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Food & Drink

Best Grocery Store 

Trader Joe's

Remember when you were little and your parental unit would drag you grocery shopping and even though the place was filled with foods of all kinds all you really saw were the Dove bars, the KitKats, the mondo-size bags of peanut M&M's? Well, you're all grown up now, but Trader Joe's knows there's still a kid deep down in you just waiting to bust out. Only now peanut M&M's don't quite do it for ya any more. Now it takes cocoa-dusted chocolate-covered almonds. Dark-chocolate roasted-pistachio toffee. Entire frickin' Key lime pies. Dried apricots. (Did we just drool over dried apricots? We did indeed. Buy your own sack of TJ's dried "slab" apricots and then get back to us.) St. Louis isn't exactly bursting at the seams with quality grocery stores. Yeah, we've got our Schnucks and our Dierbergs, but you're not going to find us penning many paeans to those bastions of Midwestern meal-making mediocrity. Whole Foods and Wild Oats were welcome additions—gather ye sustainable agriculture while you can and all that—but, well, they ain't Trader Joe's. The thing about grocery shopping at Trader Joe's is that while you can, should and will fill your cart with first-rate ingredients that will make for first-rate eats when you subject them to your kitchen wizardry, there's also all this fun stuff everywhere. That's right, fun stuff. In a grocery store. The only way Trader Joe's can top what they've done so far would be to open TJ's No. 5 downtown.

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