America's Best Supermarkets

You told us, we listened: your picks for the best grocery stores

America's Best Supermarkets
Wegmans
These are the best, from coast to coast, and where America likes to grocery shop.

Unlike most things, food actually does grow on trees, but often we skip the harvesting and head straight for our local supermarket. And there’s no reason not to with aisle after aisle filled with everything we could possibly need from kitchen staples and health food items to household goods. But with different grocery stores on every corner and each offering its own diverse line of products, which one is best and why?

Click here to see the America's Best Supermarkets (Slideshow)

This is the question that we posed to our readers and the American public. To remain objective, we didn’t want to base our results on each grocery store’s highest profits or number of locations. The best grocery stores are about more than that. Rather, we set out to find which market serves its customers the best — and most importantly, which store keeps its patrons happy, well feed, and coming back week after week.

We conducted a national survey with 100 different stores ranging from national chains to regional favorites. To compile this list, we turned to an expert panel to help determine the best of the best. The Daily Meal’s Culinary Content Network includes some of America’s pre-eminent food bloggers. These are people from across America who love food and who spend a considerable amount of time in their favorite grocery stores looking for the best produce, products, and overall experience. To be fair, we only chose grocery stores that were in more than one U.S. state, with the exception of H.E.B in Texas and California’s Ralphs, because, well, they are awesome and, as two of the largest states in the continental U.S., they could be considered a “region” by themselves.

On our quest to find out which supermarkets are best, we asked panelists to consider a few different criteria: quality and range of products, cleanliness, customer service, availability of products, and price. Aren’t these the most important qualities, after all?

Upon opening the survey, we delved head first into the power of social media — mainly Twitter and Facebook. We tweeted at every grocery store with a valid Twitter handle to get their fans involved in the vote and posted on our own Facebook page to help spread the word. And it sure paid off with more than 1,200 votes cast.

While some national brands landed on top like Safeway, Costco, and Kroger, other smaller and more regional markets like Wegmans, Fareway, and Stew Leonard’s made the cut. In addition to the powerhouse that is Whole Foods Market, other health-focused stores like Sprouts Farmers Market and Vitamin Cottage Natural Grocers were on the list. Hypermarkets like SuperTarget and Walmart Supercenters came in with high scores based primarily on their abundance of products and competitive prices. Most notable and surprising, however, is the top 10 ranking of Food Bazaar Supermarkets, which has 20 locations focusing on bringing ethnic and international ingredients to the greater New York area.

You may question the results and think that it’s obvious that we should replace a number of winners with grocery stores you think are more deserving. With so many mom-and-pop stores meeting all of the criteria and more, we didn’t want to neglect the smaller stores, but had to narrow it down on a national and regional scale. Not seeing your favorite store on the list? Tell us your favorites and we’ll be sure to include them on next year’s list of nominees.

We’re excited to toast these 30 Best Supermarkets that are changing the way we shop, helping us to eat better, and providing one-stop shopping to help ease our busy lives. We salute the hard-working people that make grocery shopping a rewarding experience and thank our panelists and voters for helping us on our survey.

From coast to coast, these are the best  supermarkets where America likes to grocery shop. You can be certain we will continue to sign up more trusted panelists and refine the process by which we make our choices. What will the next installment bring? You’ll find out on The Daily Meal.

30. Giant Eagle

Giant Eagle just makes the cut and rounds out our list in the 30th spot. Giant Eagle is a supermarket chain with more than 200 locations in the central Northeast part of the U.S. The store offers a loyalty program that is a discount system and also offers a fuel program to help customers save of gas. In addition to groceries, they offer dry cleaning, pharmacies, and banking.

29. Hy-Vee

With more than 230 supermarkets throughout the Midwest United States, Hy-Vee is a full-service supermarket that offers natural and organic products in addition to national brands. Hy-Vee aims to make customer’s lives “easier, healthier, and happier.”

Click here to see more of America's Best Supermarkets

Emily Jacobs is the Recipe editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyRecipes.


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128 Comments

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I've lived for many years near Wegmans and then near Publix. After shopping all over the US, both are the best in the country. However, between the two, Wegmans is better!

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Trader Joe's has some nice products, but not enough, and the 'organic' section is huge, and very high priced. Allow me this, how can Walmart be #1 on the 'worst' list and #10 on the 'best' list?

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What about Grocery Outlet stores? They are fabulous!

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Trader Joe's rule! I never heard of this market in groovy LA,CA.

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What happen to Albertsons? They just bought Safeway recently. I know people like to bash Kroger, but they own King Soopers in Colorado, and Fry's in Arizona, and they are super places to shop. We also have Bashas here in Arizona, a family owned chain of stores all over Arizona.

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Why compare apples and oranges? Also, most of those stores are regional in nature and are meaningless to most of the reading public on here.

Let's be honest: most folks shop where the sales and bargains are being held and few care about brand "loyalty".

If and when Trader Joe or Wholefood has low prices that compete with Safeway, Giant, etc, then shoppers go there to buy.

In the final analysis, prices are king in the supermarket biz.

