Billy is really tired. After a full day of work and the gym, he just wants to go home, eat and lay down. But Marcia called earlier and asked him to stop and grab some diapers and milk?
10. Presidente Little Havana It only makes sense that one of the largest Hispanic supermarkets in the country took roots right here in Miami. The first Presidente opened on the corner of NE 5th street and Biscayne Boulevard in 1990 and has since expanded to 20 stores with over 1,000 employees. That compares little to Publix's 763 stores in Florida, but somehow Presidente still manages to keep its prices lower than most large chain supermarkets. Perhaps its lack of spending on design and ambiance lends to the cause, but it also lands the supermarket at number 10 on our list.
9. Costco DoralCostco has it all -- from tomatoes to tires -- and all at rock bottom prices per unit. Per unit because you may have to spend $50 on paper towels, but you get 100 rolls. That makes for great prices on non-perishable items. Unless you're feeding the alligator population in the Everglades, however, it doesn't really make sense to buy six dozen eggs and a five gallon jug of milk. The best day to go is Friday when you can literally get full at sample tables lining the ends of the aisle. The Biscayne Boulevard Costco is more centrally located, but the one in Doral is a lot less crowded and usually just a tad cleaner. it would have landed higher on our list, but the cost of the annual membership is a tad high.
8. Gordon Food Service Coral Gables What started as a butter-and-egg delivery service over a hundred years ago is now the largest family-owned food distributor in North America. Regular customers love the store's individualistic approach to customer service and its selection of specialty items. Gordon stocks the finest brands in food and manufactures its own line of items at lower prices than your average corner store. Other than its own items, however, we found that GFS charges just a tad bit more for the same brand name items found in Wal-Mart and Publix.
7. Publix Sabor Miller Square Publix Sabor is the food giant's take on a Hispanic supermarket, featuring important differences in product brands, services and store environment. Caribbean, Central and South American products are scattered throughout the aisles. The Hispanic influence is all around you, from the colors and flooring to the use of wrought iron and special signage. Being a Publix brand, Sabor maintains the signature variety and service of your neighborhood Publix while offering lower prices than most specialty Hispanic supermarkets.
6. Winn Dixie Coral Way Coral Way is one of Miami's most impressive thoroughfares. Over a hundred massive banyan trees line the street all the way from downtown to the heart of Coral Gables. The huge size of the Winn Dixie on Coral Way keeps you from feeling cramped, however it is one of very few supermarkets in the area, so its almost always packed with customers. Rarely do you find a parking space near the front, unless you show up just before closing time.
5. Publix On The Bay South Beach At first glance, this Publix in an isolated section of the west end of South Beach looks like it belongs at Kennedy Space Center. The space ship design is actually supposed to be a cruise ship. Locals often bring out-of-state and out-of-country visitors to shop here in an attempt to impress them. European tourists love the fact this Publix often stocks products from across the pond to accommodate the influx of English, German and other European visitors during the busy season October through April. Isolated location, inconvenient parking and slightly higher prices keep this architectural wonder from landing higher on this list.
4. Publix Mary Brickell Village The Publix in one of Miami's most celebrated party and dining destination fits perfectly in the Mary Brickell complex. Its design and surprisingly reasonable prices despite a prime location are among the store's best qualities. Many people, however, complain about the parking -- cramped in a confusing garage -- and the fact that it is always packed no matter what time of day. Despite how busy it gets, wait time at checkout is usually minimal due to nearly every register and customer service being open at all times. The best part about this Publix (and the reason for its No. 4 placement on this list) is the cafe above featuring rock bottom prices in comparison to the dozens of walk up windows up and down nearby Calle Ocho.
3. Wal-Mart Supercenter Doral Wal-Mart is notorious for low prices, achieved by purchasing huge lots of product in bulk. The first Wal-Marts had very few food aisles, concentrating instead on other products like clothes and just about everything else you could think of. A few years back, the Wal-Mart Supercenter changed how Americans shop. No longer do you have to go to Publix or Winn-Dixie chasing sales, or pay for a membership at Costco. Prices at Wal-Mart are usually equivalent to the wholesale rates at Costco and coupon clipping at Publix. The supercenter in Doral is the newest and therefore the cleanest and easiest to navigate.
2. Fresh Market Coconut Grove Fresh Market is perhaps the most aptly titled store in the country. Fresh is the key word, whether it be the organic fruits and vegetables or the fresh cut poultry and beef. Any visitor is likely to fall in love with the place. The simple design and homey feel is welcoming and the staff is focused on not only serving customers - but getting to know their likes and dislikes. For many the word "organic" can be substituted with the word "expensive," but Fresh Market does its best to keep prices reasonable and consumers coming back.
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1. Milam's Market Coconut Grove If you have never heard of Milam's, you are missing out. Family owned and operated, you might catch Mr. Milam himself behind the customer service counter. The prepared food at Milam's is reasonably priced and you can taste the freshness. They offer a butcher on site at all times with a huge selection of fine wines and beers especially for connoisseurs. Their deli was given the coveted Boar's Head "Deli of Distinction" Award in 2011. Awards and impressive stocked items aside -- it comes down to customer satisfaction -- and Milam's customers are among the most satisfied. "There is just no comparison," said one customer checking out. "Everything is clean, fresh and convenient. Makes me look forward to shopping, and that says a lot."
HONORABLE MENTION - Whole Foods South Beach