Any Great East Bay Specialty/Gourmet Stores?
Hi Everyone, I was wondering if anyone knew of any great specialty grocers in the East Bay area (I live in Concord). I'm aware of Andronico's, Whole Food's, Lunardi's etc. I'm interested if anyone knows about any great Cheese Stores, Italian Markets (looking for some nice, excellently sliced Prosciutto di Parma), Asian Food Marts, Old School Butchers with incredible meat selections, etc.
Basically, anything resembling small, family owned businesses that take pride in their selections and offer different selections/service than you would ever find at your local Safeway/Albertsons.
I would prefer places on the Walnut Creek side of the Caldecott if there are any!
Have heard good things about Fritz's Meats in Concord. Country Market on Contra Costa Blvd in Pleasant Hill is the largest Asian market in the area. Walnut Creek Baking Co. on Locust has high quality baked goods. I'll have to think of some others, but those 3 are off the top of my head.
Draeger's opens a store in the Blackhawk Plaza in October. Pricey, but the quality is there to back it up.
AG Ferrari in Lafayette, Walnut Creek Meats in Alamo (they used to be in WC), but the other side of the tunnel is really not far especially on the weekends...and much more fun than CoCo County. Especially when you need a break from the heat.
There's an Italian deli in Countrywood shopping center that's been there for a long time. (I grew up near there.) It's at the corner of Treat and Bancroft, between the Chinese restaurant and Countrywood Music.
A good option for meat is to order from Niman Ranch or to call them for local stores that stock their meats.
For real Japanese products, there is Diablo Oriental Foods on North Main in Walnut Creek. It's a little wooden shack but it's packed full of everything my family from Japan eats.
Hope that helps.