Rainbow Grocery

  • Health-food-store Health Store
    ( 20 reviews )

1745 Folsom St (at 13th St, northern Mission District), San Francisco, California, USA, 94103

A worker-owned natural foods cooperative market established since 1976. Housed in a 25,000 square feet location, this all vegetarian store features very extensive selections in nutritional supplements and vitamins, body and beauty care products, household products, books, fresh organic vegetables and fruits, bulk staples section, chilled and frozen foods, natural pet supplies, raw food, organic products, eco friendly products, grag n go food, children's toys, cooking supplies, and much more. Bag your own grocery. Open Mon-Sun 9:00am-9:00pm.

20 Reviews

First Review by Yell

Horrible customer experience - Edit

I've come here weekly for the past 2 years and now left at a loss as I certainly don't want to spend another dime after being treated like a criminal for trying to use a coupon. Considering that it's a worker owned co-op and I go to great lengths to ensure only the best companies get any of my money, I just can't justify spending anymore after the awful experience. If the workers own this place and treat people the way I was treated today, I want no part in supporting them and their inhumane activities.

Pros: Great options in all departments.

Cons: Awful customer treatment. If you're a minority, ex

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

LOVE this store!! - Edit

Went there today and just felt blown away by the range of wholesome, organic, packaged, food, convenience and personal items and kitchen supplies. Such a wonderful and big store and feels like a mix between Trader Joes and Whole Foods but more economical. Got a delicious udon noodle sushi roll for lunch and some kombucha. You must go here if you enjoy browsing wholesome foods.

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Vegetarian supermarket - Edit

This market is quite big! It's a vegetarian store, sadly not a vegan one and they put a lot of focus on specialty cheeses :(

They have a great variety of vegan foods, including loads of tofu (including smoked, basil tofu and other assortments you can't get anywhere else), they have all cheeses by Myioko's, all versions of Tofurky salami and other vegan foods that are not so common and hard to find.
Some products are pricier than at major health food stores but not by much, maybe 10-20% depending on the product.
I love that they have a huge section of bulk products including spices, nuts and seeds, grains, nut butters.

They started allowing selling meat on the premises. Please let them know you're not supporting this !

Recently they started subletting what used to be their outdoor café to a place that sells meat
Seed The Commons ( an association working for the creation of small-scale, sustainable, animal-independent food systems) has been gathering a petition to ask them not to allow selling meat on the premises.
When delivering the petition the management refused to speak with them and called the police.

This is the statement by Seed The Commons posted on their Facebook page on 22/06/2016:

"Today, a few of us delivered the 786 signatures to our petition to Rainbow Grocery Cooperative, to ask them not to allow meat to be served on the premises of their store.

Some members of the Board of Directors came to the front desk, said that they would not discuss the issue with us, asked us to leave, and called the police.

We were simply there to deliver signatures and speak with them about an issue that they ignored for months. It was not a protest. We had no signs or banners, nobody raised their voice, nobody addressed the shoppers or got in the way of their movement.

All of us were Bay Area residents who have often given Rainbow our business and encouraged others to do the same. We brag about our local vegetarian coop when we leave the Bay Area. Many of us have friends who work at Rainbow and we considered it a very real part of our community.

The wholly excessive and dismissive reaction to our request for dialogue was shocking. To refuse to speak with us is bad enough, but to call the police within a few minutes of our arrival shows that Rainbow not only has no sense of proportion, they have also lost all connection to the local community.

Sadly, our boycott of Rainbow Grocery stands."

Updated from previous review on 2016-07-17

Pros: loads of vegan foods hard to find

Cons: sells dairy :(, allow selling meat on the premises, no parking

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Mind blowing! - Edit

What can I say, if I had created a grocery store in my mind - it would have been this one. Amazing.

So much choice! I could find anything here. and the fact is employee owned and stuff, just makes it even better.

If I loved in San Fran, I would most likely spend half of my time in this store ;)

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Restores my faith in humanity... - Edit

... somewhat :)

All vegetarian, worker owned, huge selection especially bulk and supplements.

This place is the best!

Pro tip: park at OfficeMax next door

Pros: Quality, Variety

Cons: Parking

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Hands Down, the Best Market on the Planet - Edit

These folks have it going on! Thousands of vegan and vegetarian options, and the staff is informed and helpful. The bulk bins are astounding. The sheer variety of bulk rice, grains, and miso bins will blow your mind.

I cannot say enough good things about Rainbow!

Perhaps they should call it "double rainbow".

Pros: Helpful staff, fair prices, committed to right-on ideals

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Love Rainbow. - Edit

One of my favorite stores ever, if you're veg or just health-conscious and need groceries in SF, you must go to Rainbow and experience its wonder.

