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Sep 15, 2008 03:43 PM

Eating at Whole Foods vs Wegman's

I eat at Wegman's all the time. Enjoy the Asian food, some of it. Also the sushi and especially the Sub sandwiches.

Never eaten at Whole Foods and was curious if anyone here has eaten at Whole Foods AND Wegman's and could share what the differences are?


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  1. If you're talking about actually eating in the store, Wegman's in Ashburn definitely is better suited for that than the Whole Foods in Reston. Other Whole Foods might have a better dining situation. Wegman's also has so many more options. I like their sandwiches and sushi. The Asian food bar doesn't interest me, but I usually find those types of things to be subpar. I haven't tried the entrees in the case behind the rotisserie chickens or the soup. As for Whole Foods, I like their seafood salad in the case with all the entrees. Unfortunately, I can't remember what other items I've ordered from that case, but I liked what I've ordered. The salad bar is full of good, fresh options and good soup. Not into the hot food bar.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Martha

      I find more healthy items at WF, like the vegan fake-meat rotating specials. Wegmans pays more attention to a nice dining experience at the locations I've been to.

      1. re: chowsearch

        the whole foods in fairfax is top notch in terms of dining in the restuarant and far superior to any of the wegmans

        whole foods is obviously all organic - a plus in and of itself. I can't find nearly as many healthy options at wegmans and HATE eating there b/c their salad station SUCKS.

        the salad bar at whole foods is AMAZING. in addition, the fairfax WF has "mini restaurants" within the store focusing on varying cuisines like an asian bar and a seafood bar, etc.

        1. re: sarawithanh

          Whole Foods is not all organic. Organic doesn't mean higher quality or healthier. It only delineates a method of growing. Just because they sell something at Whole Foods does not make it healthy in the same way that Subway has some low fat subs, but not all of their subs are low fat. Don't be fooled by marketing that creates a nutrition halo.

          As for the Wegmans salad station, if you don't like it I strongly recommend that you send Wegmans an email. Each Wegmans has a different mix of prepared foods. For example, the Wegmans in Ithaca, NY has a salad bar nearly identical to anything you'd see at Whole Foods. If you don't like something, be sure to let them know. They pride themselves on being responsive.

        2. re: chowsearch

          When I eat at Wegmans (Fairfax/Fair Lakes area), I generally choose a sub. They make them to order with fresh ingredients in either a 7 inch (about $5.99) or 14 inch freshly baked roll (about $7.99) (or you can get a wrap, but I've never tried one). I think the sushi and some of the soups are also quite good for a grocery store. Some of the prepared food is good, but a bit overpriced. I also really like their bagels.

          The Whole Foods in the same general area is fairly new and huge. They eat-in/take-out choices are overwhelming. The pizza is decent and I also like their salad bar.

          But overall I'd always chose Wegmans--mainly because of the subs.

      2. I am a Wegman's maniac. I do my weekly grocery shopping there exclusively. I love everything about it EXCEPT their prepared foods and bakery sweets.

        I think it's the oil they use. There is something in the way they prepare both the salad bar food and the counter food that has this odd taste, no matter what food it is. The only common denominator is oil. Plus, I find a lot of their stuff bland, too. The lasagna is not made with whole milk ricotta, so it has an odd consistency and taste. The rotisserie chickens are good when they are hot, but are dried out by the next morning (so I use it for soup or stock).

        The bakery is hit and miss. The breads cannot be beat. But the cookies, cakes and tarts and stuff, again, are missing something. I don't know if it's that they use margarine instead of butter or the flavor of the brand of butter they use or what, but I have not been impressed with anything I've bought from their bakery. Their outrageous brownies are nasty. They have an odd aftertaste.

        Their new gelato bar is odd, too. It's not really gelato. True gelato is heavy with a high fat content. The stuff they sell is like ice milk. It's just not right.

        It's a shame because it all LOOKS good but it doesn't deliver.

        Whole Foods, specifically the Fairfax location, is really good but SO expensive. Today I had two pieces of butter chicken, 2 pieces of General Cho's chicken and then a small salad and it was $16. Mainly because everything on the bar has weight to it and I like the heavier stuff ;o) Their pizza is really good, too. Everything in their bakery is wonderful. They made a special order dairy free cake for me for a birthday party and it was really good. If I didn't know it was dairy free (and I think it was gluten free too), I would have thought it was a regular cake.

        The only reason I don't shop at Whole Foods weekly for my groceries is because they don't have the selection and brands that I like.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Manassas64

          I really miss Wegmans. When we lived in Upstate, NY we would go all the time for a sandwich on the run. Their subs were great. Now we're in D.C. and missing the good thing we had. Oh well

          1. re: beauxgoris

            You have a number of Wegmans within easy driving distance of you. Try moving to Colorado after having one as your regular grocery store.

