Eight local grocers and markets that are well-worth the trip.
760 Ruppert Rd, Iowa City
2750 Heartland Dr, Coralville
1860 Edgewood Rd SW, Cedar Rapids
5425 Blairs Forest Blvd NE, Cedar Rapids
Aldi is an affordable and environmentally conscious grocery store option. They take their corporate responsibility seriously and strive to support local communities and make shopping easy and ethical for their customers. Every time I check out, I’m somewhat surprised by how much food I can buy with two $20 bills. Their selections vary store to store, but you can rely on Aldi to have the essentials when you need them. Be sure to check out the Coralville location for a bigger selection of produce and grocery items. You can also find them in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids.
E Ave, Kalona
Located in Kalona, Iowa, JW’s Foods has been serving Kalona since 1973. They pride themselves on their family-owned legacy and service to the local economy. They offer free delivery to those who are homebound, and focus on funneling their funds back into the community that supports them. JW’s makes fit competition for corporate grocery stores, with a friendly staff that is happy to help you find what you need in their meat, deli, produce, dairy, grocery, health and beauty departments.
Bread Garden Market
225 S Linn St, Iowa City
Originally a restaurant in 1995, Bread Garden Market has been Iowa City’s academic and residential community’s go-to for high quality, fresh, convenient produce and grocery since 2008. From their salad bar, coffee stand and smoothies to home-cooked classics, you can find exactly what you are craving here. They also offer delicious catering services for events, and strive to be a part of improving Iowa City’s local economy by providing employment opportunities and supporting other local businesses. When that I’m-hungry-but-I-don’t-know- what-I-want feeling strikes, check out Bread Garden Market in the Ped Mall next to the Iowa City Public Library.
New Pioneer Food Co-op
22 S Van Buren St, Iowa City
1101 2nd St, Coralville
3338 Center Point Rd NE, Cedar Rapids
The Co-op is another go-to for Iowa City, Coralville and Cedar Rapids residents. Health is at the center of the New Pi brand, and they pride themselves on being as good for the environment and community as the food is for the customers. Membership is encouraged, but not required to take advantage of all the local produce and meat, organic grocery and delicious menu options. The next time you need to pick up special ingredients for a healthful meal or the vegetarian at Thanksgiving, consider passing on the big box organic markets and check out your local New Pi Co-op.
1404 S Gilbert St, Iowa City
931 Blairs Ferry Rd NE, Cedar Rapids
In June of 2017, Natural Grocers opened its doors in Iowa City, making a great addition to the local grocery scene with their affordable prices, quality products and desire to promote growth in the community. If you are overwhelmed by the wide selection of vitamins or want to learn more about how to feed you and your family, check out their free nutrition classes. Be sure to browse their website for more information about events, recipes and nutrition.
Yumei’s Asian Market & Anime
901 1st Ave SW, Cedar Rapids
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Yumei’s is not like any old grocery store—they have a wide variety of ingredients for Asian cuisine, Japanese candies and sodas, a selection of anime including manga and DVDs, décor and costume items for cosplay. Checking out Yumei’s is a great way to try new dishes or start watching a new show. If you love Asian culture, or have always wanted to learn more about it, Yumei’s is worth the visit.
715 1st Ave S, Mt. Vernon
Since 1971, members of the Mount Vernon, Lisbon and surrounding areas have been able to count on Gary’s Food for all their grocery shopping needs. This fully-stocked grocery store offers typical center-store items, conventional and organic produce and full-service deli and meat counters while providing a charming, hometown shopping experience. Gary’s proves to be stiff competition for big-box stores partnering with the second largest wholesale grocery co-op in the country, meaning cheaper everyday prices for customers.
Red Barn Market
4241 Johnson Ave NW, Cedar Rapids
Since 2008, Leslie Baumhoefener has singlehandedly brought fresh produce, artisan oils and bulk pastas, soups and spices to Cedar Rapids at the Red Barn Market. The produce is grown onsite at the farm, as well as provided by other local farmers. Here, you’ll find everything you need to stock your pantry full of all your backing and cooking essentials, and you can rest easy knowing that your money goes contributes to bringing more fresh, local produce to the people of Cedar Rapids.
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Little Village is an independent media company based in Iowa City. In print since 2001, our mission is to create visibility for the communities, businesses and events that define our region. Support Little Village →