Most of us rely on grocery stores for our daily needs. They are the places where you can find everything you might need to live from fruits and vegetables to dried goods, meats, fish, laundry detergents, paper towels, candles, shampoo and so much more. They are hubs that house both essential and non-essential products that help make daily life that much easier and allow customers to buy everything at once rather than forcing people to make multiple trips — assuming you have your shopping list handy! Of course, these days, many people favor farmers markets for some of their weekly shopping (check out our ranking of the 101 best farmers markets in America), but farmers markets aren’t always open and certainly don’t provide the ease and convenience when it comes to certain items that grocery stores do.
But how in the world can you determine which grocery store is the best in every state? The truth is that you cannot, at least not definitively. For this story we scoured the internet for as much information as we could find, cross-referencing other best-of lists that have previously been written as well as reviews on Google, Yelp, Foursquare, and Facebook we analyzed local polls, social media posts, and check-ins. (Unless indicated otherwise, all reviewer quotes were collected from Google Reviews.) We also conducted informal polls of friends, family, and acquaintances in far-off states in search of the answer, weighing concerns and praise about price, quality of products, and customer service, as well as store cleanliness.
Note that this report excludes small specialty and gourmet markets and focuses on the everyday shopping needs of the American consumer. Still, you’ll find that independently owned and locally founded stores often won out over the big chains like Kroger or Whole Foods.
Check below to see if your favorite store made our list of the best grocery store in every state.
Photo by Lard Belly E.via Yelp
Safeway: Each town in Alaska seems to have its own reliable hub or locally owned market, but Safeway wins here for its consistently positive reviews and its ability to reach and adequately supply the most people. Safeway is also Alaska’s most popular grocery chain, with a whopping nine locations scattered throughout the state.
Trader Joes: Though this well-known chain can be found in many states across the country, we chose to highlight it as the best in California, where the first location opened in 1958. Trader Joe’s has developed a loyal following for its amazing selection of frozen and packaged goods that can’t be bought anywhere else, as well as for its competitively low prices. Customers on Yelp love their customer service, describe the employees as “happy and lighthearted, helpful people,” and love that stores are always well-stocked with affordable items.
Riza H. C. via Yelp
King Soopers: King Soopers is the go-to for many in the Denver area, and the chain has a significant presence throughout the Rocky Mountains. It has a large selection of goods and is cheaper than the high-end markets, making this store a local favorite. One shopper said, “This location is always fully stocked, clean, and always has super friendly employees. I go a little out of my way to shop at this location.”
Facebook/ Janssen's Market
Janssen’s Market: Although it may be on the more expensive side, this is still a favorite of many who call this small state home. As one Google reviewer put it, “I love Janssen’s. It's too expensive to be my only place to go for groceries but it's great for a quick to-go lunch and I always find the best stuff in that store. The produce is always fresh and delicious. Best cheese in town and helpful and courteous staff.”
Don Quixote Honolulu_Keiki-O-Kalani A./Yelp
Don Quixote Honolulu: This supermarket, unlike many others, is open 24 hours a day! It has a wonderful selection of predominantly Asian ingredients. It is loved for its convenience and known as a great one-stop shop where you can get anything from souvenirs to food, wine, beauty products, and prepared foods.
Photo by Aaron S. via Yelp
Natural Grocers: Natural Grocers is a retail chain focused on natural and organic groceries, supplements, and household products. Ultimately, the prices are lower than those at Whole Foods and the selection is better than at other options in Boise. As one review put it, “Enjoy shopping there: clean, well light, great selection and very well priced compared to Whole Foods and even the Co-op.”
Facebook/ Fresh City Market-West Lafayette
The Fresh Market: A national chain, yes, but the stores always seem to settle in with the local community at each location. This store is the consistent favorite throughout the state, but in Indianapolis, the local Fresh Market has been voted in the top five best grocery stores for eight years running. The stores that bested it were smaller, more expensive, specialty food markets.
