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MSP: "Best" Grocery Store

I am looking for some specific input. I moved from DC, where grocery stores are hit or miss...ones in "nice"neighborhoods might have awful produce and expired dairy products, etc. People often joked about the "Soviet Safeways"---short, sad looking stock.

I have been exploring all the different places to shop--Seward, Wedge, Midtown Global market, Mississippi Market, etc., but I am looking specifically for people's feedback on the "best" locations of places that have multiple locations. For example, is there a Byerly's which always seems to have great produce, or a Kowalski's which is always picked over, etc. Which Whole Foods do you like, and why? I never mind a drive for good selection, so I look forward to your advice.

Also, I went into a Cub and walked out--could smell a rotting acrid smell right away....I feel badly judging a chain by one store...is there a "great" Cub that you shop at? Feedback on Rainbow, Aldi's, SuperTarget, Sam's etc is great ...I love a deal and will buy if the offerings are good.


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  1. I totally know how you feel. I moved here from NY about 6 months ago and it took me forever to find places to shop. I miss Hannaford and Price Chopper and would give my right arm for a Wegman's!!! The first time I walked in a Cub I was disgusted. The store was dirty and smelled bad. I went for some deli meat and found that they preslice the deli items and leave them in sitting the case all day. The guy looked at me like I was nuts because I wanted freshly sliced ham....at that point I just walked out. I have found a few different stores for different items. I like the Byerly's in St. Louis Park for cheese, good butcher's, Kosher options and always find it to be clean but basic items are more expensive. I do go to Trader Joe's and prefer the Maple Grove location. They seem to be better stocked than other locations I have tried and the customers are less aggressive. Costco is where we get meats and some produce and I find the butchers there to be very helpful. Super Target (in St. Louis Park) is hit or miss. It seems like they are very slow restocking the shelves. Yesterday we went for 3 times and two of them I couldn't get because the shelves were empty........saltines and Grape Nuts. Good luck with your search!!

    8 Replies
    1. re: phimoez

      SuperTarget is stocked by SuperValu which owns Cub. That is why you see empty shelves so often there.

      1. re: NordeastB

        True that SuperTarget has been stocked by SuperValu, but Target is slowly building their own food distribution network. But as far as empty shelves go that is not a SuperValue problem but more a store management and distribution problem. 9 times out of 10 if you ask a Target employee they will find what you want in the stock room. That's my experience in that it is a lack of experience in running a supermarket. What is frustrating to me is Target runs the store like the retail side - no reliability and consistency in product that grocery shoppers come to expect in stores. It seems they don't understand grocery shoppers buy consistently based on their meal planning habits not what is new, hot or trendy.

        1. re: Davydd

          I believe Target will be stocking all of their own groceries by the 4th quarter of this year.

        2. re: NordeastB

          I saw a SuperValu truck pulling into the Nordeast Lund's at Central and University two days ago.

        3. re: phimoez

          I live 2 miles from a SuperTarget in Lakeville. We love the convenience and prices, but unfortunately every single time I go there with a list of 10 items, I guarantee you they will be out of stock on at least 2-3 of them. And these are the basics! As a result, I refuse to step foot in the place, but my wife still goes there.

          1. re: Minnesotapix

            I have had similar experiences for years at the Lakeville SuperTarget. I've had a little better luck at both Apple Valley locations for some reason. Kind of odd.

            1. re: fdizzle

              My girlfriend and I tried shopping for all of our groceries at SuperTarget in St. Paul the other day and were sorely disappointed. Bad produce, bad prices... We went to Rainbow on Larpenteur a few days later because we didn't get the stuff we want the first time at SuperTarget. We spent 50 bucks at Target on groceries and got about half of what we got at Rainbow for the same amount of money. I love Rainbow, and I love what the parent company Roundy's did to improve the stores... but not all of those are the same. There are huge differences between the Uptown Rainbow, and one in a suburb like Woodbury.

              1. re: tstein24

                i agree whole heartedly, I dont think I will ever shop grocery, produce in particular at super target, they dont last long and ditto also super walmart... if you want grocery buy from grocery store...

