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middle eastern/fresh produce in the east bay

kz59 Aug 27, 2012 01:15 AM

i have recently moved to Hercules, and having a really hard time finding a good market comparable to my favorite ones on the peninsula: Dean's Produce, Burlingame Farmers Market (related to Taraval FM - my dad's favorite), Draegers, Lunardis, Mollie Stone. There is nothing but Safeway and Luckys. I drive to Lunardis which is about 20 minutes away, but it would be great to find something closer. Berkeley Bowl is great, but somehow i find it very unfriendly. any ideas?

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  1. wolfe RE: kz59 Aug 27, 2012 04:23 AM

    Monterey Market Berkeley .is slightly closer than BBW and Lunardis.

    1. Robert Lauriston RE: kz59 Aug 27, 2012 08:36 AM

      There are some Mexican markets in Pinole and San Pablo that probably have better produce than major chain supermarkets. There's probably someplace serving the Filipino community.

      99 Ranch has a different selection of produce than Safeway et al.

      How does Middle Eastern fit in there?

      2 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston
        kz59 RE: Robert Lauriston Aug 27, 2012 12:09 PM

        that was a rather broad question :) i probably should have created 2 categories: 1) balkan/middle eastern markets and 2) good supermarkets. 1) a place that carries a variety of olives, feta and other balkan cheeses, bulk spices, nuts, unflavored kefir, jarred roasted peppers, frozen items like burek, some produce, etc. 2) a good supermarket with butcher, fishmonger, deli and bakery.

        1. re: kz59
          Robert Lauriston RE: kz59 Aug 27, 2012 01:04 PM

          Middle Eastern, check out Zand (Persian) on Solano in Albany, Middle Eastern (Persian) on San Pablo just south of University, and Indus Foods (international halal, has some Balkan stuff) on San Pablo a block and a half north of University.

          There's a Balkan market / butcher in Oakland, haven't made it over there myself:


          I think this is associated with them: http://suhomeso.com/index.html

      2. h
        hyperbowler RE: kz59 Aug 27, 2012 12:37 PM

        Gotcha. I can't speak to their produce, but I've had the best luck with Middle Eastern products at Oasis on Telegraph in Oakland. Very cheap olives. Great selection of desserts too, and they hand make their filo dough. This might be too big a trip for you, but it's worth it.

        There's also a few places (3 IIRC) on San Pablo, 1 within one block north of University and two a few blocks walking distance to the south. All places are on the east side of the street. Check dates on everything--- one of the two places south of University has had a staggering selection of expired cheeses (Kashkaval, Halloumi) in the past. Milan International, on University, is an Indian grocery, but they have tons of cheap bulk spices you might want.

        2 Replies
        1. re: hyperbowler
          wolfe RE: hyperbowler Aug 27, 2012 01:52 PM

          Halals are west and north and on the 1st block. Middle Eastern Market is west and south. Country Cheese is east and south 2nd block.

          1. re: wolfe
            hyperbowler RE: wolfe Aug 27, 2012 02:28 PM

            Woops, I was upside down. That's the worst mistake I've made since telling that rabbit to turn right at Albuquerque ...

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