Finding a great Mexican grocery store in Chicago requires little effort. Most neighborhoods seem to have at least one option, including many that have excellent taquerias tucked inside. But it's hard to find one as well stocked and brimming with hard to find ingredients as Carniceria Jimenez.
'grocery stores' on Serious Eats
This cornucopia of bodega foodstuffs cost me $5.63. I challenge you to name another place (Chinatown excluded) where you can find six distinct food items, from all across the bodega food pyramid. That $5.63 comes out to 2,000 calories.
The grocery store scene in Memphis has changed a lot since the 1916 introduction of Piggy Wiggly and the ability for shoppers to pick out their own items. See how far the River City has come with this look at a nearby international market. A ten pound bag of duck feet? Check. Liter of cow's blood? Check.
The Buford Highway Farmers Market is a 100,000 square-foot grocery megastore, about Costco-sized. If there was a Nobel Prize for markets, this would absolutely deserve to win. Take the eggplant aisle: Sicialian, Dominican, Indian, Thai, and other varieties all lined up next to each other, in various shades of the indigo continuum. Check out all of the international produce at this incredible Atlanta market.
It's often easy to see what a grocery store is all about the moment you walk through the doors. I remember my first time in Dean & Deluca as a bright-eyed, food-loving child. The beautiful, impeccable sculptures of perfect fruits in wicker baskets. The precise, long rows of fancy chocolates. You know what's on the other end—the "value" places with nary a bell and whistle, the supermarkets that are cheap.
The newly opened New York Mart on Mott Street is like the Eataly of Chinatown. Okay, maybe that's a slight exaggeration. But it's a crazily impressive food destination. Inside this mega-supermarket, there's a huge array of Chinese and Asian goods, along with American products—along with butchers and fish and live frogs, a bakery and steam tables and a rotisserie, a huge produce selection and a bigger frozen section.
If a trip to Canada is in your future, or the Canada/US border is within driving distance, take a look at this cross-border shopping guide featuring some of Canada's tastiest eats. Be warned: None of them are particularly healthy. But you can always rationalize the extra calories by thinking of your shopping as a cultural experience.
It may come as a shock, but the UK public is obsessed with food. British food has a reputation as being a stodgy, greasy, bland accompaniment to beer — or nameless, boiled, blobby things served at school dinners (the possible exception being curries introduced by the large South Asian population). The past 10 or 15 years have greatly changed what's available to eat here, however, and the diversity of people's diets is very much reflected in, and abetted by, the supermarkets.
Brooklyn Fare, the teeny but well-stocked Boerum Hill market with its nextdoor Michelin-two-star-rated chef's table, is tearing down some walls to open a much bigger space. A real grocery store! You can see the construction happening behind the deli section. Wider aisles and a bigger selection of products. It'll be nearly twice the size of the current space, said one cashier this morning.
In Puerto Rico I have to shop around. I love Costco for some of my produce—tomatoes, lettuce, berries, and mushrooms for stuffing.... I go to a regular supermarket for basics (like cereal, milk, and produce) that I do not need 10 pounds of at one time. I visit a health-food place to get my vegetarian goodies, like eggless mayonnaise, tofu, brown rice pastas, quinoa, etc. —MadelynRodriguez
Our shopping priorities go: local and organic (CSA, co-op, farmers' market), then local (farmers' market and Woodman's), then just organic (co-op and Woodman's). However, there are things (like bananas) that I do not buy from any of the above categories. When I lay it out like this, it sounds like a lot of work, but I actually enjoy the challenge of finding foods that align with our philosophy and taste great but don't drain our bank account.
I have never been a daily, fresh-to-the-market shopper. I dream that I would love to be, but using EBT for most of one's groceries tends to cause one to peruse the weekly ads and menu plan around them. I'll tell you, the day Sam's Club started accepting EBT last year was a day of great rejoicing in my house.
I often leave Trader Joe's thinking I've become best pals with the checkout person. They just say the darnedest things. Like last night, when I bought bananas. I could have sworn they were green when I first grabbed them; they were patently yellow-green by the time we reached the checkout. "Bananas are just, crazy. They're IN-sane. They're like the Mel Gibson of fruit," my cashier said.
This gourmet grocery store in Berlin knows what Americans crave—as far as processed foods go. Their American section features Swiss Miss hot cocoa mixes, Betty Crocker baking mixes, barbecue sauce, Fluff, Campbell's soup, nacho cheese sauce, and more.
The Butcher Block in Sunnyside, right off the 7 train, is equal parts Queens grocery store and British-Irish importer—and it's full of all sorts of Irish foods for your St. Paddy's Day needs. Take a walk through in the slideshow...
Need a little pick-me-up this afternoon? This video is so ridic that I couldn't keep from LOLing. Watch it, after the jump....
[Flickr: Comp4Me] Here are the results to last week's poll: What's Your Favorite Grocery Store? » Trader Joe's 33% Wegmans 23% Whole Foods 18% Publix 8% Central Market 8% Safeway 5% Fairway 4% Giant 2 % Fred Meyer 2% Stew Leonard's 2% It was a controversial topic but Trader Joe (or Jose, Ming, Giotto, Johann, or Joe-San, depending on the product) wins it! Honorable mentions go out to all the markets we couldn't squeeze into the poll, including: New Seasons, Copps, C-Town, Piggly Wiggly, Market Basket, Hannaford, Nugget, Cub Foods, Harris Teeter, H-Mart, Byerly's, Dierbergs, Buehler's, and Henry's....
Best Yet Market in North Astoria. It's like going on a vacation in a grocery store. [Photographs and video: Adam Kuban] Best Yet Market 19-30 37th Street, Astoria NY 11105 (near 19th Avenue; map); 718-721-7500; bestyetmarket.com; @bestyetmarket The Skinny:...
[Photograph: Robyn Lee] We spend a good chunk of time cruising the aisles of our neighborhood grocery stores, sometimes even bypassing multiple others just to get to our favorite one. Grocery chain loyalties can get personal, right up there with sports teams and peanut butter brands. We've made a list of 10 popular chains (sorry if we missed a few of your beloved local spots, like Berkeley Bowl in Northern California or Schnucks in the Midwest). But of these biggies, where do you like to pick up your vittles? Take the poll, after the jump....