        4. My favorite all around grocery store is Kowalski's in Uptown. They have great produce, a wonderful meat department, and a great cheese area. They are spendy and it is a pretty small store. I also like Lunds in Uptown, but they have less local products.

          For bulk goods, I love the Rainbow on Lake in the Midtown area (not the Uptown one). It has a huge bulk section for grains, beans, dried goods, spices, teas, etc. It also has a great Mexican/Latino section. It is clean and huge, but the checkout can be SLOW. Good place for staples, but I don't get much meat there. Conventional veggies are okay there.

          1. yep, I moved here from Chicago and had similiar culture shock (search for my thread on the price of food here!) I do not like Cub at all. We had them in Chicago and I considered them to be about the bottom of the rung as far as grocery stores go. I will say, however, they do have a very nice international aisle with very reasonable prices on imports. Now that Cost Plus World Market is closing its Minnesota locations I will probably go there for some items.

            I will go to Rainbow for the bulk items. Also, they have really good sales on things like Lean Cuisine or Healthy Choice dinners every once in a while. I am completely jealous of the Quarry Rainbow in NE. It is the nicest one I have seen. I shop the Richfield location, and it is ok, clean and bright.

            I shop Costco (mostly Eden Prairie, but they don't have liquor) for meats, dairy and some bulk dry items, as well as diapers and wipes. It is pretty much the only place I buy meat from, unless I'm in a real hurry, then I'll run to my nearby Kowalskis (on Lyndale).

            Super Target in Edina is a year old and always seems well stocked. I've had a few incidences where I could not get cilantro or green onions, but they tend to have most of what I need, prices are not bad, and I like their private label items.

            Trader Joes is good for specialty products, and we buy cheese and some deli meats there. I really only go to the SLP location since Maple Grove is a bit too far for regular shopping trips. Terrible parking situation compared to MG, but that is pretty typical of TJ locations.

            Not a fan of the Lunds in Richfield. I find it run down and small. The Byerly's in Edina is nice though. Clean, friendly, nice selection of produce, if pricey.

            Kowalski's is my closest store, and I will run there when I am in a hurry but I find their meat selection lacking. The other day I just really had a taste for polish sausage, and they didn't have any. that really bummed me out.

            4 Replies
            1. re: cheetobrain

              We have a great range of options for groceries here. As another ex-Chicagoan, I think our choices far outstrip what's available there (especially since Dominick's started going downhill).

              As far as really great selections, I would recommend the Rainbow in Richfield (at the Hub) for an overall decent selection and really good bulk section. The Byerly's in St. Louis Park is quite extensive. And the Kowalski's in Woodbury is phenomenal. It's my favorite store in the Twin Cities, though it is a real schlep from my place.

              1. re: Jordan

                You know, I never was a huge Dominicks/Jewel shopper. I lived on the far west side and had a wonderful italian market (caputos) as well as hispanic and polish markets to shop. I sorely miss Caputo's, dirt cheap produce, wonderful deli and imports at rock bottom prices. I won't even start on the fresh tortillas! So, I think even for Chicago my shopping experience was a bit unique.

                I'm learning to be flexible though! I think more than product shock I experienced sticker shock. The grocery selection is wonderful here, but the prices are something that took a while to get used to.

              2. re: cheetobrain

                With this thread in mind, I did some shopping at the Rainbow at 494 and Penn last night because I was nearby. Ugh, what a horrible experience. I've shopped at the Rainbow at the Hub before and that location is so much better. The produce department had so many empty bins. I couldn't find any organic yogurts (are they somewhere else besides with the yogurt?) and I bought a lime to make chicken tortilla soup and I swear to god there was no juice in the lime. My husband squeezed it after I did and we got maybe a teaspoon of juice out of the whole lime. I was happy to discover that Roundy's organic baby food is half the price of Earth's Best at Kowalskis, but considering we make most of our baby food I don't think going to Rainbow just for that savings is worth it.

                If you're looking for the price savings of Rainbow I'd absolutely go to the Hub over 494 and Penn.

