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Best produce in DC?

alexinct Sep 6, 2011 05:50 PM

Hey all, I just moved to DC. One thing I've seen quite a bit of from going to Safeway, Giant, and Harris Teeter is that the produce is mediocre (downright poor at Safeway, which is right down the street from me). What farmer's market is generally considered the best for produce? I've read that Dupont (correct me if I'm wrong) is the largest one, so by sheer size of the selection I feel like I'll have the best luck there. Either there or Whole Foods, I suppose. Any thoughts?

  1. echoparkdirt Jan 19, 2014 03:24 PM

    Does anyone have any new thoughts here? I just moved here and the Safeway produce is so bad, it depresses me.

    I would love to find an ethnic or produe market with fantastic persian cucumbers, great cheap cilantro/basil/parsley -- fresh, cheap, good :D any new ideas?

    Also, is the nearest Wegman's to DC really in Fairfax, VA?

    3 Replies
    1. re: echoparkdirt
      Worldwide Diner Jan 19, 2014 03:27 PM

      Go to Great Wall or H Mart on Gallows Rd.

      1. re: echoparkdirt
        dpan Jan 19, 2014 03:39 PM

        The best produce I have found is in the Lotte Plaza in Chantilly. Great selection, fantastic prices. Although it's a Korean market, the clientele is very international, with mostly South Asians, middle eastern, and East Asian customers.

        1. re: echoparkdirt
          tcamp Jan 20, 2014 06:34 AM

          Fresh World, in Springfield off Backlick Road just inside the Beltway. Huge cartful of groceries, mostly produce and meat, for $152.

        2. GraydonCarter Sep 12, 2011 01:17 PM

          Here's a link to a list of Maryland's farmers markets. I'm sure there is one for Virginia too.


          1. k
            katecm Sep 7, 2011 03:28 PM

            Each Safeway is different, each Giant is different. It depends on how recently they've been renovated, their management, etc. Some things can be reliable, some not.

            Where precisely do you live? We might be able to recommend a specific store. Near me, Timor has an awesome weekly delivery. MOM's Organic Market can be great, Magruder's can be great. And you'll also see that many of the same vendors sell at multiple markets, so don't think that one would be better than another. They just may be bigger, but the things that make them bigger may be flours, honey, etc.

            6 Replies
            1. re: katecm
              alexinct Sep 7, 2011 06:42 PM

              I'm in Adams Morgan.

              1. re: alexinct
                Jeserf Sep 8, 2011 04:13 AM

                Do you have a car?
                If not, I think metroing to the Whole Foods in Tenley (or Friendship Heights, which I happen to find a bit easier to navigate - less crowded) is your best bet to supplement Teeter. And Farmers Markets.
                If you do....Wegman in Lanham as frequently as you can!

                I should run a small business - will drive you to Wegmans for a fee! heh

                1. re: alexinct
                  mdpilam Sep 8, 2011 08:45 AM

                  I've only been once, and didn't get much in terms of produce, but Yes Organic should be pretty close to you - worth a shot. They had a "Whole Foods-ish" vibe, but very small.

                  1. re: mdpilam
                    hamster Sep 8, 2011 10:10 AM

                    Prepare yourself for sticker shock at Yes Organic. It's basically Whole Foods prices or higher, and I have not been impressed by the produce quality (ie, often have wilted greens, not fresh stuff at all). I prefer Whole Foods to Yes, and (not related to produce, but important) at least they have the 365 Organic products while Yes is just crazy expensive on everything.
                    i like the 14th and U Market as well, though it's pricey. Quality there is higher than even Whole Foods though. I imagine it's similar at the Columbia Heights market, which is also on Saturday mornings.

                    1. re: hamster
                      agarnett100 Sep 8, 2011 02:53 PM

                      "Prepare yourself for sticker shock at Yes Organic" - they have to pay for sky high rental rates some how

                2. re: katecm
                  ivysmom Sep 12, 2011 03:20 PM

                  Boy katecm you are right about that. My local Safeway is ok, as is Giant. The Giant near my mom is horrible. She said they were selling cabbage at full price, with various places cut away as if they'd gone bad and has other horror stories. She said something to a produce dept. worker and he just said "I'm sorry" but without any emotion (likely just sorry she'd said something to him.).

                  For consistently good produce I don't know of anywhere except Wegmans. The places others have suggested can be quite good (although some are pricey like Whole Foods or the organic markets), but sometimes not so good.

                3. m
                  mdpilam Sep 7, 2011 07:12 AM

                  Yeah, produce here is subpar (I moved here from LA). Safeway I think is the worst, followed by Harris Teeter and (surprisingly) I've found the Giant I live by now has decent produce, but still not as good as the farmers markets - which I am still somewhat disappointed in. I go to the Mt. Pleasant (because it's closest), Bloomingdale and Dupont farmers markets, and Dupont is the best because they have the biggest selection and they basically have the same vendors as the other two. It is a clusterff@*k though. One place that I'm surprised has worthless produce is Trader Joe's. They do a number of things well, but produce is not one of them. Haven't been to the WF out here, but I hated WF in CA (but there it was really easy to get good produce).

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mdpilam
                    agarnett100 Sep 7, 2011 08:14 AM

                    I would either go to the weekly farmers markets in the area, or Whole Foods if you have a car I would hit up Wegmans or the Amish Market in Laurel.

                    mdpilam-just be glad DC has any grocery stores a few years ago there was only a handful

                  2. tcamp Sep 7, 2011 06:38 AM

                    If you're interested in good prices and amazing selection, try the many asian markets which are mostly in the 'burbs but worth a periodic drive. Hmart, Grandmart, Fresh World, to name a few that are not far from me in NoVa.

                    1. m
                      mscoffee1 Sep 7, 2011 12:09 AM

                      I sometimes use DC Green Grocer (although not this summer when I have gone to local smaller farmer's markets in Maryland). There is no contract (obligation) and they deliver.

                      1. j
                        Jeserf Sep 6, 2011 06:43 PM

                        I probably live near where you moved and I'll give you my strategy for buying fresh, reasonably priced produce:
                        Wegmans. I drive to Wegmans almost every week. Now that my husband is deployed, I do go less frequently, but when he's here, we basically go weekly. It's saves me so much money. It's about a 20-25 min drive to the one in Lanham for me, and worth it.

                        If I don't go to Wegmans, I shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joes. I find that produce at WF can be shoddy and overpriced, but it's convenient. I buy seasonal produce at the U Street Farmers Market, which I find much more of an enjoyable shopping experience than Dupont, but I do go to Dupont (EARLY!!!) once in a while. Both markets have pretty much the same thing, though U Street has Whisked baked good and Lois from Pennsylvania who makes amazing (read: sinful) whoopie pies. I like supporting that market and it isn't crammed with strollers or tourists taking pictures.

                        Lastly, I very, very rarely buy produce at Safeway. I don't live conveniently to a Giant and find Teeter to be super expensive. That Safeway on 17th St, I always think I'll get tetanus from the produce.

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