At farmers’ markets, growers bring their crops to you directly. You can expect fresher produce because it spends less time in transit. In some cities, farmers’ markets are seasonal, but in the Bay Area they run year-round. While freshness is a definite advantage, farmers’ markets may not have prepared foods. In the Bay Area, you can visit the Ecology Center to find a farmers’ market near you.
Supermarkets are big stores that have anything and everything you might need. They offer a lot of processed and packaged food, which can be convenient (but also pricey). Their produce typically comes from farther away, so it may not be as fresh. However, they will always have your kitchen staples and may even save you time because you can find what you need in one place. In the Bay Area, there are many different supermarket chains including Smart and Final ($), Grocery Outlet ($), Safeway ($$), Ranch 99 ($$), Berkeley Bowl ($$), and Andronico’s ($$$).
Unless you just want a snack, corner stores are usually not the best place to find food. Typically, they sell a small selection of prepared or packaged food. They are often more expensive than other options. Still, they are almost everywhere, so they may help