People always ask me if they have to shop at Whole Foods if they want to be vegan. Since I shop at Whole Foods I really had no idea. 10 years ago you definitely couldn’t find many vegan specific products (meat alternatives, cheese, non-dairy milk etc) at a “regular” grocery store. I live in the Bay Area and the big supermarket here is Safeway. Most of my friends shop at Safeway, so I decided to see how much of my typical shopping I could do there. To say I was shocked would be an understatement. You most definitely can shop vegan at Safeway!
As with my post on vegan finds at Target I was looking for vegan speciality items. Safeway has a large selection of produce, pasta, grains, beans, bread and nuts. Most every grocery store carries those items meaning you can technically shop at almost any grocery store as a vegan. However, I like to add some fun vegan items into my weekly routine. It turns out Safeway carries many of those items.
Safeway has an incredible selection of meat alternatives. They have sliced Tofurky deli meats, organic tofu & tempeh and a lot of Field Roast products. I was very impressed with the number of Field Roast offerings. They have every flavor of their vegetarian sausages (I love the Chipotle and Italian versions). They also carry the handmade burgers and Chao cheese. I often can’t find the Chao cheese at my Whole Foods and I have yet to see the burgers there at all. I’m so glad to know I can look for those at Safeway now. I also found Beyond Meat and Gardein products in the freezer section.
Safeway now has an entire “dairy alternative” section in their refrigerated area. This was not the case in the past. I remember only being able to find soy milk there just a few years ago. Now they have a nice selection of Almond, Soy, and Cashew Milk in the refrigerated area. They also carry a wide array of non-dairy milks in septic containers on the shelf.
Safeway has a variety of Earth Balance products. Again they have more options than my Whole Foods. They offered the typical buttery spread, but also Sweet Cinnamon, Roasted Garlic & Herb and Coconut Spread. I can never find the Roasted Garlic & Herb at my Whole Foods so I happily picked up a container. I love to put it on my baked potatoes, in pasta or on my bagel.
Safeway has quite a few vegan cheese options. They carry 4 flavors of Daiya shreds, 2 flavors of Daiya cream cheese, and 3 types of Daiya slices. Safeway also carries multiple sour cream alternatives, including Tofutti. For some reason some of the non-dairy cheese and sour cream was with the meat alternatives and some was mixed in with the dairy cheese. The Field Roast Chao cheese was with the meat alternatives, but the Daiya cheese was in the dairy section. If you are looking for vegan cheese at Safeway be sure to check both areas of the store.
Safeway carries many vegan freezer items. I found one vegan pizza from Daiya. Hopefully they will add more flavors since they have such a large space in their freezer for pizzas!
I found a nice selection of non-dairy ice creams and treats. I love these So Delicious Minis in Mocha Almond Fudge.
Safeway carries Beyond Meat and Gardein products in their freezer section. Trey loves these Gardein chicken tenders in his lunch.
The bulk section is what really shocked me at Safeway. Walking in I thought I would find a few meat, milk and cheese alternatives, but I never thought I would find Nutritional Yeast. Not only did I find one bin of Nutritional Yeast, but Safeway actually offers 4 varieties in their bulk section! If you are not familiar with Nutritional Yeast it is a (horribly named) flake that has a savory flavor and is full of B vitamins. It is often added to dishes to give it a cheesy, umami flavor. Safeway also has a great selection of organic grains and nuts in their bulk department.
Safeway carries quite a few Kombucha options. They even have the new kombucha from Kevita that I have been looking for unsuccessfully at Whole Foods for the past few weeks. It is delicious!
I was hoping to find some of the chips, crackers and cookies I buy at Whole Foods. This was the only area where Safeway fell short of my expectations. They didn’t have many options for vegan versions of these packaged products. I was looking specifically for Beanfield’s chips, which I am totally addicted to, but they didn’t carry those. Obviously these aren’t the healthiest options so it isn’t a big deal that they don’t carry them. If I chose to shop at Safeway I would occasionally want to go to Whole Foods to buy those items.
Every Safeway offers different items so check your local Safeway to see what vegan products they carry. You might be pleasantly surprised!
*This is NOT a sponsored post. Safeway, nor any of the brands mentioned here, contributed to this post*