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Shalmanese

Best SF neighbourhoods for food shopping

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I'm currently living in the Mission around 16th & Valencia and your choices as far as shopping goes is either tiny mexican grocers with somewhat dubious product quality, hideously expensive yuppie stores (Rainbow, Bi-rite) or Safeway in Duboce Triangle. I miss the little greengrocer I lived next to in Seattle which had the perfect balance of quality, affordability & selection.

What are some other neighbourhoods (or micro-neighbourhoods) that have that? So far, I've tried Hayes Valley (food desert), Upper Haight (only expensive stuff), 24th & Potrero (same deal as north Mission except no yuppie stores), SOMA near the Caltrain (gigantic safeway & Whole Foods but nothing else).

Does the neighbourhood I'm looking for exist in SF?

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I really don't find Rainbow to be expensive at all, if anything it's the exact store you're looking for - quality, affordable produce.

Being on 16th and Valencia, you're also close-ish to the Alemany farmer's market, you might want to give that a shot once a week.

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Have you checked out the Asian market areas on the avenues? Clement Street, X 6th-8th Aves, has a concentration of food markets around there (fish, meat, poultry, vegs, Asian ingredients). But you can go up and down Clement St to find other food stores, not to mention good restaurants and fun shops.

On the other side of GG Park, you can try the other major Asian market area on Irving St. There's a big veg market at 22nd & Irving. Within a few blocks are other grocers, and meat/fish/poultry purveyors.

These markets cater to an Asian clientele (though plenty of non-Asian people shop there too), so the food is fresh, and the prices are as good as I know of in SF. The produce is "commercial" (rather than organic), and the prices reflect that. When I lived in SF, I shopped mostly at the Irving Street markets because it was closer to where I lived. Occasionally I was on Clement Street, browsing at Green Apple Books, so I would pick up some groceries there.

There's an Andronico's at Irving X 14th St. I can't remember the last time I was in that store. But I thought I'd mention it.

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When I lived in SF, I shopped on Taraval often. For meat, there's Guerra Meats (Taraval by 15th Ave.) for meats, deli items and a small but good selection of grocery products. There is also a limited selection of seafood. Prices are quite good as well as quality.

A block away on Taraval by 16th Ave., there is a good produce store. You'll find a very good selection of vegetables plus a variety of ethnic (Middle Eastern mostly) grocery. Prices are also very good. For even cheaper fruits and vegetables, go to the produce store on West Portal. Just know that the selection is more limited and you won't find much more than the basics.

Not too far away (by car) on Vicente and 39th Ave., you can find seafood and Asian grocery at decent prices. I prefer this branch to the one on Irving as parking is much easier.

As for farmers markets, I went to the Alemany (Sat. AM) and the Stonestown (Sun. AM) ones often.

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Rainbow does sound like what you want. Then stop by the Foods Co for some random-grade commercial items which you can't get at Rainbow.

Also if you make the walk to the Castro Safeway, Golden Natural Foods is across Church street. They have two stores on that block, one which is mostly produce and one which has meat and a wider variety of non-produce grocery items.

Some of the little groceries (there are 6 within a block of 16th/mission) have better quality than others, though I haven't figured out which is best. The * Whole Foods (e.g. Valencia Whole Foods at 20th) are sometimes interesting.

Oh also don't forget the Heart of the City farmer's market.


Edited by mb7o (log)

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