15. Central Market – North Lamar
> Location: Austin, Texas (population: 916,906)
> Total Yelp reviews: 621
> Avg. Yelp rating: 4.0
Austin has spawned not one but two great supermarket chains — Whole Foods and the much smaller Texas-only Central Markets (part of the massive H-E-B Grocery Company). Central Market opened in 1994, two years after Whole Foods went public. This is the original location. It’s not as slick as Whole Foods, but has a wider range of Texas-made products and a better wine selection. “I am in love with this grocery store, and no other grocery store can ever compare to this,” wrote one local on Yelp. The cooking classes are famous, too.
> Location: San Francisco, California (population: 864,263)
> Total Yelp reviews: 630
> Avg. Yelp rating: 2.5
A subsidiary of Albertsons, now with a much smaller footprint than it once had, Safeway is a classic supermarket chain. The Market Street location, like all the others, sells everything you’d expect — meats and seafood, produce, baked goods, canned goods, dry goods, deli items, pet food, and just about anything else you’d want when you go to the market. Yelpers note that they used to feel that the place was a bit run down and unsafe, but that it has turned around. “More selection and a bit of a makeover” have helped.
> Location: Watertown, Massachusetts (population: 35,756)
> Total Yelp reviews: 650
> Avg. Yelp rating: 4.5
With an extensive produce section featuring fruit and vegetables from around New England and further afield; more than 500 cheeses from around the world (and the region) and many cured meats imported from Italy; an array of homemade breads and pastries; and even a full-scale garden center — Russo’s is a must for food-lovers in the Boston area. “If you go once you’ll go again and again,” Yelps one fan.
12. 99 Ranch Market
> Location: San Diego, California (population: 1,390,966)
> Total Yelp reviews: 688
> Avg. Yelp rating: 3.5
Green papayas, Chinese lo bok, pork neck bones, mantis shrimp, milk fish, lychee or longan in syrup, pickled lettuce…In the San Diego area, the 99 Ranch Markets are the place to come for Asian ingredients — as well as the more usual supermarket fare. This particular store, wrote one woman on Yelp, “instantly grabbed my heart when I saw a 20 foot long shelf set of different types of soy sauce. Pure heaven!!!” Another local wrote “Can’t think of any cons.”
11. Erewhon Market
> Location: Los Angeles, California (population: 3,949,776)
> Total Yelp reviews: 712
> Avg. Yelp rating: 4.0
“We strive to sell only the purest, ethically and sustainably produced foods, wellness and beauty products, and household items,” say the owners of this small Southern California chain. To say that people love it would be an understatement, judging from some comments on Yelp. “Literally wishe I could move in and never leave,” wrote one woman. “I have a special fondness (or obsession?) for Erewhon,” said another. “I’m happy to give Erewhon all my money,” noted a third.