            While I've not done a side by side comparison in general I prefer Wegmans I believe. I've often been disappointed by meals I've gotten from Whole Foods (and I have one 1 mile from my current home) except for the salad bar. But, I'm comparing businesses thousands of miles apart and haven't been to a Wegmans since May of 2005.

            1. re: RobynS

              I've been to all 3 in this area, Sterling, Woodbridge and Fairfax, each one is bigger than the last one. They are opening one in Lake Manassas (aka Gainesville) soon. I can't wait.

              1. re: RobynS

                ^^It's not exactly close though. I live near the D.C./Md. border - so a location in Sterling/woodbridge, etc. is about an hour away. Not exactly ideal for going to get groceries.

                1. re: beauxgoris

                  Well, for Wegmans I would do it on occasion. Kind of like how I drive an hour a few times every summer to go to my favorite farmers' market. Coolers work very well for these kinds of situations. :)

                  1. re: RobynS

                    Yeah that's too much work for me. Plus with traffic (and there is hellish traffic between where I am in D.C. and there) it would be a VERY long journey. We're going Upstate to visit friends soon so I'll stock up on non-perishables then. :)

            2. re: Manassas64

              While gelato is denser than ice cream, it has a much lower butterfat content. Gelato is made with milk, not the cream used in ice cream.

            3. I think both are hit or miss on the salad bars. I find the whole foods cold salad bar to be quite good and go great with their breads, which depend on location for sure. Tempeh, tofu items are usually very good.

              In terms of rest of the shopping, I strongly prefer Wegmans based on volume, value and selection.

              1. I have worked at both stores and trust me whole foods is a thousand times better quality than wegmans! The knowledge at wholefoods is great and I would et there any day! I am in a different career now but the sub shop at wegmans oh my I worked there and would never touch there meats they are bottom grade full of fillers and that is why they are cheap . Wholefoods never has recalls you have to be certified and approved to sell or be a vendor at wholefoods and there standards are much higher that is why you pay a little more. Now a days you do want to be sure what you are eating!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Smiles123

                  I have noticed that even at the deli, that many of the meats at Wegmans have fillers although I still love the place, well I love both places and shop frequently at them both however I love the Applegate and Wellshire Farms line of products sold at Whole Foods.

                2. I live in CT and have family in the western-Philly suburbs and am moving there myself this summer and have grown up basically between CT, NYC (BK where the paternal side of my family is) and the Main Line area outside of Philly...I am moving there in 80 days to be precise...and I can tell you with the utmost certainty that I prefer Wegman's over Whole Foods. Now, I am NOT a vegetarian, a vegan, a calorie counter, a 'gluten-fee' type of person at ALL. I am 31 and in perfect health and tip-top physical fitness so I eat what I like but don't overeat. Now, I currently live across the block from a brand new WF (5 years old now, but the entire area is only 6-7 years old - it is an upscale area with high end stores and Luxury Apartments and Luxury Condos and I live in the Condos - my building is in the new neighborhood as well) and I have been going there since I moved here in '08 (its May 2014 now). WF is HIHGLY overpriced. Their prepared food is good some days, and sub-par (to be polite) other days. Their hot dinners and lunches are always OK and although they rotate the selection daily, it is basically a new sauce on yesterday's selection to fill out the Hot Food station's selection. I never go grocery shopping there because an average trip is close to 70% more expensive than shopping at a good ol' grocery store. Their "organic" food is ok, IF you plan on eating it or using it that day, otherwise be prepared to open your fridge/freezer the next day to a vomit-inducing stench of rot. After a long day at work and at the gym, I like to walk my dog and end up at WF to grab dinner - a salad, a meat or pasta, and a side can come to $40-$50 or MORE. They are very pretentious too, although that is a general statement and not applicable to everyone who works there as they do have some great employees at each store (I've been to ones in PA, Boston, CT, NYC and DC and found this to be pretty much the same across the board - they have this self-righteous attitude because they eat vegan crap like the chunks of garbage called 'tofurkey' and 'buffalo soy bricks' and weird things like that. I do love their fresh whole-bean coffee to bring home and grind each morning - that's some FRESH SH!T!!! But when I first walked into a Wegman's 2 or 3 years ago, I can tell you that I had a feeling of "THIS is what Whole Foods should try to live up to." And then I tried their food. Very good, and it tasted even better knowing that I didn't have to pay $40+ for a salad and a few slices of flank steak and a small side of sweet potato fries - at Wegman's it was $20-something. I like how they have some more brand name things, whereas Whole Foods has none besides certain items like Cheerios. I also think the butcher area with the fresh meats are pretty comparable and both rank up in the top tier, but again, price is KILLER at WF. I like them both but I am very excited to soon be living where there is a Wegman's 4 minutes away rather than ONLY having a Whole Foods to go for a quick prepared meal and a gallon of milk that eats up my wallet as if I am eating food that itself is still alive and carnivorous and eating through my legs to get to my wallet...LOL. Wegman's wins in my book. PLUS the consistency is better from store to store with Wegman's whereas WF can vastly differ depending on which one you walk into.