Seeking produce a la Berkeley Bowl, but in SF?
I love Berkeley Bowl's abundance of produce options - every type of mushroom I could imagine, 10 kinds of chard, 20 kinds of potatoes, etc. Unfortunately I don't love the drive across the bridge every weekend.
Currently I shop at the Alemany Farmer's Market which has great selection, but it's only 1 day a week. Rainbow has some nice produce as well, but I'm not concerned about organic (and I find Rainbow super expensive).
What grocers would you recommend in SF (or all the way down to Daly City) that have a similar wide selection?
Are you primarily interested in fruits and vegetables? Like Robert says, there's not really anything that rivals Berkeley Bowl. I also shop at Alemany Farmers market and Rainbow for produce. The Wednesday Civic Center farmers market is also really good.
Depending on what you're after, some of the Mission bodegas have good produce (but its not consistent I don't find) as do markets in Chinatown, the Richmond and Sunset.
In Daly City, there's the Korean market on Junipero Serra and the Ranch 99, which can have decent produce sometimes.
But yeah. Anytime I find myself in Berkeley with more than 30 mins to spare, I go to BB.
re: Dave MP
Yup, mostly interested in fruits and vegetables. I'm looking for a BB alternative for those days I want to grab something after work or need to find a special ingredient last minute (live and work in SF, so driving over to BB is not the best idea for these trips :))
I haven't heard of the Korean market, so will definitely check it out, thank you!
re: Robert Lauriston
22nd & Irving is a good suggestion. It's small and can't come close to what BB has, but I always see something special there each time I drop in. I posted about the fresh olives I noticed two weeks ago. And in the same visit I noted that there were at least a dozen different kinds of potatoes on display. And the advantage for bobabear is the Chinese grocery shopping also available nearby on Irving.
If you are thinking about Nordic House, they are in Berkeley now, on San Pablo Avenue, the old highway 123. I mention this because all the places you like to visit are reached via San Pablo Avenue. Yes you can get to these places on the freeway but San Pablo has all kinds of little markets (some with produce) to make the cross-bridge trip worth the effort.
Nordic House (Norway/Scandinavia)
Mi Tierra (Mexican/Latin American)
Bayside Market (Mexican/Latin American)
Middle East Market (Afghan/Middle Eastern)
Halal Meat Market (middle eastern)
Indus (Pakistani/middle eastern)
The Spanish Table (Spain/Portugal)
Tokyo Fish (Japan)
There's more, plus the bridge toll is still 4 bucks mid day during the week.
Bobabear, it would help to hear your general path from work to home. For example, once you take parking and traffic into account, its quicker for me sometimes to go to Berkeley Bowl than Clement St.
To generalize to SF, it sounds like you're looking for farmer's market style produce and at cheap prices and every day of the week. Lifting the organic restriction is helpful. Depending on how much stuff you need, desperation could cause you to spend a few extra bucks.
Definitely expensive: Canyon Market, Bi-Rite, Whole Foods...
Moderately expensive: Rainbow Grocery, Haight Street
Market (limited selection)
Cheap: competition means good quality Asian greens on Stockton street, Pacific Super and Manila Market for diverse Asian produce but variable quality
Perhaps from places mentioned at this link, http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/689461 , where do other places fit in? What are the prices like at 22nd and Irving Market?
22nd & Irving's prices are competitive with inexpensive Chinese green grocers along that stretch of Irving. It has some Asian produce, but a broader selection of other types of produce than the Chinese stands. The produce as well as the imported foodstuffs have a Middle Eastern, Greek, Italian slant. This makes it somewhat similar to Parkside Farmers Market (grocery store) but with more fresh produce.
Two other stores that have been mentioned for inexpensive fresh produce and specialty crops that I've not checked out myself are
G & G Finest Produce, 5015 Geary Blvd.
4th Ave & Geary Farmers Market, 3931 Geary Blvd
Hyperbowler, to generalize some more:
I'm looking for a SF (to Daly City) farmer's market style selection of produce for < mid-range prices. For those days I decide I want to make chanterelle risotto after work and can stop somewhere that has good quality chanterelles and not Ferry Building Mushroom Place prices or I need loveage which can be hard to find (but I've seen it at BB!).
Some of the speciality stores in the other thread sound great! Thank you for linking.
General path: Portola to downtown SF. I can go to Chinatown or Rainbow after work easily, but I'm also fine with driving across the city to Sunset/Richmond and getting home from that route.
Melanie - G&G sounds great! I'm also a fan of the 4th Ave Geary shop :) Thank you!
I work in downtown SF and have occasionally taken BART to BB East at (long) lunch. It's less than a 10-minute walk from the Ashby BART station. While it's not the best option if you're doing a big weekly shopping, it's quite workable if you realize you need an item (or items) that day.