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SHOPPING MOM AND POP STORES KEEPS AMERICANS WORKING. RANCHERS, FARMERS, DAIRY, EGGS AND MORE. THINK ...

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Wegmans simply the Best. Speak to people who have had a chance to shop and dine in one. No Contest!

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Trader Joe's number 1, are you kidding??? It's a tiny, boutique store with very limited selection. It doesn't have even close to what my Ralphs or Vons offers. I'm guessing TJ's has paid for this promotion in some way....

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wegmans is by far the best...just go and you will understand

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This list is hilarious. Walmart and Costco over Sprouts? Whole Foods is such a rip-off. I looked at the slideshow and decided IMHO that this was really not the best groceries.

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This list is hilarious. Walmart and Costco over Sprouts? Whole Foods is such a rip-off. I looked at the slideshow and decided IMHO that this was really not the best groceries.

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Stop & Shop in Maspeth Queens NYC is the pits. It's dirty, the produce section leaves a lot to be desired, store crowed, no problem only 3 checkouts open. I could go on................

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Whole Foods? .... More like Whole Paycheck!

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Aldi? Are you serious......never have I seen a junkier place in my life, rivals Big Lots. Most of the ones around my city have closed down.

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At least Walmart is a US company. We are sending billions of grocery dollars to Germany since both Trader Joes and Aldi are owned by the same German family. :-/

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Trader Joe's and Aldis are both owned by the same German grocery family. No wonder our economy can't recover, we prefer to send all of our money overseas. Even billions of grocery dollars.

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For some reason my first comment wasn't posted. According to my experience, Publix is hard to beat. They are tops in customer service which is so important. Every employee is always so eager to help in any way they an. Their stores are clean and in order. Very important is the fact their prices are reasonable. Love Publix!!

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Walmarts.....you have got to be kidding!!!! Everything is from China including contaminated food!!! Yikes, wake up America!! Walmarts......Really???

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I live in Florida and I regularly shop at Publix. I find that it meets most of my needs and the prices may not be the lowest but they're reasonable. I hate big box stores like Walmart, I never shop there.

Aldi recently opened here. In my opinion It's awful. There is no organization to the displays, you can't find whatever you're looking for.

Whole Foods is wonderful but very pricey. I'm happy that Trader Joe's is opening up soon in my area - I used to shop there when I lived in Boston. I will still go to Publix but I'll check TJ for bargains.

I remember that when I was a kid my mother sometimes shopped at the A&P - that was about 65 years ago !!

Julia Child shopped at Savenor's Market in Cambridge, MA. My wife saw her there once when we lived in Cambridge.

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In Chicago land, Mariano's no question...

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In Idaho it is Broulims in the town of Driggs. Even better than all of the markets out in California where I used to live.

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How did Publix make the list at #4. Maybe #100. They are a cookie cutter store on every corner in Florida, with the worst meat and fish departments, and high prices. I am waiting for Wegman's to come, hopefully before I die.

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As someone who grew up in Florida and recently moved away, I would respectfully disagree with you. We miss Publix like no other. While I do love Wegman's, it is a bit of a Disney World for shopping. The stores are huge and overwhelming for every day shopping. Publix BOGOs are the way to go. Yes, they are priced on the higher side, but the stores are clean, well stocked, and the service is exceptional. I am stuck with Stop N Shop and Shop Right, and I personally think they both pale in comparison to Publix.

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That's what I want to know! Publix is by far the best grocery store in the nation!!

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They may be good for customers but don't try to get a job as a driver at one of their warehouses unless you want to start out on the bottom with a low life job and get on a very long waiting list for 10 years

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I BUY ALMOST EVERYTHING EXCEPT FOOD AND CLOTHING FROM ONLINE AUCTIONS MOST PEOPLE AREN’T AWARE OF THE ALMOST UNBELIEVABLE DEALS THAT THEY CAN GET FROM ONLINE AUCTION SITES THE SITE THAT HAS THE BEST DEALS IS ….. W w w. saveblast,CℴM

I checked with the BBB and was told that it is all legit. How they can sell gift cards, laptops, cameras, and all kinds of goodies that we all want for 50-90% 0ff, I don’t know I do know that I bought my son an ipad there for less than $100 and my husband a $250 Low gift
cards for $48Why would I even think about shopping anyþlace else?

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AOL Scam

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It's no surprise to me that TJ's came in first But here in Illinois all TJ's seems to know is Chicagoland. The twin cities of Urbana/Champaign is a *huge* market, yet there are over a dozen stores in greater Chicago and not a one elsewhere in Illinois. I applaud their variety, but their location planning stinks.

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Unfortunately, my city (Garland, TX) has only Safeway(TomThumb), Kroger, and an undetermined number of Walmarts. Requirements to work at these stores appear to be:
1) never smile
2) do not speak to customer
3) ignore customer whenever possible
4) be as rude as you can get by with
5) remember the customer is always wrong (this includes store managers)

A new Trader Joe's just opened about 20 miles from me
and I will *happily* make the drive!

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