                1. re: katebauer

                  Organic yougurt is in the organic dairy section.

              3. Lunds/Byerlies is nice for good service, nice smelling place with pretty good selection. Of course you pay on the prices. I am pretty close to one and shop there but have a hard time paying the price they charge for meat products. If you want a thick cut steak at Lunds you have to plan on $20/lb. I prefer to buy meat products at Costco and do some vacuum packing at home. The price difference is enormous for things like steak and especially racks of lamb. For fish and seafood I like to go to coastal seafood's. I think the best produce and fruit (at least of the current season) will be found at the coop stores. I live near Seward Coop and like there new store. Lastly, if you are fond of lamb (especially shanks) keep the Holy Land in your list. Lunds will "sometimes" have lamb shanks in stock at an eyepopping $9 /lb. The Holy Land seems to always have them in stock (great quality) at $4 / lb. Great for their flat bread and hummus too!.

                1. Go to United Noodle http://www.unitednoodles.com/catalog2...
                  Awesome selection of pretty obscure things, and you can buy freakish amounts of spices for pretty cheap. And they have durian.

                  I love Trader Joes for random cheap stuff, and their wine prices.
                  Whole Foods on Lake Calhoun is great.
                  The Wedge, Coastal Seafood, and Midtown Global are awesome.

                  1. Clancey's Meats and Fish is hands down the best for any protein needs.

                    1. It's difficult to pinpoint a "best" grocery store--because I've found that a variety of grocery stores fit my needs.

                      I live in St Paul and will drive to whereever to find what I am looking for.

                      Specifically, I like Kowalski's in Woodbury. I call it "The Mecca" because it is ALWAYS stocked of the things I need (produce, great meat selection, quality seafood, and great import cheeses). However, for my ethnic foods - I prefer the Cub in my area - it's not the most "clean" or comparable to Kowalski's but they have my Holy Land assortment, my asian products that I use in my home often - with variety and less cost. However, parking is outrageous, the store is not kept up extremely well, and I tend to get in and get out. I like Whole Foods on Fairview -- for "interesting" things such buffalo chicken burgers, lamb, etc. I prefer Coastal Seafoods for those needs, and I prefer Supertarget in Roseville (over University Ave) for my pantry items. There is no way I will spend $4.89 at Kowalski's for a box of Triscuits when I know they're only $2.29 at Target, but personally would never get my meat from there. Lastly, I do like Mississippi Market because well, it's a co-op, the service is friendly and knowledgeable. I also like the Byerly's in Roseville - if I'm in that direction over Kowalski's.

                      Lastly, the ONLY Rainbow that I will advocate is the essentially new one on Larpenteur. If you haven't been there-you'll be impressed. I'm serious. I have never been a fan of Rainbow but this one, well, it's brand spanking new - their produce area is pretty good, but not as good as Kowalski's, Lunds/Byerly's...but I'm telling you, they've added a huge dessert area and more meat options, etc.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: snoboardbabe77

                        I would agree with Cub's "ethnic" foods aisles--they really do have a great variety, and I can usually find anything I need to make Thai, Indian, Chinese whatever--including a nice selection of bulk rice and noodles that you'd find at an Asian grocery . It's also the place (along with Target) for cheap prices on all of your canned, boxed, and bulk items. Is it a lovely shopping experience? No. I actually have to gear up and get in right mindset to go. I agree, however, that it feels ridiculous to spend twice as much for the same basic stuff at Kowalski's, just because it's nicer. Go there (or any of the other higher end stores) for your fresh stuff.

                      2. Like most of the others, I don't have one go-to grocery store. For bulk goods, the Rainbow on East Lake is amazing. Such a variety and choice of ethnic bulk goods; items I've only read about in cookbooks. Their produce section is also pretty good. I'm able to find more exotic fruits and veggies than I'd find at other Rainbows. The Rainbow in the Quarry has huge meat, baked goods, deli sections. If I lived closer, I'd shop there all the time. For seafood, I'm fortunate to live close to Coastal. I like the SuperTarget on 77 if I'm shopping for basics and housewares, but the produce section is terrible. Twice I've taken home lemons that begain to rot after 2 days. Once I actually found rotten lemons in the pile at the store, and pointed it out to a manager. The items are frequently out of stock, as I've found at a lot of SuperTargets.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: drew13000

                          thanks for the tip on the East Lake Rainbow! The Richfield Rainbow has a fairly small and nondescript bulk section.

