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Just wondering... what areas of town have the "best" grocery stores? what areas have the worst??

Please state what area town you live in, and which grcery stores you use the most. If it is a chain store (HEB, Kroger, etc.) how does it compare to other franchises in other parts of town?? it would be great to see which areas of town have the best grocers.

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Just to start off...

I live in the East End/Broadmoor area. My normal grocery stores are HEB, West Gray Kroger and Fiesta...

My closest HEB is at 610/I45s. It's ok, but there are some things that are a bit sub-standard when compared to other HEBs around town. The produce selection tends to be a bit disappointing, and sometimes their selection of frozen foods is less than other stores. So I do shop here regularly, but I wish it were better. This is an "ok" HEB, but I've seen some that are way better.

My closest Fiesta is on S. Wayside. This store is not very good... it's small, and very regional. There's no international selection like the Fiesta over on S. Main. I've noticed that it has gotten better in the last month or so, but I still don't regularly shop here. It's a real shame too, b/c this place is like 7 blocks away from me... I don't need a car to get here at all! Not a great Fiesta :(

My closest Kroger is actually the one on Cullen st. at Polk, but I don't shop here very often (unless I have to go get like one or two items). Mostly, I use the Kroger on West Gray to do the majority of my shopping. I love the selection there, and the workers are normally very halpful. It's also nice to have fresh sushi, a very good deli, and excellent seafood area. This is one of the best Krogers around.

Last but not least, there is actually a grocery/convenience store right behind my house (I know... weird for Houston). I do shop there, but obviously not for major grocery runs. Mostly just to go and pick up a drink or one or two other items.

Edited by totheskies
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I live in East End/Broadmoor too. The appalling lack of a good grocery store in this area is always a topic of conversation among locals. Most of my meals are prepared from scratch at home and I buy few convenience foods.

The Gulfgate HEB is my primary grocery store by default as the local Fiesta and Sellers just don't cut it. If there are certain items I want at Kroger, I usually go to the one on Montrose - it's a short drive down Elgin/Westheimer and the dinky one on Polk is for emergencies. When the Randalls downtown has specials on several things I need, I'll go there. For wine and spirits only, it's Spec's downtown - their produce is way overpriced and not the freshest.

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The West U/Med Ctr area has many selections. There are two Randall's, two Kroger's (one is former Albertson's), a Rice Epicurean, Whole Foods, a giant Fiesta, Seller's Bros., Target/Archer Farms (or whatever). Until recently, there was a Davis' Food City on Stella.

I can't wait until the new HEB on Buffalo opens!!

I don't have a devotion to any particular store, I just go where the sales are that week.

Edited by rsb320
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The Kroger on OST/Cambridge for run-of-the-mill stuff, sometimes the Kroger on Kirby if the crowds aren't too bad. Fiesta on S Main for produce and international, and once in a while the HEB in Bellaire, but it's become more disappointing lately. I'll go to the Whole Foods on Alabama or Bellaire if I'm in the mood, which isn't often. To make a well-rounded trip, it seems like I need to hit up Fiesta and Kroger - I'd be completely satisfied with shopping if Fiesta had more what I wanted in everything but produce. Going to try bypassing that this week and stocking up at Canino's - we'll see how that goes.

ps - does anyone shop at the Rice Epicurean on Holcombe anymore besides my mom? :P

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I live at Memorial and the Beltway. I usually shop at the Randall's right there (in Town & Country Village). The checkers, butchers, baggers, managers, etc. have been there for as long as the store has - everybody knows everyone else's name and people are incredibly nice. The prices can be a bit high (especially on produce), but that's why God made Randall's cards.

I used to love shopping at the pantry H-E-B on Dairy Ashford and Memorial because it was so compact but had everything I needed - in and out in 15 minutes. But it's become very downmarket and a bit dirty lately. Hate to be the douchebag here, but it's mostly because the folks from the apartments in the area have started shopping there.

Won't set foot in the giant H-E-B at Bunker Hill and I-10 after a few tries. It's far too big. Don't need Barbie dolls and lawn chairs with my groceries. Hate that concept.

