The novelty of food shopping abroad is something which we all undeniably enjoy. Looking at all those different flavour crisps, the funny names they have for foods, and stocking up on our favourite treats to take home - it’s an experience all in itself.
However, while many holidaymakers flock to WalMart when they first touch down in Orlando, ready to load up their cupboards and prepare themselves for the week(s) ahead, there may be some better options, which you may have overlooked.
Orlando boasts five distinct grocers, each with their strong and weak points. Let’s take a look at them all, and help you find your next favourite shop.
Already popular among tourists, Publix is a big player in the Florida grocery store game. It is a mass-market choice, with friendly staff and plenty of branches.
Everything you need under one roof
Stock national brands, some organic foods, beer and wine (no spirits), and a pharmacy
Small selection of international items, including British goods
Lack of produce and fresh food - fruits and vegetables aren’t great quality, so often go bad within just a few days, or are already rotten when you buy them
Meats of a lesser quality too
Everyday items more expensive than the same items at other stores
In conclusion, Publix is incredibly convenient, but has lower quality fresh food and a higher price point than average
This is another of Orlando’s major supermarket, with an emphasis on on tourist-orientated goods.
Cheaper than places like Publix
Loads of convenient pre-made meals and international foods
They have really good sales
Quality can be poor, especially in produce
Lots of ‘home brand’ and generic items - keeps costs low but can be confusing for international customers
Stores feel a little ‘tired’
Whole Food Markets
Now making its mark here in the UK, Whole Foods sets the benchmark for organic and health-conscious stores.
Perfect for clean-eating, or those with dietary requirements (gluten-free, vegan, keto, etc.)
Fantastic fish and cheese selection and huge bakery
Prepared-foods steam tables where you can choose pre-made hot and cold items from many different cuisines. Perfect for lunch/dinner on-the-go.
Daily specials at the in-store Wine & Beer Bar
Prices of products are considerably higher than other supermarkets, even on ‘basic’ items, however the quality is much higher
To conclude, Whole Foods is great for high quality, fresh and clean food. However, if basic, budget-friendly food is more your concern, this isn’t the supermarket for you.
The Fresh Market
A place to visit when you’re looking for something a little more special, The Fresh Market is home to gourmet food.
Fantastic meat and fish counter and a huge bakery
Loads of gourmet items, if you are planning to cook a special meal one evening
High prices, which reflect the gourmet products on offer
To conclude, The Fresh Market is perfect for serious foodies, or you are after a unique, specialty food item. However, not great for your everyday food shop.
This is a relative newcomer to Orlando’s tourist area, however it is already well-known throughout Florida and around the States. This is a rare eco- and community conscious vendor, carrying fantastic produce, including the legendary smoked-in-house bacon.
There’s a Ramen Bar, selling hand-rolled sushi.
Amazing fresh produce, terrific meats, fish and seafood
Actually a really good price, considering the quality
Emphasis on healthier foods, including pre-made meal kits
Community-orientated, selling locally produced items
They also donate money to local charities when you purchase their ‘home brand’ items
Donate 10 cents per bag when you bring reusable bags too
Focus is mainly on food, so doesn’t have as many non-food items such as toilet paper, food wraps, etc.
It’s steadily becoming a favourite among locals, and tourists are slowly discovering this new value-for-money supermarket.
OK, so this might not be a supermarket as such, but this is a fantastic place to purchase all your beer, wine or spirits you will need for your Orlando holiday. This is located in the shopping plaza across from Mall at Millenia, and the warehouse-sized selection of drinks makes it a locals choice. The prices are great, especially considering the quality, too.
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