Good Artisan Bread, etc.
I recently moved from Belmont to Melrose and overall I LOVE it. The only think Belmont had going for it IMO, was its proximity to Cambridge and Watertown :)
I am a big fan of Iggy's breads and I know there must be some decent bakeries up my way. I'd love to hear anyone's tips for good bakeries, butchers, produce stands (I miss Russo's in Watertown and Wilson's in Lexington!) up this way. The nearest WF is in Woburn now :(
I used to live in Watertown and would shop regularly at all the places you mention above. When I moved to the Northshore, I used to go back to all my old haunts (and still do, although not every week anymore). I had to figure out what I could substitute for Wilson Farms and Russos. There is nothing that even come close, but I've found some new places that are much better than shaws and stop and shop. They are as follows:
Farmland Market - Wakefield - good butcher, bakery -- although not iggys
J Pace and Sons - Saugus - close to Melrose and Wakefield on Farm Street
Bobs - Medford -- small, but great
Trader Joes - Burlington
Roche Brothers - I think Woburn? -- Rt. 3A
Whole Foods - Woburn
Spirited Gourmet - Winchester - good, but could be better -- I have ideas
Favorite local places to eat:
Catch - Winchester
Duck Walk - Wakefield
Sushi Island - Wakefield
Hope this helps.
PS: Someone has to stop the madness of opening these mega stop and shops and shaws all over the north shore.... enough is enough.