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Best Supermarket In USA: your nominations

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  • MarkG Nov 6, 2011 05:15 AM

I am thinking in terms of a specific single location. and let's leave out whole foods. my nomination is the Wegmans in dewitt NY

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  1. I'd nominate Central Market on N. Lamar in Austin.

    7 Replies
    1. re: tim irvine

      All the Central Markets in Texas!

      1. re: igorm

        Another one for Central Market. Don't know about the other locations, but it's great in FW.
        Selection is beyond anything I've ever seen in one store, everything is very fresh. It can be a bit pricey... but, hey, you're eating this stuff!! I'll cut corners elsewhere.

        1. re: igorm

          Another vote for Central Market(s) and H-E-B Stores in Texas!

        2. re: tim irvine

          +1 for the north lamar central market.

          Amazing store.

          1. re: tim irvine

            I love this place!

            1. re: sueatmo

              +2!

            2. re: tim irvine

              I nominate Central Market in Poulsbo, Washington

              http://www.google.com/search?oe=utf-8...

              and also Granville Island Market

              http://www.google.com/search?q=granvi...

            3. Meijer is the best supermarket around. The Cascade Meijer on 28th Street in Grand Rapids, Michigan is the best of them all. If you aren't from the midwest you don't know what you're missing!

              6 Replies
              1. re: lbaat

                That Meijer is very nice. Its exceptionally clean and everything was fresh and stocked, but I still cannot get over the velvet ropes around the alcohol.

                1. re: Kelli2006

                  Ah yes, velvet ropes around the alcohol. Only in west Michigan!
                  Meijer is still the best!

                2. re: lbaat

                  oh cr@p, we've been in Minnesota and ignore Meijer and also in Angola Indiana and ignore it too, not knowing it we didn't trip on in. oh well, next time

                  1. re: iL Divo

                    Don't be too concerned. I've been in several Meijers and they haven't been anything special. Maybe a step up from Walmart Supercenter, which they resemble (the hypermarket format), but there are far nicer markets around. IMO most of the pro-Meijer folks I know of (such as my Dear Wife) grew up with them when they WERE special and just never got over it.

                    1. re: johnb

                      oh thanks for info, we'll be going back to Angola Indiana in a few months and there's one there, I'll make the man take me to the Meijers when we're there just so I can get a looksie *-0

                      I had to look up Wegmans too, not familiar

                      http://www.wegmans.com/webapp/wcs/sto...

                      also love the Harrie Teeter's we've frequented, lovely lovely markets.

                      just remembering this and it's gotta be my all time favorite > Southern Season

                      http://www.southernseason.com/

                      1. re: iL Divo

                        Thanks for the tip on Southern Season. I had never heard of that one. Next time I'm over in Chapel Hill I'll have to look it up. Of course, you can't really compare chains like Wegmans or Harris Teeter with one-off gourmet-type stores -- totally different businesses.

                3. Berkeley Bowl.

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: babette feasts

                    I second Berkeley Bowl. Amazing and affordable produce selection. In the summer, it's produce heaven. The New York Times agrees: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/03/din...

                    1. re: linda859

                      Me three, even though I live in Boston. But my sister lives in Berkeley Bowl, and I used to go to visit her to visit her, but now I go to visit her and then go to Berkeley Bowl!

                      But that's my left coast nomination. In the east, no question; It's DeMoulas' Market Basket in Somerville, Massachusetts! Love that wonderful store.

                      1. re: somervilleoldtimer

                        And me four, for the Bowl. I rarely shop elsewhere, and when I hit the produce and bulk sections, I do me a happy little jig. I mean, c'mon: 29 varieties of heirloom tomatoes? Excellent meats, wonderful prices, great special-order policies and really, really cool employees. All that AND they do an early-opening professional cook's shopping time, so you can get in and out, which is the only drawback to the Bowl......the crowds during regular shopping hours.

                        1. re: mamachef

                          OK, I'll chime in for Berkeley Bowl WEST -- even though I already mentioned Shopper's Corner in Santa Cruz. My wife will shop at either of the two Berkeley Bowl locations, but I will *only* go to BB West . . . the crowds don't "bug" me as much there, and the store is -- for me -- much easier to navigate.

                          1. re: zin1953

                            Zin, I have never been to Berkeley...what is the difference between the West and other location?

                            1. re: DougRisk

                              The original Berkeley Bowl is older, more crowded, less well organized, and is very stereotypically "Bezerkeley" (think tye-dye, dreadlocks, patchouli oil, and Birkenstocks).

                              Berkeley Bowl West is a much newer building. It's larger, with wider aisles, better display cases and "traffic flow patterns," with more features and selection. (In other words, it's easier to get in, get what you need, and get out -- you don't feel like you have to fight with the crowds.) Although pricing is the same, think more upscale "yuppie" than "hippie."

                              My wife will shop at either one, but prefers Berkeley Bowl West. Me? It's worth it -- to me -- to drive farther and go to Berkeley Bowl West.

                              Cheers,
                              Jason

                              1. re: zin1953

                                Well, your fellow shoppers are part of the fun. But honestly; there are things there I've never heard of; caltrap nuts, for example. My sister, who I dearly love, is not very adventurous in food. When we go together to BB, she gets apples, oranges and maybe a melon. Me? I'm wandering the produce section, drooling, wanting to do taste tests of pretty much everything. The mushrooms? The melons? The tart cherries I got for $1 for 2 quarts because they were a little old, and made cherry soup with? The chocolate-covered almond nougat I buy multiple chunks of to eat back in Boston? What's not to like, except maybe the crazy parking, and come to think of it, that part feels like Boston.

                        2. re: somervilleoldtimer

                          Market Basket in general is great. I love the stores in Somerville and Chelsea. Great selection, especially of non-Western food, fresh produce, nice staff and affordable!

