Newcomers’ Guide 2016
IN THE CITY OF ROSES, you’ll find many of the comforts of wherever you came from—just a tad different. Here’s a handy guide to grocery shopping in your new hometown!
If You’re Used to Kroger
Shop at Fred Meyer. It’s been a Portland institution since the 1920s, and although the chain is owned by Kroger, it maintains a distinct regional identity. Some locations maintain the “one-stop shopping” model, so if shopping at Walmart gives you the willies, you can “find it at Freddy’s” instead. If you don’t mind a smaller store, Kroger-owned QFC is another good bet.
If You’re Used to Whole Foods
Shop at New Seasons or Zupan’s. Both chains are locally owned, so if you’re gonna spend $20 on three kale leaves and eight ounces of kombucha, at least your money stays in the community.
If You’re a Hippie
Crunchy types can get what they need at any of our co-ops, like People’s, Know Thy Food, Alberta Co-Op, Food Front, or the all-vegan Food Fight! Grocery. To take full advantage of the program, work shifts for a discount. You might find your new tribe while you’re at it.
If You’re a Bougie Gourmet
If you’re feeling flush with cash or just need something special, shop at Sheridan Fruit Company, Providore Fine Foods (formerly Pastaworks), or City Market NW (the other Pastaworks). Each of these have well-stocked meat cases and a lovely selection of shit like endangered cardoon pollen and pasta in shapes that will blow your fucking mind.
If You’re a Bargain Shopper
Grocery Outlet is your new best friend. It’s kind of a crapshoot what they’ll have in stock, but you can always find cheap wine and basics. Hit WinCo for their bulk bins and an impressive selection of Latino produce, plus all your warehouse-sized staples without schlepping it out to Costco.
If You Need Ethnic Ingredients
Don’t need everything organic? Another secret for saving cash is to hit the Asian markets for produce and noodles. Locally made tofu is readily available for a song, and you’ll find a great selection of hot sauces and spices. (I buy all my peppercorns and bay leaves from Chinese markets.) Hong Phat and Fubonn are the big ones, but don’t skip smaller markets like An Dong and Vien Lao. Paldo and Boo Han have your Korean items covered (including ready-made deli foods).
For Mexican ingredients, Portland Mercado has great range, but there’s also Tienda el Campesino. Tienda Santa Cruz and Panaderia Mexicana Cinco de Mayo even have taquerias inside! Halal markets are all over the place, too, especially in Northeast.
For Russian and Slavic groceries, hit Overseas Taste (great pickles and smoked chicken thighs), Roman Russian Market (hit the adjika aisle and the bread in the back), or Good Neighbor (great cheeses). They don’t actually give a fuck if you can speak any Russian or not, but if you’re polite they won’t be too curt with you.