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Food Stores in SD

There is an interesting discussion about the best food store in the US on egullet and it got me thinking about food stores in SD. There are of course several good food stores for ethnic food (asian, mexican) but there are not many "upscale" food stores in SD. Where do you go when you want some special cuts of meat or fish or any kind of high-end gourmet foods ? Just to mention two examples, I am looking for truffles and fois gras, where can I find such items in SD ? Or do you order online ?

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  1. We could use a good Draegers, Mollie Stone or Andronico's in San Diego. I find that when I'm looking for upscale or top quality I generally can't find it all under one roof. Have you checked out the new Bristol Farms in La Jolla or Baron's in the Point Loma area?

    For special cuts of meat Iowa Meat Farms works for me. For cheese Aniata or Venissimo. For produce there is always Chino Farms but after that the drop off is pretty percipitous for really good produce. What I can't find, or don't like what I've found here, I order on line.

    2 Replies
    1. re: DiningDiva

      I don't really mind to drive to several shops to find different kinds of upscale or top quality items but I was just hoping that there were some food shops I overlooked so far which have everything under one roof.
      Beside Harvest Ranch Market (which is on my list to visit soon) I went to all the shops mentioned and all of them are very good but all of them have also some items missing. At the weekend it is not a big deal to drive to several of those places but during the week after you finish work at 7-8 pm I was hoping to find something more convinient. At this point it is mainly Whole Foods (is there any other good place for organic meat in SD ?) and TJ in La Jolla during the week. (I don't mind spending a lot of money on good food and restaurants and Bristol Farms has some very interesting items nobody else has but a lot of the common items are way overpriced so that I only shop there for very selected items.) Is the Baron's in the Point Loma area very different to the one in Del Mar (which is pretty small but has big selection of wine) ?

      1. re: honkman

        Honkman, I have not been to the Baron's in Del Mar but would suspect it's very similar to the one in Point Loma. Let's just say I feel your pain ;-)..............

    2. Jonathan's in La Jolla has a lot of gourmet items, with pricing to match. I wouldn't be surprised to find truffles or foie gras there, but I'd definitely call first.

      For special cuts of meat I like Seisel's in Bay Park.

      For produce I think People's Co-Op in OB is very underappreciated. I was just there this morning and picked up some great apples, persimmons, and mushrooms. They even still have heirloom tomatoes. They're not precisely gourmet, being oriented more towards healthy and organic foods (they don't sell any meat at all), but for produce quality I can't think of a better grocery store. They also sell some really great breads.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Josh

        I love People's! I dropped my subscription to Be Wise when I saw the huge selection of local organic produce - looking much better than what I was picking up from someone's garage every other week. (Salad greens don't exactly benefit from sitting out in a plastic bag all day.) They have a great selection of organic packaged items, bulk foods and frozen goods too - gourmet cheeses, hummus, chips, cookies, etc. I like whole co-op thing too -it's just a nicer shopping experience than a chain store.

        1. re: Alice Q

          I just went today and got some great winter squash. They have many beautiful varieties.

      2. We've used Harvest Ranch Market several times for some of the more gourmet items, and the have a decent meat department, as well.

        1. Major Market (Escondido and Fallbrook) is more than meets the eye: tons of European imports, good deli, good wine selection, seasonal exotic fruit, regional speciality products from all over the U.S. It's right next to Trader Joe's, so I get all my shopping done between the two of them.

          1. I agree with Maestra -- Major Market is fantastic. Great selection of European speciality items, fine butcher.

            1. I have always found Iowa Meet fames to very helpful. Taste in Hillcrest could probably help you procure a special item for you. Taste is very well connected.

              1. Iowa Meat on Mission Gorge for the best beef - the butchers there have tons of ideas on how to cook and serve various cuts. Seisel's is owned by the same folks now, and are over closer to the ocean. In 5 years we had only one bad roast from Iowa Beef. We told them about it and they gave us a better cut, twice the size, for free to "make it up" to us!

                Iowa Meat right now has a lot of British imported holiday foods in stock. Also, if you're looking for Taylor Ham (i.e., Taylor Pork Roll) they will special order it for you. Very Important to those of us who became addicted to it as children!

                3 Replies
                1. re: Momzilla

                  It has been a long time since I was at Iowa Meat. Do they have organic meat ? What about Seisel ?

                  1. re: honkman

                    I know they have organic chicken, and given a couple of days lead time they can place orders for you. They kind of let me down recently though when I ordered several small organic chickens to make a recipe, and when I showed up to pick them up they said they didn't have them because their phones were down - or something like that. It seemed like kind of a lame excuse to me. I have seen a whole foie gras in their freezer case, but I'm not sure if that's the best place to get it. Iowa and Seisel's are owned by the same people (the Cohn's) so I am sure they can probably get the same stuff for you.

                    1. re: Alice Q

                      Not to defend Iowa meats as they should have procured your special order but their phones were down several times over the last several months. But I was just at Seisel's today and found their butchers to be even more helpful then at Iowa (and my grandfather owned his own butcher shop so I feel I am a good judge!)