                      2. re: babette feasts

                        I agree! I love Berkeley Bowl. Not only is there a huge selection of produce, but it's also cheap! Bulk section is amazing too. Workers are super helpful and I always leave with something that I've never tried before.

                      3. I second Wegmans! As I type this, I am eating a sandwich on their cheese bread. Soo good!

                        1. Major Market in Escondido CA. Along with good selections in all departments, they carry packaged/canned foods from many different countries for those who are hankering for a little taste of home.

                          1. Major Market in Escondido is the best one closest to me, however, we do drive to Jungle Jim's at least once a year.
                            http://www.junglejims.com/about/about...

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Cathy

                              I'll second a vote for Jungle Jim's. It's due north of Cincinnati.

                              Cathy: You drive there from California? Wow. I love a woman with clear priorities.

                              Best news about the place is this: They're opening a second location next Spring east of Cincinnati, right in my neck of the woods.

                              1. re: jmckee

                                It's a wonderful market with everything and then some...I would shop there regularly if I lived there.

                                {Family in Detroit area...it's on the way!|

                            2. Shopper's Corner, Santa Cruz, CA

                              1. Ah, but what do you mean by 'best"? Indeed, what qualifies as "good"? Price, selection, location, service? And if all of these in what proportion? I can think of stores I love, but if I lived near them, they still wouldn't be my go-to store.

                                And why leave out WF? I mean, they're gosh-awful expensive and can get far too smug about some of the dietary ideas (viz, sponsoring "Fork over Knife" at free screenings with panel discussions). But I know lots of foks that just love them.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: lemons

                                  Agree with the "smugness" factor of Whole Foods, but I sometimes have to go there to get something gluten-free or pick up a small amount of something in their bins.

                                  Also, if WF is so eco- and socio-conscious, what do they do with all their leftover food (and you know that just one store will have TONS!) So do they just throw it all away?

                                  Sorry- got off the subject..

                                  1. re: Michelly

                                    WF does have items you won't easily find elsewhere. But when I think of "BEST SUPERMARKET" I think of a place where I can get 99% of my shopping done. WF does not fit the bill regardless of the expense.

                                    1. re: Michelly

                                      I know that the WFM in West Windsor/Princeton, NJ gives their leftover food to local soup kitchens in Mercer County, NJ. I would think (or hope) most WFM locations would do the same, or something similar.

                                      1. re: Michelly

                                        I work at a whole foods in san francisco. I can't speak for all whole foods, but for our store, we will donate most product to the local food bank.

                                        For perishable things, like produce and food at the hot bar, that need to be thrown out at the end of the night, employees are able to fill up tupperware containers for 25 cents.

                                        WF has pretty tough standards when it comes to culled product, but we try to throw out as little as possible.

                                    2. My God, I navigated to this thread intending to nominate that very store as well! I actually live within walking distance. Makes life easy! :)

                                      1. Wegmans!!! I affectionately call it WEGWORLD!!!
                                        Next would be Fairway!

                                        1. I am so glad no one named Whole Foods, other wise known as "WHOLE PAYCHECK" here in NYC.

                                          1. Balducci's in Westport, CT - I don't know who/how they source their fresh produce but they always offer fresh fruits and veggies at their absolute peak ripeness/season. Their peaches are the only ones that remind me of the heavily ripe peaches I would pick from my back garden peach tree when I was growing up.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: SeoulQueen

                                              When I was in my 30s (I'm in my 60s now), Balducci's NYC was my favorite; however, it has really gone down hill. I speculate the family sold it. At any rate, their catalog/online options were diverse & fabulous--I never, not even once--was disappointed with an order, neither were friends family that I sent products to (& I bought really good stuff--kobe beef, whole sides of Nova, to die for Key Lemon Pie etc). Anyway, Zabar's NYC) is now my favorite. Their catalog/online options not too extensive but of high quality & with good service.

                                              1. re: cbjones1943

                                                I think each Balducci's must have their own list of suppliers that they work with. I've been to the one in Greenwich, the one in NYC's UWS and the one in Westport. The Westport location is much much better than the other two. In fact, the one in the UWS was the worst of the 3 and that location was sold several years ago and is no longer listed on the balducci's website.

                                                Wasn't too impressed with Zabar's (or Citronella) myself... usually ended up going to WFs at the Time Warner center to do the weekly grocery shop.

                                            2. Wegmans. Obviously, I haven't been to ALL locations, but I'll nominate them anyway. The local one we have here has saved my chowhound sanity in an otherwise culinary wasteland.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                I find that Wegman's varies a lot by location. The one in Amherst was pretty good (although they had a strange notion of how to shelve rice) but the one on McKinley in south Buffalo was little more than a more expensive Safeway: no in-house butcher, limited seafood.

                                                My own favorite is a little local "chain" -if two stores can be called a chain - family run, with a good produce department and helpful butchers.

                                                1. re: tardigrade

                                                  Guess we're pretty lucky here in HV. That said, I buy my bacon at the local/regional Weis supermarket chain - they have a much better selection.

                                                  Most everything else, tho... Wegmans, hands down.

                                              2. Central Market in Poulsbo, Washington. Has NOTHING to do with Central Markets outside the Puget Sound, Washington, area. Metropolitan Markets in Seattle come in second.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: PAO

                                                  Another vote for Met Markets. Love them, and am still in mourning that they closed the one near my home.

                                                  I was just in Poulsbo last weekend for the first time in a couple of decades...bummed that I didn't know to check out the Central Market. Will have to get back soon!

                                                  1. re: jlhinwa

                                                    There are also Centrals in Shoreline and Mill Creek. I assume they are similar to the Poulsbo one, though I haven't been there.

                                                  2. re: PAO

                                                    2nd Central Market in Poulsbo. Fabulous!!

