planet, and all those hard-to-source ingredients have to come from somewhere. Luckily, for home cooks with no Michelin stars and a hunger for something other than California cuisine—or just for a taste of home—the city has a wealth of international markets that cover every possible genre. Here are our favorites:

Lucca Ravioli Co.
This is a truly old-school Italian pastificio that's been on this same corner since 1925, and their fresh ravioli and cut pastas are pretty fantastic. Try as you might, making pasta at home is not advisable for anyone without a ton of practice, so you might want to keep this in mind as a secret weapon for you next dinner party. In addition to a selection of fresh pastas and ravioli, they sell fresh sausage, homemade sauces, focaccia, and a ton of Italian pantry items. But note that they're only open until 6 p.m., Monday to Saturday, and closed all day Sunday. — Jay Barmann
1100 Valencia (at 22nd Street)

Lehr's German Specialties
Lehr's German Specialties standout is their massive collection of imported Euro candies, anything from amazing marzipan to bizarre gummies to hardcore chocolates. If you're feeling savory, they have old school wursts, kraut (duh), and all the other lunch meats mom used to pack for little Fritz to wolf down before rugby practice. Insiders know to stop by during the holidays for traditional German Christmas cookies, stollen, and other "D" treats. — Eve Batey
1581 Church (between 28th Street & Duncan)


Sunset Super
Forget Safeway: if you're making Asian food, the Sunset Supermarkets at Irving or Vicente are where you need to go to find the ingredients to turn your dish from La Choy to legit. Here you'll find obscure (to Westerners, that is—most of this stuff is commonplace in their countries of origin) condiments, sauces, and fixings, live seafood (sorry, Nemo, looks like someone found you), and produce galore. You're shopping shoulder-to-shoulder with a lot of folks who seriously know their Asian food, so don't feel shy about asking staffers or even fellow customers to help you find something, or to make a recommendation. The Vicente location gets a little less packed and frenetic than the Irving location, and parking's easier, so keep that in mind as you head out West for your jackfruit. Do these places glisten and sparkle? No, no they do not. But there's more to life than a sanitized Whole Food experience. — Eve Batey
2801 Vicente St between 39th and 40th Avenues
2425 Irving (between 24th & 25th Avenues)

Yasukochi's Sweet Stop, located inside Super Mira. (Photo: Cherylynn N./Yelp)

Super Mira
Home to Yasukochi's Sweet Stop, purveyors of the Coffee Crunch Cake, Super Mira— yeah, that's all I need to say about this place. It's where you go—where you should go right now—to get the Coffee Crunch Cake. For me, Yasukochi's acclaimed cake is the Friday Night Lights of desserts: if you don't love it with all your heart, I probably won't like you. Iconic cakes aside, Super Mira is an excellent Japanese supermarket, where you can buy anything from fresh chirashi and bentos to baked goods to a sundry of assorted candies you won't find at your nearest Trader Joe's. — Brock Keeling
1790 Sutter (between Buchanan & Laguna)

Unfortunate Yee signage there. Photo: Yelp

Battamabang Market
If you're looking to make Thai or any Southeast Asian food at home and you live in the middle of the city, this one is kind of a no-brainer. You're not going to find nearly the same selection of curry pastes and Asian produce at Whole Foods, and definitely not this cheap. It's technically Cambodian-owned, but this is where you go for enormous sacks of dried red chilis, kaffir lime leaves, fresh galangal, cilantro with the roots attached, mangosteens, and coconut milk treats. But yes, you will have to hike into the deepest Tenderloin to do it, and do the dodge-and-weave around a few stumbling addicts before you get to the door. — Jay Barmann
229 Eddy (at Jones)

Photo: Yelp

Casa Thai
While this is not technically a Thai market (I believe one of the owner's names is Thai), it is a good catch-all Asian and Latin American market where you're going to find cheap meat, produce, herbs, and pantry items, including curry pastes, frozen galangal, and fresh tortillas. Being next to BART in the heart of the Mission, it's also a go-to spot for basic produce for anyone on a budget. — Jay Barmann
3020 16th Street (at Mission)

(Photo via: Street View)

Samiramis Imports
Since 1972, Samiramis has been a one-stop-shop for Middle Eastern imports: everything from falafel mix and zaatar blends to lavash, Turkish coffee and hookahs. (Don't forget to browse the DVD selection as well.) Although the original owner Samir Koury retired a couple years back, fellow Palestinian expat Wadee Imseeh has taken over to stock the shelves with more organic products and bring in a new kitten Bella to patrol the packed aisles. —Andrew Dalton
2990 Mission Street (between 25th & 26th Streets)

(Photo credit: Mission Community Market)

Mission Community Market
A weekly affair on Thursdays along Bartlett Street, Mission Community Market has a wider range of vendors than your typical neighborhood farmers market. The produce maybe be local, but the influences reflect a diversity that goes far beyond Mission and the market has been a jumping off point for a number of local small business owners. —Andrew Dalton
Thursdays, 4-8pm Bartlett Street at 22nd Street

Photo of produce at Sunset Super: Summer Y/Yelp