Aug 122008


Whole Foods is opening in Venice on September 3!

I have mixed emotions about the opening in my neighborhood of one of my favorite stores. I have a love-hate relationship with Whole Foods. (On one hand, I love to browse the aisles, and find the experience strangely soothing. In fact, the food writer Michael Pollan likens walking through Whole Foods to browsing a favorite bookstore.) On the other hand, Whole Foods is often overpriced and just a bit too… yuppy. Plus I’m leery of anything that will increase traffic and crowds.

So for those of you who don’t want to resort to Whole Foods, here is a quick rundown of my favorite supermarket options within beach cruising distance:

1. Farmer’s markets: the Friday Venice farmer’s market, the main street Santa Monica farmers market on Sundays (best for brunch and pony rides), and the Saturday and Wednesday farmers markets, usually filled with shopping chefs, on the Santa Monica Third Street Promenade.

2. Windward Circle market: This place seems to have all the right produce and healthy brands, plus those miscellaneous items, like chives or cilantro, that I always seem to need in a pinch.

3. Market Gourmet, on 1800A Abbot Kinney Blvd: The wares there are amazing, but more gourmet than practical. In other words, it’s a great place to grab supplies for a picnic or a party.

4. One Life Natural Foods: This is further afield, towards Santa Monica, on 3001 Main Street. In addition to their excellent selection of staples, they have a large natural products/supplements section upstairs, and a fresh juice bar in the back. Parking is convenient in their lot across the street.

5. The Raw Garage: On Rose, near Groundworks, a raw food co-op is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I go there for fresh treats like raw goats milk cheese, creamy honey, eggs and coconut cream.

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