Can anyone love Safeway?

I couldn’t wait to see what my fellow Sacramentans had to say in this year’s News & Review Best of Sacramento guide. While I nodded in agreement to most of the winners, “Best Grocery Store” really surprised me: Safeway at S and 19th streets. This year’s list theme was “Sacramento, I Love You!”, and I was surprised that a Safeway would come out on top–particularly from SN&R readers. It’s great not to have to leave the central core to go shopping, but there are options, people! Trader Joe’s is accessible by car (or bike) without even getting on the freeway, and if you’re really feeling adventurous there’s a Whole Foods out in the Arden area. Am I the only one who isn’t in love with the shiny horse Safeway?

9 Comments so far

  1. Aaron B. Hockley (unregistered) on October 1st, 2006 @ 2:39 pm

    That is odd. Saying that Safeway is a great grocery store is a lot like saying that Microsoft is a great software company, or CNN does a good job with news.

  2. Ursula (unregistered) on October 1st, 2006 @ 2:46 pm

    The Shiny horse Safeway is actually a pleasant store with lots to choose from. It’s too hard to get into the Trader Joe’s parking lot on Folsom, and Whole Foods is WAY too expensive.

    However, I do have to agree that choosing it as “the best” is of concern. I guess if all you have to compare it to are the other shops in a one or two mile radius, it IS the best. In that area anyway.

  3. cd (unregistered) on October 1st, 2006 @ 3:00 pm

    There are few small grocers here of any practical use. In SF I enjoyed having several produce markets within a two block radius as well as an independent(ish) larger market and a small, local market with interesting finds.

    I have much less of a problem with SNR giving the nod to Safeway than I do with Sac Mag giving nods to much more suspect restaurants, etc, attached to Arden Fair.

    I refuse to shope at Whole Foods because they are every bit as corporate, microsofty and evil as Safeway – if you think bad things about Safeway and its ilk – and I’ll be damned if I’ll pay extra at Whole Foods because, well, it’s chichi or some such crap.

    Trader Joe’s is a good alternative – though the parking does suck and they don’t provide a number of staples (cleaning supplies, other goods) that Safeway does. They are cheaper than either Safeway or Whole Foods for a variety of products, which is why I go there, but it’s further – so I’m just helping the environment by staying closer to home, right? Plus their produce sucks – I don’t want 2 tomatoes or 4 tomatoes. What if I want 3? Or some other number of their pre-packaged stuff?

    I’m a grocery store enthusiast by nature – grocery shopping is one of my greatest, everyday pleasures, not sure why, just is. I have no problem with Safeway nor with shopping there.

    I also adore the shiny horse. Not sure why it’s there, but it’s one of the more interesting and natural pieces of public art around – if it came from a requirement that a percentage of new development budgets be spent on public art (most cities have this “1% Rule” or so) then I think it was a great expenditure and better than some abstract thing I’d have to think more about and most likely fake finding some kind of meaning in.

  4. Erik (unregistered) on October 1st, 2006 @ 9:30 pm

    I also love grocery shopping a lot. I’m surprised that no one has tried to revitalize a neighborhood market, but there’s still hope. My gripe against Safeway is more about their selection and less about their corporateness. I forgot to mention Raley’s the first go-around–at least they’re locally based and seem to be of better quality.

    I’m sure there’s a public are ordinance that brought us the horse (and its cousin, the Alhambra water tower grid).

  5. cd (unregistered) on October 1st, 2006 @ 10:00 pm

    I love the grid too! Wasn’t always there, but it’s a great addition – so wherever it came from, very cool.

  6. cd (unregistered) on October 2nd, 2006 @ 9:05 am

    Hey – I just realized – and feel a duh coming on – what about Corti Bros and the various ethnic independent markets? Corti Bros still sells all the regular grocery items as well as specialty wines and meats, etc. I tend to think of it and its bretheren more as niche markets too, though.

  7. uneasy rhetoric (unregistered) on October 2nd, 2006 @ 9:23 am

    Hey, don’t forget Nugget. Locally based (Woodland, anyway), small, and competatively priced unless you are tempted by the deli case or other kinds of prepared foods. Plus, they have a good selection of organics.

    Also Taylor’s Market on Freeport. Fun little neighborhood market with a kick-a$$ meat counter and a surprising wine selection.

    Both of those have service that runs laps around Safeway.

  8. Amanda (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2006 @ 11:15 am

    I LOVE the Safeway on 19th and R…in fact, if I had $2200 a month for rent, I would GLADLY rent a loft above the Safeway…I am also a Trader Joe’s fan…although I have to say Target usually has good deals on some staple items (the new one in Natomas also has a pretty decent grocery section)!!

  9. US (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2006 @ 4:33 pm

    I agree with John–Nugget is awesome–MUCH better service than any of the dowtown/midtown grocers, and the produce is lovely too. Oh yeah, check out the bakery at the Florin Road Nugget. Good stuff, but dangerous for dieters!

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