Santa Barbara Public Market finally opens - West Victoria, one block off State Street next to the back of Arlington Theater and right in the center of restaurant ground zero for Santa Barbara. I suspect the surrounding restaurants may become good customers as well.
This is a new concept for Santa Barbara, though successful in the SF Bay area - Ferry Bldg and Rockridge Market come to mind. A food court of sorts with an array of groceries, prepared food items for eating in and solo food items for take away. There was a large wine selection in the center in an enclosed area that allowed for wine tasting at tables. Did not check this out, but saw others inside this area enjoying it.
Offers a product variety line similar to our local Tri-Counties Produce or Cantwells - on the premium end, but similar to some of the exotica appeal of Trader Joes off beat products. They also carry a stock brand I had not heard of before - Calida (?) which looks like it is one that is found in shopping set ups like this.
Once could do their primary grocery shopping here, and also pick up artisan breads, cheeses, meats, ice cream, cup cakes, and olive oil from the select purveyors. Good one stop shopping. I came away a believer this was indeed a market for real food, for real meals and realistic budgets.
Not just imported frou frou, but ingredients from which to actually cook or prepare simple and delicious meals.But mainly I came away a believer that it offered really good items for reasonable pricing, considering the quality.
Yes, Rori's is good ice cream - the dense, sticky gelato one finds more typically in Europe.
Yes, the croissants were right up there with the best one finds elsewhere in SB. The olive oil tasting bar proved there is vibrant choice available that really does make a difference depending on the intent of your use.
The very pleasing and welcoming buzz to the place did not let up as we went mid-morning and came back later in the afternoon. May have some kinks to work out in managing the numbers of shoppers without getting lines that would be too long. It was a steady stream of both lookers and shoppers with everyone looking quite pleased.
So good place to drop by for special ingredients, picnic staples, easy snacks and meals with counter service for solo dining, as well as stocking up on premium staples.
I think we have a hit on our hands here and happy to recommend it. Welcome to Santa Barbara - Santa Barbara Public Market. http://sbpublicmarket.com/purveyors/