Portland Public Transit: Trains, Buses, Streetcars
Living in Portland Without A Car
Finding an Apartment or Rental in Portland
Where in Portland should I live?
Random Facts and Portland Trivia
Portland Frequently Asked Questions
Portland Grocery Stores
Top 5 Things To Do Before Renting a Place in Portland
Goose Hollow and King's Hill
The Pearl District
Beaverton - West Suburbs
Lake Oswego - South of Portland
Orenco Station - Hillsboro
Tanasbourne - Hillsboro/Beaverton
Tualatin Town Center - Southwest of Portland
Portland has several chains of grocery stores, some of which you have probably heard of. Safeway and Albertsons, big chain grocery stores in the west, have plenty of stores in Portland. But the ubiquitous chain of grocery stores in Oregon is called Fred Meyer (aka "Freddies" to locals), a local chain for years until gobbled up a few years ago by Kroger, a huge national chain. Fred Meyer is unique in that they are full grocery stores as well as department stores, including furniture, clothing, hardware, DVDs, electronics, garden centers, etc. Fred Meyer's prices are more or less as good as everyone else's, but they don't have a "club card" you are required to use to get sale prices.
Portland also has the big box store national chains like Target, Wal-Mart, and Costco, but they are mostly relegated to the suburbs. There are very few Wal-Mart stores in the Portland area, in part because Wal-Mart is perceived in Portland's liberal political circles as an evil corporation best avoided. It's very cool to hate Wal-Mart in Portland. The company has made numerous attempts to move into new sites in Portland over the years but has mostly been defeated by neighborhood activists. There are still a half dozen stores or so, including a few in Vancouver.
Another chain of grocery stores in the Portland area is WinCo Foods, a budget grocery store where you bag your own groceries and can pay only by cash or debit card. WinCo is generally believed to have the cheapest prices in town, although that isn't always true. WinCo has a reputation as being a place where poor people shop but lots of middle class friends of mine seem to shop there, too. WinCo stores are also generally on the edges of Portland or in the suburbs.
Given Portland's left-leaning culture, organic or "natural" food stores are very popular. There are two local chains of "premium/natural" food stores, Zupan's and New Seasons, where the food tends to be healthier and more expensive. There are also a few Trader Joe's stores. The national chain Wild Oats (now merged with Whole Foods) also has stores in Portland. There is one Whole Foods store proper in Portland (in the Pearl) and another one in Tualatin at the Bridgeport Village. A new Whole Foods is opening (Apr 2008) in Tanasbourne soon. So if you love Whole Foods and must live in the suburbs, the Tanasbourne or Tualatin stores might be good outposts.
There are also several food co-ops: one in NW Portland (Food Front), one in NE (Alberta Cooperative Grocery), and one in SE (People's Food Co-Op).
Portland also has several farmers markets including a popular market downtown, the Portland Farmers Market (seasonally).
Beyond the bigger grocery stores, there are numerous little no-name convenience stores in Portland's urban neighborhoods that sell beer, cigarettes, and overpriced basic groceries. Besides the usual 7-11 stores, there's a competing chain called Plaid Pantry that you'll find around as well.
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