Monday, February 8, 2010

Where to buy tasty fresh produce in the Bay Area?

Here is a topic that I would like to turn into a discussion for all of you Bay Area people.

A very good friend of mine came to my house the other day and told me a horrifying story- he bought 2 bags of oranges at Safeway and they were dry and tasted like sawdust. He could not eat them. In his words, the only thing he could do with them was move them to the garbage can.

I am sure most of us have experienced produce that tastes like shredded cardboard at some point. Now the question is: how do you know where to buy what? Trial and error takes time and money before you work out the most optimal shopping routine.

I invite everyone to share their experiences and recommendations for the best produce stores in the Bay Area. Everyone that eats will benefit from each others suggestions and recommendations.

Please send them in the Email form to and I will post them in the relevant topic. Please include the title and an article about your experience regarding a specific food you bought and your recommendation.

Thank you everyone for participating!


  1. Easy: buy always Organic, go to Farmers' markets and get organic stuff on sale from Whole Foods, the best and most consistent place in produce (if you don't mind spending the extra buck, buy it in full price too).
    Safeway, Andronico's, Giant Eagle, Ralph's, Albertson's etc, these are not places to buy produce, these are places to buy chemical compounds, with some or most of the times zero nutritional value.
    hope this helps,

  2. Safeway is the ONLY place to shop! I have never said a statement I will defend more than the previous one above. The people there are dumber than me, the female baggers are somewhat hot, I get 2-for-1 deals all the time, and I occasionally step in dog sh*t on the way there. By the way, here's an equation I just came up with:

    Safeway = 2*Whole_Foods^c;


    c = a constant too big to try to comprehend (kind of like the speed of light...but dimensionless).

    Check out this controversial link:

  3. Milk pail market is the best place in mountain view area to buy produce, and berkeley bowl is the most awesome place in east bay that has everything is great produce!

  4. I like Milk Pail too for their variety, but I have to say 2 times I bought cheese there (kashkaval and manchego), they were both stale and old. Also, their smoked bacon is not smokey.

  5. Since I eat at least 6 lb of fruits and 4lb of fresh vegetables a week I did a research about buying fresh produce. There are only two places where I buy them: Trader Joe's and farmer's market.
    Trader Joe's is my favourite food story for many reasons, but here, I will give you couple of them. First they are not expensive ( I buy organic fruits and vegetables). For example, 1 lb of organic kiwi is 1.99 or if you like for the same amount of money you can get 2 lb of organic pears. Second of all the size of their fruits and vegetables such as onions, avocados, tomatoes, bell papers, zucchinis etc. is, how to say it "normal". By normal I mean you don't get apple, orange or onion which weights half a pound. Therefore, if you are not such a big fan of eating fruits, but you still want to do it, you don't have to toss most of the XXL sized apple. You can eat 2, 3 of trader Joe's small apples if you like, but you don't have to if you don't. In that way you save the money. Third, small size fruits usually tastes much much better, so not only that you save the money but you don't get that feeling that you are eating plastic instead of fruit. The fruits and vegetables are fresh ( at leas never happened to me to buy something which tastes awful) and you can always look on the container or a beg when it was packed and where is produce.
    The best place to buy the fresh fruits and vegetables is definitely the farmer's market. I don't do it as much as I would like but you don't have to be "the brightest crayon in the box" to know that the food in the farmers market travels the least amount of time from the field to your plate. However, food in the framers market is usually a little bit more expensive then the chain store food , which makes sense, but might put off many people from going there. Whenever I can, I buy fruits and veggies which don't look great (have a little dent on it, or is not the perfect size or shape). They are cheaper and they taste the same as their good looking brothers and sisters.