Tom Thumb opened at The Union in Uptown in 2019. It offers a boozy shopping experience with beer and wine. (Courtesy of The Union)
Trader Joe's sells fresh flowers.
Central Market's Dallas Midway location. Courtesy of Central Market
Sprouts has all the freshest fruits and vegetables. Courtesy of Sprouts
Whole Foods has a location at McKinney Avenue and Routh Street.
Foxtrot has a brand new location in University Park and offers space to work, sip wine, and drink coffee.
A surge of boutique markets and specialty stores has made grocery shopping in Dallas — dare we say it — genuinely fun. From reliable staples to market innovators, these are the best grocery stores across the city.
Tom Thumb used to be similar to a Kroger or Albertsons, but the newest Uptown location is Tom Thumb at its finest. The store, in the walkable Union area, includes a wine bar, specialty prepared foods, a Starbucks and an on-site pharmacy. A fun plus, you can drink while you shop since bartenders at The Union Tap offer plastic cups.
I recently went in for the first time and was amazed by how clean and organized everything was. Usually the biggest struggle when you try a new store is learning where everything is located, but the Tom Thumb aisles were easy to read and had fun Dallas-connected names like McKinney Avenue or San Jacinto Street. If you drive there, you can get your parking validated for free when checking out, but it’s also super walkable if you live nearby.
2001 Ross Avenue, 1800 Main Street, and 634 W. Davis Street
Formerly Royal Blue Grocery, this local market rebranded to Berkley’s in 2021. Now, it has three locations across Dallas with its most recent opening its doors in Oak Cliff. Started by husband and wife Zac Porter and Emily Ray-Porter (as well as their best friend Cullen Potts) in 2015, the market features a coffee bar, prepared foods, groceries, and beer and wine.
Guests are also welcome to come in and hang out awhile as there is seating inside and outside the markets.
I’ve never met a single person who doesn’t like Trader Joe’s. I mean, they’ve got the Joe Joe’s cookies and they’re always handing out samples. What more could you want? This is the one store I actually look forward to going to get my usual round up of basics like bread, milk and four-cheese mac ‘n cheese.
There’s always fun new things to check out for each season and impulse buys at check out that actually turn out being worth it. Trader Joe’s even has a podcast, Inside Trader Joe’s, where they talk about their different and new products. For some people, this grocery store is a lifestyle. Shoppers can be seen every weekend checking out the newest succulents, flowers and more in anticipation of the next week.
With a flagship location in the works for Uptown, Central Market has been a staple of Dallas for quite a while now. Known for fresh produce and gourmet products you can’t find anywhere else, most locations have a full-service kitchen, offer cooking and wine classes, and do catering.
You can go in and purchase everything from chef-prepared meals to fresh baked goods, seafood, and meats. Central Market is also now selling a lot of plant-based options such as oat milk, cold-pressed juices, and meat alternatives.
Sprouts stands out as a number of people’s go-to for fresh produce. Here, there are tons of natural, organic and gluten-free options. There are several Sprouts in Dallas now, with the most central being in the Henderson neighborhood.
At Sprouts, they make it easy to shop for Keto, gluten-free and Whole30 diets. With options like bone broth, nut milks and even Keto pancake mixes, there’s certainly a unique selection at these Dallas grocery stores.
This natural and organic grocery store has been offering healthy food options since 1955. A young couple, Margaret and Philip Isely, started the store with the idea that everyone should be able to afford good food. Based in Colorado, the brand now has stores in over 21 states.
You can find locations at Casa Linda Plaza, Preston Lebanon Crossing, and Richardson.
Of course, Whole Foods is always a popular place for organic produce and foods as well. The Austin-based supermarket exclusively sells products free from hydrogenated fats and artificial colors and preservatives.
Now, with its free two-hour delivery partnership with Amazon Prime, you don’t even have to step foot into the store for your groceries. Another plus of Whole Foods is its fresh salad and soup bar, and the several order-and-go stations for sandwiches, pizza, and more.
2822 McKinney Avenue, 6565 Hillcrest Avenue, 3130 Knox Street
One of Dallas’ newer additions, Foxtrot Market now has locations in Uptown, University Park, and Knox Street. The Chicago-based corner market offers tons of groceries, snacks, grab-and-go items, and wine and beer. You can either shop in person or have your items delivered straight to your door in under an hour. Or, spend some time working at the cafe, which has a sort of co-working space where you can order from a food and drink menu.
On top of groceries, Foxtrot sells gifts such as candles, board games, curated gift boxes with local items, record players, expensive ironware, a $191 bottle of Dom Perignon and other random splurge items.
Jimmy’s Food Store
4901 Bryan Street
Run by the DiCarlo family for generations, Jimmy’s Food Store has been serving authentic Italian dishes and pastries out of a tiny market in East Dallas since 1966.
Back in 2004, a fire destroyed the store. When re-opening, the current owners (brothers Mike and Paul DiCarlo) decided to redirect Jimmy’s focus solely on Italian wine and cuisine. Jimmy’s has created some of the best Italian sandwiches in Dallas such as their massive muffuletta and hot Italian sausage. The made-in-house cannolis are practically legendary.
8687 N. Central Expressway, Suite 2172
In 2020, NorthPark Center debuted the first Texas location of this Italian food emporium. The 46,000-square-foot marketplace offers more than 10,000 high-quality food products, over 1,200 Italian wines and liquors, three restaurants (including rooftop Terra with stunning treetop views), a cooking school, and a variety of classic-looking stalls that transport shoppers to bustling Italy, where prized Alba white truffles and hard-to-find brands abound.
It is truly an experience that you can get lost for hours in.