Supermarkets in Baltimore, a Guide for Foodies

Whether you’re a foodie or not, at some point you’ll need to go grocery shopping. Unfortunately there are not too many options for big-store grocery shopping in Baltimore. Here are three of the main choices, each slightly different.

Safeway
2610 Boston Street
Safeway recently renovated its Canton store to keep up with the competition from Wholefoods and the new Superfresh planned for Mouth Vernon. Despite the new look, I still say it is an average supermarket with grossly overpriced produce and meat. It is fine for packaged staples, but their meat is not always the freshest, and sometimes their vegetables look like they’ve seen better days. They don’t always do a great job restocking their shelves – I once saw moldy bread, and cheese with an expired date. A friend once purchased cheese there that had gone bad. It is fine for the staples or if you live in the neighborhood, but check the dates. If you have the option, shop elsewhere for your fresh foods.

Wholefoods Market
1001 Fleet Street, Suite A
Wholefoods in Harbor East is for the high-end consumer. They have extremely fresh breads, chesses, meats, and prepared meals, but don’t expect to find your favorite brand – if you do, expect to pay a premium for it. Wholefoods caters to the health-conscious so it is a great choice for a vegetarian or those with special dietary requirements. They have a great section of prepared food that you can purchase and take home for a quick meal. Despite the higher prices, I can usually find fresh meat for less than I’d pay in Safeway. Here’s a final tip – they validate parking at the parking deck (entrance on Aliceanna Street), so don’t worry if you don’t get a hard-to-find spot on the street.

Shoppers
857 Fort Avenue
Shoppers is the bare bones supermarket of the three. They have great prices on packaged food, with many items on sale at discount prices. The produce is adequate, but I personally don’t trust the meat, based solely on my distaste for the 1970’s looking dÃ?©cor. While I fully acknowledge that this is a personal preference, I am very particular about where I purchase my fresh foods. If you need to buy a lot of your familiar brands, this is probably your best bet.

As mentioned earlier, there is a Superfresh coming to downtown Baltimore. There is also a Giant in Charles Village, a Trader Joes in Towson, and the king of all supermarkets, Wegmans, in Hunt Valley. Hopefully with more competition, the prices will get better and we won’t have to run to the suburbs to get the best prices and freshest food.

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