1. Trader Joe’s
Oh Joe, I don’t know what I would do without you. You make off-brand seem like the best thing a product can be, and I appreciate your commitment to inexpensive food that doesn’t make me feel like I’m living in the Soviet bloc when I eat it. Everyone loves Trader Joe’s grocery. I don’t even need to explain why. The only negative about Trader Joe’s is that the closest one is in Coolidge Corner, which does require some T action. But, it’s worth in order to get those Joe-Joe’s.
2. Roche Bros
This one is kind of a hike, requiring a trip down to the Park Street T stop. But when you do get there it’s an incredible wonderland of food. Roche Bros has a cheese counter, wine tasting area, hot buffet, prepared foods, a deli counter, a beautiful bakery and anything else your heart could desire. My ride-or-die Wegmans-loving roommate walked in here and, after about five minutes, conceded that it was not just a function replacement for Wegmans but maybe even a little better. There’s no better compliment possible.
3. Whole Foods
I have a conflicted relationship with Whole Foods. If you live in South Campus this is definitely the most convenient place to go for your groceries. Everything at Whole Foods is good quality and will last a while. However, it’s expensive and I always feel like I’m a Brookline mom trying to shop for hypoallergenic, organic, fair trade snacks to feed my privately-educated child when she comes home from judo practice. A necessary evil, I suppose.
4. Star Market
I rarely venture into West campus, but when I do I always end up stopping at Star Market. Star Market is convenient in the way City Convenience wishes it could be. It’s open 24/7, and has a wide selection. Need booze, ice cream cake or bananas at 1 a.m.? This is your place! Trying to save money, buying staples here or trying to buy produce that won’t fall to pieces in your hand? Maybe try some place else.
5. City Convenience
You may try to question me, saying isn’t this not actually a grocery store? I mean, it’s basically a knockoff version of a bodega run by BU in order to obtain every last possible dollar despite a 3.4 percent increase in tuition and fees this year. I mean, yes, but they sell produce here, so I feel justified in classifying it as a grocery store. And I’m comfortable saying here: it’s not good. Why is the milk always bad here? Why is everything overpriced? Why can’t I make my own Dunkin’ Donuts coffee correctly? Why do I feel existential dread every time I walk in here?