A neighborhood grocery store benefits nearby residents and visitors alike by keeping dollars in the community, supporting local businesses and fostering a walkable and vibrant streetscape. Some offer convenience while others specialize in local goods from small farmers and producers. All of them excel in building personal relationships with their customers and providing detailed information about the source and history of the product.
We’ve rounded up our ten favorites – all of them locally owned and each one different from the next. Stop by one the next time you're in the neighborhood and support truly independent businesses.
Here are our picks for the ten best markets in St. Louis.
3108 Morganford Road
Neighborhood: Tower Grove South
Opened in 2007, Local Harvest Grocery offers locally sourced and sustainably raised fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy and packaged goods – seven days a week. For neighborhood residents, it’s an easy place to pop in for eggs, milk, bread or a six-pack of beer. A bulk section showcases organic and local rice, pasta, grains, flour, beans, teas and coffee. Spices, jams, honey, nuts, olive oil, sauces, candy and even cleaning supplies line the center isles. A tempting grab-n-go section offers a rotating selection of house-made items such as hummus, wraps, soups, salads and pastas and a house line of kefir (both milk and water versions), kimchi, sauerkraut and kombucha. A weekly local food subscription called Weekly Harvest (an aggregated CSA) provides a great way to try new foods, learn about local farmers and eat seasonally.
6241 Delmar Boulevard
Neighborhood: The Loop
A sister store to Global Foods in Kirkwood, United Provisions opened in August of 2014 in partnership with The Lofts of Washington University development in the Delmar Loop, adding a much-needed grocery store to this bustling commercial and residential strip. A total 124 countries are represented on its shelves, a major focus for this internationally-focused grocery store. Also well-stocked are gourmet items, fresh produce, meats and grocery staples, including many local offerings. In addition, half of the not-so-small store is devoted to a sit-down area for enjoying made-to-order items from a deli counter, sushi and ceviche bar, pastry shelf or coffee bar. A prepared foods section offers a great selection of grab-and-go items if you are short on time.
1500 Lafayette Avenue
Neighborhood: Lafayette Square
The largest store in our lineup, Fields Foods rivals Whole Foods in square footage and scale of offerings. Yet it's locally owned and operated – the management office is located just down the street. The store carries a broad selection of produce, meat, seafood, dairy, bulk items, frozen, baked goods, beer, spirits and even fresh flowers. Much of the store’s offerings are sourced locally and sustainably from small growers and producers, with numerous organic and GMO-free products. A prepared foods section includes wood-grilled pizza, salads and sandwiches. A much-Instagrammed feature? Shopping carts with cup holders for enjoying a glass of wine or a beer while shopping.
7310 Manchester Road
Opened just one year, Larder & Cupboard is a culinary destination for specialty, locally sourced and locally prepared foods. Good Food Award winners, SOFI award winners and Cheese Award winners are what you’ll find on the shelves here. Local chefs, coffee roasters and cheese producers sell directly to the store products such as pasta, granola and condiments. In fact, 75 percent of the store’s products are purchased directly from the producers, actively supporting the people who make them. Each staff member is knowledgeable about every product and their source and can offer tips for use, recipes and pairing suggestions.
Turn the page for more local markets, including a total newcomer.