                        2. I would second Kowalski's. I go to the one in White Bear Lake. But I would also note/agree with snoboardbabe's note about overpricing on a lot of items.

                          Still, I really like the produce, meat, bread and cheese there. I don't generally get boxed items there that I can get at a Target, Rainbow, etc.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: BigE

                            The Kowalskis in Woodbury always has alot of nice stuff if price is no object. Try some small stores like Bills imported foods on Lake for a great deal on olives and other foods. There also is deals to be had at other ethnic markets and in the summer the farmers markets are not to be missed.

                          2. I live in St. Paul.

                            I like the St. Paul Whole Foods for produce and meat and cheese. Coastal for seafood. Kowalski's or Rainbow for packaged stuff...Cheerios, Tostios and Oreos...do all my packaged foods end in a long-o sound? What a diet.

                            I like Shuang Hur because I'm too lazy to drive over to United Noodle.

                            Penzey's on grand has fresh spices at good prices.

                            Lately if I want ribs, Rainbow at Snelling & University can't be beat. Not by Widmer's or Clancy's or Whole Foods or anyone.

                            I have been consistently disappointed with the meat counter and cheese counter at Kowalski's on Grand. Their produce is competitive with Whole Foods and the dairy section is better than Whole Foods.

                            For italian deli foods, Cossettas or Broders. Broders is worth the drive from St. Paul.

                            Cub on University is clean and well stocked, but I don't like most of the selection. It's just not the stuff I want to eat.

                            1. Quick thoughts from my part of town:

                              First, I'm curious if any south metro dwellers have gone to the new "boutique" Cub in Eagan. I haven't had a chance to get over there yet, nor the new Kowalski's nearby.

                              And put this in the back of your brains for future use...Whole Foods in St. Paul is one of the only grocery stores open on Thanksgiving Day morning. I had an "oops" and they bailed me out this year. Cub, Rainbow, Kowalski's, Byerly's/Lunds, Target, Aldi, Valley Natural Foods and a few others were all closed. Whole Foods was PACKED but the staff there were in incredibly good spirits.

                              I would encourage newcomers to town to check out Premier Cheese in Edina, especially with the demise of E's Cheese in Woodbury and Mendota Heights.

                              If you live near there, the Eagan Byerly's is one of the nicer ones and has a wine shop. Their seafood, deli and butcher cases are much more extensive than other Byerly's/Lunds locations.

                              The Cub in my neck of the woods (Burnsville...on Highway 13, not the one on County 42) is newer and cleaner if you're a Cub shopper. The SuperTargets in Burnsville and the new one in Apple Valley (Pilot Knob, not the Cedar/County 42) are also clean and well-stocked.

                              You can do a heck of a lot worse than Von Hansen's multiple locations for butcher shops.

                              There are dozens of noteworthy ethnic markets down here (Russian, eastern European, Asian, Mexican, Thai, Indian, east African). It's fascinating how they're all concentrated in Eagan/Burnsville.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: MSPD

                                I have always has good experiences with Von Hansen's (Ford Parkway - St. Paul)

                                1. re: MSPD

                                  FYI, MSPD: Whole Foods and the Wedge Coop are also open on Thanksgiving. I speak from experience... ;-)

                                  1. re: bob s

                                    Good to know. I was going to try the other downtown coops but stopped dialing when Whole Foods answered.

                                  2. re: MSPD

                                    Bummer...when did E's cheese close? I could have sworn that I saw their sign still up and lights on just a week or so ago. I am so disappointed--it was one of my favorite places for cheese.

