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Sep 25, 2010 08:37 AM

Best produce selection

Hi, my SO and I will be visiting for a week or so to visit family. Can anyone say who has the best produce section in the city? Anything like the Berkeley bowl or pike place and the large Asian markets in Seattle?

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  1. The farmers' markets are still going strong, and there's at least one running somewhere in the city every day except Friday for at least another month or so (in addition to the three year-round markets at People's, Hillsdale and Lloyd) -

    I'm not too familiar with the Asian markets here, but I understand there are a couple of good ones.

    Outside of the farmers' markets, you can't go wrong with a trip to a New Seasons.

    1. Yep, hit the Farmers' Markets (esp. the big one Sat. morning near PSU).

      We also have an Uwajimaya (like Seattle) but it is out of the city's core, in a west side suburb called Beaverton. On the east side, still in the city, there are FuBonn and An Dong and others.

      1. Thanks for the tips. Anything else I should know? Just some inside info, I am a chef and frequently get pressed into doing the cooking even though I am on vacation and my SO tends towards vegetarian (not official but close enough). So variety as well as quality of produce matters. I love farmers markets, but assume at 3 pm on any given day my sister in law may say "hey your a fancy pants chef, why dont you make dinner". While done in a jokey manner still requires me to go all out, sometimes 2 hours before dinner is expected so grocers are good info.

        9 Replies
        1. re: KilgoreTrout

          New Seasons or one of our co-ops (People's, Food Front, Alberta) work well in a pinch, quality and variety-wise. And then there's smaller places like Pastaworks, Eastmoreland Market...

          1. re: JayinPortland

            Speaking for myself, I only shop at the Food Front coop in a pinch, and I've always been disappointed. I'd stick to New Seasons, where the produce is consistently excellent.

            1. re: JayinPortland

              Haven't been to Food Front, but People's and Alberta are excellent (though everything else is good, I've had problems with yellow onions from Alberta). There's also Cherry Sprout in North Portland and Sheridan Fruit Market on SE MLK.

              There are also several farms with stores on Sauvie Island, but the markets may not be worth the drive (I don't know how much is their own, besides seasonal berries and pumpkins). It is beautiful out there though.

              There are several Whole Foods in the area, but New Seasons has them beat around here.

              If you're willing to explore a bit, there's Anzen over by the convention center (it's been open for at least 60 years!) and the Lao Vieng market on Killingsworth. There's a Jamaican spice market (can't remember the name) on NE 42nd, somewhere between Killingsworth and Fremont.

              1. re: AgentLapis

                Cool. Will check out Anzen online. Is the uwajimaya (sp?) in the burbs less then 20 mins by car from downtownish (hotel is right downtown, family members in pearl and alberta), and is it as large as the main seattle spot?

                1. re: KilgoreTrout

                  It's about 20 min. by car from downtown to 'waji. It is a very large store, but I have not been to the one in Seattle, so I don't know.

                  1. re: KilgoreTrout

                    if you are going to make the trek to Uwajimaya and you don't mind buying in somewhat bulk, Hmart is not too much further than Uwajimaya and has better/bigger produce by far! the only catch is they kinda of prepackaged/wrap things in quantities that you can't alter. I am pretty sure it is for ease of checkout and so they can sell it cheaper, also so you don't have some clown buying $.07 worth of bean sprouts!

                    1. re: nkeane

                      I like Hmart, their is one where I live. The website claims Northern California is the closest location to PDX. Good news! Is it in Beaverton?

                      1. re: KilgoreTrout

                        Yes it's in Beaverton.
                        Anzen has been open 100 years.

                        1. re: KilgoreTrout

                          technically it's Tigard. just south of hwy 217 on 99W.