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The Perfect SoCal Grocery Store?

In a few weeks I will be moving to the LA area and am unfamiliar with their grocery stores (Vons, Ralph's, Albertson's) is there such thing as a SoCal grocery store with vegan options, bulk foods, and fresh produce for a reasonable price?

When you say the LA area, do you mean near Los Angeles (city), Long Beach, Orange County, or the Inland Empire?  If the IE, what quadrant?  (It's different for each area.)


We are moving to Redondo Beach. I'm not even sure what county that is in, but south of LA proper.


farmer's markets for produce and co-ops for bulk and specialty items


That's my black-hole-of-knowledge area.

In SoCal, you're kind of out of luck for co-ops if you're outside of San Diego.  If you don't care about organic for some produce, for cheap veggies go to the hispanic and asian markets.  Some of them have produce seconds.  You have to pick around to find fruit and veggies in good condition, but you can leave with a full bag for $4 to $5.

Farmers' Markets
Farmers' Markets maps:
(This is an interactive map plotting the SoCal farmers' markets with day & time info.)

Redondo-ish Stores:
Trader Joe's:  1761 South Elena Avenue, Redondo Beach
(I do a lot of my regular grocery shopping at TJs.)

Smart 'n Final:  332 South Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach
(Smart 'n Final is like a tiny no-membership Costco.  Some are dumps and some have been modernized with a bulk section.)

Whole Foods:  760 South Sepulveda Boulevard, El Segundo
(I don't know what it is about Whole Foods, but I think it's over-rated.)

North of Redondo Stores:
Simply Wholesome‎:  4508 West Slauson Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 
(Small, small market, but I've gotten EnerG Egg Replacer from here.  It borders a sketchy area, but it's fine during the day.)

Rainbow Acres:  13208 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 
(I've heard about this hfs and have wanted to try it.)

South of Redondo Store:
Whole Foods:  2655 Pacific Coast Highway, Torrance, CA


there is a co-op in santa monica.
i hate whole foods, too.


When I wrote that I was wondering if there might be a co-op in the Venice / Santa Monica area.  The biggest surprise to me when I moved to SoCal was the dearth of co-ops.  Only a small fraction of the population may be interested, but with 22+ million people, limited interest would be enough.

I could be in an organic produce co-op, but I'd have to drive 40 miles roundtrip to pick up my food; none of the farmer's markets are on days/times when I'm in the area; and the only CSA in the greater area restricts participation to people who live in one particular city.  Come on, SoCal.  You can do better than that.


Damn Humbolt Honey you're more thourough than Google!  With California's incredible agriculture I expected organic co-ops and farmers' markets to be everywhere!  Thanks for the info; I'll probably be hitting up one of the Whole Foods you mentioned for specialty items, but I can't shop there every week. At their prices financially I'd be better off eating out rather than cooking, which I do every night. 
        Trader Joes is less expensive but I hate the way they pre-package all their produce.  If you need 1 celery rib you must by a plastic covered bundle of 20, and honestly who needs a dozen jalepenos?  Ok, I guess I'm just being picky now.


well, there ARE tons of farmers markets, especially on the westside. There just are hardly any co-ops.


I would definitely hit up farmer's markets before shopping at TJs for produce if it's an option.


Yep. Or if not, a lot of times I'd get my produce at an ethnic market - good prices, and often local.


True dat.  I get my dill, lemongrass, basil, lime leaves, etc. from at a Vietnamese grocery store at about 1/5 the cost of a non-specialized store.

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