LOVE, love, love Canino's on Airline. That's where I do most of my produce shopping - stock up on the weekends and you're good to go. :)

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I live in West Galveston County. We've got the new super huge HEB on 1-45 and FM 646. It's got everthing including a tortilla shop. It's so big I feel like I'm shopping inside the Relaint Center. Then there's the enlarged Super Kroger at Dickinson. It's got the expected goods. I prefer it like it was though, before they took in the vacated Walgreens space next door. I knew were everthing was back then.

We also have a normal sized HEB in Santa Fe. It is convenient but my all time favorite is the Big Chief on Highway 6. This is a first class grocery store just like you all remember them used to be. It's got all of the current updates including a deli and bakery. But what I like is the check-outs. You never have to wait, and there are no "self check" out lines. You can choose between paper or plastic and not only do they sack your groceries, they take them to your car. These sackers are courtious and wear white shirts and black ties. The prices are comperable to HEB and they carry Seaport Coffee too.

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Randall's at Memorial and The Beltway. However, watch the dates on the bread there.

I will go to the HEB on Bunker Hill on the way back from school drop off, but just to the Faux Central Market side. The other half is like Walmart.

OT: that whole Bunker Hill complex is a nice, one stop shop place. Now with Academy there and Petsmart moving over to it, it's rather nice.

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I live in Montrose, so the stores that I frequent are Fiesta on Dunlavy, Randall$ on Westheimer and Shephard and Krogers on West Gray. I do the bulk shopping at the Fiesta because of low prices (and for a small store, that particular Fiesta has an amazing wide selection, even frozen Indian dinners). The Randalls is closest to me, but we treat it bascially like a convenience store due to its high prices. The Krogers is somewhere in the middle. I hardly shop at HEB stores due to the fact that there is no HEB store in Montrose. We also shop at Canino's for produce.

Grocery stores that I go to now and then: Spec's in Midtown, Central Market and Rice Epicurean for occasional gourmet items. I also go to Daido's, the Japanese food store (the only one in HOuston as far as I know) on Westheimer for sashimi and other Japanese foods. Also, Indian Grocers in "Little India" for Indian groceries.

I don't go to Whole Foods very much due to its high prices...and not to mention, it has this high yuppie factor that is a tad annoying. :-)

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No fair! In College Station-Bryan, there's really only a couple of stores...three Krogers, all nice (except one, which is less nice but still okay), two H-E-Bs (both nice and big), one Albertson's (which I've never been to), and maybe an odd specimen I'm not aware of.

There's a Wal-Mart Supercenter with fair enough cleanliness and prices, but the people there are scary.

Edited by IronTiger
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I live near 288 and S. MacGregor. The closest Kroger is the one located at Cambridge and OST. It's a decent store, not "hood" with trash scattered about. You can tell it was built in the 80s, but that doesn't matter as long as they have what I need. However, the nicest Kroger stores I've been to is the one located on Buffalo Speedway across from where Luby's used to be, and the brand new one at 288 and FM 2234.

The nearest HEB is located at OST and Scott. It is the most piss poor grocery store I've ever been to. The HEB may be a mile away from me, but I refuse to shop there. I haven't been to too many other HEBs, but sometimes I'll stop at the HEB Pantry on S. Braeswood and Chimney Rock if I'm in the area and need to pick up something.

The only Wal-Mart grocery store I go to is the one on Hillcroft near S. Braeswood. Good prices, and despite being near the infamous "Hood-Mart", it's nowhere near as rambunctious as the Hood-Mart is.

The closest Fiesta is at Wheeler and San Jacinto, but I went in there only once about about 15 years ago when I was a little boy, and that was enough for me. The Fiesta at OST and Kirby is the one I go to instead. It's a decent store, and probably has the best seafood department.

Randalls is too rich for my blood. I'll go there when I need a cake. The closest one is downtown and I've been to it once and it's nice, but I prefer the one located on Holcombe at Buffalo Speedway.

Edited by JLWM8609
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The nearest HEB is located at OST and Scott. It is the most piss poor grocery store I've ever been to. The HEB may be a mile away from me, but I refuse to shop there. I haven't been to too many other HEBs, but sometimes I'll stop at the HEB Pantry on S. Braeswood and Chimney Rock if I'm in the area and need to pick up something.

You gotta admit that the HEB on Scott and OST is somewhat better than it was as an HEB Pantry. But yeah, despite it being the closest big grocery store to us, we don't go very often...maybe 3 or 4 times a year. On the plus side, the lines at the Frenchy's inside are WAY faster than the ones up the street at the original Frenchy's.