                                                  3. Another vote for Wegmans!

                                                    1. When visiting my sister in Mesa, we've gone to AJ's... very fancy. Very pricey. We just got a Natural Grocers here, small, but interesting, and not expensive like WF (which we don't have, nearest is several hours away). It offers lots of gluten-free alternatives, great "bulk" spices (they are pre-packaged in small bags) for really cheap, lots of dairy alternatives, good nuts, meats, some fresh vegetables. They also have a good selection of international offerings. and loads of Lundberg rice!
                                                      I usually shop at Smith's because of the low prices/coupons, and location.

                                                      1. The Wegmans in Dulles (Sterling) VA is absurdly good. It was the first Wegmans in the DC area when it opened a few years ago. Now there are several.

                                                        1. Wegmans in general. I go to the one in Woodbridge, NJ. I had been going to ShopRite in either Colonia or Clark (both the same driving distance from my home) but suddenly it dawned on me that the Wegman's was no further along either or just barely. It's such a more pleasant experience overall; I can get my basic needs met there and specialty products as well. Plus the staff are amazingly wonderful and some even remember me and I'm not even a regular shopper. I also like that they have a good housewares department for those times when you suddenly remember you need a special item to cook with. Oh and their flower department is great as well. Love them!

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: sivyaleah

                                                            Uugh - I just started a new topic when I thought I was replying to this one. Oh well.

                                                            Anyway I agree with all of the sentiments regarding Wegmans. I remember when they first came to NJ - West Windsor/Princeton area - and it was like a food-shopping epiphany! Customer Service is great, their brand tastes [more often than not] better than major brands, and the prices are really on par with all of other local markets (e.g. ShopRite, Acme). Great quality meat & seafood, organic, fruits & veggies...Plus I admire that they're a family-run company based in the Northeast. I've been to several locations, including Woodbridge, and I prefer the original NJ one (WW/Princeton), Moorestown & Cherry Hill. Personally I feel these 3 are the best in terms of service, friendly employees, product offering...

                                                            1. re: sivyaleah

                                                              wegmans..

                                                            2. The South Bend, Indiana, area has Martin's, a regional chain with maybe 20 outlets. The outlets tend to tailor their stock to immediate area--so, for example, I only see tripe or beef cheeks when shopping at one with a larger Latin clientele. My favorite and nearest one is rather on the yuppy end of the spectrum: Heritage Square in the Granger suburb. Local produce, natural meats, very good fish counter (for the Midwest), demonstration kitchen with classes, great staff, etc., etc.

                                                              1. Normal Supermarket: H.E.B., specifically the Tech Ridge location in Austin
                                                                Premium Supermarket: the original N. Lamar Blvd Central Market

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: ret3

                                                                  HEB is a great chain. They tailor to the market of each and every location and are much cheaper than any other chain in Texas. I'm closest to the Far West location in Austin and it's a terrific store. Central Market is great for specialty or quality items, but is mighty expensive. Every time I go in there, I miss Berkeley Bowl like the dickens. I shopped there regularly when I live nearby in long ago.

                                                                2. Publix! They have the best store brand products around and helpful staff.

                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                  1. re: adinars

                                                                    upvotes for Publix here as well.....

                                                                    i have been in a Wegmans once..it was very nice...

                                                                    Stew Leonards from back when i lived in New England...
                                                                    and i liked Stop&Shop then as well

                                                                    Wynns Market here in Naples,fl

                                                                    1. re: srsone

                                                                      Didn't Stew Leonard end up jailed for some kind of major fraud?

                                                                      1. re: rainey

                                                                        Yes. From wiki:

                                                                        "In 1993, Stew Leonard Sr. was convicted of committing a $17 million tax fraud through an elaborate scheme to divert more than $17 million in cash register receipts over a ten-year period. He was sentenced to 52-months in jail. Court documents indicated that Stew Leonard Jr. played a role in the tax fraud. However, in the interest of protecting his son and the store, Stew Leonard Sr. pleaded guilty in exchange for an agreement from the prosecutors to not bring charges against Stew Leonard Jr."

                                                                        1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                          havent been there in a long time...moved to florida way back in the 90s...

                                                                          now i use publix 90% of the time....

                                                                    2. re: adinars

                                                                      Love Publix. I don't live near one, but my in-laws do.... And whenever I visit, I hit Publix multiple times!

                                                                      And yes, their store brand stuff is great. Their jumbo choc chips - divine!

                                                                      1. re: happybaker

                                                                        i spent a year in Gainesville FL -- my regular market was a Publix. When my late father was living in Boca Raton, his regular market was Publix. I think it's a very good chain.

                                                                      2. re: adinars

                                                                        Publix is EXTREMELY hit or miss in my experience. within two miles of my house there are three: two are just awful and one is amazing.

                                                                        1. re: adinars

                                                                          The one thing I miss about living in Florida. If Publix would just expand to the mid-Atlantic, I would be a happy woman.

                                                                        2. Publix in Florida and the SE states.

                                                                          1. +1 for Wegman's in Dewitt New York. Obviously I haven't been to every market in the country but I know that Wegmann's is great.

                                                                            1. Oh, and there's an awesome little market in San Rafael, Scotty's, which has not only outstanding selections and deli items made in-house, but a FREE POPCORN MACHINE so that you don't have to shop while you're starving. Talk about a market for the People!

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                                                That sounds lovely! A move slightly south, closer to the city may be in the cards for me soon. Will check this place out this weekend, thanks MC!

                                                                                1. re: rabaja

                                                                                  Hey, that puts you closer to usn's down here, how cool! Trust me, momma, you will love and adore Scotty's. Try their rice pudding; try their butternut squash soup w/ creme fraiche if they still make it. Try anything. You are gonna really like this place; not for your "big" shops (but if you're going to be close enough, you can just come on over the bridge and hit the B. Bowl anyway, for those.) I'll go witcha and we can chowdown at THEIR fantastic deli and lick the pastry case.

