Back in the day (i.e. five years ago) before there was such a thing as Whole Foods, most New Yorkers conducted the majority of their food shopping at corner bodegas that smelled faintly (or not so faintly) of cat pee. The Korean woman behind the counter barked at you to hurry up and there was exactly one type of anything you could possibly need: One box of Kraft Macaroni ‘N Cheese. One cup of chicken flavor Ramin noodles. One bottle Clear Eyes saline solution (size small). One single roll of scratchy toilet paper.
Life was simple.
But once you move here you’ll quickly discover one of San Francisco’s true treasures…Safeway!
Like Disney World, Oz or Neverland Ranch, there is just something magical about Safeway. First off, they’re huge. It’s like walking into a happy magic food palace. Coming from a bodega on the lower east side, the selection is staggering! Their prices are great and you can get almost anything there, including wine and alcohol! Yes, in San Francisco (in all of California actually), you can buy a case of nice (even very nice!) Napa Cabernet and a 750ml of Patron at the grocery store!
But Safeway is more than just food (which, by the way, you can order online and have delivered), most of them also have a bank, coffee depot (often Starbucks or Peets), pharmacy, sell postage stamps, offer western union services and sell monthly Muni passes!
I have yet to see tourists clumped together working nervously through the produce section taking photos of organic arugula, but if I was a local tour guide it would definitely be on my list. It’s just that weird.
I suspect that you are secretly being paid to write this blog by the Safeway Cooporation.
Yeah, you might think that, but nope. Coming from dark, crowded and appropriately sized markets in NY, I was just overwhelmed with Safeway and concerned with how much of the local economy they seem to control!
If you think the ones in the city are huge, you should visit a Safeway in The Burbs. And I don’t mean Oakland, ’cause we don’t have room for these ones either. If you ever find yourself somewhere like Walnut Creek or Burlingame or somewhere, check out their Safeway. It’s twice as big.
And some of them have deli’s with all the normal deli stuff, but that also have all kinds of Chinese food.
My favorite Safeway in SF is the one on Market in The Castro. Used to call it the Gayway. It’s way nicer than the one on Potrero Hill.
Right…and let me guess, the government is using it as a secret base to build those little Russian dolls that fit into each other.
(by the way, I think you meant to comment on the next post (http://sanfranciscoisweird.com/2009/01/29/utrecht-conspiracy/) not Safeway – which has nothing to do with windmill arm thingies).
The other one is being rebuilt, and currently lacks it’s windmill arms things