Do you ever struggle to find good local food stores on your travels?
Do you wonder how to avoid the slick supermarket chains with the sterile environments and junk foods?
Do you want to get the local products as well as unique products you may not find everywhere?
Shopping at large food store chains and finding local food options is not always an easy task.
During our four-month house sit in Wellington Florida, we took on the challenge to find local food stores beyond the national grocery stores including the popular Wal-Mart.
You may wonder why we didn’t simply go to the local farmer’s markets? Let’s find out more about the farmer’s markets in South Florida first.
Where to Find Local Food Stores? Start at the Farmers Markets!
Whenever we are in a new place, we love checking out the farmer’s markets. One easy way to find out about the markets is to simply ask the locals. We asked the owner of the home we were taking care of, and she gave us local recommendations. However, when we went to check out the local market, we were surprised to not find it.
Our next option was to do some digging online. That’s when we found the name of the organizer and head of the farmer’s markets in the region. By calling him, we found out that farmers markets in the Wellington and West Palm Beach area are closed during the summer months!
This was really surprising for us coming from Chicago where the markets are usually closed during the winters 🙂 Having said that, we learned that we had two weekends to enjoy the West Palm Beach farmers market. This market is also called the Green Market and it closes at the end of May.
At this farmers market we found great vendors. Some of them were artisanal making small quantities of pasta, honey and more. We discovered a hydroponic farm which also organizes farm to table events with locally renowned chefs.
As we were buying our fruits and vegetables at one of stands, we asked the vendor where to shop for local produce after the market closes. Little did we know we were talking to owner of Don Victorio’s Market. She told us about her local store and that is how we discovered one of the best local grocery stores that we visited frequently during our four month stay in Florida.
Don Victorio’s Market: An Awesome West Palm Beach Grocery Store
Don Victorio is a very popular local store and conveniently located only ½ hour away from where we were staying in West Palm Beach. Popular, not only with the locals but also with chefs who sometimes get their local produce there. The place has a very local feel with most of the staff speaking Spanish only.
Unlike your typical grocery store, Don Victorio is more like a permanent green market. You will find fresh and local products like mangoes, papaya, oranges, or fresh herbs.
In addition, the range of vegetables is quite expansive including, peppers, cucumbers, avocado, squash as well as tomatoes, lettuce and more! Surprisingly, Don Victorio also carries local fruits and vegetables from Peru, a country we had just came back from.
This store is a unique and rare find, and is definitively a successful endeavor!
7504 S. Dixie Highway
West Palm Beach, FL 33405
Hours: Monday – Sunday 7:30am to 6:30pm.
Food Town: A Unique and Popular Ethnic Grocery Store
When we learned that the farmer’s markets were closing around West Palm Beach and that fewer markets would be open during the summer, we needed an alternative. We looked online to search for “ethnic grocery stores” or “fresh grocery stores”. That’s how we discovered Food Town.
Food Town is unique grocery stores in the region that carries foods from the Americas, Asia and Africa.They place an emphasis on fresh fresh fruits and vegetables as well as meats and seafood. The diversity of the products is quite incredible and while it may not always be local, it is not difficult to find what you are looking for.
You will find spices,unique vegetables and Asian or Indian products waiting for you at FoodTown!
Whenever you are traveling or visiting a new region, we always recommend starting at the farmer’s market. This is important because it gives you a sense of the local vendors, fruits, and vegetables in season and the local specialties.
Finding local food stores is worth the hassle. Don’t settle for grocery chains and Wal-Mart stores. Instead, visit the local farmer’s markets and get recommendations from vendors. Do some online research and search for the “local food stores” or “ethnic grocery stores.”
To conclude, it is possible to find local food stores wherever you travel. It might take some research including talking to the locals. But it is worth the effort to nourish your body with fresh and local products.
Have you had challenges finding good local food stores on your travels? How do you overcome that? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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Claire is a culinary explorer, digital nomad and engineer brain behind Authentic Food Quest. Together with her partner, Rosemary, they created Authentic Food Quest to help people find the best local food on their travels. For over 5 years they have eaten their way through South America, Southeast Asia, Europe, and North America while sharing the best local food experiences on their website. Authentic Food Quest has been featured on top publications such as Huffington Post, Business Insider, and Honest Cooking. Claire and Rosemary are also authors of Authentic Food Quest Argentina and Authentic Food Quest Peru, available on Amazon.