                                                                                  Hugs. Oh, plus and, at Scotty's I think it's a job requirement that all their courtesy clerks and checkers be goodlooking as hell, so there's not only free popcorn but free eye-candy too!!

                                                                              2. I lived in Orlando, FL for about a year in the 90s. We lived in a neighborhood called Bay Hill. In Bay Hill there was the flagship store of Goodings. It was stupendous.

                                                                                Everything was carpeted and serene. The endcaps looked like well oiled walnut library bookcases. The fish department was a slate wall of aquaria. The produce department must have sold a dozen varieties of mushrooms whose heady perfume you could smell from yards and yards away. I have never since encountered a store with that inventory of mushrooms! The seating area of the deli had a full-sized garden fountain with a wide perimeter for casual seating and that was surrounded by tables and chairs if that was your preference. The selection of groceries was outstanding. Once you checked out, you didn't handle a thing -- the groceries were bagged and a clerk loaded them into the cart and pushed that to the car where they loaded it into your car. They did everything but follow you home and unpack them into your pantry!

                                                                                One day, driving around Orlando I stopped at another Goodings to pick up a few things. I *stunned* to see that it was some ordinary warehouse of a store.

                                                                                That Goodlings was the *sole* compensation for having to live in FL but it was a tour de force compensation that I still miss.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: rainey

                                                                                  All the Goodings are gone from Orlando, except for one that I know of right off I-4, near Disney World. It is still carpeted (and open very late, to please the tourists), but it seemed SAD compared to the plethora of Publixes that we have around here, like a relic from a bygone era.

                                                                                2. Sorry don't think it is right to ask people to nominate the best supermarket and then ask them to leave certain ones out, so I am going to nominate the Whole Foods in Fairlakes. They have a lot of great venues that you don't see anywhere else. They have a seafood restaurant where a band plays on Saturday, a smokehouse that has every kind of smoke meat that you would want and a sports bar, yes bar, that has like 20 flat screen tvs that show every nfl game on Sunday and college football on Saturday. They also have great beers on tap and do growler fills.

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: MacArthur Mike

                                                                                    Well, since you started it, then, I will nominate the Whole Foods in Princeton, NJ. Large, clean, great selection, etc.

                                                                                    I have been to all of the different Whole Foods in the Philadelphia area and this one is the best (with the one in Plymouth Meeting, PA a close second).

                                                                                    1. re: MacArthur Mike

                                                                                      Just so people are clear, this is the WF in Fairlakes, VA. This is a destination market for sure. The sports bar replaced an Italian grill concept that didn't quite catch on. It's a great draw.

                                                                                      Our regular market is a very nice Harris-Teeter, which is a good representative in the standard supermarket division. But WFs like this one, and Wegmans (fortunately none -- Dulles, Fairfax, Leesburg, Gainesville, or Woodbridge -- are close enough for me to make it my regular market) are in a different league altogether.

                                                                                    2. I'll take the ones of my memory, where chuck roast of beef was 3 pounds for a dollar, sugar was 29 cents for 5 pounds, and milk was 69 cents a gallon.

                                                                                      1. Ancona's Supermarket in Ridgefield, Connecticut is the best supermarket I have ever been to:

                                                                                        1. If more than two customers are in line another register is always opened quickly. Always. And that rarely happens because they usually have enough registers opened in advance.
                                                                                        2. Top quality fruit and vegetables.
                                                                                        3. They make fried chicken to die for.
                                                                                        4. Fresh baked bread daily.
                                                                                        5. Want a sandwich at the deli and it's not listed, i.e. peanut butter and jelly? They'll go to the shelves, get the ingredients and make it for you.
                                                                                        6. Very nice and friendly staff. Want the bagger to carry your groceries out? No problem.

                                                                                        In short, Ancona's is a family-run store and its quality food and customer service can't be beat.

                                                                                        1. I am a little surprised at how many people are nominating Wegmans. I used to live right next to one in Downingtown, PA, and it was definitely large and clean, but...

                                                                                          They had very few options of Grass Fed Beef. Absolutely no Pastured (and/or organic) Pork. Grass Fed Lamb, etc. Very little organic produce (the only way to buy an organic onion was to buy a 5 lb bag). The only Challah bread they had was made with Soybean Oil...the list goes on.

                                                                                          They had almost no local products even though their are tons and tons of farms in that part of Pennsylvania.

                                                                                          In the dairy case they did not carry either Natural by Nature or Traderspoint Creamery products.

                                                                                          They also had very little whole fish, whereas that other chain of stores that shal not be mentioned in this thread often had a nice selection of whole fish.

                                                                                          However, their cheese selection was great. Employees were helpful and professional. And they had a very large selection of conventional products.

                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: DougRisk

                                                                                            They have all of those things you mention at our local Wegmans -- local produce, pasture-raised beef, pork & chicken... even the deli now carries cold cuts from free-range animals.

                                                                                            It's pretty awesome.

                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                              That is absolutely great to hear. I have been to three different Wegmans...the one in the aforementioned Downingtown, PA, Malvern, PA and Collegeville, PA. All of them were large and well-stocked and very close to numerous farms, but carried, almost exclusively, conventional products.

                                                                                              Linqua, where do you live? (i.e. where is that Wegmans)

                                                                                              1. re: DougRisk

                                                                                                State College. You may have heard of it...

                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                  Yes. So sorry. Things will turn around. Well, enjoy the market.

                                                                                                  1. re: DougRisk

                                                                                                    DougRisk, I noticed you mentioned how much you like the WFM in West Windsor, NJ. (Sorry I can't call it Princeton since WWPD patrols the area LOL). Have you ever been to the Wegmans further down on Rt. 1? It doesn't have the organic variety like WFM, but it definitely carries grass-fed, local meats/seafood. If you haven't been, you should check it out. :)

                                                                                                    1. re: Sabalicious

                                                                                                      Saba,
                                                                                                      I am not sure if I had ever been to that Wegmans. I lived about 30 minutes southwest of that Whole Foods in Pennsylvania (at the time) and can not remember if I had been to the Wegmans.