                                  3. Many thanks to all for great insights.

                                    1. I live in a western suburb and I have to say our Cub in Minnetonka is pretty good. I get most of my regular items there, the basics. My favorite is Fresh Seasons, also in Minneotnka. Their produce is always great and the staff are cheerful and helpful. Their prices are slightly higher - I second what one poster said about Triscuits - but it is a nice, clean, peaceful shopping experience and my go-to place to stop when I only need a few items for that night's dinner. Trader Joe's is always wonderful - again, great staff - but they do get busy and parking is a pain in SLP. I personally detest the mall maze in Maple Grove. But Trader Joe's has to rank up there, especially if you're looking for wine and beer as well. Lastly, I have found great meat and seafood at Costco and I also get all of my staples (olive oil, chicken stock, pita chips) there. Welcome to MSP!

                                      1. for natural/organic, can't beat the wedge, the big mississippi market and the new, bigger seward co-op store is **amazing**! go co-ops! imo the produce sections at these co-ops give WFM a run for their money, and they are much more local/seasonal. i was pleased to see fresh-ground local bison in the meat case, right alongside the fresh-ground beef, at the new seward. looked like the bison was selling better, even! :)

                                        as far as WFMs go, i like the st paul store.

                                        cub is bottom tier, but at 3 am after your bar shift, it ain't half bad. i don't rec it otherwise, and i don't eat cub's produce, meat, uh, dairy. . . etc. same goes for supervalu, but they are basically the same thing, as others have mentioned.

                                        rainbow used to be on the same level as cub but has really been cleaning up & improving their stores with added selection. i really like the quarry rainbow now.

                                        i generally prefer lunds/byerly's to kowalskis-- kowalski's has problems with product consistency and employee knowledge, but my last forced visit to (st paul grand ave?) kowalskis was positive, so maybe they are getting better as well.

                                        i'm fond of shuang hur & united noodles for asian/east asian. for meat, i'm fond of clancy's, everett's, kramarczuk's, ready meats. holy land is a good middle eastern grocery/deli with consistent price/quality on halal meats. i also intend to try out some of the smaller & newer halal butchers on central ave. patel's, also on central, has indian subcontinent staples. there are scads of mom & pop ethnic groceries on central, most worthy of exploration.

                                        i don't go to aldi because they have inconsistent product, mostly processed foods. they also don't take credit cards, and i generally need the cc reciept. TJ's has food for people who don't like to cook, ditto target-- i mostly avoid these places but would rec them based on price, for people who eat a lot of processed packaged individually wrapped crap, microwave dinners, or breakfast cereals or chips or frozen pizzas.

                                        love the saint paul & mill city farmer's markets in the summer, of course!

                                        1. Linden Hills is nice to shop generally. The Co-op is good for bulk organics and some specialty items. Their home store is great for some household items, especially organic baby stuff. Clancy's is right around the corner for great protein. And the Edina Lunds is not too far away.
                                          For bulk grains, we go to the Holy Land in MGM.
                                          Otherewise, the think the whole city has been covered above

                                          1. I'll plug TBS Mart on Portland just south of 494 in Richfield (or Bloomington, I'm not sure which).

                                            Wonderful selection of raw and packaged ingredients to make your own Indian food.

                                            1. Wow! Terrific feedback! I could spend all day in good grocery stores! Whole Foods Uptown is a favorite, their meat counter offers some great "non-red" choices and their turkey sausages are a great breakfast addition. I shop Trader Joe's for very specific things including some produce, always my coffee, frozen foods, nuts. Costco is the best for roasted chicken @ $4.99 but double the size and taste of most grocery stores. I also like Jack's salsa, their pork tenderloin and individually frozen chicken breasts. For a old school italian market that still makes their own pasta (ravioli is to die for and comes frozen in spinach, cheese or meat flavors) best deal on parmesan cheese,mascarpone, buffalo milk mozzarella, homemade sauce, meatballs and stuff you just have to ask them for. It's a family owned market that's been there forever and still run by family. Delmonico's Italian Market 1112 Summer Street NE.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: tfay

                                                i love delmonicos too. in ne mpls

                                              2. I love grocery shopping in the Twin Cities, but I find that I have to shop at a combination of places to fill all of my needs (beautiful produce, ethnic, affordable, etc). I live in Minneapolis and try to avoid big box stores (SuperTarget, Walmart, Sams, CostCo).

