It’s some kind of kismet that Bi-Rite Market’s newly opened location in NoPa was a Safeway in the 1930s, back when supermarkets were a lot less super. By today’s standards, the market is still boutique in size, though 20 percent bigger than the cramped original on 18th Street. More room means a bigger refrigerated case, full of sustainable fish and meat, and cheese that’s sliced to order. There are even plans for a roof garden and beehives.
But let’s face it: What the neighborhood is buzzing about is the mini Bi-Rite Creamery scoop shop situated within the store’s four walls. Just like at the 18th Street location, ropes are set along the sidewalk to corral the inevitable line of people out the door. But unlike at the Mission creamery, here you can get a cone to savor while shopping— you just have to be coordinated enough to balance a basket full of produce and wine with a melting tower of mint chip, chocolate, and brown sugar caramel swirl. 550 Divisadero St. (near Hayes St.), 415-551-7900
Originally published in the May 2013 issue of San Francisco.