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Jan 17, 2008 01:31 PM

best pickles EVER

I just found the pickles of my dreams at Rainbow Grocery. Back in the miso/pickled lemons fridge, across from the olive bar, they have two kinds of pickles: "lower East Side" pickles and another kind, called, I think Bubbie's. The latter are so good I can't even believe it. It's hard to find truly sour pickls and these are awesome. I may drive there again this afternoon to buy a dozen more.

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  1. Just so we are clear. When you say "latter" you are referring to Bubbies?

    or are you intending on specifying the "Lower East Side" pickles as the best?

    I just want to make sure because Bubbies pickles are available at a lot of places so I am not sure it would constitute a find. So I am thinking you intended Lower East Side.

    2 Replies
    1. Just want to add that while Bubbies is a larger pickled products producer, they sell some of their stuff in the bulk fridge at Rainbow and the sauerkraut seems to be tastier to me when I get it fresh from the bulk fridge than when I get it in jars from other quality local markets. I don't know if they give particularly good batches to Rainbow or what, but they're a somewhat local company and I like to think it tastes better from Rainbow.

      3 Replies
      1. re: SteveG

        I have to say they tasted amazingly fresh. I've just never had really great pickles since I moved to the US, except at the old Second Ave. Deli. Really enjoyable. Must try their sauerkraut...

        1. re: SteveG

          The Bubbie's sauerkraut is absolutely great. My friend thinks the pickles are the best ever, but I wasn't that excited about them.

          1. re: SteveG

            Jars--if they're not refrigerated when you buy them--may have been heat-packed (eg canned), which could affect flavor and texture.

          2. Any true pickle lover has to try the complimentary house fermented pickles at Boco in Novato. The duck fat fries are pretty good too.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Civil Bear

              I agree, Boca's pickles are first rate ~ the highlight of my one & only meal there. Another place where the free pickles are better than anything you pay for, Saul's in Berkeley. I also recently tried the fresh looking (bright green) olives at Ratto's in Oakland and really liked those as well.

              1. re: foodfan

                Saul's in Berkeley could be hit or miss. Sometimes their pickles are simply great and other time it's mushy and soft. They run about $2.49 per pound.

            2. I'd heard about Gus' pickles (from NYC) and finally got to try one -- they sell them at the Pasta Shop on College in Oakland. Great!

              1 Reply
              1. re: walker

                Guss' Pickles are my Gold Standard for full-sour pickles. They are the house pickle at theCarnegie in NYC.
                Buubies is (I believe) a Canadian pickle that does a good full-sour pickle - but I've never had any as good as Guss'.

              2. Dafina Girl...the next time you are in a Whole Foods, or Mollie Stones, or Golden Gate Produce, Bi Rite, Andonicos's or Cal Mart ..go to the fridge section and look for a fresh locally produced pickle "Manhattan Style" from Alexander Valley (if you do a search on this board you will see quite a few recommendations) tell us what your opinion of these are vis a vis the bottled and "imported" Bubbie's...

                2 Replies
                1. re: ChowFun_derek

                  Be reasonable about the "imported" Bubbie's pickles. Originally, the company was called Bubbies of San Francisco, and was local. When they became successful, due to their 1st class pickles, they moved elsewhere in the Bay Area, where production space could be had at a cheaper price. Finally, they began to produce in Canada, which, at the time, was even cheaper. Perhaps now that the Loonie is rising fast, they'll come home again. Either way, "imported" is a cheap shot, IMHO. They really DO make the best commercial pickles. The only better ones are made by my mother, and I'm not sharing!

                  1. re: ChowFun_derek

                    Oh, and for the Bubbie's story, see:

                    You have to read between the lines to see that it was originally a San Francisco company. But it was, indeed.