All-vegetarian (I believe with the exception of pet food; I know they do offer V-dog vegan dog food), with many specialty vegan items, they have the widest variety of organic, healthful ingredients. They also have a large vitamin and personal care/beauty section, along with small areas of books/gifts and home goods (mostly cooking implements). I especially love their candle and soap sections :)

They have a fantastic bulk section where you can find all the spices and dry goods your heart desires. They have lots of both dairy and non-dairy gourmet cheeses, along with an olive bar and fresh pasta selection. Their produce section is thoughtful -- organic and local as much as possible. I do find that while most of the store offers competitive prices, the produce is on the expensive side. They do have a sale section I love -- after the bulk bins on your left entering the store, there's a whole area for items on sale, which is fun to explore and try something new.

They also have a small garden area with some fresh plants and potted herbs seasonally available.

I've tried to describe it so you won't have to take my word for it -- Rainbow has everything you need or want, and you will probably want everything they have after a visit.

It's a truly hippie place, where most people remember to bring their reusable bags but no one's pretentious about it if you didn't. You might ask to use an extra cardboard box to carry your things if you don't want to buy paper bags.

They have a parking lot but at busy times there's a line to park, so it's best to try to come at an off-peak hour. And you will want to drive here, or plan on getting a friend to take you and your armfuls of amazing treasures home.
Updated from previous review on Sunday April 06, 2014

Pros: So many vegan things, Sale section, They have all the things you need

Cons: Might be overwhelming at first, Waiting to park

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

What an awesome store! - Edit

I didn't have quite as enough time to peruse this place as I would've liked, but I can attest to all the great reviews here - this is truly a wonderful store! The variety of their selection was mind-blowing. I was looking for a hand cream so that's where I spent most of my time. They had many smaller brands that I had never seen elsewhere. Testers were also plentiful, which is always appreciated. I was a bit pressed for time, so I could only walk quickly up and down the aisles scanning the shelves. Too much good stuff but too little time... Finally I arrived at the bread section and couldn't help but be drawn to all those amazing looking artisan loaves. I picked up a banana barley and a sprouted seeds. Both were organic, vegan, gluten-free, yeast-free, made with whole grains, and oh so tasty! I would definitely come back whenever I visit SF again!

Pros: fantastic selection

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

The BEST Co-op in the Country! - Edit

I've lived in lots of places and this is the best co-op I've found, ever! It's rows and rows of every Vegan, healthy, yummy food products you can imagine. The bulk section is amazing, as is the produce -- fresh and diverse and seasonal. I've been shopping here for 10 years and never get sick of it. Rainbow gets an A+ from me, all the way!

Pros: They have everything you can imagine! , Great staff, Gorgeous and inspiring

Cons: Pricey, Only workers get a price break, Urban location, parking can be tricky

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Am I in the 60's? Is this a time warp? - Edit

The minute you enter the door, you have the feeling (at least I do) that I'm back in the 1960's, when vegan and vegetarian food markets were everywhere.

Don't even THINK of mentioning M-E-A-T here, they might run you out on a rail -- but that's OK, because what they DO have is wonderful!

While some people might find some of the political correctness a bit over the top, this is a small price to pay for the amazing variety of bulk foods (and coffees and grains, and flours, and nuts, and seeds -- you get the picture) and packaged goods that are available to you.

Rainbow is a co-op that is owned by its employees, and how cool is it that they close on Gay Pride Day and Cesar Chavez Day? The people who work there are great, always very helpful.

Another great thing they do is that they give a 10% discount on EVERYTHING if you're 60 years old or older! And given how expensive some of the stuff is, that's quite a saving.

Pros: Variety, Attitude, Best lesbian cheesemongers in the world!

Cons: Price

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Awesome! - Edit

Actually, i don't have to say much more as the other people here already did. This health-store is just arresting! I've never seen such a huge bulk area before and also the tea and herbs section is outstanding. The fresh juices range could be a bit bigger but apart from that there's nothing you won't find!

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

The best grocery store on the planet. - Edit

This grocery store has the, hands-down, best bulk department outside of a village mart in the north of India.
This is a must for any vegan, vegetarian and/or Indian out of towner.

Pros: Bulk Department, Produce Department., All Vegetarian.

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Amazing Selections - Edit

I had read about this place on happycow and have been to their previous, smaller location some years ago. Decided to stop in on my last San Francisco trip a few months back. Here's my Rainbow Grocery review.

It's is housed in a huge warehouse space. No fancy lighting like Whole Food Market, but the selections are even more extensive and incredible. And everything is vegetarian (or vegan)!

It took me a long time to go up and down the isles, marveled at the range of selections. I ended up buying a whole bag full of yummies and treats.

Be ready to bag your own grocery.

