July 31, 2009

Berkeley Bowl

Welcome to Berkeley Bowl West. There is another location as well,but this is the newer one that I am now going to. Why is it called Berkeley Bowl? Some might think it has to do with the produce,and they are referring to a salad bowl. Well, actually the name comes from the fact that the very original Berkeley Bowl set up shop many years ago in an old bowling ally. It was located on Shattuck Ave. My friend took me to that one way back in 1991, and I was smitten with it ever since. It was a very old funky Berkeley location with tons of characters,and by no means fancy. The produce however, was amazing! The prices were always way below the supermarkets , and they had produce that you would never in a million years find any where but there. It was my weekly destination,and the kids loved going. I would walk out of there with three packed bags, for roughly $25.00. Fast forward a few years.....They out grew the location,and built a new building across the street from the old location. I continued going,but parking was a huge issue, and still is. When I moved back from France, I went a few times, but stopped, because they used that location for the show "Top Chef" on Bravo TV. Needless to say, the secret was out and you couldn't find a parking spot to save your live. I was pretty sad about it, since it carried so many wonderful memories. Well, a month or so ago, my friend calls me up, and tells me about this new location. I was shocked, because I really thought I was current with the food goings on in this area. I blasted over there as soon as I could, and I'm now smitten once again,and happy that there isn't the huge parking issue that the other location continues to have. Lets take a peek inside shall we.
Click on all the pictures to get maximum food eye candy! Love the variety of vinegars and oils.
This is usually much more filled up, but you can see they also have some very nice pastries.
This is only one side of the cheese counter,
here is the other side!
Fish counter, and they do also have a meat counter on the other side of this.
But this is what they are mostly known for, their wonderful produce,that is priced so low.

Any kind of radish,carrot, or cauliflower you could want. If you click on this, you can see the purple cauliflower,and the yellow/orange cauliflower.
All the years I have been going to Berkeley Bowl, the lettuce is so cheap! Back in the 90's it was 39 cents, you can see that it really hasn't gone up that much!
These are just the plums and peaches, so many varieties that you don't know what to choose from.
Off to the right, there are many varieties of string beans, mushrooms and other things you have probably never seen. This section always sparks my imagination.
The bins of apples and pears even in the dead of summer, is something else! In the fall, it doubles in variety.
This little area is the organic section. Their prices here are comparable to Whole Foods, so I tend to skip it.
Bulk spices,cereal, snacks, grains...... You name it, it is there. I even found ground almonds to make some of the French desserts that I love.
Peeking over the lettuce to the main part of the produce.

This store is the reason that I tend not to go to our farmers market. It's all here,and many things are local. The prices cannot be beat,and they have a wonderful cafe as well.
Hope you enjoyed the visit to my favorite place.
Now, I better go and use the things I just bought from here to make some dinner.
Have a great weekend everyone!


  1. Oh Yummy!!!
    I'm glad that you clarified that this is a grocery rather than a
    bowling alley as I thought at first.
    EVERYTHING looked really good to--now I am hungry!

    Have a great weekend!

  2. that looks like an awesome market!!
    I don't think I've ever seen so much produce.

    fyi-you can get ground almonds at your local Trader Joes in the nut section.

  3. it looks fantastic ... so lush!

  4. HOLY SMOKES....what a trouble store. I'd be in there daily if I lived nearby. I'm sure you get into all kinds of mischief!

  5. what a wonderful place !
    if i'd live nearby, I'll be stuck there all the time !!