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Where Alice Waters buys her groceries.

Ask Berkeley's most famous food maven, Chez Panisse restaurateur Alice Waters, where she buys her own groceries and she might disclose her sources.

Fortunately, she spilled the beans to us. Her shopping secret--for both restaurant and home cooking ingredients--is a suite of small shops along Hopkins Street between Monterey and McGee avenues in Berkeley.

Here, a handful of specialty stores collectively offer everything from fish to dessert; shopkeepers pride themselves on their stocks of fresh and hard-to-find items. Saturday mornings can bring crowds and tough parking. Or try BART; from the North Berkeley station, it's an easy 1/2-mile walk north on Sacramento Street to Hopkins. Area code for all telephone numbers is 510.

Monterey Market, 1550 Hopkins, 526-6042; open 9 to 6 daily except Sundays. Local fresh fruit and vegetables, including organically grown produce, are the specialty here. Obscure produce is often in stock, too ("Berkeley is a food town, " owner Tom Fujimoto says). This month look for stone fruits, melons, squashes, and a range of fresh herbs.

Made To Order, 1576 Hopkins, 524-7552; open 9:30 to 6 Mondays through Saturdays. This is the neighborhood deli every good cook wants to live near, offering handmade sausages (lamb, pork, and prosciutto), stocks, and a wide list of wines and olive oils (30 types of olive oil from California, Italy, France, and Spain). Owner Silvana La Rocca jokes, "I have a reputation for being snooty about my wines and even snootier about my olive oils."

Coffee Market, 1578 Hopkins, 526-1333; open 9:30 to 6 daily except Sundays. This small store is a favorite with locals for the 24 fresh coffees available (roasted daily in the back room). The shop's own Charley's Choice is strong but smooth. The Coffee Market also carries more than 200 types of cheese.

Monterey Fish Inc., 1582 Hopkins, 525-5600; open 10 to 6 Tuesdays through Saturdays. The specialty here is very fresh fish--line-caught, not netted (which can mean fish lingers dead in the net for hours before being hauled in)--but the market also takes special orders (most unusual request: conch from the Caribbean). This month, look for live soft-shell crabs, salmon, rockfish, and halibut.

Hopkins Street Bakery, 1584 Hopkins, 526-8188; open 6:30 to 6 Mondays through Fridays, 7:30 to 6:30 Saturdays. Bakers here make some hard-to-find items, such as challah (braided white bread) and pain au lait (milk bread). For dietary saints (and those on restricted diets), there are sugarless, flourless, or oilless breads and muffins. Sinners can choose from eclairs, fresh fruit tarts, cranberry walnut scones, and chocolate-rich cookies called Freak Outs.

Magnani Poultry, 1586 Hopkins, 528-6370; open 9:30 to 6:30 weekdays, until 6 Saturdays. Here you'll find fresh Petaluma and Sonoma chickens (cut, boned, skinned to order), free-range chickens, ducks, rabbits, and handmade chicken or turkey sausages and ravioli. With four-day advance order, you can get a goose, guinea fowl, partridge, quail, or squab.
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Title Annotation:Chez Panisse restaurateur shops at Berkeley, California markets
Author:Finnegan, Lora J.
Publication:Sunset
Article Type:Directory
Date:Jul 1, 1992
Words:487
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