So Where Are You Getting Your Groceries Now?

Social Safeway is no more and we have roughly eleven months until Social Safeway Mark II opens. So unless you’ve got one gigantic pantry, you’re going to need to find a new option for groceries. GM explores some of your options after the jump:

Whole Foods:

The closest option is Whole Foods just up Wisconsin Ave. in Glover Park. Most Georgetowners probably use Whole Foods at least from time to time for its high end foodstuffs. But how is it as a staple grocery?

GM gave it a try last weekend and it wasn’t pretty. Whole Foods has finally added Cheerios, but if you’ve got tastes for other mass marketed foods, you’re going to be disappointed. So what, you may ask, why not treat yourself to some organic luxury foods for a year? Well for one, it’s a lot more expensive. And for another thing, maybe you just like normal, non-soy, non-organic, corporate food. For GM, there were just too many foods he loves that Whole Foods didn’t have. So for him, this isn’t an option.

MacArthur Safeway:

The MacArthur Safeway in the Palisades (4865 MacArthur Blvd.) is the closest decently large Safeway. GM’s tried this Safeway out before and found that it felt like an abridged version of Social Safeway: it felt like it had about 75% of the amount of supplies of the Social Safeway. It’s got a throwback vibe and it’ll make you feel like you walked into a world that would consider the phrase “fair trade organic arugula” to be utter gibberish. For pure familiarity, you might find this a satisfactory option.


Another close option is the Giant on Wisconsin in Cleveland Park. GM’s never been because of the awful things he’s heard about it. This does not seem to be a viable option. If you like Giant, however, the Giant on Fairfax Dr. in Arlington is pretty good.

Other Options:

GM’s heard good things about the Adams Morgan Harris Teeter and the City Vista Safeway in Mount Vernon Triangle (which serves as the model for our future Social Safeway) but he’s never been to either yet.

So where will you get your groceries? Will you try out Safeway’s delivery service instead?


Filed under Around Town

12 responses to “So Where Are You Getting Your Groceries Now?

  1. jkc

    the Cleveland Park Giant is horrible. it’s cramped and the selection is subpar.

  2. No love for Foggy Bottom’s Trader Joe’s?

  3. Like a lot of Georgetowners living at the southern end of the village, I have been doing my grocery shopping at the West End Trader Joe’s ever since it opened. And remember that there is also the “Geriatric Safeway” at the Watergate, which is admittedly rather small and could do with a makeover.

  4. GM

    Is Trader Joes really any good for staples? My experience is that it’s kind of scattershot in what it carries and has like three rows just of various snacks. But I’ll give it another chance.

  5. A Hallock

    Whole Foods is not that expensive as long as you stay with their house 365 brand. Granted the variety of cheeses, olives, prepared foods and excellent butcher can set you over the top. Why did you not mention the soon to arrive Glover Park/Georgetown Farmers Market that will start next Saturday(?) at Hardy Middle School? Combine the Farmers Market with Trader Joe’s and there is no need to hit up Whole Foods, Giant, Harris Teeter or get delivery from

  6. Justin

    I actually like the Giant by the Cathedral. The clientele may not be as attractive, but it’s hardly the ghetto it’s made out to be. It has a pretty decent selection, and the prices are pretty darn cheap. It’s a good, practical option (well, in my case it was).

  7. Shipsa01

    I’m actually about to move out of Georgetown (sniff, sniff; tear, tear) and into the City V. I’ve been to the new Safeway there quite a few times while checking out the area. If you have a car and can make it over there – that’s the place you want to shop at.

  8. Simth

    For staples and regular people brands, try the SuperFresh at 48th and Mass, right behind AU Law School.

  9. Ben

    Justin, you actually like the Giant on Wisconsin & Newark? Doesn’t the meat there come with guaranteed samonilla? The produce selection is also severely lacking. The facility is also very decrepit, especially compared to the proposal for the new Giant (

    I think the Safeway in Tenley, which is accessible via the 30s buses or a weekend trip to Trader Joe’s is probably the best option.

  10. Justin

    Well, the way I saw it I had three choices where I lived: Whole Foods, Safeway, and Giant. Whole Foods is very nice but very expensive and not great for staples, Safeway I went to every so often (when I was coming home from that direction) and was fine. But more often I was coming from the north and Giant was on the way. It wasn’t as large or as nice as Safeway, but it was cheaper and somehow I don’t think a less attractive clientele and less-upscale attitude meant any of the food had salmonella. Plus, while I like produce, as a bachelor who wasn’t at home a lot, I didn’t keep too much around (and Whole Foods took care of that problem when necessary).

  11. J. MacLeod

    Watergate Safeway consistantly has THE ruddest employees I’ve ever experienced! I’ve gone out of my way since Whole Foods opened to avoid that particular store, and get staples from 17th Street Safeway.

    I never go to Social Safeway because I ride a bicycle – and that’s a steep hill from lower G’town.

  12. Stephanie Jenson

    CAVEAT: I work for Trader Joe’s Foggy Bottom!

    But that said, I lived in Palisades on and off for last 23 years and we have always called the Safeway on MacArthur the “Soviet Safeway” due to empty shelves, long lines at the cashiers…

    Trader Joe’s may not have all your staples but we do have really great value on wine, beer, cheese, frozen items-expanded produce line monthly and of course, snacks.

    You can usually find me demonstrating wines on Saturdays! Stop by and say hi….


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