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where do you shop for groceries, and for why?

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In my love to track down all pertinent food information in Vancouver as well as my great boredom due to excessive houseboundedness due to H1n1 here is where I shop and why,
care to list yours?
Famous Foods
I buy most of my meat and vegetables there, as well as at least 50% of my dry goods and spices, they also stock weird stuff like rennet that I can't find anywhere else. I have been shopping there since childhood and it brings back good memories
Costco
What can I say, two hungry kids and a great selection of reasonable (although gargantuan) products. I get my artichoke, sun dried tomatoes, pizza (boboli) bread, cheese and of course, DVDs there
Buy low
Decent prices and good produce-it's just down the road and always has ground chicken which is cheap, although fatty and great prices and those Lesley Stowe crackers which I am becoming addicted to
Bosa
Do I need to say anything else? Cheese, meat, pasta, things in jars, sauces, flavour, AND they sometimes give you free candy, what more could you ask for? I like the old store and the new one, not fussy.
Fujiya
My husband is Japanese, and this is where we stock up on all Japanese related food products and cheap and generally pretty decent prepared sushi and foods
Superstore
Only in desperation and mostly to purchase non-food

what about you?

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  1. I'll join the @ home with H1N1 and bored...all my shopping is done out of convenience - I never go out of my way for anything.

    - Kin's Market for all my veggies/fruit - because it's cheap and quality is generally good.

    - Safeway: I go here most for my meat and groceries - Why? I like their meat the best above all other grocery stores, and I have one that's close to home and one that's close to work for me. I only buy what's on sale that week usually.

    - Save On: I go to for my dried spices in bulk and because it's close to work. I also buy their frozen baby back ribs when on sale as you can end up with a rack for under $5, so I stock up when they're on sale. I also get Duso's fresh lasagna sheets at Save On.

    -Lin's (Broadway & Cambie): I buy Pork Belly here! I also buy my asian sauces etc. here cos it's cheaper than Safeway and I get spices here as well.

    -Buy Low: I get beef ribs here.

    -London Drugs: I get Olive Oil when it's on sale here and canned sockeye salmon when it's on sale too. Have not found better prices than here when both of these are on sale.

    -Beefway Meats (Kingsway): I buy their chicken cordon bleu which is real stuffed breasts with the drumette still attached.

    and lastly Whole Foods: If I could, I probably would shop here exclusively but I can't afford it. In fact, I have to limit myself to once a week because I was going broke! I go for things that aren't easy to find in regular grocery stores, like ancho chiles and stuff like that. It doesn't matter if I go in there to just browse - I will always leave buying something and spending way more money than I intended to!

    1 Reply
    1. re: ck1234

      army navy also has great deals on olive oil and canned fish

    2. Costco for Cheese (lots of great deals on imported cheeses), Toiletries, the occasional electronics
      Donald's (Commercial Dr or Hastings) - great for everyday shopping
      Bosa Foods (both the original and the new supermarket) - Italian ingredients
      T&T - Asian ingredients
      SuperValu - a decent location in a usually bad chain supoermarket. (Dairy and meat mostly)
      For Fruit and Vege - I just wander up Commercial Dr and pick up anything intesting at greengrocers there.

      Less frequent regular spots:
      Columbus Meats - butcher
      Fujiya - Japanese ingredients
      Angel Seafoods - frozen sushi/sashimi grade fish
      South China Seas - Spices
      Freybe Outlet - sandwich meats, mustards, etc.
      JN&Z - smoked meats
      Moccia - salumeria/butcher
      El Surreno - Latin American
      Los Guerreros - Mexican/Latin American
      Drive Organics - bulk and organics
      Famous Foods - when I'm in the area - but I find it a it too pricey
      Thu Hien - Vietnamese ingredients and frozen prepped foods

      1. I buy almost all of my groceries at Choices because I prefer they be organic, especially for meats and they are local. I also shop at Urban Fare for sale items such as 49th parallel coffee that was $5 off a few weeks ago and for specialty items like cheese and olives. Once a week I go to Granville Island for fruits, veg, and salmon. I hit Whole Foods once every 2-3 weeks for their hormone/antibiotic free ground chicken (only place I have found selling it), and when we go there I end up buying other things as my daughter has a ton of allergies so they have some neat stuff like dairy/egg free choc mousse cake mmmm!:)

