Best Produce Store

Berkeley Bowl

Kneel before the mountains of melons. Witness the profusion of peaches. If a fruit’s in season, you can count on finding many varieties of it at Berkeley Bowl. That’s not to say it’s all smooth shopping there: Forget parking in the lot if it’s a weekend or an evening. But there’s a reason why the place is overrun with shoppers: It rules. Its only real competition (aside from farmers’ markets, of course) is Monterey Market at 1550 Hopkins Street in Berkeley. But the fare at Monterey Market is a bit inconsistent — although, to its credit, that is often reflected in rock-bottom prices, and when you walk away with a full flat of strawberries for four bucks, you don’t mind a few bad ones. What really tips the scales in Berkeley Bowl’s favor is, of course, its checkers. Berkeley Bowl has the cutest checkers in town. A thorough, scientific survey of totally anecdotal evidence reveals several cases of sensible shoppers of both genders developing serious crushes on Berkeley Bowl checkers. Lonely, hungry, short on Vitamin C? There’s really only one place to go.

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