We do most of our shopping at the Kroger's on OST at Cambridge. I've always been a Kroger's guy...I grew up with it. Conversely, I've never been able to stomach being inside a Randall's for very long. I guess that for the longest time I had no need to go in there, since they didn't sell beer or smokes.

I probably shop at the KG Food Store on Tierwester just as often as Kroger's...but just for a few things like cokes, a few produce items, some GREAT spicy boudin, canned goods, snacks. It's a 5-minute walk from the house, so it's good for a $10 or $15 grocery trip.

For full-on grocery shopping we also hit the SuperTarget on South Main sometimes. It took me a little getting used to, but I've really grown to like a lot of their Archer Farms frozen foods. Very interesting variety.

We do hit the Gulfgate HEB sometimes too. I really like the store, I just wish there were fewer people inside it! Maybe I only hit it on weekends or something, but everytime I go, it's tough to maneuver around that store. The selection is light-years ahead of the HEB on OST/Scott, though. In general I really like HEB's, and if there was a full-size one closer than 5 miles, I'd hit it all the time...but the old HEB Pantry Foods are pretty crazzappy.

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There used to be Big Chiefs in Baytown and Highlands (and maybe Crosby) in the 70's. I wonder if the one in Santa Fe is/was related.

I've wondered that myself, but I always thought it was just an independent grocer's alliance that has a store brand level of membership, kind of like the IGA supermarkets of days past. However, I Googled Big Chief Grocery Stores and only got the one here in Texas. It also brought up one in Virginia, and one in Pennsylvania. I do remember the one in Highlands, because Santa Fe High School was in the same UIL district as Channelview ISD for awhile.

I plan on asking the manager if they were affiliated with the Baytown and Highlands stores next time I'm in there because it shows his name as also president of the company. I see him out on the sales floor all of the time.

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I've wondered that myself, but I always thought it was just an independent grocer's alliance that has a store brand level of membership, kind of like the IGA supermarkets of days past. However, I Googled Big Chief Grocery Stores and only got the one here in Texas. It also brought up one in Virginia, and one in Pennsylvania. I do remember the one in Highlands, because Santa Fe High School was in the same UIL district as Channelview ISD for awhile.

I plan on asking the manager if they were affiliated with the Baytown and Highlands stores next time I'm in there because it shows his name as also president of the company. I see him out on the sales floor all of the time.

Yeah..it might have been an alliance like IGA or (I think) Minimax

My memory is that the pharmacies there were a big deal. Maybe they were the first pharmacies in grocery stores? Or maybe they started out as a pharmacy and expanded to groceries? or it may just be my imagination :P

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I live near 288 and S. MacGregor. The closest Kroger is the one located at Cambridge and OST. It's a decent store, not "hood" with trash scattered about. You can tell it was built in the 80s, but that doesn't matter as long as they have what I need. However, the nicest Kroger stores I've been to is the one located on Buffalo Speedway across from where Luby's used to be, and the brand new one at 288 and FM 2234.

The nearest HEB is located at OST and Scott. It is the most piss poor grocery store I've ever been to. The HEB may be a mile away from me, but I refuse to shop there. I haven't been to too many other HEBs, but sometimes I'll stop at the HEB Pantry on S. Braeswood and Chimney Rock if I'm in the area and need to pick up something.

The only Wal-Mart grocery store I go to is the one on Hillcroft near S. Braeswood. Good prices, and despite being near the infamous "Hood-Mart", it's nowhere near as rambunctious as the Hood-Mart is.

The closest Fiesta is at Wheeler and San Jacinto, but I went in there only once about about 15 years ago when I was a little boy, and that was enough for me. The Fiesta at OST and Kirby is the one I go to instead. It's a decent store, and probably has the best seafood department.

Randalls is too rich for my blood. I'll go there when I need a cake. The closest one is downtown and I've been to it once and it's nice, but I prefer the one located on Holcombe at Buffalo Speedway.

I forgot to mention, when I want some nicer than usual produce, I'll also go to Canino's out on Airline.