        2 Replies
        1. re: selena03

          Safeway for dairy, certain meats (their beef tenderloin is surprisingly good), canned stuff/drief goods on sale -- mostly because it is convenient

          New Apple/Tim's for all produce because of the freshness/prices/convenience

          Parthenon for deli meats, table cheeses, pasta etc

          Granville Island: Le Kiu Poultry for all chicken, Tenderland Meats for most meat, Oyama and others for specialty items, I tend to avoid buying fruit/veg there because the prices are higher and the quality lower than my locals

          Les Amis for specialty cheeses

          Fourth Avenue: Seven Seas for all fish, Terra Bread for baguettes and walnut bread

          When I'm in the 'hood: the original Bosa, Famous Foods (though I've been known to make special trips there to get a particular brand of flour tortilla that freezes really well -- then I just stop for banh mi or bun or something to make it worthwhile!), Sunrise Market/Fujiya for all things Asian (I only go to South China Seas if I'm stumped as their prices seem high but they have bailed me out a couple of times on hard-to-find-items, so respect)

          1. re: selena03

            Well, Selena03, we're probably crossing paths fairly regularly and don't even know it. I'll ditto your shopping routine and add in Bosa's Victoria Drive for supplies for the "big sauce day", Renzullo for those weird European things that are harder to find elsewhere (especially at Christmas) and Santa Barbara on Commercial for bulk buy basil - I seem to go through a fair amount of that, hmmmm. I'm also a huge fan of Oyama Sausage on Granville Island - meats only though, the cheeses are a bit pricey.

            Edit: How could I forget sugar!!!! Italia Bakery on East Hastings for cannoli and other assorted num-nums!

          2. I live in Gastown now and do not drive, so I stay close to home for groceries. The majority of my food shopping is done at T&T. I love the selection of ingredients, the meat counter is fantastic. Shopping there has led me to experimenting with a lot of different Asian cooking that I had never considered before. Also, I've substituted Asian products for more conventional western goods... like Melona ice bars from Korea. Those things are insanely delicious.

            My other favorite spot in the area is Sunrise Market on Powell & Gore. The produce can be a little sketchy, but the prices are the lowest I've ever seen. Plus, if you look in the store, better quality produce can be found. Good selection of grocery products inside as well and the meat counter is good, though not as well stocked as T&T. There are a few caveats... the bacon is sold frozen and is a few weeks past it's due date, but for $4, I am not complaining as it was perfectly fine. Essentially it's one of your friendly Asian run neighborhood produce stands on steroids.

            I used to live in Mount Pleasant though, and I did the majority of my shopping at Buy Low on Kingsway & Main. Prices were quite good, much lower than Safeway or IGA and overall selection was decent. Produce was always very good and the meat prices were excellent.

            Other food shopping:
            Whole Foods - too expensive for my current budget, but I love the products. I am really hesitant to buy produce there though. Too many foreign organic products when local produce was in season this summer.
            Fujiya and Angel Seafood - great for Japanese ingredients not found at T&T
            JN&Z and/or Oyama - my choice for charcuterie (haven't been to Moccia yet)
            Les Amis du Fromage - the only spot for good cheese in my very humble opinion
            Famous Foods - when I lived in Mt Pleasant, I bought a lot of bulk goods here
            London Drugs - big fan of the olive oil and some of their rarer foods that go on sale... always surprises me what they'll have on their shelves.

            1. I'm going to sound like such a snob:

              Donald's Market on either Hastings or Commercial for general groceries. They have everything...its kinda creepy. Also - the East End Food Co-Op is not ok.

              Norman's on the Drive, Donald's or Granville Isle for veggies.

              Seafood City on Granville Isle or The Wheelhouse on E Hastings for seafood (they also carry specialty meats from time to time - game hens, etc)

              Jolly Meats on the North Shore for pork, chicken or beef.

              Oyama on Granville Isle or Maccia on E Hastings for dried meats/patés.

              Les Amis Du Fromage on E Hastings or La Grotta del Formaggio on the Drive for cheese, pasta, oil, etc. I second Renzullo on Nanaimo as well - great little shop.

              1. Sorry - East End food Co-Op is OK! Actually quite good.