"[T]hey’re such lovely people and could use a neighborhood boost," she wrote. "Both stores are neighborhood gems that too many people don’t even know exist."
While Whole Foods and Safeway battle for supremacy on Market Street, we decided to look at a few independently-owned neighborhood shops that provide a wide range of staples and specialties.
Golden Produce (172 Church St.)
Serving weary workers who get off the N-Judah and J-Church along with Frisbee-toting dog walkers, community grocer Golden Produce carries fruits and vegetables that customers praise for variety and low prices.
In addition to bins outside the front door, the store has an extensive selection of produce stretching to the rear of the space that's arranged with precision. "Vegetables and fruits are always fresh," Yelper Katrina C. confirms.
Open 9am to 8pm.
Golden Natural Foods (130 Church St.)
The grocery next to taqueria El Castillito is run by the same owners as Golden Produce and has "a great butcher department," tipster Nancy P. told Hoodline.
Yelpers also praise a selection of vegan-friendly snacks, unique items and sandwiches. On the way in, customers are greeted by a selection of fresh produce; owners of large bags and backpacks should be prepared to leave them up front.
"The meat and fish sections are excellent and you really feel they care about the produce they sell," wrote Yelper Diarmuid R. "They have unique items that are not sold in most Safeways," Hiral P. added. "Shockingly well stocked neighborhood grocer," said James G.
Open 9am to 8pm.
Courtney's Produce (101 Castro St.)
This cash-only, family-owned store on the corner of Castro and 14th streets stocks produce sandwiches, salads, fruit, fresh-cut flowers and freshly pressed juices, along with a selection of dry goods.
Irish immigrant Patrick Courtney started the business 46 years ago, and today his great-nephew Andrew Courtney manages the operation.
One of the most popular items is its peanut butter and jelly sandwich, which includes fresh sliced strawberries. "Everything is made daily," Courtney told us two years ago. "We sell a lot of fresh juice—a couple hundred bottles a day," he noted.
Open 6am to 8pm.
Church Street Groceteria
300 Church St.
Family-owned Church Street Groceteria first opened in 1969. With beer, wine and spirits, plus a deli that makes fresh sandwiches, bagels and wraps, it's a popular spot with neighbors.
Appreciated widely for its deli counter and alcohol selection, many customers also call out the shop's customer service.
"I love these guys. The owners are more than grocers to me," wrote a Yelp reviewer. "We've had long chats about work, fishing and politics, you name it."
Open 7am to 10pm Monday to Friday, 7–9:30 on Saturday, and 7am to 9pm on Sunday.
Castro Farmers Market (Noe & Market streets)
From March 18th to November 22nd, the Castro Farmers Market takes up residence on Noe Street between Market and Beaver.
Besides agricultural products and seafood, many vendors fill tables with pastries, bread, as well as cheese, honey or even personal care items like soaps and lotions.
Part of the Pacific Coast Farmers Market Association, the market is open each Wednesday from 4 to 8pm.
What's your favorite neighborhood market? Share your tips in the comments!
Got story ideas about your neighborhood while you are out and about? Text Hoodline and we’ll see what we can find: 415-200-3233.
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