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Jul 14, 2010 03:34 PM

Any Whole Foods better?

Boston or Cambridge locations - is there one you prefer and why?

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  1. I like the Fresh Pond location best. It is large and has a great selection of chiles both fresh and dried. I also like that you can buy individual celery stalks there. Silly reason to like a store, but I have never used an entire bunch of celery.

    4 Replies
    1. re: maillard

      I just went to buy celery at my local grocer and refused to buy a whole bunch for half a stalk I needed.

      1. re: maillard

        i will sometimes buy a little chopped celery at the salad bar in lieu of buying an entire bunch.

        the fresh pond WF is my favorite too. the medford one is also great, but the selection is limited.

        1. re: maillard

          You can buy individual stalks at Wilson Farm in Lexington too, FYI.

          Wilson Farm
          10 Pleasant St, Lexington, MA 02421

          1. re: Pia

            Same at Roche Bros in West Roxbury

        2. Fresh Pond is the largest and best store in the area. Outside the area, Woburn (pizzeria, gelato, chocolate) and Dedham (largest in state) are good stores.

          5 Replies
          1. re: robertlf

            And the secret is out that it's the best, because parking there has been a b---ch for me unless I'm there very early or very late. Liquor store next door is very good too IMO

            If I'm shopping at peak times, I go up the road to the Medford location. I'm still not used to its layout, but I can always find parking and cashier lines are never long.

            I'm not sure why but I also like the River Street (cambridge), which also can have parking challenges.

            Ironically I have a relatively easy time at the Cambridge Street and Fenway/SYmphony locations in Boston. Parking is validated free at both places and I usually find what I need.

            Washington Street location on Brookline/Brighton line IMO is the worst. Everything about it is bad--parking, elbow room within the store, clientele, overall vibe. I avoid that one.

            1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston

              Thanks. I will check out the liquor store too. Looking for imported wines.

              1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston

                I want to give a shout out to the staff at the Brighton store. They are always very kind, and extraordinary helpful. You're in the city, so yes, the parking is tight, and the store a bit cramped. Not all the "clientele" is "bad". :D

                I also shop at the River St., Fresh Pond, and 2 in Newton. The one on Beacon St is v. small, and the parking is even more challenging than the one in Brighton. The one on Washington St. in Newtonville is a good size, although the parking is quirky. Marty's Liquors is next door, which is nice.

                Marty's Liquors
                675 Washington St, Newton, MA 02458

                1. re: CookieLee

                  I shop at these 4 also, with a preference for River Street, and an occasional foray to Symphony- it still has that Bread and Circus feel plus I like the neighborhood. Lately we make excuses to go to the Dedham Store- it is truly amazing. Smart to put a WF in an area that has limited selection, Roche Bros being the best of the lot. They don't even have a Trader Joe's in the area. The store is beautifully laid out, stocked and staffed and shopping there is fun. We end up eating lunch there frequently and the cafe area is always mobbed with families.

                  Trader Joe's
                  1427 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

              2. re: robertlf

                Just came back from the Dedham store - it's the most chill of the locations, imho. No congestion in the aisles, no long checkout lines...That may be because I usually go early on Sat or Sun - sometimes to take advantage of the breakfast bar and eat either in the bright "lunchroom" or outside. The staff, particularly Lisa who used to be in the cheese area but who now I think does in-store demos, is very helpful. Cheese people I find are pretty interactive - at the Washington Street store in Brookline, too.

              3. I can only speak to Cambridge - but the Fresh Pond and Cambridgeport locations are both good, in contrast to the Central Square store, which is cramped, crowded, and has a limited selection.

                1. Cambridge is right off of Storrow and Memorial Drive. They have parking and a great wine and beer selection.

                  1. robertlf has it right, Fresh Pond is certainly the best around, going back to bread and circus days. The receipts used to literally say "Alewife WF, The Flagship Store". The prepared foods are usually a crime against good produce but that's not what i go there for. i have heard a lot about Dedham, the new flagship, I'm very curious, but there is fairly little Fresh Pond doesn't have, except a few items, like decent mustard. For very specialized things, (and even more exotic, in-house aged cheese, like my fav seasonal camenbert made by a lady in the Alps with 5 cows, I go to Formaggio's, very close by.

                    I dislike the Putnam/Cambridgeport locale because they stole the liquor license away from the original Bread and Circus on Prospect St. and it's not as good as Alewife. Plus that mysterious cafe that never took off was an eyesore.

                    The Beacon Hill Cambridge St location is obviously nothing more than a deli for MGH workers. Some of the sections, like the coffee area, is pathetic. They don't even carry a single Ethiopian.

                    Recently I was in Bedford (formerly a small chain called Sudbury Farms I believe, could be wrong). I was pretty surprised, the staff was knowledgeable and very helpful. I noticed the antipasti bar not only stocked one of my favs, pepperdew peppers, but they also had them stuffed with herbed goat cheese, which was fantastic. (I hate paying for all that syrup, although sometimes I use it in drinks or cooking, so it's nice to get some yummy cheese instead!)

                    So I guess they are all generally well run if not equally stocked and varying degrees of to-go item features.