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Except for Canino's (always the place for produce), it's not about the store, it's about the weekly specials. Every week we check out the mailers they send, and depending on the best meat specials we make our plans to hit one or two stores. This week it was Randall's, with $3.77/lb bone-in ribeyes and Fiesta with $3.49/lb super jumbo shrimp. Usually we pick up a chicken and a pork package to go along with, of course checking sale prices. Fish or shrimp once/week as well. On weeks where there are crappy sales we stick to dark meat chicken and boneful pork chops, they usually stay cheap.

Our rotation includes Kroger (Shepherd 11th 11th), Randall's (Oak Forest), Foodarama (W 18th), and Fiesta. I could care less that 3 out of 4 of those are old and kind of dingy, I go for deals. The baggers at all of them are clueless as usual. Foodarama cashiers are great, they've let me slide by twice on the $10 minumum purchase when I'm buying the spare ribs special of the week.

For non-perishables we try to do Wal-mart (290 @ Hollister), since we don't eat many of those it's not hard to go once a month.

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I live near 288 and S. MacGregor. The closest Kroger is the one located at Cambridge and OST. It's a decent store, not "hood" with trash scattered about. You can tell it was built in the 80s, but that doesn't matter as long as they have what I need. However, the nicest Kroger stores I've been to is the one located on Buffalo Speedway across from where Luby's used to be, and the brand new one at 288 and FM 2234.

This Kroger was originally a Safeway and then later an Appletree. I shopped there when I lived over that way in the 80's when it was fairly new. I think the Rice Epicurean on Holcombe/Bellaire was once those stores also. I agree about the Fiesta @ Reliant. You can't beat the fish market. The produce isn't great, but it's dirt cheap.

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There aren't that many Super Targets in Houston - is the S Main location the only one? I live near there and it's okay, but I go maybe only every few months or so (not a big-box frequenter if possible).

And yeah, Albertsons left some years ago..

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This Kroger was originally a Safeway and then later an Appletree. I shopped there when I lived over that way in the 80's when it was fairly new. I think the Rice Epicurean on Holcombe/Bellaire was once those stores also. I agree about the Fiesta @ Reliant. You can't beat the fish market. The produce isn't great, but it's dirt cheap.

I remember those old Safeway days. It turned into Apple Tree in the late 80s and became Kroger in 1994. It's now a Kroger "Signature", but I don't know what exactly denotes it as such.

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I live near 288 and S. MacGregor. The closest Kroger is the one located at Cambridge and OST. It's a decent store, not "hood" with trash scattered about. You can tell it was built in the 80s, but that doesn't matter as long as they have what I need. However, the nicest Kroger stores I've been to is the one located on Buffalo Speedway across from where Luby's used to be, and the brand new one at 288 and FM 2234.

I live near the Kroger at Main and Kirby but took a ride to the one on Buffalo Speedway the other day... wow, I am so going to that one any more... at least for bigger orders... such a nice store!

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I remember those old Safeway days. It turned into Apple Tree in the late 80s and became Kroger in 1994. It's now a Kroger "Signature", but I don't know what exactly denotes it as such.

Yeah, I've wondered why the OST one is a signature store.

This is what an article in the HBJ says (1998) about the new Signature line:

Building costs for a new, 64,000-square-foot Signature store average between $6 million and $8 million, he said. Conversion costs on existing stores -- which average 59,000 square feet -- are about $1 million.

[...]

Signature stores expand upon the original Kroger Food Stores with an in-store supervised play area called "Huggieland" that gives shoppers a place to deposit young children. Anxious parents can also keep an eye on their kids through video monitors located throughout the stores.

Signature stores also provide wider product selections in areas such as organic and all-natural foods, video rentals, fully cooked entr

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I'm kind of like sheeats...I want to be in and out quickly when shopping. Here's where I typically shop...

- Randall's in Midtown. The staff is really friendly (except the cashiers who always seem stressed out) and there aren't many elderly or huge families clogging up the checkout lines. Sorry if that sounds mean, but I used to shop at the Kroger on W Gray and the checkout lines always seem painfully slow, although it's a nicer store overall.

- Whole Foods on Kirby or Bellaire every so often for best produce and for pre-prepared items

- Super Target occasionally for basic household items - great prices.

Edited by barracuda
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The signage is up and lit on the new HEB on Buffalo @ Westpark. I can't wait until they open. Does anybody know when the Grand Opening is? I'll bet it will be Sample-City.

Anybody got opinions on the butterfly roof and the checkered rail-car siding? I can't make up my mind if I like the siding or not.

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