Aldi Vs Walmart: Which Store Is Better For Grocery Shopping?

After going to Aldi and Walmart for years, I've been thinking about which store is better for grocery shopping. As a chef, I tend to do most of the shopping and cooking at home, and there have been plenty of times that I've ended up at Aldi or Walmart. The truth is that I've never really viewed grocery shopping as a chore — in fact, I actually quite enjoy it. I like checking berry quality by giving the carton a little shake, looking around the deli for new cheeses that I haven't tried, and dreaming up well-rounded meals for the week.

Over time, it's become increasingly clear to me that each store has its own unique strengths and weaknesses. The real question here is: Overall, which store is better for grocery shopping? Taking a number of popular grocery items into consideration, I've taken it upon myself to give you my two cents on the matter.

Aldi has a better steak selection

Aldi offers a lot of single steaks, while Walmart often wraps multiple steaks in a single package, selling them in bulk. While it's true that buying in bulk has its advantages for shoppers who are feeding a family, it's also true that not everyone needs to buy a lot of steak all at once. Whether it's due to budget limitations or simply having less mouths to feed, it's good to give customers the ability to buy a single cut of steak. Aldi offers this kind of portion flexibility and sells various single steak cuts.

One of my personal favorites from Aldi is the Black Angus ribeye. The cuts usually clock in at a little over a pound and usually cost around $13. That's a very reasonable price for a good quality cut of steak — especially these days. The ribeye is well-marbled and has a nice thickness. If you're wondering how to cook steak perfectly on the stove every time, try simply seasoning it with salt and pepper and cooking it in a searing hot cast iron skillet with a little butter. I like keeping some cooked ribeye on hand in the fridge to whip up a batch of steak tacos or make a quick stir fry.

Walmart has better pizza options

If you've had pizza delivered lately, then you know that the prices out there are getting pretty wild. Sometimes getting a decent grocery store pizza can satisfy those cravings without breaking the bank. The problem is that finding good grocery store pizza can be a challenge. Aldi has a lot of wonderful in-store offerings, but its pizza isn't one of them. The crust is dry and almost cracker-like, and the overall selection is quite minimal. Walmart, on the other hand, has a wide range of pizzas to choose from.

Walmart's in-house brand, Marketside, does pizza much better than Aldi. The toppings are generously portioned and there is a nice balance in the amount of sauce, cheese, and crust. Some popular Marketside pizzas include its five cheese pizza, pepperoni pizza, and ultimate meat pizza. But beyond its store-brand pizza, Walmart also offers a lot of other popular pizza brands like DiGiorno, California Pizza Kitchen, and Motor City Pizza Co. The bottom line is that Walmart's pizza selection smokes Aldi's, so you're much better off heading there when you want a take and bake pie.

Aldi has better chocolate

As a big fan of dark chocolate, I've tasted and compared ingredients with Aldi and Walmart's in-house brands, and I think it's fair to say that Aldi reigns supreme. A trip to the grocery store isn't complete without a little chocolate. That said, in-store brands of chocolate, along with the overall chocolate selection, can widely vary in terms of quality. The chocolate from Aldi is creamier and more complex, while the Great Value chocolate has a simplistic, processed flavor.

Moser Roth also offers a lot more flavors to pick from. Toffee crunch, white vanilla, dark chocolate raspberry, dark chocolate mint, and orange almond are just a few of the various chocolate flavors that Moser Roth sells. Great Value, on the other hand, mostly offers just the basics, like milk chocolate and dark chocolate. If you're looking for cheap but tasty chocolate and you enjoy more interesting flavors, you're better off scoring some chocolate at Aldi.

Walmart has better ice cream

When it comes to sweets, ice cream is a top-tier choice. After thoroughly perusing the ice cream aisle at both Walmart and Aldi, I've come to the conclusion that Walmart's selection is vastly superior. Walmart carries everything from ice cream cookie sandwiches and to single-serve ice cream cups. Aldi carries some classics like Klondike bars along with its in-store brand called Sundae Shoppe, but the selection pales in comparison to Walmart's.

I've tried a few flavors of Sundae Shoppe (most recently the Moose Tracks ice cream) and I have to admit that it's left me underwhelmed. The ice cream lacks richness and the company seems to be very stingy with the mix-ins; there were hardly any peanut butter cups in the Moose Tracks. Great Value ice cream is surprisingly flavorful and there are also a lot of different flavors to choose from.

Most importantly, Walmart carries Ben & Jerry's ice cream, which is some of the highest-quality mass-produced ice cream that you can buy. Aldi's Sundae Shoppe sells a premium ice cream that's clearly trying to mimic Ben & Jerry's with its groovy labels and funky flavor combos, but it just doesn't hold a candle to it. At the end of the day, when I want ice cream, what I really crave is Ben & Jerry's and Walmart has a ton of it — along with plenty of other affordable options that are also delicious.

