Grocery Shopping in Big Bear

Although Stater’s does have a meat counter for cheese and meats that many locals love, others take the time to venture over to Community Market over on the East end of the valley.

When I lived out in Erwin Lake I always shopped the market because I like to support the little stores. Personally I prefer the mom and pop shops that are fast disappearing out of this big box store world.

Community Market also attracts locals with their hot deli counter—best darn chicken and potato lunch box you can get around these parts. They also have fresh coffee brewing that is ready all hours of the day. The best part is that if you like java, they also have fresh coffee beans for sale in bulk—grind it there.

If you are into organics, Community Market has a nice selection and they are always happy to bring in items you request—as long as you and your pals keep buying it. Perks include a nice selection of ice cream, magazines, and baked goods.

For friendliness and cleanliness I like love Sol Food Market. They have a wide selection of organic foods and produce. You can even order the produce in advance—by doing so you get a discount and get fresh picked fruits and veggies from local producers later the week.

I also like Sol Food Markets non-wheat alternatives, hormone free meats, snack foods, lunch-to-go-items, and bulk nuts, cereal, and coffee. There are a few places up here that I call “tiny but mighty” and this is one of them.

Back over in Big Bear Lake, Forest Farms has fast become the locals stop for produce and veggies but they also have nuts, dried legumes, spices, sauces, a full service deli, bread, eggs, and assorted dairy items.

Forest Farms also has a good selection of dried fruits and snack mixes, too. If you like to shop in the European tradition—this is the place. Make sure you eat the produce quickly because it is ripe and doesn’t last long if you don’t.

Also, make sure you get their early because they are usually busy closing up an hour before the posted time which makes it hard to grab what you want unless you know where it is.

There are a lot more places in the valley to shop but I don’t often get over to them all. We leave the liquor markets to visitors but locals in the neighborhood always drop by and support them when they get a chance.

For instance, if I need something quick I go to the Fawnskin Market. Come to think of it, it actually should be called the Fawnskin Liquor Market because Mike has expanded the inventory and sells booze—along with the coffee which is a good balance—right?

When the Fawnskin Market was closed during remodeling and other red tape nightmares, we hit the Lighthouse Market. It is still one of my favorite little places up here because it has retained that rustic general camp store feel.

What? You don’t know where it is? Heh, heh, heh…local’s secret…but really, it is on North Shore Drive and the hours are sporadic in the winter as it is really a camp store that operates in the high season for camping and boating.

I have not been up to Easy’s Market in Sugarloaf in a while—but when I used to stay in Sugarloaf (Yep, it is true—I’ve lived about everywhere in the valley but Boulder Bay.) before I moved up full-time, it was a great place to go and get a variety of items.

Boulder Bay Market is another local’s haunt that I have not visited lately as I avoid the skier traffic during the winter around the mini-arctic circle between the dam and Boulder Bay. I hear they also have a knife shop inside.

Great combo…don’t you think?

And you wonder why they think we are all wild and crazy mountain folk?!

There is a tiny little market snuggled in on Fir over in lower Moonridge. You wouldn’t know about it unless you live nearby and the popular stop over there is Triangle Market.

All the ski resort personnel used to frequent the place and hang out with their coffee and morning donuts.

Although not in the valley, many of the guys will actually drive down to Lucerne Valley Market and Ace Hardware. It is a guy’s dream. Just ask, you can see their eyes light up just talking about it.

There you can shop for groceries, stop and have a burger, get gardening supplies, tools, rent videos, and more.

I think that about does it. If you have any plugs for your local markets let me know by posting your comment below.



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This entry was posted on Thursday, February 7th, 2008 and is filed under Mountain Lake Resort.

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