If unique is something you yearn forshutterstock_627392600 (2), then look no further than Phoenicia Specialty Foods. Nestled in downtown Houston, this grocery store-bar-cafe hybrid has enough to lock down anyone’s loyalty. Phoenicia stocks its shelves with a large variety of goods, many of them with a Mediterranean flair. But the true beauty of this locale revolves around more than just its groceries. It has a bakery and a grill counter that produce all sorts of fresh French, Greek, and Mediterranean goodies. It also has a place for you to grab lunch or dinner known as MKT Bar. This urban-style bar, with food supplied by the adjacent store, has its own wonderful selection of drinks for you to choose from, whether you are looking for an espresso or a nice glass of wine. And here’s a secret: it has one of Houston’s best available steak nights! Phoenicia Specialty Foods is a sterling example of the ethnic diversity that influences Houston by bringing a concept that has eluded our major metro area until now.

H-Mart is the best Korean grocery store in Houston. If you can’t take our word for it, just check the consistent rank as one of the top Asian grocery stores and supermarkets in Houston. It not only boasts a phenomenal selection of hard-to-find vegetables, fruits, and foreign goods but its food court also grabs attention from all corners of Houston. This market turned mall, includes a French bakery with delicious pastries and delectable cakes, probably the biggest Kimchee selection we have ever laid eyes on, and a bevy of unique goods for shoppers. But the real catch is the shellfish and fresh-caught fish which can be sliced to order. Renowned for cleanliness and great bargains, go to H-Mart for your grocery shopping and stay for the delicious Korean food.

When it comes to grocery shopping, Central Market leads the pack as the golden standard in Houston. Originally born in San Antonio, Central Market is H-E-B’s version of a luxury brand, and, it isn’t hard to see how it found its niche in the heart of our city’s foodies. With a whopping cheese selection [more than 700!], a complementing wine section, amazing bakery, and an impressive stock of fresh, seasonal vegetables, meat and seafood it tends to attract a lot of shoppers seeking quality. Its claim to fame isn’t just in the stock of its high-quality and hard-to-find gourmet foods. This gem has even more to offer. Well-trained staff go out of their way to assist you and if you want to learn how to put those high quality ingredients to good use, they happen to offer cooking classes for any aspiring chef. There is only one location on Westheimer, so you can’t miss it.

Every champion needs a rival, especially in something as tantalizing and heart-gripping as Houston area grocery stores. Enter the Austin-based challenger, Whole Foods. Dubbed “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store” it should come as no surprise that it features a fine assortment of natural and organic grocery items. Their bakery and self-service area look like something from a dream… especially the dessert section! Whole Foods really goes the extra mile with helping you live your healthy lifestyle by offering more than just goods. You can find healthy eating tips, online recipes, and loads of information on their products online. There are multiple locations across Houston and they even have online shopping and delivery should you need it.

H-E-B is the Texas brand grocery store, and, it is appropriately Texas-sized. You won’t go far in Houston without catching sight of an H-E-B and the inside is just as impressive as the outside. H-E-B’s tend to have larger than usual wine & beer selections, sushi bars with fresh sushi made for pick-up, cafes with great prepared foods and even stations where you can grab some fresh tortillas. In addition, affordable groceries, fast check-outs, and many customer accommodations are just a few more things that bring people through the doors. Although not locally based, the H-E-B brand is very conscious of the people living close to their stores. You will find multiple locations with varying designs across Houston as they brand strives to blend in with respective communities. Honorable mention must go to the store on 5895 San Felipe as it is the only store to house Table 57, a full-fledged restaurant. Imagine having a meal and glass of wine before heading home with your haul!

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