5211 NE 148th Ave., 253-5103, thebarnproduce.com. Open June 1-Thanksgiving only. Closed Sundays.
Smack in the middle of one of the most industrial stretches of Portland—near the airport and medical laboratories and the Multnomah County Republican office—is one of the region’s best seasonal produce markets. Go figure. The Barn’s been there since the 1940s, and the riverside industry sprung up around it later; the food still comes over mostly from Sauvie Island’s Trapold farms and Hood River growers. Get especially their sweet and white corn and their cucumbers (or pickled cucumbers) and kraut (or pickled kraut)—and, oh lord, the rhubarb. During the months it’s open, it is perhaps the most reliable source of fresh and local goods picked within a couple of days of when you see it in the shop. Plus, while on the way there, you can let Kaiser Permanente experiment on you. MK.
Shopping list: Sweet corn, cherries, cabbage, squash, flowers.
Berry Good Produce and Nursery
5523 SE 28th Ave., 234-7288, berrygoodproduce.com.
With its open-air feel and somewhat preoccupied teenagers manning the register and blasting Katy Perry tunes, this produce stand could be transplanted from any country road. Fortunately for hungry liberal-arts students and veggie-loving Eastmorelanders, it’s right across from Reed College. The stand has a solid mix of local and nonlocal fruits and vegetables at reasonable prices. Berry Good also features some local grocery standouts like Rose Valley Butter, Thai and True sauces, Eugene’s Surata Soyfoods tofu and bags of frozen berries. You can even pick up some plants to spruce up your porch. It’s definitely worth a stop after a trip to the Rhododendron Garden. DC.
Shopping list: Local bread, honey and berries, hanging flower baskets.
Cherry Sprout Produce Market
722 N Sumner St., 445-4959, cherrysprout.com.
The Albina-Mississippi area is lucky to have this carrot-topped (literally—there’s a giant carrot sitting on top of the building) produce mart, tucked back off of Albina. In addition to the produce and household staples like canned beans and cleaning supplies, Cherry Sprout features lots of locally made treats such as Ota tofu, King Harvest hummus and Flav-R-Pac frozen veggies. Beer and wine coolers by the registers make Cherry Sprout a great one-stop shop for dinner. MHW.
Shopping list: Cascade Naturals tempeh, bulk granolas, organic dog food.
2375 NW Thurman St., 222-5658; 6344 SW Capitol Highway, 546-6559, foodfront.coop.
The Northwest location was recently renovated, with half the store getting a giant salad bar to go with the much-loved sandwich counter and baked-goods case. The veggies on that salad bar are a good symbol of all that’s right about this very personal co-op grocery store: a nice selection of leaves and stalks to build from, some chopped seasonal fruit and several containers of nuts and seeds to sprinkle on top. The vegan-friendly grocer is also the ’hood’s best brew shop, from beer to kombucha. MC.
Shopping list: Rhubarb, bok choy, beer, cheese. Oh, and a salad.
16145 NE Glisan St., 256-3629, thegrowersoutlet.com. Closed Sunday.
Ken Brendler’s red barn looks out of place squatting on a busy corner out near Gresham—like a Wizard of Oz tornado dropped the Portland Farmers Market in the ’burbs. For three decades, Brendler and his family have worked with local farmers to provide good-quality, inexpensive produce and fruits, from potatoes to tomatoes to fungi and greens. The homey, rustic space counsels its customers at every turn, with handwritten notes explaining which Washington apple varieties are good for baking or freezing and signs drawing attention to bins of onion starts, yuca root and local jellies and sauces. KC.
Shopping list: Super-seasonal produce, fresh herbs, hazelnuts, Brier Patch boysenberry jam, Tampico orange punch.
Kruger’s Farm Market
7316 N Lombard St., 289-2535 2310 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 235-0314 krugersfarmmarket.com.
Summers on Sauvie Island: U-pick berries, farm concerts, corn mazes, fresh produce. It’s around the corner, but until then, Sauvie’s Kruger’s Farm Market boasts stands in St. Johns and on Hawthorne Boulevard. Out of season, Kruger’s offers much of the same produce you’ll find at a Fred Meyer, but at much lower prices (“no huge overhead,” as one employee pointed out), but the local flair is found in the farm’s expansive and well-priced canned-goods selection. Please, for the love of all things holy, do not let yourself overlook these heavenly jams, sauces, salsas and condiments. CM.
