Been to Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco (284/366)

284RainbowTop“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
~ Hippocrates

On Market and Folsom in San Francisco, just past the Central Freeway entrance and under said freeway, there’s a large, but unassuming building that one could easily miss, except for the line of cars waiting to get into its small parking lot.  The cars usually stretch to the intersection, completely blocking a lane of traffic, but savvy drivers know to avoid that lane in this area completely; at least from the hours of 9am to 9pm.  That’s when this special gem, Rainbow Grocery, is open.

Rainbow Grocery is a co-op that actually has a history dating back to the 70’s, but its current iteration opened in 1996.  Why has it taken me almost 20 years to come to this magical place?!
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If you’ve been reading the blog, you know we’re really interested in the Paleo diet and eating cleanly; and you know how much I implore you to watch Food, Inc. if you haven’t yet; AND you probably also know that finding certain foods outside of the “Standard” American Diet can sometimes be difficult and/or costly.  One of the best places to find a good amount of Paleo-friendly foods is Trader Joe’s (among other things, they have organic, free-range chicken and even a tiny bit of grass-fed ground beef there!), but sometimes more “specialty” items are harder to find.  Usually this means going to a more niche-type market like a natural foods store, where the selection of goods is smaller, but the prices are most times a lot higher.  Well Rainbow has a lot of great answers to a lot of these issues!

For starters, they’re actually a co-op, which means every employee there has a stake in the business.  This means they truly care about serving *their* customers, providing them with quality products, and having competitive prices.  One awesome way they are able to offer this is with their extensive bulk foods section.  Everything from Amaranth or Bee Pollen, to Coffee Beans or Cashew Butter, to Tumeric or Tamari, to Xanthan Gum or Ziti can be found here.  It is CRAZY, it is WONDERFUL, and it is actually pretty darn AFFORDABLE.
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They also have an FANTASTIC produce section – gorgeous fruits, veggies, herbs and stuff … and almost all of it is organic.
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And don’t worry – they also have booze; including a nice refrigerated selection of wines and craft beers – all at totally reasonable prices – not jacked up like other “specialty” grocery stores.  Love!

And speaking of selection, along with the illusive raw, grass-fed milk that literally only a handful of stores in the Bay Area carry, there’s also pasteurized grass-fed milk and a slew of nut-milk choices – including coconut!  Coconut NOG, people!  And seriously – have you ever seen such a huge selection of half-and-half and whipping cream?!
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And okay.  How does this place have not just FOUR KINDS of ghee, but one that’s organic and grass-fed as well?!  This is the most hilariously cool place ever.

Rainbow even has a huge natural Bath & Body section, complete with my favorite line of skin care, 100% Pure – om nom nom.  I recently started getting irritated by my antiperspirant and had to seek out something less harsh – it’s such a pain trying to find something without the standard crazy chemicals as it is, but normally buying items like that in your local grocery store will then cost an insane amount.  Not so at Rainbow!
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And finally (although there really is still much more not detailed above!), there’s a kitchen section, with lots of fun sale items to browse through.  Love, love, LOVE.

If you’re in the area and haven’t checked out Rainbow Grocery, I can’t recommend it enough.  Brave the line of cars, check out their small overflow parking lot in the back, or just park on the street nearby if you’re driving, which I also recommend; if you’re like me, you’ll need a car to get the tons of magical goodies you find there home.

Related Links:
Rainbow Grocery
INDT – Paleo Posts
INDT – Food, Inc. Posts
Food, Inc. on Amazon
Trader Joe’s
INDT: Bought Grass-Fed Beef at Trader Joe’s (262/366)

One Response to “Been to Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco (284/366)”
  1. Ying says:

    Really awesome place…plus seniors (60+) get a 10% discount! Can’t wait until I qualify. =)

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