                                                                                                      However, I am glad to learn that Wegmans is starting to carry these things. For the ones that I was most familiar with in the Philly area, there Grass Fed stuff was pretty limited. A few high end cuts of beef and no (pastured) lamb or pork.

                                                                                                      That Whole Foods you guys have is great. I would travel up there once every two weeks. And go buckwild.

                                                                                          2. I've never been to Wegmans so I have no idea what kind of supermarket it is...but it sounds like a wonderful place to shop. Is there reasons why? Prices? selection? quality? service?
                                                                                            To bad there isn't one near me to find out...

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: Monica

                                                                                              They tend to be very big. Some are actually 2 stories, with the "cafe" being on the second floor. If there is a conventional product that you are looking for, you will find it. They have a large selection of prepared products (i.e. Shrimp Salad, Chicken Wings, packaged Sushi, etc.), they have a fairly large salad bar, they often sell alcohol (depending on state laws), a large cheese, selection, spacious aisles, a nice enough "international" section (actually, probably the best "international" section I have ever seen in a conventional market), a variety of loose leaf tea selections, lots of brands and loose coffee beans, a coffee bar (often with gelato), an Olive bar, a nice enough bakery and pastry section and they sell quite a few different cookware and tableware products including Le Creuset.

                                                                                              The list is even longer than that.

                                                                                              1. re: Monica

                                                                                                Right, Monica? I'd heard of it but not been to one, but now I'm curious as hell since it's clearly the popular choice.

                                                                                              2. i don't think I've ever been to any of these stores, living in California. I like some things about Whole Foods, but don't shop there on a regular basis; more for political reasons than anything.

                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: laliz

                                                                                                  I like that answer, laliz. (re the politics.) But where in Cali. (not specifically, unless you want to tell) are you? 'Cause I've been from all over this state and can probably point you in a really good direction for a really good store, regardless of your location.

                                                                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                    I'm in the Los Angeles area

                                                                                                    1. re: laliz

                                                                                                      Are you close to Irvine or Anaheim Hills?- Wholesome Choice would be my destination.

                                                                                                      1. re: Cathy

                                                                                                        No, they are behind the Orange Curtain (in Orange County)
                                                                                                        I am in the San Gabriel Valley (think Pasadena adjacent)

                                                                                                2. I'd like to check out a Wegmans someday. But until they come to the Metro NY area, I'll stick with Fairway in Pelham. I thought it would be my go-to place only for specialty items but has since become my main market (and their wine store next door is fab too).

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Sloth

                                                                                                    Fairway, especially the Pelham, NY store, is great. Wegmans is great too. I wish they would make it downstate some time soon.

                                                                                                    1. re: JMF

                                                                                                      And I loathe Whole Foods.

                                                                                                  2. New Seasons in Oregon. Fresh, local stuff and friendly, friendly people.

                                                                                                    1. New Seasons, Portland (Oregon). I shopped there the first day they opened and have been there every other day or since then. For me it's my local market -- if I'm making dinner, I stop by and get what looks good and go from there. Unfortunately I feel they now have more Calif and Mex produc rather than the local sources they made their name on , but the quality and prices are still good. Sometimes I'll go to our local Krogers (Fred Meyer) to save money, but I always regret it.

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Chatsworth

                                                                                                        The Wegman's in Dewitt New York has a decent international section. I buy German sweets for my nieces and Indian seasonings for myself. I have gotten Asian and Eastern European and Israeli products there as well. They have an okay Latin American/ Caribbean section too. They even sell the best soft drink in the world (Ting). I could not believe that. I ran into a Guyanese woman once who marveled with me at the fact that they had banana leaves (which we use to make dukunu in Jamaica). Their strongest point is their cheese selection. I am a big cheese fan so that really puts them over the top for me. Also, having grown up mostly in Brooklyn, it fascinates me to see such a large supermarket with so many unconventional items.

                                                                                                        1. re: t19103

                                                                                                          It's odd to see Ting? You can buy it at just about any Stop & Shop in the Boston area.

                                                                                                          Wegmans just opened its first Massachusetts store last month: there's been a small amount of backlash on the Boston board who feel the place was overhyped, but it is indeed a very good store. I actually prefer this location to the one the OP mentioned in Dewitt, NY.

                                                                                                          But my vote still goes to just about any HEB or Central Market location: the one in Alamo Heights used to be a particular favorite.

                                                                                                      2. Hmm, being from Northeastern PA, I was always a Wegman's guy, but now I lean towards Giant Eagle Market District Settlers Ridge in Pittsburgh, PA. Kind of surprised no one else has mentioned it.

                                                                                                        1. I'll second the Fairway in Pelham, NY; wide selection of produce, super bakery, cheese, fish and meat counters, even though the help behind the deli counter has become somewhat slow and a bit sloppy, which may be a sign that the chain is stretching its corps of old pros thin as they continue to expand. The selection of all manner of foodstuffs in both "regular" and "natural/gourmet" is the best I know of anywhere. This Fairway has a wider selection of items than the original Manhattan store(s) and much wider aisles (two carts can pass with ease, which is a big deal for us city types.) Prices for comparable items are as good or better than the standard Stop & Shop, and way below the dreadful and overpriced Whole Foods. The reason I always end up spending more/too much at Fairway is not that I have to, but because I so often say "Well, why not spend the extra dollar to try this artisinal pasta" etc.

                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: foevp12

                                                                                                            Thanks for the +1. Have you been to a Wegmans? I haven't and I'd like to know how it compares. I don't shop the deli counter at Fairway Pelham but I've found the customer service at the fish, cheese and coffee areas to be top notch. And ever since a bad experience opening week, the cashiers have been especially great. I've been to better meat/produce markets in other countries,
                                                                                                            but for an overall supermarket experience I've never seen better than this Fairway.