Facebook/ Price Chopper
Price Chopper: A Google reviewer said of the Roeland Park location, “Great store with great selection of everything and pretty good layout. Good prices too. Tons of fresh produce.” This grocery store also got a nod from The Kitchn’s Food Lover’s Guide to Kansas City.
Photo by Emily H. via Yelp
Lucky’s Market: Lucky’s Market is located in Louisville, the state’s largest city. Lucky’s is definitely a crowd-pleaser, and its logo boasts “Organic for the 99%.” One Google reviewer said of the store, “Lucky's is one of my favorite spots to visit! A market with specialty items you can't find elsewhere, an awesome meat department & deli, handmade sushi & pizza and you can buy a pint of beer to drink while you shop for $2!”
Photo by Frank T. via Yelp
Rouses: The good people at Bon Appétit rated Rouses one of the eight best regional supermarket chains in the county, citing one very important reason: Rouses is dedicated to local food culture, as exemplified by its sponsorship of the World Championship Crawfish Eating Contest.
A local reviewer also said of the store, “Helpful and pleasant employees. Never a long wait in line. Great meat department and seafood department. The bakery is one of the best in the city.”
Photo by Frank E. via Yelp
Market Basket: Ask any Bay Stater — Market Basket is their store. In a price comparison study conducted by a Boston news outlet, Market Basket offered consistently lower prices than Target and Walmart. One reviewer said online, “Everything here is affordable and offers a large selection of products and food!” What more could you ask for?
Photo by Michelle N. via Yelp
Photo by Open Harvest Co-op Grocery via Yelp
Open Harvest Grocery Co-op: One reviewer says it all: “This is my favorite grocery store, and to me is not just a local, but a national gem. This is better than Bi-rite and Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco, a fraction of the price, and a much more relaxing atmosphere. Nothing pretentious like Park Slope co-op in Brooklyn. Just people who care doing it right.”
Photo by Rocco P. via Yelp
WinCo Foods: WinCo Foods is an employee-owned 24/7 supermarket chain with discounted groceries and bulk foods, plus a deli and bakery. One reviewer said, “WinCo offers excellent deals on general grocery store products. Their bakery, butcher shop, and produce sections are amazing and offer very good prices as well as a variety of options for any palate.”
Photo by Joshua G. via Yelp
Market Basket: Just like the people of Massachusetts, shoppers in New Hampshire adore Market Basket. The family-owned company that first opened in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1917 now operates 75 stores in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine and is known for its low prices, generous employee benefits, and good customer service.
Photo by Kings Food Markets via Yelp
Facebook/ La Montanita Co-op Food Market
Wegmans: Though New York City is still waiting for the arrival of this much-loved supermarket chain, the Empire State as a whole loves the chain, and 46 of their 95 locations are in New York. The family-owned company prides itself on offering local and responsibly grown produce from its own organic farm. Wegmans also carries its own affordable health food brand and artisanal products, making it no surprise that this supermarket breaks the top five on our list.
Photo by Mark S. via Yelp
Harris Teeter: North Carolina Harris Teeters strive to be an active part of their communities by working with local schools and food voucher systems. In fact, Harris Teeter stores have now donated more than $24.6 million to local schools within their respective communities.
Hormbacher’s Express_James A./Yelp
Jungle Jim’s International Market: With more than 200,000 square feet of all the foodstuffs you can imagine, Jungle Jim’s International Market in Ohio is like a grocery store theme park. As one reviewer from Cincinnati named Nancy said, “THIS is the stop all my out of town visitors insist on seeing. You can find wonders and treasures and oddities… You will be distracted by all the shiny things. PLUS, the selection of beer, wine, cheese and even butter is amazing. Oh, and an acre of produce...did I forget to mention that?”
Photo by Andy W. via Yelp
Crest Fresh Market: According to its website, Crest Fresh Market is the “Home of Rock Bottom Prices,” a fact its shoppers absolutely love. A Google reviewer recently posted, “You have to go to Crest in OK. The most well stocked grocery store with the kindest staff. Unlike the other big name stores, this one still feels family oriented. They always run great specials as well.”
