I need me some help, people.
I just moved down from Boston to Washington, DC and have been disappointed with the grocery stores in this area. Good produce is hard to find. Good prices are even harder. I'm used to shopping at Trader Joe's and Shaw's and sometimes Whole Foods, but the only stores in the district proper are Giant and Safeway, both not spectacular.
A friend mentioned that Wegman's was a decent alternative. I've never been, but was wondering how it compared to Whole Foods or Trader Joe's or Shaw's. And what are the good items..and the ones I should stay far, farrrr away from?
Thanks in advance!!
I moved away from the DC metro area 2 1/2 years ago and Wegman's is the one thing I truly miss. I would absolutely love for them to come out west. Their house brand is very good, I was never disappointed and their produce among the best I've seen at grocery stores. They carry local produce frequently and lots of organic and unusual choices. Their meat is quite good as well. Prices are competitive for the most part. It's kind of like a Whole Foods combined with a regular grocery store.
OMG!! Wegmans absolutely saved my life here in the boondocks. I go there EVERY day. Their prepared foods section is great, the seafood counter fantastic, the meat counter... the cheese. Oh boy.
They have creme fraiche. Greek yogurt (though only the low fat kind unfortunately. They have an international section with all kinds of ethnic groceries. They have a large selection of Lindt chocolates, and even a few of the Vosges bars...
I agree it can get pricey if you buy a lot of the prepared stuff, but staples aren't any more expensive than at any other supermarket. Well, except for Mallwart, maybe.
I can spend anywhere between $15 and $60 in one shopping trip, simply depending on what I get. They have S. Pellegrino, which I am addicted to. Go there and find your own favorites! As a hound, I think you're really going to like it.
Wegman's is the best. It is like a Whole Foods and Trader Joe's mixed with a regular grocery. They have everything a standard grocery would have at reasonable prices, plus the hard to find produce and organic items. They have prime meats and an awesome prepared foods section. I just wish they would hurry up and open in AA County.
BTW, contrary to your OP, there are two WF's in DC proper, on P street and on Wisconsin Ave. But Wegmans is the place to go. As others have posted above, it actually is certifiably the best supermarket chain in the US. Far better than WF or TJ IMHO, because it actually is a full-line supermarket in addition to all the other stuff they have. It will blow your mind if you've never been in a store like it.
You should also check out the Asian markets. There are several chains around (Lotte, Grand Mart, Han Ah Rhum now converting to H Mart I believe), but most of all Super H. If you're looking for produce, Super H is the place to go.
BTW, you'll find the Safeways and even the Giants in the 'Burbs far superior to anything in DC itself. Shoppers Food Warehouse is also worth a look, as is Harris Teeter which is a very fine store, second only to Wegmans perhaps. I believe there is an HT going into the Columbia Road/18th St. area, but I've been away from DC for a while and can't recall for sure.