Shopping list: Fruits ’n’ veggies, Walla Walla sweet onion, jalapeño hot sauce. Winter greens are amazing, in the winter.
Local Choice (NEW!)
830 NW Everett St., 971-271-6888, localchoicemarket.com.
Don and Georganne Sader’s Local Choice produce-plus shop on the periphery of the Pearl may be patterned after neighborhood Euro-markets, but its luxe-warehouse aesthetic and cavernous ceilings read much more like Baz Luhrmann’s vision of a turn-of-the-century Boston grocer. Nothing’s exotic here—it’s pretty much all from local farms—but the produce selection is admirably expansive, fresh and visually stunning: one feels almost guilty disturbing it. Coava Coffee has set up a slightly off-brand shop in the back, the back of the market sports the obligatory wine hoard, the deli serves up Salumi and Chop (though conspicuously not Olympic Provisions, who aren’t far away) and the meat counter brings in local cuts. A beer bar is available, perplexingly, for those who prefer to drink in grocery stores, as is a juice bar serving up wheatgrass shots. Though the market’s priced in accordance with its upscale ‘hood and organic provenance, it rewards careful shopping: The loveliest produce, at the height of its season, is also pretty dang cheap. MK.
Shopping List: Right now? Rhubarb. Oh, man. Check out the large selection of fruits and greens and the seafood catch as well.
Portland Fruit and Produce (NEW!)
8040 SE Foster Road, 777-0072; 10205 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway, Beaverton, 574-3000, portlandfruitwest.com.
Portland Fruit and Produce is like the flea market of fruit: a dirt-cheap, all-local vendor’s array of massive amounts of seasonal (or just-out-of-seasonal) produce of absolutely wonderful or awful or average quality. If you’re an attentive shopper, however, and if you hew especially to the always fresh fruits that fly out of the bins (and squeeze your onions carefully), you can end up with an amazing haul for very little. The original old-time Foster location was remodeled about a year ago, and the Beaverton outpost is brand spanking new. Both stores sport an admirable selection of local fruit-related sundries—from preserves to dried, plus a big display of Dave’s Killer Bread and Bob’s Red Mill. In the summers and early fall, this place is as good as any farmers market and terrifically cheap, and there’s nowhere better for the local apple and pear crop. MK.
Shopping list: Apples and pears, oh my!
8638 N Lombard St., 445-2007, propereats.org.
Proper Eats feels like a henna- and hemp-built food cooperative: There’s a kitchen and cafe attached, and regular events include saved-seed swaps and open-mic nights. The small market up front carries a good amount of bulk foods—spices, flours, grains, cereals and liquids—along with produce, packaged foods and a small amount of household supplies. It’s not a one-stop shop unless you’re a monastic vegan, but there’s a lot of good food—especially local, organic produce. LC.
Shopping list: Jujubes, rhubarb, It’s Alive! kraut, bulk spices. Rhubarb.
Sheridan Fruit Co.
409 SE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 236-2114, sheridanfruit.com.
The sagging, slightly sad 1960s interior obscures just how excellent a grocery store Sheridan really is. It’s like Fred Meyer and a food co-op had a really ugly child: a truly egalitarian market where bulk bins of dry lentils share real estate with vac-packed heirloom legumes from a small farm in Idaho, next to 7-pound tins of B&M baked beans. There’s a surprisingly large amount of food packed into these modest digs, Mary Poppins-style, and every visit yields a new surprise—locally made fennel shrub while shopping for juice, small-batch hot sauce from Kansas while searching for Tabasco, scrapple while looking for sausages. You’ll almost certainly come out with something you didn’t need, but also everything you did. RB.
Shopping list: Bulk flours, grains, spices, dried fruit, sausages, fresh vegetables, Garry’s Meadow milk, Monastery mustard.