Eat & DrinkSan Francisco

Stock up on Cheap Vegetarian Eats at Rainbow Grocery

Updated: Jul 09, 2011 15:46
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Where hippies and broke-asses converge.

We’ve mentioned Rainbow Grocery before on Broke-Ass Stuart, the super hip co-op grocery store in the Mission, but after my trip there last week, the first one in a long while, I decided to provide a list of things that are really cheap and are worth making the trek through a place with no meat, poultry or fish to buy.

First, CHEESE. Glorious, glorious cheese.  It is the staple of my diet, which I’m sure is not something I should be broadcasting, but I really don’t care because CHEESE is the best thing in the world.  And at Rainbow, for some reason it’s crazy cheap.  A big block of “regular” cheese,” meaning not some gruyere that was aged in a cave with midget attendants watching over it at all times, like cheddar, jack or mozzarella, is in the $2 range.  The block of sharp cheddar I just bought was $2.31.  When you eat as much cheese as me, the only thing that could beat this feeling of elation is if the White Stripes announced that their break-up was just a big, elaborate early April Fool’s Day joke.  The employees at the cheese counter are also very helpful, so if you want that fancy cheese, but only $2 worth of it, they’ll accommodate you and cut up a cute little lighter-sized sliver.  Just like that.

ANYTHING IN BULK also tends to cost way less than it would if you bought it pre-packaged, like steel-cut oats, trail mix, tea, flour (cake flour is less than $.5o a pound), nuts, pasta, herbs (these are especially cheap), sesame seeds (which cost an arm and a leg for some reason at other stores), and all kinds of oils.

I would rather drink my dog’s piss than KOMBUCHA (actually, it might taste eerily similar).  I know, I know — I’m one of the few residents of San Francisco who isn’t obsessed with this drink, but I’m sorry, I only drink things that taste good.  Like whiskey and rum.  But it’s a good deal at Rainbow, so I thought I’d throw you a bone.  (See my dog references and idioms!?  Ugh, I’ve turned into THAT kind of pet owner.)

Some of the fresh stuff in the BAKERY SECTION isn’t too bad either, like this round cheesy bready thing I had that I forget the name of.  I finished it by the time I was done shopping and thought about not paying for it, but then obviously did because I imagine co-op prison is much worse than regular prison…being force-fed tempeh and kale.  Ughhh.

Bonus:  There’s always cheese, olive, and some kind of bread samples out and I’ve never gotten chastised for taking way more than I should.

Double bonus:  Rainbow also has random discounts days, like the Customer Appreciation day coming up on March 8th where everything in the store will be 20% off.  Check out the website for other deals ‘n stuff.

Rainbow Grocery
1745 Folsom St. (btwn 14th & Erie)



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Christy Jovanelly - Cheapskate Commentator

Christy Jovanelly - Cheapskate Commentator

When Christy announced she was leaving her family's Southern California home and moving to San Francisco, her mom said, "Have fun in that den of sin." This is the only (however sarcastic) advice Christy has ever taken from her mom, who also told her to join and cover her eyes during sex scenes in movies. Christy puts her creative writing degree to good use by locating the typos on Chinese food menus and spends most of her time challenging friends to all-you-can-eat contests and trying to get that one bartender at Zeitgeist to smile.