Pros: huge selections, all veg, good prices

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

The most magical place on earth - Edit

This is my favorite natural foods store in the *world*, such that for some items I wait until a family visit to the Bay Area to stock up at Rainbow Grocery (no kidding). The vitamins section was helpful with custom orders during my father's fight with cancer - they have everything and will do discounted bulk orders for you. Their household goods section is dangerous (you'll buy more than you need because everything is so cool) - natural cleaners, carved wooden spoons, beeswax candles, natural cleaning brushes, recycled glass coasters, recycled paper notepads. The produce selection is impressive, especially considering Rainbow's policy to take produce that other stores reject because they're not aesthetically pleasing (what a waste!). The cosmetics section is a dream (I second the Gabrielle/ZuZu Luxe supply shout out, as well as the "great wall" of non-toxic shampoo and conditioner options). They have numerous organic and biodynamic wines. They carry traditional Indonesian tempe (i.e. nothing but soy)! I've been avoiding mention of the bulk section. Anything I say here will be insufficient. It. Is. Amazing. The supply of reusable containers is the best I've ever seen (e.g. cotton bags for bulk foods, plastic and glass containers for toiletries and food, and more). And do you like/eat cheese? Look no further.

Other reviews cover most of the other wonderful things about this cooperative, but I really like supporting this business. Further, I really *like* paying the sometimes higher prices to support this sustainable business - Trader Schmoe's and Costco are anything but sustainable. The people I know who work there (i.e. the owners) love it. There should be more businesses like this - great for the employees, the customers, society at large, and the world.

Pros: Variety, Sustainable, Local

Cons: Only in San Francisco, California, USA

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Bulk section = out of control - Edit

This is probably the only place I've seen everything from garbanzo bean flour to tofu to peanut butter to olive oil in bulk. Talk about reducing packaging.

They also have just about every "health" food you could ever want. Great produce as well but with the farmer's markets in the area you hardly need it.

Probably the best grocery store in the world, and all vegetarian from what I'm told.

Pros: has everything, good prices, bulk section

Cons: parking, long lines

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Has Everything. - Edit

Rainbow Grocery is great! They have everything! From bakery section where most of it is vegan, to cards. I have never found my makeup (ZuZu Luxe) in any store but here.

Pros: great selection, fully stocked, neat and clean

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

The Best - Edit

This is the best Co-op on the face of the planet, period. No meat in the store anywhere. It is a Vegan oasis! It's as big as a supermarket filled with organic food and other products, huge bulk bins, cool pierced/tattooed workers, great environmentally conscience customers, many who are Vegan. I feel clean shopping here, which I go at least twice a week. THANK GOODNESS FOR RAINBOW GROCERY! Another of the many reasons I love living in San Francisco. It only gets a 4 for still having dairy. B-)

Pros: No Meat, Organic, Huge Vegan Selection

Cons: Dairy

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Best Grocery Store I've been to, yet! - Edit

Wow, I can't tell you how impressed I was with this place. Yes, it is chaotic with massively long check out lines at time, but guess why? They have EVERYTHING! Even in LA I have to visit 3 different grocery stores to accomplish my shopping, but Rainbow somehow manages to carry vast product lines of just about everything natural organic vegan you can imagine!

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

this place is amazing!! - Edit

I checked this place out on my last trip to San Francisco and was pretty amazed by this place. There we so many vegan items in all of the aisles to choose from and a HUGE bulk section that I would definetely utilize if I lived in SF. Part of my reason for going to Rainbow (besides to check it out) was to purchase some items to eat on my trip home the next day. I needed to buy a lunch and dinner from the pre-pacakged food section and I was literally standing in this one corner of the store for at least a half an hour before I finally decided what I was going to get. There were so many choices and I was also trying to balance it out - like "well i can't get that because this item i am getting for my lunch has rice in it and these grains are almost like rice." I also got a sandwhich which I ate later that day for dinner. I couldn't believe how many companies choices they had for me to choose from. Aunt Nettie's hummus was awesome! Definetly get some if you go to Rainbow. There were also lots of vegan dessert options in the aisles too... so tempting... it was hard to decide which one to get. I ended up getting two Coconut Bars imported from Japan ... amazing... and some local guys vegan choc chip cookies (Cal Moon Bakery... not very good.. tasted too healthy). They had reasonable prices for products like Seventh Generation tissues, and bulk teas. I will definetly shop here again if given the chance on my next trip to SF.

Pros: huge, lots of vegan selections

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

I miss it! - Edit

I LOVE Rainbow Grocery. I wish there was a grocery store like this in EVERY city.

While living in San Francisco, it got to the point where I would only shop there (sans produce, of course).

It's the vegan/vegetarian mecca. The bulk foods section is second to NONE. The prices are MORE than reasonable (a dollar LESS for komboucha than anywhere else).

Pros: Price, Bike Parking, Co-Op

Read More

By submitting this post you agree to HappyCow Terms

Link to this page from your site. .
Return to San Francisco Vegetarian Restaurants & Health Food Store Listings
Business Owners, if you see an unfair review, read this.
Why was my review removed? - details / Review guidelines
Reviews are not endorsed by HappyCow - review terms
Has Rainbow Grocery closed, shut down, moved, or changed? Please use the Update Form.
This page has been viewed 7994 times.

Keep HappyCow Growing Strong!

I would like to support