Grocery Stores in Boston: Ranked

Grocery shopping is one of the worst activities in the world, and I am incredibly bad at it. I always put it off until the last possible minute, until my food stores are down to four baby carrots and a handful of animal crackers. I always end up shopping when I’m hungry, which is a baseline no-no. And I always get unbelievably bored while I’m doing it, ending up tossing things in my basket to speed up the process until my receipt looks like someone set an eleven-year-old loose in the cookie aisle.

In my endeavors to make this errand more tolerable, I have come up with a rubric for grocery store perfection. Here are six grocery stores in the Boston area, judged for price, location, snack selection, and overall vibe – on a scale where one is bad and five is utopian.

WHOLE FOODS

Price: $$$

Location: 5/5

Snack selection: 2.5/5

General vibe: 3/5

I expect to make a lot of enemies by ranking this lowest on the list. Whole Foods and I are nemeses. It is by far the closest grocery store to me, about a city block or two from my apartment, and yet I avoid it at all costs. It’s expensive. It has none of the name brand foods made for children off of which I subsist. Also, I feel that when I enter everyone knows that I am the healthy-eating equivalent of two children pretending to be an adult in a trenchcoat. But the produce and the bread are ridiculously yummy.

Overall: 3/5

 

ROCHE BROTHERS

Price: $$

Location: 3/5

Snack selection: 5/5

General vibe: 3/5

I think what gets most people on team Roche Bro is their location by Emerson and their wild selection of food. Who else has that selection of delicious brand names we all know and love in addition to all their fancy-looking cheese and whatnot? But it’s not the cheapest, and people who live off campus (and also do most of the grocery shopping) won’t need groceries a couple blocks from school too often.

Overall: 3.25/5

 

STOP AND SHOP

Price: $

Location: 1/5

Snack selection: 5/5

General vibe: 3/5

This is just a normal, human grocery store. Unfortunately, all of the locations are seemingly hundreds of miles away, requiring the public transit equivalent of a barefoot hike through deserts and mountains and jungles and back to be reached. When my family visited via car and offered to bring me here, I reacted like a six-year-old being surprised with a vacation to Disney World.

Overall: 3.5/5

 

BFRESH

Price: $$$

Location: 4/5

Snack selection: 5/5

General vibe: 4/5

bfresh is essentially Stop & Shop’s lesser-known version of Whole Foods. So if Whole Foods didn’t scare me and was conveniently located in Allston. Also if Whole Foods had Bagel Bites. (Why doesn’t Whole Foods have Bagel Bites?)

Overall: 3.625/5

 

TARGET

Price: $$

Location: 3/5

Snack selection: 5/5

General vibe: 5/5

Target is the best place on Earth and completely deserves its landing of the only perfect general vibe rating on this list. I could happily move into a Target. However, the pricing is not great. And that’s even before taking into account the world-famous phenomenon of how impossible it is to leave Target with only the things on your list. I went to get sheets today and left with a scented candle and a mini waffle maker. Also, location requires a T ride.

Overall: 4.125/5

 

STAR MARKET

Price: $

Location: 4/5

Snack selection: 5/5

General vibe: 3/5

When my roommate first went to Star Market, she was so excited by its size and selection that she took a video of herself walking through the store. Six minutes of my roommate looking at popcorn and selection soy milk. That level of enthusiasm should tell you all you need to know. It’s not perfect, but it’s a normal grocery store at a reasonable price with amazing locations in the city of Boston. That is truly the best we can ask for.

Overall: 4.25/5

 

I still hate grocery shopping, and the fondness I feel for Target will never be eclipsed by any other monument to capitalism. But my heart and mind and stomach (and mom, who never thinks I eat enough) can rest easy knowing that next year, I will live just a block away from one location of the undisputed king of Boston area grocery stores.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s