                                                                                                            1. re: foevp12

                                                                                                              Another Fairway nomination here. I typically shop at their brand new Upper East Side location in Manhattan, but my parents live near the Plainview, NY, one on Long Island, and I do find that store easier to navigate. The UES one still has a great selection, excellent produce, great gluten-free options, and the prices are very very good for the area.

                                                                                                              1. re: whitneybee

                                                                                                                SO works in Queens and hopes to check out the new Douglaston location soon. We got our Murray's Natural turkey at the Pelham Fairway today. It was the busiest we've seen it since opening week.

                                                                                                              2. re: foevp12

                                                                                                                Fairway in Red Hook is the best. Although all Fairways have excellent products and Fairway Stamford is nice and huge, Red Hook has the best staff, especially at the cheese counter. Even their parking lot guys are better.

                                                                                                              3. Wegman's for sure!

                                                                                                                I prefer the one in Bridgewater, NJ to the one in Lawrenceville/Princeton.

                                                                                                                In addition to having a great selection in every department and wonderful produce, MANY of their prices are lower than the prices at Shop-Rite, Stop & Shop, and A & P.

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Ted in Central NJ

                                                                                                                  I prefer the one in Bridgewater to the one in Woodbridge.

                                                                                                                  Unfortunately, I don't live near either of these stores, & the (sightly inferior) one in Woodbridge is the only Wegmans I'm ever near enough to go to. Sigh. It's tough living in a Wegmans-free region.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Ted in Central NJ

                                                                                                                    Ted - what makes you prefer Bridgewater over West Windsor/Princeton? Just curious as WW-P is my local Wegmans, but I live close enough to Bridgewater to check it out. Thx

                                                                                                                  2. For all you Wegmans lovers out there.... it's WEGMANS. Not Wegman's.

                                                                                                                    Thank you.

                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                      umm..... yup says Wegmans

                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                      1. re: srsone

                                                                                                                        Thanks for proving my point?

                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                          i know....just helping..

                                                                                                                    2. Wegmans in Amherst, NY and the flagship store in Rochester, NY-- both are fantastic! Although I now live in FL and have to make do without a Wegmans, I look forward to getting my Wegmans fix when I visit my family in WNY a couple times a year.

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: tidbitt

                                                                                                                        I lived in several different states and now live in Southeastern Michigan. There are lots of nice markets here but my absolute favorite is WEGMANS in Ithaca, NY. When I visit my daughter in Ithaca, I always have to have a visit to WEGMANS. Its awesome! One more vote for WEGMANS!

                                                                                                                      2. When in Seattle, it's the Metropolitan Market in West Seattle -- my all time favorite.

                                                                                                                        In Chicago, Whole Foods and a reliable pick whereever I am.

                                                                                                                        In Michigan City (my real home), its Al's, a regional chain ... Meijers is a distant second.

                                                                                                                        1. Wegmans, any of the ones around Buffalo, NY. I live in WI now and miss Wegmans all of the time.

                                                                                                                          1. Another vote for Central Market. My regular stop is the Lovers/Greenville location in Dallas.

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: swoll50

                                                                                                                              This is the best grocery store ever anywhere. I was hating on everything about Dallas until a friend took me to CM. They get like half of my income, but everything is so good, fresh and delectable. I've not seen a store this good anywhere else.

                                                                                                                            2. Being lucky to live in the San Francisco Bay Area there are many choices: My fav is Draeger's on the peninsula: will get anything with advance ordering, excellent meat, knowledgeable & friendly staff (meat, wine, etc), very good produce, reasonable prices (meaning, whatever is sold elsewhere is about the same price -- of course expensive stuff costs more). Another good choice is Berkeley Bowl in Berkeley but it is far for me. There are some great buys at TJ: olive oil, some cheeses, eggs, cream, nuts, some wine, Empire chicken, etc but their produce is terrible.

                                                                                                                              1. Market Basket is the place here in New England. The motto: 'more for you dollar' means something at this store. Since I have started purchasing organic vegetables and fruits, Market Basket is also beginning to embrace it as well. You cannot buy organic potatoes, celery, carrots, broccolli, zuchinni, grapes etc.. cheaper ANYWHERE! Shaw's, Stop & Shop are no match with their inflated prices. Although they don't sell any grass fed beef or other meats, I still swear by Market Basket and love shopping there.

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: dandeman

                                                                                                                                  I second Market Basket.

                                                                                                                                2. My nominee is Pomegranate supermarket in Brooklyn, NY. As a kosher consumer I'd gotten used to not having access to some things that may only be available in upscale or non-kosher supermarkets. As a "foodie" I learned that I had to shop around if I was looking for quality fruits and vegetables, specialty sauces and condiments, interesting vegetables and fruits, etc. Pomegranate, located on Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn, caters to the discerning kosher consumer, offering a wide selection of gourmet, quality products along with everyday items such as Ronzoni pasta and General Mills cereals. It's a great supermarket and it has my vote.

                                                                                                                                  1. Central Market in Texas FTW!! Love everything about CM. Even their prices are reasonable for the most part.

                                                                                                                                    1. Mollie Stone's in the SF Bay peninsula - pricey but wonderful choices; Harris Teeter in Charleston, SC; Beyerly's in Minneapolis (gotta love the chandeliers and unique window pick-up -- no trekking your own stuff to the car); Giant Eagle MarketPlace in Pittsburgh, PA. I am NOT a fan of Berkeley Bowl (disorganized, crowded, lots of weird stuff mixed in -- although love being challenged by what the heck some of those things are in the produce section). Gotta say, though, that if it's not Farmers' Market season, then Whole Foods is THE choice for produce.

