The smallest of these is Falletti Foods at 308 Broderick Street at Fell Street. The family grocery business had its start in the 1920s in North Beach. It went through several incarnations over the generations, including Grand Central Market (now Mollie Stone's), eventually coming to this location in NoPa in 2006.
In its small, suburban-style location, it's all about convenience. It is not about cheap. There's a parking lot, a Bank of America, an integral Peet's with no seats other than a few outdoors, and Nopalito, an upscale Mexican restaurant. You could almost imagine a pharmacy and a pizza parlor, just like in a small town.
Is this the most expensive grocery store in the city? For sure, it is the tidiest grocery store anyone is likely to see. They have people dusting the canned goods and lining up labels, facing forward. The emulate the aisles at Harrods Food Halls. Even the smoked salmon, chicken, and meats have their own website links. Hours: 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Mollie Stone's at California Street near Fillmore advertises a Mollie Bus, free shuttle departing every 20-30 minutes from a little hut in their parking lot that will drop you at your door with your groceries if you live within a certain radius. A useful one way service with limited hours and a minimum spend required.
The deli, salad, soup and other ready meals are tasty. Quiche and whole roasted chicken are especially nice for nights when one needs to make a quick dinner easy. There's also a catering department with party platters.
Decent web offers are found monthly online for those looking to save a few dollars. Frankly, most of the shoppers at this location don't look like they are too concerned about the extra few dollars. Find the standard Peet's inside. Hours are 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
At Franklin and California Streets, this Whole Foods location is neither exceptionally small nor large for an urban location. The parking lot is small, spaces are small; it extends below ground as well.
The narrow shopping aisles as claustrophobic. Lots of "Excuse me's" are being uttered. The healthy and beauty section is fairly extensive, one wonders, though, at the cost of some grocery shelf space? The breads and pastry beat Trader Joe's by a mile. The produce, meat, and fish counters are impressive, although pricey, and one must brace oneself before the register totals up the damage.
The gluten-free items listing is found online and is especially thorough, with far greater selection than any other grocery has to offer.
The coffee shop opens at 7 a.m., an hour before the grocery store, which closes at 10:00 p.m.
Safeway is a grocery store with a parking lot, too. That is pretty much where the similarities end. Sometimes called Japantown's Safeway, that makes it sound more salubrious than it is. There are panhandlers at the door and even inside the store. It looks like it needs a good, thorough cleaning.
There is a pharmacy at this location as well, although with shorter hours. The club card gives discounts, and weekly offers found online can be loaded onto your club card for use at the store.
Massive frozen food section and plenty of paper goods for stocking up the cupboards at home.
The store hours are long, from 6:00 a.m. to midnight, although the though of this spot at that hour makes the delivery service even more attractive. The online delivery drivers are courteous and prompt. The 38 Geary bus is nearby, but there are stairs on a pedestrian bridge to reach the bus stop.