I recently moved to the Dogpatch in SF. It's a great neighborhood for me - it's close to work and quite bike-able - except that it has
. I don't have a car. Help me find reasonably priced ways to get food and DayQuil!
Hey MeFites. I moved from NYC to SF at the beginning of this past fall, and so far I've been having a great time except
when it comes to feeding myself and filling prescriptions. I'm eating out for convenience way too much and I'd like to change that. I was definitely spoiled before, living within an easy and flat walk of Key Foods, Associated, and To The World Farm. But I'm having more trouble grocery shopping here than I was when I lived in the suburbs, and it seems like there just has to be a better way. SF denizens, hit me with the knowledge stick.
I live in the Dogpatch, around 10 minutes walk from the 23rd St. K/T, and work in Mission Bay. Overthought and heavy cans of first-world-problem beans follow.
So far, the options I've tried are:
- Fancy bodega-type groceries in Potrero Hill. Problem: while theoretically "nearby," the grade (10-15% in parts) is too steep for me to bike with groceries, and it's also too far/hilly for me to walk with heavy bags. Also: more expensive, not open very late after work (I often don't leave until 7 or 8), don't stock pharmacy stuff, and not on the way to or from anything.
- 4th and King Safeway, coming home on the T. Open until midnight and marginally more "on the way," though it's in the wrong direction on the K/T. But I just tried this and not only did it take 2 hours but by the end my bags were falling apart, I hurt all over, and I was exhausted. Not so great.
- Going west into the Mission/Outer Mission. This would mean either biking down Cesar Chavez (which I'm a little leery to do at night because of big rig traffic, but maybe I'm being paranoid?), going "uphill both ways" across Potrero, or taking the 48, which only runs every ~20 minutes. Like Potrero, this is also pretty far out of the way for me and I have no idea where to shop - the places I've tried have been worse quality than P.Hill but just as overpriced. Suggestions are welcome though, I don't know the neighborhood at all really.
- Zipcar. Zipcar unfortunately isn't particularly close to my apartment, and for the cost of a round trip I might as well take an $8 cab home from the grocery store instead. Which I've done, to my embarrassment.
- Safeway on 16th and/or Whole Paycheck on 17th. Bypasses Potrero Hill. I'd thought this was a little far, but looking at the map again it's only 2.3-2.5 miles each way, with max 5-6% grades, so I guess I'm just lazy. I guess with an extra 50 lbs of beans/beer/etc it might not be quite so easy, though - is this worth practicing? Should I aspire to be eating this trip for breakfast?
- Delivery. This is the best option I've found so far. The ones I know about are Safeway and Instacart. Safeway is okay but I'd definitely be open to something better. The cost is around what it would be to take an Uber home, and they are good for staples but their produce always seems to be right on the edge; they also often seem to be out of things I've requested, which is a little annoying. Instacart is interesting but horrifyingly overpriced - not just on delivery fees, but there's at least a 33% markup across the board in my experience. Too rich for my blood.
tl;dr, what are the most reasonable and cost-effective ways of feeding myself while living in this neighborhood? Are there options I'm not considering? Is it time for some grandma cart realness, or do I just need to suck it up and become a better biker? Am I doing grocery shopping totally wrong in general?
I am definitely thinking about moving somewhere with more amenities and/or getting a car, but it's going to take time to save up enough money for either of those, so I still need options in the meantime. (I also like my apartment otherwise and I lucked into some below-market rent, which I'm worried might be a hard trick to replicate.)
Thanks a ton for reading; any help you can offer would be appreciated.