                                                                                                                                      1. My absolute hands down favorite is Your Dekalb Farmers Market in the Atlanta area.
                                                                                                                                        The name is misleading as it is not a farmers market. It is an enormous international market with terrific prices and great selection. Many varieties of live fish, extensive fresh produce, a salad/hot bar if you are hungry, floral department, bakery.

                                                                                                                                        I will drive several hours out of my way to shop here.

                                                                                                                                        http://www.dekalbfarmersmarket.com/

                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                        1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                          I used to love the Dekalb Market when I lived in Georgia.

                                                                                                                                        2. Wegman's. I can find anything there and the pricing is great. In addition, the staff is teriffic.
                                                                                                                                          Second on my list would have to be the HEB in Austin, TX. When my son was living there, I LOVED to go grocery shopping for him there!

                                                                                                                                          1. I'll echo what someone else asked: why in the world would you leave out Whole Foods?

                                                                                                                                            Is it because they don't sell the same commodity foodstuffs that the big grocery chains do?

                                                                                                                                            Is it because they sell locally sourced produce?

                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: Josh

                                                                                                                                              Personally, I don't think WF is that great of a store. At the WFs in my region (TX) the produce is often only ok, the meats and seafoods aren't great, the selection is underwhelming. I don't go there often, even though it's the grocer nearest to my home. I'll drive 15 minutes out of my way to go to Central Market, where the fresh foods are fresh, the selection is enormous and the prices are reasonable.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: mtbwustl

                                                                                                                                                I agree Central Market is awesome. Don't have those where I live, though.

                                                                                                                                                If it's a choice between WF and any of the giant regional chains we have in SoCal, I'll always opt for WF. The one here gets good local produce, and it's the only regular source for grass-fed beef and pastured chicken.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: mtbwustl

                                                                                                                                                  The produce is decent here (SoCal). I love Central Market - wish we had them here.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Josh

                                                                                                                                                    I miss the produce in SoCal so much. While I wouldn't give up Central Market for anything, I would happily give up Whole Foods for a Trader Joes AND a good farmers market. We have neither here.

                                                                                                                                              2. I'm delighted to be able to endorse Hannaford's in Skowhegan, Maine. Their produce section is amazing. They carry fruit that I don't see here in my Westchester County, NY supermarket, e.g., Rambutan. Great wine department too. When I go home to Maine, I love browsing in that store. And everyone is SO nice and eager to help. Rural Maine is like that.

                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                1. re: Pat Hammond

                                                                                                                                                  I really like the Hannafords in Rockland, Maine. I really miss that store.

                                                                                                                                                2. I've been everywhere. From Safeway in San Francisco to Wegmans in Rochester to Stew Leonards in CT, and Piggly Wiggly in Apalachicola and everywhere in between.

                                                                                                                                                  I currently do most of my shopping at Whole Foods, even though it's not really a SUPER market in the true sense of the word and for stuff I can't, or don't want to, get at WF, I shop at Stop&Shop in Boston.

                                                                                                                                                  But the BEST supermarket I've ever been to is Central Market in Houston, Texas.

                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: taos

                                                                                                                                                    We are going to visit our family in Texas for Thanksgiving. I can't wait to go to the Central Market in Plano. Just walking around and seeing all of their offerings is an experience, better than the museum.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: igorm

                                                                                                                                                      Just returned from Texas. Went to the Central Market in Plano and slowly looked at their amazing produce, meat, seafood, cheese, bakery and prepared foods. It was a wonderland for a foodie!

                                                                                                                                                  2. Sendiks. Being I am from SE Wisconsin, most of may not be familiar with this local supermarket chain. Sendiks was a single store for years in the North-shore area; they have expanded to upwards of 10 stores or more within the last 5years. They have stiffened the competition in an area that Pick-n-Save had cornered for years and years.
                                                                                                                                                    Sendiks service is outstanding. Each area , cheese, meat , produce ,deli, bakery is manned with knowledgeable staff that go out of their way to help. Kind of reminds me of the way shopping used to be where you would go to the butcher, the bakery etc.
                                                                                                                                                    Quality is in every area. Produce is displayed wonderfully and samples are all over the store.
                                                                                                                                                    The prices may be a little higher but I am willing to pay more for quality and service. But I also search out deals. I frequent Aldi for certain items and go to Costco and Trader Joe's also.

                                                                                                                                                    1. My supermarket of choice is Nob Hill (Raley's) in Alameda, Ca.

                                                                                                                                                      1. I just moved to Philly a year ago and we have a circuit for markets. International Foods & Spices in University City is our go to for rice, spices and of course Indian staples. Superior is our market for frozen items, canned goods, milk and stuff. Clark Park market for eggs, cider, apples and so forth and Trader Joe's for everything else. I am a little in love with TJ's to be honest, but we don't have a one stop market and I'm glad. It's why I live in a city.

                                                                                                                                                        1. I'll second Wegmans even though I no longer live close to one. Everyone here goes to Whole Foods and other than a few items not found elsewhere, it's the last place I go. I find their prepared foods, including the bbq, asian, hot bar, etc., are so plain and unappetizing. Their breads aren't very good (I'm of German heritage, so I've had great breads my entire life.) Their desserts are meh. I'm just surprised so many people eat there or get that food to go, not even factoring in how expensive everything is.

                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Peachie

                                                                                                                                                            Agree w you about WF. Although their prepared food section LOOKS beautiful and delicious, they don't cook their vegetables long enough and additionally , taste bland.

                                                                                                                                                          2. Sonoma Market, Sonoma CA. The best meat department/butcher shop I have ever seen. Great produce, great cheese selection, and wonderful wine selection (of course).