                                                TRADER JOE'S (General/specialty/organic food)
                                                Though you can't do one-stop shopping here, the things that you can get are well-priced and tasty. Decent cheeses, some produce, bread, pantry goods, nuts & dried fruit, grains. I like the St Louis Park one since it's closest. I also like that they have a wine and beer shop with a fair selection right there.

                                                MIDTOWN GLOBAL MARKET (Great produce/mediterranean/mexican)
                                                At the PRODUCE EXCHANGE, there's really pristine produce most of the time and way better prices than Lund's or Kowalski's. They keep it local when they can and have an assortment of other delicious pantry items. At HOLYLAND, you can get Greek, Leb & Med foods. I love the bulk olives, olive tapenade, and feta there, and they're crazy cheap. There's also a tiny mercado there for Mexican essentials and my favorite fresh or frozen tamales are at La Loma.

                                                SHUANG HUR (Asian grocery)
                                                I've been to a lot of Asian grocery stores in Mpls, but this is my favorite. They almost always have really fresh Asian herbs and vegetables. They have nearly every kind of soup, sauce, curry paste, noodle, pickled or canned thing, etc that one could ever need. They are much cheaper than United Noodle and have more selection of SE Asian & Chinese.

                                                PATEL'S (Indian grocery)
                                                There are plenty of places to find Indian groceries on Central Ave NE but this is my favorite. There are tons of authentic spices, chutneys, batter mixes, and snacks. Right across the street, there's a delicious deli called Bombay 2 Deli (I think) that serves up my Indian street food faves like Bhel Puri and Chaat.

                                                For everything else, I usually end up going to Kowalski's, Lund's or the Wedge. Hope that helps a little!

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: mmmmmmpls

                                                  Sadly, Bombay 2 Deli, despite its deliciousness, is closed.

                                                  Just to further enhance the info in your post Shuang hur has two locations one on nicollet in mpls in the middle of eat street, the other at university just west of dale. I like the st paul store a bit more, but also enjoy shopping at Dragon Star in st paul as well (plus there is the papaya salad counter at the back at DS)

                                                2. Hello:

                                                  Great ideas...thanks!

                                                  I have a question about coupons...is there any place around the Twin Cities that doubles coupons? I used to shop at a place that did and got cleaners and personal care stuff very inexpensively. I tried to look for coupon policies for stores with no luck.

                                                  Thanks in advance for your continued sage advice.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: jillbcooks

                                                    All the Rainbow stores have double coupon day on Wednesday, but they have a limit of 5 coupons, though I've noticed lately that every 4-6 weeks they advertise a 10 coupon limit.

                                                  2. Not to be stoned to death on the Chowhound board, but on the few occasions i've been to Aldi (especially the one in Richfield) , I have been pleasantly surprised. Once and a while they have just lovely things as dirt cheap prices. For New Years Eve, I found a while beef tenderloin for some wee percentage of the other places. Now that said, it's really hit and miss.

                                                    But that can be fun, if you have the time.

                                                    6 Replies
                                                    1. re: ehadley

                                                      I think we have some pretty good grocery options inthe twin cities. The Byerly's in Golden Valley is lovely now that it was recently remodeled. I also love the St. Louis Park Byerly's and the Lunds on Central Ave in NE Mpls. (really nice deli and meat folks). The Kowalsi's in Eagan is only a year old and the one in Woodbury is their flagship store. The Eden Prarie Kowalski's is also very nice.

                                                      Lunds/Byerly's has some great deals with their web coupons.

                                                      Also, not all Cubs are equal. The Cub in Minnetonka and Coon Rapids Riverdale is owned by the Haug group and has great meat and seafood. The butchers are awsome. Ask for Tom at Minnetonka he's the best! Also the Jerry's Cubs were all open for a half day on Thanksgiving, They are located all over the metro area.

