Austin has long been considered a grocery store paradise.
The birthplace of Whole Foods and Wheatsville Food Coop, Austin is also home to Trader Joe’s, Central Markets, a handful of Randalls and dozens of H-E-Bs. We can’t forget Natural Grocers, Aldi, Sprouts, Fresh Plus, 365 by Whole Foods and, the big guy, Walmart.
Suffice to say: We like to shop for food.
Food & Wine magazine published a ranking of U.S. grocery store chains on its website last week, and a reader emailed me to point out that Austin has a bunch of the stores in the top 10.
Although we don’t have the No. 1 store, Wegman’s, which is a regional chain in New York, Austin is home to Central Market, which took second place.
From the report:
Two years after Whole Foods went public in 1994, lucky Austin, Texas, hit the grocery store jackpot once more. This time, it came courtesy of the state’s best-known supermarket brand, H-E-B. With almost Europe-worthy retail design, an overwhelming amount of fresh produce and exceedingly good prepared foods, there should be Central Markets everywhere — sadly, you’ll have to travel to one of the big cities in Texas and see for yourself.
Lidl, which ranked No. 3 on the list, is scheduled to be built in Kyle, but store officials haven’t said when. Trader Joe’s came in at No. 4, and the Florida-based Publix ranked fifth.
Whole Foods came in sixth place behind Trader Joe’s and Lidl, followed by Aldi, which has a store in Pflugerville.
WinCo, which is my favorite store to shop at when I visit my sister in Idaho, is No. 8, and Portland’s New Seasons Market came in at No. 9. The Midwestern chain Hy-Vee rounded out the list at No. 10.
I was surprised that Whole Foods was ranked lower than Trader Joe’s, which I think really needs to step up its produce game. Oh, and its bread.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the ranking in the comments or on the Relish Austin Facebook page.