                                                                                                                                                            1. Corti Brothers and Taylor's Sacramento,CA, Nugget Davis.CA and The Pasta Shop Berkeley, CA.

                                                                                                                                                              1. My order based on the places I've been to on this list

                                                                                                                                                                1. Dragers (Peninsula, CA)
                                                                                                                                                                2. Berkeley Bowl (East Bay, CA)
                                                                                                                                                                3. Jungle Jims (Cincinnati Area, OH)
                                                                                                                                                                4. Shoppers Corner (Santa Cruz, CA)
                                                                                                                                                                5. Central Market (Austin, TX)
                                                                                                                                                                6. Wegmans (Various)
                                                                                                                                                                7. Nugget (Sacramento Area)
                                                                                                                                                                8. Mollie Stones (Peninsula, CA)
                                                                                                                                                                9. Fairway (NYC)
                                                                                                                                                                10. Publix (Various)
                                                                                                                                                                11. Whole Foods (Various)
                                                                                                                                                                12. Andersons (Toledo, OH)
                                                                                                                                                                13. Meijer (Various)
                                                                                                                                                                14. Trader Joes (Various)

                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cgorange

                                                                                                                                                                  Had forgotten about Draeger's! Great store - always stopped in when we were visiting from
                                                                                                                                                                  the east coast. Some locations had cooking schools similar to the one I managed in a
                                                                                                                                                                  store in NJ. Also went to Andronico's, usually the one in Berkley when we went to Chez
                                                                                                                                                                  Panisse. Their stores seem to vary greatly from location to location, though.

                                                                                                                                                                  There was also a terrific store in Portland, OR - I think is was Larry's? My hubby liked
                                                                                                                                                                  their wine dept. Draeger's as good for wine, too

                                                                                                                                                                  For regular shopping where I am living now, I favor Wegmans and Whole Foods.

                                                                                                                                                                2. Wegmans and Whole Foods.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. Son's Supermarket in Jasper, AL

                                                                                                                                                                    This is the best grocery store in the world as far as I'm concerned. Their meat department has wonderful meat and the butcher's will do any special request cuts for anyone. It's wonderful, and the cheapest meat in town. Beautiful produce department too.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. The best in my little corner of the World is ShopNKart in Ashland, Oregon. An independent discount grocery attuned to the hippie dippie clientele of the area. Local items of all stripes abound.
                                                                                                                                                                      http://ashlandshopnkart.com/desktop.html

                                                                                                                                                                      1. Wegmans! YES - - - -when oh when will you open near me?? Live in New England and patiently wait! Visited the Rochester Penfield store last month and saw whole bags (10 lbs?) of fresh clams for sale for family clam bakes. I have never seen this in New England and we are only minutes from the ocean. Just one example of many. I still love New England though! I try to like/love/get used to the local supermarkets but it has been a struggle. Once you know what Wegmans is like it is always a mental comparison.

                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: davefoxdad

                                                                                                                                                                          You do know there's a Wegmans in Northborough MA and three others that I know of under construction in the greater Boston area, right?

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                                                                                                                                                            Yes - we follow it closely. Waiting for one hopefully to the south of Boston.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. The new Fairway on 2nd Ave
                                                                                                                                                                          Wegmans anywhere!!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. Obviously no one has been to the Publix in Boynton Beach/Del Re Florida. The best cookies and cream store brand ice cream, ever. Even better when my grandmother mixed it with red jello. Preferably strawberry.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. Before I learned of Wegman's, I was a fan of the Harris Teeter in Aberdeen, NC. Although it's been many years since I've been there, I was surprised to see bag clerks wheeling shopping carts to any ol' customer's car. Wide aisles, an overall clean appearance and a good selection of cereal were other key observations.

                                                                                                                                                                              As for Wegman's, although I've never lived near one, they were a good excursion, particularly for the juices and snacks.

                                                                                                                                                                              Although it wasn't part of the question, as I've spent a bit of time in East/Southeast Asia, the supermarkets in the Siam Paragon and Emporium in Bangkok are a trip.

                                                                                                                                                                              Jonathan
                                                                                                                                                                              http://buildingmybento.com
                                                                                                                                                                              http://collaterallettuce.com

                                                                                                                                                                              1. In the Cleveland area, I would have to say Heinen's. They're pricey, but not Whole Foods pricey. They just have a much better selection than most other grocery stores I go to.

                                                                                                                                                                                Another place I like is Bottom Dollar. Not sure if they are all over the US, but they're a discount chain of grocery stores. I go there for my staples, basic ingredients that would be at any grocery store. Then hop over to Heinen's for anything I can't find at Bottom Dollar.

                                                                                                                                                                                I can't stand Whole Foods. I was there one time on a Friday evening to pick up a few things and they had some live jazz band in the store. Seriously?! Plus all the employees there are like Apple Store rejects.

                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Atomic76

                                                                                                                                                                                  A live jazz band? Geez, the nerve. Whatta bunch of assholes.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. Whole Foods?? In NYC we call it "Whole Paycheck!"

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. On Long Island ... John's Farms Plainview for veggies,cheese and fish ,Best Yet for veggies ,fish (the stores that have it on ice and if I know the monger)and some grocery items ,Patel Bros for big pacs of legumes,nuts and Indian /Paki food stuffs and SPICES.Pats Farms Merrick for veggies ,Fairway Plainview coffee ,bakery bread some cheese ,deli, and V&T in Hempsted for Chinese ,Thai, Japanese and other Asian veggies ,teas ,dry goods,bakery on premise,hot food serve (no frills) etc. PS veggies include fruits.least I forget Compare Supermarket for Central American and the like .

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Leaving out the Whole Foods Flagship megastore here in Austin, TX from this list is like saying leave out Disneyland from our best national theme parks. It's nothing short of incredible. Flawless, no. Awesome, pretty much. Salt bar, pick out your libation and drink bar, BBQ bar, sushi bar, juice bar, coffee bar, pizza sammie bar, huge-ass cheese bar, olive bar, indoor cold beer room, massive veggie section, good meats, sausages, seafood offerings. ridiculous. it's a carnival of supermarket goodness.