                                                      Fresh Seasons in Minnetonka and Victoria are great and you will always get wonderful customer service. Also, Mackenthuns in Waconia has a great smokhouse and wonderful brats!

                                                      1. re: mnfoodie1

                                                        I have to agree about the quality of grocery options in the Twin Cities. Few cities come better than Lund's, Byerly's and Kowalkski's. We also have an abundance of good grocery store options in Supertarget, Cub, Rainbow, Costco, etc. and we have the specialty stores in Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. The only grocery store elsewhere that makes me envious is a Wegman's out east. The only disappointment about grocery stores here that you find elsewhere is the lack of a liquor store incorporated for convenience. When you travel in an RV like I do you appreciate that convenience.

                                                        1. re: Davydd

                                                          The Byerly's and Kowalski's in Eagan have liquor stores essentially inside. I saw a public notice that the Byerly's in Burnsville is in the process of adding one as well.

                                                          1. re: MSPD

                                                            There are lots of grocery stores in Minnesota with liquor stores but they have to be physically separate from the grocery and you have to ring up your purchases separately as well. In a lot of other states beer, wine and liquor are on the shelves in the store and you buy them along with your food purchases.

                                                            Byerly's in Chanhassen for instance is designed so you can't purchase groceries and wheel a cart through and then pick up your booze. So you are forced to make two trips to your car. You can at Costco and Trader Joe's but they only have beer and wine. I just got back from La Crosse, WI where we went to the grocery store and bought beer and wine along with groceries in one transaction. It was much more convenient.

                                                            1. re: Davydd

                                                              You can buy booze at Costco.
                                                              They have it at St. Lousis Park

                                                              1. re: ibew292

                                                                Sentyrz in NE Mpls sells booze in the store...not separate. It has been in business long before the no-booze-in-grocery-store law and it got grandfathered in. However, I would in no way call it the best grocery in MPLS food-wise. Although you can buy a NE Mpls t-shirt in the freezer aisle. And their bacon and sausages are pretty good.

                                                    2. My husband and I have rather varied food tastes, so we have to shop at several locations to get what we need. When we just need something run of the mill and quick, we shop at Cub because it is within walking distance. However, most of our food comes from: our CSA, Seward Co-op, Holy Land and United Noodle. Shuang Hur was also mentioned on this list...love their selection of mock meats!

                                                      United Noodles
                                                      920 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN

                                                      1. Lakewinds Co-op in Chanhassen and Minnetonka.

                                                        1. We moved here from Los Angeles 6 years ago so I know what you mean. The majority of my shopping is done at Trader Joe's in Minnetonka. Their produce can be hit-or-miss but for basics and organics they're pretty good. Of course you can't get name brand products there so I supplement that with runs to Kowalski's in Eden Prairie. They just remodeled and it's a very clean store. Both their produce managers and butchers are always very friendly and helpful. They have a terrific deli counter with fresh sushi and hot dishes which make for easy meals in a hurry. The other good thing is that their is an EP Liquor store next door which is very well stocked.
                                                          The Rainbow in EP was remodeled maybe a year a go and it's much better now, however I'll only go in an emergency and never on a weekend.

                                                          Good luck!!

                                                          1. I use to live in Woodbury. I would go to Trader Joe's one week and costco the next. It worked out. Also the Kowalski's is really good in Woodbury. I would go there once a month or on a special need basis like ripe avocados for same day guac for instance. There is also a "farmer's market" in Woodbury on Tuesdays if I remember right, it is right off of Hwy 94 and CR-19 in the parking lot next to the Dunn Brother's coffee shop.

                                                            Dunn Brothers
                                                            2521 Hanley Rd Ste A, Hudson, WI 54016

                                                            Woodbury Cafe
                                                            803 Bielenberg Dr, Saint Paul, MN 55125

                                                            1. I like:

                                                              Kowalski's, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Rustica, Cub, Byerly's, the Wedge, several farmers' markets, all regularly.

