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Jul 7, 2011 01:01 PM

Healdsburg - Big Johns vs Safeway

Need to buy food for a few days for a large group staying at a vacation home. See my other post :0)

I need some basics (water, juice, eggs, breads, veggies, snacks, etc...) but also want some specialty items (cheese, salumi, crackers, chocolates, olives, etc...).

Do I need to go to both stores to get what I want? Was not sure if Big Johns would have everything I need or be too over priced.

Which one has the best meat dept? I need a few tri-tips to grill.

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  1. BJ is very different.........SW does not compare
    It is not overpriced and no need to go to SW

    1. I love Big Johns because the meat department has CK lamb, veggies are fresh - it's one-stop shopping. 'best meat dept'

      1. The Healdsburg Safeway remodeled not too long ago and has shifted a bit upmarket. That said, I have not reason to shop there when there's such a fine locally owned alternative in town, Big John's Market.

        Big John's is not overpriced, quite a bit lower than Whole Foods, and with better service. The cheese counter has a fine selection. Most items are precut and wrapped, but you can ask to taste anything before you buy. Big John's has an olive bar.

        Especially I would not buy meat at Safeway. Big John's has an excellent butcher case and you can select the exact piece you want or have something custom cut to your spec, then wrapped up.

        Don't know if you've been to Healdsburg before, but bear in mind that the town itself is quite small. You can easily make two of three stops in less time than it would take to get checked out in an urban grocery store because lines are shorter, less travel time and ease of parking. You may also want to check out The Cheese Shop of Healdsburg, Shelton's Natural Foods, Downtown Bakery, Costeaux French Bakery, and the Tuesday or Saturday farmers market

        Downtown Bakery & Creamery
        308 Center St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

        Costeaux French Bakery Cafe
        417 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, CA 95448

        Big John's Market
        1345 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, CA 95448

        Cheese Shop of Healdsburg
        423 Center St, Healdsburg, CA

        Shelton's Natural Foods Market
        428 Center St, Healdsburg, CA

        3 Replies
        1. re: Melanie Wong

          Safeway was done 2 years ago as have most Safeways in California........not much upscale, just rearranged. it looks like all other safeways.

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            Thanks everyone for posts... Big Johns it is!

            We have been to Healdsburg several times and either dined out or brought food packed in a cooler for the weekend.

            1. re: boltsfan

              Big Johns exceeded expectations.

              Meat and deli dept are great and the cheese selection is amazing. Local bread and beer selections. Helpful people all over the store. Can't wait to go back.

          2. One thing not to buy at Big John's, the housemade potato chips. Thick cut and still warm when I bought them, but alas, overfried. And while not burnt-looking, there was an undercurrent of bitterness in the flavor.

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