Aldi has better fresh produce

Between experimenting with how to pickle different vegetables and always trying to get my greens in, I definitely go through a good amount of veggies every week — and I've found that compared to Walmart, Aldi is superior. To be honest, Walmart doesn't exactly set the bar very high when it comes to fresh vegetables. The lettuce often looks wilted and the fruit can be a bit banged up. Aldi, on the other hand, has a surprisingly solid produce section with fruits and vegetables that burst with freshness.

One of my favorite things to get from Aldi are the cucumbers. The cucumbers at Aldi are firm and crisp and I mostly like using them on sandwiches, salads, or dipping slices of them into a creamy bowl of hummus. I've been burned by the cucumbers at Walmart before, throwing a few in my cart only to discover some festering soft spots once I'm putting the groceries away at home. When I shop for produce at the grocery store, I want a place that I can consistently rely on to offer fruits and vegetables that are fresh and affordable, and Aldi does exactly that. Aldi also has some tasty apples, so keep that in mind the next time you need to hit up the store (and save your apple cores to make a tasty treat).

Walmart has better hot sauce

As a bit of a spice enthusiast who's been known to make hot sauce from scratch, I have to say that Walmart has a pretty respectable hot sauce selection. You can find classics like Tapatio, Frank's Red Hot, and Cholula, but you can also find more gourmet hot sauces like the classic chili maple hot sauce featured on Hot Ones. No matter what your heat preferences are or how adventurous your taste buds might be, there's a good chance that Walmart has a hot sauce that's right up your alley.

Conversely, the hot sauce section at Aldi tends to be more limited. But, on the plus side, Aldi has its own version of something similar to Frank's Red Hot called Burman's Hot Sauce that's very comparable. Frank's Red Hot is still better and has a stronger tang with a bit more heat, but Burman's does a good job of mimicking the flavor at a fraction of the price, so it might come in handy when you want to make some Buffalo wings and save a few bucks. That said, Walmart is still by the far the better option here with a far more extensive inventory.

Aldi has better cheese

I can't resist trying out new cheese every time I go grocery shopping, and Aldi has some amazing cheese. One of my new favorites is an unusual finding from Emporium that combines cheddar and Gruyère. If you're ever wondering how to make the best grilled cheese, the best place to start (perhaps a bit obviously) is with the cheese itself — and this stuff is perfect. It retains the notes of a sharp cheddar, but offers a creaminess that sharper cheeses tend to lack. That creaminess works wonders on a grilled cheese, since it melts so well. At the same time, its sharpness is tempered by the gruyere, softening the flavors with some nutty sweetness. I shredded some off the brick a few days ago and added it to some Oklahoma onion smash burgers and let me tell you — it was out of this world.

Aldi has classic cheeses like provolone, brie, and blue cheese, but it also carries more inventive flavors like hot honey gouda and jalapeño havarti. Walmart's cheese selection is pretty basic by comparison. If you're looking for more exciting cheeses, Aldi is a better choice.

Walmart has a much better cake selection

Whether it's for a birthday party, a special occasion, or even just a random treat, Walmart has a lot more cakes to select from than Aldi. That's mostly because, at the moment, Aldi doesn't really have much of a bakery section to speak of (but hopefully that changes with time). Sure, Aldi sells the basics like bread and buns, but when it comes to more intricate baked goods and desserts, the company doesn't exactly have an impressive spread. Aldi mostly sticks to highly-processed, shelf-stable items like Hostess cupcakes and Twinkies that you could buy just as easily at any convenience store. Walmart has refrigerated cakes that are much more substantial.

Are the cakes at Walmart going to shatter your expectations and blow your mind into another dimension? No. But sometimes all you really need is a big cake slathered up with some thick buttercream frosting. Walmart can easily make that happen along with countless other options that could all feed a crowd. Aldi can't.

Which store is better?

Overall, I have to hand the trophy over to Aldi. When it comes to grocery essentials like fruits, vegetables, cheese, and meat, Aldi offers a great selection that feels higher in quality compared to Walmart. Is Aldi the cheapest grocery store in America? There's no doubt that it's one of the most affordable places to grocery shop these days. The company also offers low prices that are about on par, if not better in some cases, with Walmart. A big reason for that is due to the fact that the vast majority of Aldi's products are in-store brands, which allows it to keep costs down.

Low prices aside, the quality at Aldi also helps it nudge ahead of Walmart. Walmart is more about quantity than quality, but Aldi takes a different approach — and one that leads to a better shopping experience. There's no doubt that if I have to choose between shopping at Aldi or Walmart, I pick Aldi almost every time.


The selections in this article are based on items I commonly purchased at these stores, as well as years of experience shopping at both. I placed a lot of value on quality over quantity and factored in the depth of each store's respective inventory.