Home > Food, Lifestyle > Trader Joe’s: How to Find Your Way Around the New Food Lovers’ Heaven

Trader Joe’s: How to Find Your Way Around the New Food Lovers’ Heaven

Diana Denza

Photo by Diana Denza

There are some places I’m very grateful lie just beyond the I-can-roll-out-of-bed-and-walk-here-everyday radius. Shake Shack and Levain Bakery are two of those places. And Trader Joe’s has just been added to the list.

I’m not saying TJ’s is awful. On the contrary, it’s made me love grocery shopping, even when I end up having to carry a dozen bags back to my dorm. I’m simply glad it’s a good distance away, and not around the corner, because my snack table full of goodies from TJ’s would quickly turn into an entire warehouse.
Here’s how you can improve your navigation skills:
Upon arrival, hop on the escalator going downstairs. If you need a cart (believe me, you will-it’s quite difficult to exercise self control once you see the prices), they’re all stationed right next to the cart-scalator down.
Head straight downstairs to the aptly named “Downtown” level and tour the variety of soft breads, scrumptious cakes, and cereals. Then, turn the corner and arrive take a peek at the amazing frozen entrees, which include mushroom pizza, burritos, and Indian dishes. Before heading up, don’t forget to pick up some TJ’s chocolate covered almonds, check out the numerous flavors of tea, and stock up on some granola bars. The best part? They blow Morton Williams out of the water with pricing. I recently purchased a box of tea for under $2.00 and a whole frozen pizza was only $3.00-dinner for the price of a Magnolias cupcake.
Tip: Downstairs tends to become chock full of pushy people once dinnertime rolls around, so your best bet is to go earlier on a weekday to retain your sanity.
Return to the “Uptown” level and be sure to load your cart with 19 cent bananas and take your pick of cheeses. The other fruits and vegetables are good but not extraordinary, so if you’re unsure about being able to lug three pounds of apples back to your dorm, skip it. Now you’re almost done. Though the line may look like Macy’s on Christmas Eve, you’ll only wait a maximum of 10 minutes thanks to the many registers.
Tip: If you bring your own grocery bags, you’ll have the opportunity to enter into a raffle to win a TJ’s gift card.
Congratulations! You’re done! Overall, TJ’s is an appealing spot for specialty items, fun décor, and bargain basement prices. Just be sure to steer clear of the place when hungry customers are attempting to find something good for dinner.
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