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Looking for grocery store in San Mateo similar to Santa Cruz's Shopper's Corner or Staff of Life or SF's Rainbow

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I haven't found any grocery store in San Mateo that is similar to Santa Cruz's Shopper's Corner or Staff of Life or SF's Rainbow. Basically, I'm looking for a decently priced* grocery store that has any or all of the following: (1) butcher counter with sustainable fish and organic meats; (2) bulk spices and flours; and (3) fresh and unique organic veggies. Does anyone know of such a place in the San Mateo area?

*By decently priced, I mean NOT Whole Foods or Draeger's prices. I can't stomach spending $4 on a celery stalk.

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  1. To my knowledge there is no such beast. There is a long-running thread about "why can't SJ have a Berkeley Bowl" which touches on similar points. So you end up at the Costco or the Ranch 99 if you like value and a decent price, which are short on "unique organic veggies". sigh.

    Berkeley Bowl
    2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

    4 Replies
    1. re: bbulkow

      how sad. i also wish they would do the downtown farmer's market year round.

      1. re: yehfromthebay

        The farmer's market up at CSM is year round and very good. The Wednesday market (which I don't get to often) has most of the same purveyors as Saturday. Of course it is helpful if you have a car to get up there, but if you don't, there is a bus route (Samtrans) up the hill to CSM.

        1. re: rednails

          The Wednesday CSM market is on hiatus while they redo the parking lot.
          The Saturday market continues uninterrupted...

          1. re: RWCFoodie

            Yeah, I didn't notice the parking lot was closed til this past weekend. I would have thought they could move the Wed market like they moved the Sat market for a few months. Apparently not, even tho Wed is as busy as Saturday,.and has some different purveyors as well. The (closed) parking lot is on 2 levels, so they could have closed one level at a time.

            Alot of purveyors were not there this past Saturday, the first weekend open since before the holiday. And some of the farmers had limited selection, I wonder if weather was a factor.

    2. So it might not be exactly what you want but what about Trader Joe? I'm familiar with Shopper's Corner in Santa Cruz as well as New Leaf. Too bad we don't have much besides Whole (paycheck) Foods....

      1 Reply
      1. re: RWCFoodie

        I definitely shop at TJ's. Wish it had a better vegetable section though.

      2. No, it's not in the same league, but I shop at Signona's in Redwood City when I'm in the area. Advertised specials are bargains. Redwood City has more produce than Stanford, and the array of winter citrus from small growers (both organic and conventional) is quite diverse.

        Sigona's Farmers Market
        399 Stanford Shopping Ctr, Palo Alto, CA

        Sigona's Farmers Market
        2345 Middlefield Rd, Redwood City, CA

        1 Reply
        1. re: Melanie Wong

          Awesome! Thank you!

        2. Very familiar with SC & SOL having lived in Aptos. A few places come to mind that should, in combination satisfy your needs. Mollie Stones for butcher & fish counter and organic goods (multiple locations), Crossroads World Market in Palo Alto for International food items, and Milk Pail Market in Mtn. View for gorgeous produce and International foods as well. The aforementioned Draeger's, plus Lunardi's, and Cosentino's are similar to, but much more reasonable then Whole Foods. When the time comes for me to return to Aptos I will be happy that we finally have Whole Food Markets but will miss Crossroads, and Milk Pail the most. Good Luck.

          Crossroads World Market
          230 Jackson St, Hayward, CA

          Milk Pail Market
          2585 California St, Mountain View, CA

          Mollie Stone's
          851 Cherry Ave # 22, San Bruno, CA

          1 Reply
          1. re: letsindulge

            I shopped at Mollie Stone's a long time ago...when I was fresh out of college and a broke joke. Maybe the prices won't frighten me as much now. I will give it another try. I have heard wonderful things about the Milk Pail but was hoping for a more local grocery store. May have to venture down there to see what it's like though.

            Mollie Stone's
            851 Cherry Ave # 22, San Bruno, CA

          2. Don't know why it linked to a Crossroads World Market in Hayward but the one I mean is located at 782 San Antonio Road, Palo Alto.

            Crossroads World Market
            720 San Antonio Rd, Palo Alto, CA

            1. I spend about half of my time in the southbay near Woodside and food shopping is always a chore as I have to drive from here to there to find reasonable priced meat/fish and produce. Milk Pail is very good but it is a long drive for me and much longer from SM. The most reasonably price/quality one stop market I have found is Lunardi's. Their meat department is excellent, though nothing organic.
              When I am in SF the other half, I load my car at Rainbows as there is really nothing comparable in the Southbay, especially for bulk food, speciality items such as oil/vinegar, and great cheeses at reasonable price.