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Feb 9, 2014 12:39 PM

Best non-chain grocery in West LA?

Just moved into the area and hoping to avoid Ralphs and Vons when I can.

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  1. Traders Joe's, Gelson's and Bristol Farms are still chains but all are in the area. Wednesday and Saturday Arizona and 2nd St. Santa Monica Farmers market is also a must.

    12 Replies
    1. re: wienermobile

      Those other chains are about the same pricing though, right? I forgot to mention I'm avoiding for price reasons. Any "ethnic" markets?

      I have been meaning to check out the Farmers Markets. I live just down the street. Good for produce only?

      1. re: woundedbreakfast

        Check out Stan's Produce on Pico

        9307 W Pico Blvd
        Los Angeles, CA 90035
        (310) 550-1454

        1. re: woundedbreakfast

          Bay Cities Italian Market on Lincoln in SM. Great prepared hot foods and fresh Italian Bread.

          1. re: wienermobile

            weinermobile: wounded breakfast's reason for seeking out a non-chain market is s/he wants it to be cheap.
            fwiw, i would not go to Bay Cities to find bargains.

          2. re: woundedbreakfast

            Are you Closer to Culver City or Santa Monica. I might suggest Northgate on Inglewood in Culver City which is where the old Top Value was.

            1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

              I'm in Santa Monica (Barrington and Santa Monica). I do pass thru Culver to get to work though.

              1. re: woundedbreakfast

                There's Bob's for a neighbourhood market is Santa Monica and Northgate for an ethnic one near Culver City, there's a location southeast of corner of Inglewood and Culver.


                1. re: woundedbreakfast

                  Doesn't Santa Monica still end at Centinela?

                  1. re: VenusCafe

                    Centinela and Bundy split around the Santa Monica airport and both run up to Santa Monica.

                    1. re: woundedbreakfast

                      Thanks. Lived many years in SM, knew of that split/divide, but ignorant that it included the extension of SM.

              2. re: woundedbreakfast

                Not sure what you mean by avoiding for price reasons. In my experience Ralph's and Von's usually have the best prices on basic items, as long as you have a club card. Trader Joe's can also be cheaper; Gelsons and Bristol Farms not so much. Whole Foods has some decent prices on their 365 store brand and some bulk items. Farmers markets will be cheaper than the grocery stores for what's in season at the moment, otherwise about the same or even more expensive but better quality.

                1. re: cookie monster

                  I was under the impression that most local markets or "ethnic markets" are generally cheaper than places like Vons and Ralphs, especially when it comes to produce. Not sure where I got this conception from.

            2. Vicente Foods at San Vicente and Bundy is the best non chain grocery in West L.A. Fantastic meat department.

              5 Replies
              1. re: maudies5

                Absolutely Vicente Foods - no contest.

                1. re: maudies5

                  Ok, definitely checking this place out now! Thanks.

                  1. re: maudies5

                    Yes, +3 on Vicente market, but know, it is not particularly cheap.....but it does carry quality items,

                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives


                      But Bristol Farms is kinda awesome. chain, yes, but great meat, poultry, fish and cheese. And more.

                  2. Sorry to add another chain, but Nijiya on Sawtelle in West LA is a small but very well-stocked Japanese market.

                    Granada Market - also on Sawtelle - is a mom&pop that usually has outstanding fresh seafood - the offerings are somewhat limited to ensure freshness.

                    Star Santa Monica Blvd is very close to where you live. This market offers Middle Eastern and Persian groceries.

                    Bristol Farms is another chain, but the one on Wilshire in Santa Monica is close and huge compared to any others that I've shopped in. Another plus is the easy parking.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: bulavinaka

                      You rock! I love Nijiya (as well as Mitsuwa). Pricey but worth it.

                    2. Roxbury Market 9769 W Pico Blvd., just East of Century City.

                      1. Your point is well taken.
                        I have found that for non-meat/produce items, Smart & Final delivers a very good value.
                        Just bought a box of Lipton Tea for a friend, $5.99 @ Gelsons, $4.99 at Ralphs and currently on sale for $3.99, yet regular price at Smart & Final is $3.59.
                        I like Gelson's for meat & produce. Shop their sale brochure, which typically comes out about once a month.
                        I have never thought any good thoughts about RiffRalphs and Vons, and so far they have done nothing to dissuade me from those thoughts.
                        And you can keep virtually all produce at TJs. I also never buy meat there. Its nickname is Sodium City as every condiment and mixed bag or jar of whatever is so sodium-laden.