Out on the road to find inspiring, less-well-known nabes devoted to the fresh, the local, the sustainable—and the drinkable. Produced by Cindy Hatcher
Northwest: San Francisco's Bi-Rite
If you want to see the future of food retail for the foodie generation—not only packed with the finest and freshest wares, but deeply committed to social and environmental ideals—look no further than San Francisco’s Bi-Rite Market, an idealized template for what a neighborhood market should be.
A Mission District staple since 1940, Bi-Rite has recently evolved to earn a cult following for its local, organic produce, outstanding California wine selection, and tall counter of pasture-raised meat and sustainable Pacific seafood that glows like a gourmet altar. Small as it is, this grocery now has its own cookbook (2011’s Eat Good Food), three organic farms, an artisanal ice creamery, and a nonprofit called 18 Reasons, where home chefs gather around a reclaimed cypress-tree table for low-cost, urban-farm-to-apartment-table workshops, ranging from pickling basics to edible perfumery. —Alison Bing