                                                              1601 County Road C W, Saint Paul, MN 55113

                                                              1. The Ford Parkway Lunds is my favorite traditional grocery store in the Twin Cites.

                                                                Avoid the St. Paul East Side Byerlys...the only bad Lunds/ Byerlys I have ever been to.

                                                                3777 Park Center Blvd A, St Louis Park, MN

                                                                6 Replies
                                                                1. re: gryffindor249

                                                                  What's bad about it? It's one of their older stores, but ...

                                                                  1. re: steve_in_stpaul

                                                                    It is quite run down....service is not on par with the rest of the chain, but the prices are.

                                                                    1. re: gryffindor249

                                                                      Wow. I guess my standards are lower.... it's the fanciest grocery store I shop in regularly!

                                                                      1. re: gryffindor249

                                                                        Interesting. I'm in there somewhat frequently. It's an older store, sure, and maybe looking a bit frayed (that store didn't get the new-Byerly's-logo sign for maybe a year after they introduced the new look), but it's kept arranged/stocked and it's clean and it doesn't smell like some St. Paul neighborhood grocery stores I've been in.

                                                                        1. re: steve_in_stpaul

                                                                          I once had a Pyrex pan break from heat with the artichoke dip in it that I was going to serve that day. The manager from Lunds on Ford Parkway drove 2 quarts of (free) artichoke dip from their deli to my house.

                                                                          1. re: steve_in_stpaul

                                                                            Last December 23rd I almost bought milk there that had a due date of December 23rd. I pointed it out to the person attending that area. I went back on December 27th and the same milk was still there.

                                                                    2. I enjoy downtown Linden Hills for most of my shopping. Clancy's is a nice butcher/fish shop, France 44 for both cheese and beer/wine, and the Linden Hills Co-Op for most of the normal "groceries" and for great produce. I like Whole Foods generally, but getting to the one in Uptown is a giant pain in the butt....I'm looking forward to their Edina location opening up sometime in 2012.

                                                                      Linden Hills Co-Op
                                                                      2813 W 43rd St, Minneapolis, MN 55410

                                                                      1. Frankly, I've gotten better meat and produce from Coborns Delivers than from any grocery store in town. And it's more convenient because it's waiting for me at my doorstep when I get home. Doesn't really cost me any more than a regular store either, especially when you factor in the price of the gas to get there.

                                                                        If I'm entertaining or making something special, I still get my meat from the butcher down the street, and there are (increasingly rare, as selection improves) occasions where I want something out of the ordinary and have to go hunting for it in a traditional grocery store. But if Coborns doesn't have it, Cub/Rainbow/etc won't either. I'd need to go to Lunds or Kowalskis, and I live a long way from either of those.

                                                                        That said, if you absolutely want a physical store, Kowalskis is probably the best I've seen. . But you will pay for it. The owner has several classic cars and those things cost money to maintain ;)

                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                        1. re: shadowfax

                                                                          That's pretty amazing, actually. But, it's not local or grass-fed like you can get at the co-ops, is it? Or is it?


                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                            I wasn't counting co-ops when I talked about local grocery stores. They're a lot better than the normal groceries, which for the most part suck. For me, though, the co-ops are fairly far away.

                                                                            Coborns does sell Thousand Hills meats, which are grass fed where animal-appropriate and local (Canon Falls), and they have a fairly good selection of other local things as well.

                                                                            1. re: shadowfax

                                                                              Wow. I never knew that about Coborns! What other local stuff do they deliver? (And, yes, our co-ops are awesome!)


                                                                                1. re: shadowfax

                                                                                  Goods from Sunrise Bakery in Hibbing? And Izzys, Surly, Golden Fig, Kadejan, Peace Coffee, and Holyland? For real? That's pretty fantastic. The link you provided only lists the names of the producers, not the types of goods. Can you pretty much get anything from these vendors or just a few select items? How's the quality and the pricing? I may have to look into this more!


                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                    click on organic/natural at top navigation bar right below my list

                                                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                      Just click on each name and you'll be taken to a page that lists everything they sell from that vendor. If it kicks you out to the delivery screen, just choose twin cities, then home delivery, then "local favorites" up near the top to redisplay the local menu.