Photo by Derek B. via Yelp
Giant Food Stores: “Great selection of name brand and store brand items. Very nice employees and a nice interior. Although not the 'hippest' looking inside, the lower costs and excellent customer service more than makes up for a more plain looking store,” local Robert Britton said.
Facebook/ Eastside Marketplace
Eastside Marketplace: “Great local market wonderful staff affordable food much better than any other supermarket in all of Providence,” one Providence local said. Eastside Marketplace is also locally owned and has an expansive organic produce section that rivals that of Whole Foods.
Photo by The Turnip Truck Urban Fare via Yelp
The Turnip Truck: The people of Nashville love their Publix and Whole Foods, but The Turnip Truck deserves the title of Best Market. The locally owned store has two locations and places a serious emphasis on sourcing locally. Reviewer Jason King said, “This is a nice natural food store with some great ready-to-eat meal options. The prices are reasonable (especially when compared to other natural food markets), and they always seem to have demos and samples out.”
Photo by Scott L. via Yelp
H-E-B: Texans are just wild about their H-E-B grocery stores. Even the writer of one Thrillist article about the most popular grocery stores had to mention that he was “severely disappointed that H-E-B isn't the most popular chain in Texas.” (That title belongs to Walmart.) The chain also scores high marks for treating their employees well, as H-E-B topped Indeed.com’s list of best retail employers in 2017.
To reinforce this H-E-B love, another reviewer said of the store, “HEB is the best grocery store in town, bar none. Which is probably why it's always so busy. Truthfully this is the only downside to shopping here. Weekends are especially bad with pretty long lines at every open register. They do the best they can however, and the staff is always friendly, so I don't mind the wait. A byproduct of being great is that you are also popular.”
Photo by K K. via Yelp
Harmons: “Harmons is almost untouchable in quality in Utah from the rest of the grocery stores. They pride themselves on fresh food and a large variety of it,” a reviewer said on Google. As an extra step toward quality, Harmons also sends its bakers to a top professional bread baking school in San Francisco to make sure the people of downtown Salt Lake City are getting great products.
Photo by Ellwood Thompson’s via Yelp
Ellwood Thompson’s: Easily the best reviewed store in Richmond, Ellwood Thompson’s handily sweeps the title in Virginia. Google reviewer Eric Asplund said, “Ellwood Thompson's is a mainstay of Richmond Grocery Stores. It has seemingly been around forever. They sell high quality organic and health foods, as well as a wide selection of delicious prepared foods. This is a high end grocery store, but you will find that the prices are worth it.”
Photo by PCC Natural Markets - Fremont via Yelp
PCC Market: City Voter, Google, Foursquare, and Yelp all hold this market in very high regard. It does get knocked for the high prices and lack of parking, but overall, PCC Market delivers an awesome product that keeps its customers coming back for more.
Facebook/Capitol Market - Charleston, WV
Capitol Market: In the heart of West Virginia’s capital city of Charleston, Capitol Market is serving the community. Built from an old transfer dock, the market is a year-round affair and has an eclectic collection of indoor shops featuring fresh fish, meat, and produce. Yes, this is technically a farmers market, but this grocery is top rated on Yelp and other conversation boards. As one Google reviewer said, “WV finest. An excellent farmers market, top notch wine shop, great meat market…So many local farmers! A great place to visit every day!”
Photo by Ken C. via Yelp
Woodman’s Markets: A clear winner in Madison, Woodman’s is the place to go for all your needs on the cheap. One local said, “I love Woodman’s. This is the cheapest grocery store in Madison and it's open 24/7. Produce is good; I never really have trouble finding something fresh.”
Photo by Casey D. via Yelp
King Soopers: Wyoming’s capital city hosts just a few grocery stores, but reviews on Google, Yelp, and Foursquare indicate that King Soopers reigns supreme. A local review on Foursquare said, “Easily the best quality and widest selection (and most affordable!) of organic veggies in Cheyenne!” For more great sources of fresh fruits and vegetables, check our ranking of the 101 best farmers markets in America.
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