1745 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9410337.769313 -122.415497
Neighborhoods: Central East, Mission
Rainbow has the best bulk tea selection in town.
Premiere Health Food store – This is the best place in SF to buy organic items. This is also the best place for bulk foods, there's many things here in bulk that you wont find elsewhere like bulk nut-butters, but also maple syrup.
The supplements department is also excellent.
My only complaint: they dont carry meats!
Un-Happy Hippies – I love the food at Rainbow. But do the workers have to take themselves so seriously? I have yet to check out and bag my own groceries at Rainbow without any attitude from the staff. Attitude for what, I wonder? They are not the only ones doing great groceries. There is just an unhappy vibe there, and it's a shame, because I would patronize often sans the attitude.
Best Grocery Store in America – I thank the heavens above every time I walk into this place that I live close enough for it to be my grocery store. The bulk section is fantastic, the organic produce is outstanding, the pre-made food is delicious, and the people just rock. Plus the soundtrack is always good. They could be playing anything from Jay-Z to Journey at any given time, which makes shopping there even more fun. I've been going religiously two or three times a week since I moved here 5 years ago and I'll go for as long as they are open!
Overwhelmingly wonderful – Rainbow Grocery is what every independent health food store wants to be when it grows up. The selection of bulk items is just unparalleled, and so terrific if you only need a little bit of something. The body care section carries everything you'd ever need, including things like shampoo and bath salts in bulk. It's also the only place to go if you're vegan; they have a vegan version of pretty much every non-vegan food there is (including dog food). The prices are a little more than Trader Joe's, but much less than Whole Foods. They have a lot of discount programs as well, for everything from bringing your own grocery bags to case discounts and vitamin discounts.
Somewhere over this Rainbow, you'll find delicious gourmet items and crunchy granola shoppers. – In Short
Opened in 1975 by eight dedicated individuals who wanted to provide a wholesome alternative to commercial stores, this co-op remains true to its populist roots. The main draw is its overflowing supply of organic and earth-friendly products. If you're on the prowl for big-name products or meat, though, you'll want to head elsewhere. Buyers are strict, maintaining an almost anarchist agenda, and they make sure only the good-for-you stuff hits the shelves. Prices are somewhat higher than at the supermarket chains, but you'll at least feel better knowing that you're treating yourself to the very best.
Actually, Much Cheaper Than Most Groceries – I think it's a myth that Rainbow is more expensive. I have noticed that their stuff is MUCH cheaper than Whole Foods, Adronico's and even Safeway. They just tend to have some higher-end items that can be costly (but SO worth it, this foodie can tell you). I won't shop anywhere else anymore because I know that I can find anything I need at Rainbow (except meat, of course, but they do have the largest selection of fake meat I've ever seen). If you can find a worker who loves to chat about food, you can find some great recommendations and products you wouldn't normally pick up. Go mid-week and avoid the crowds.
Rainbow has what you need – Whatever you need, you can find it at Rainbow. Of course, you won't find bacon or PopTarts here at this health-food emporium, but you will find fresh burdock root, an amazing selection of herbs and spices, an awesome cheese selection that's super-fresh and very gourmet, and lots of useful and pretty cookware and tableware. Their body-care section is a great place for last-minute gifts--great soaps and lotions.
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