If you’re looking for a list of the best grocery stores in Salt Lake City – you’ve found it. From big box stores through specialty grocers, these are the places worth your time and attention So, in order of my own personal favorite places to purchase groceries, here goes. I’m going to start with the most fun places to shop, the smaller local mom and pops.
Specialty grocery stores
The following stores might be impractical to complete a full weeks shopping at, but if youre happy to bounce from store to store (you crazy person you) then you will have great luck at these.
In truth, I’ve adopted Meat Free Mondays as a multi-day plan for my regular home dining these days. But when I want to indulge in my carnivorous ways, Beltex is the place to go. Unquestionably the very best butcher in Utah, they break down whole animals from local farms and offer interesting cuts in interesting preparations. Prices are high, but quality is absolutely unmatched. Maybe the very best pork chop I’ve ever eaten (even from a restaurant) came from Beltex and cooked in my own home. And I’m not that great a chef…
511 900 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84105
The fishy version of Beltex can be found attached to Caputo’s Market in downtown SLC. Aquarious‘ supply changes almost every day, so you’ll want to call ahead if you have specific purchase requirements. This is THE place to come if you’re looking for the very best seafood and shellfish and quality is your highest priority.
314 W 300 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Speaking of which – if you’re looking for cheese or chocolate – this is the place to come. Skip everywhere else. The cheese caves at Caputo’s are something of a rarity in the United States in fact. Caputo’s buys in some of the best cheese plus ages their own in house too. Add in a tremendous range of deli meats, pasta, oils, sauces, tinned goods and more – and you have one of the best foodie shopping experiences in Utah hands down.
314 W 300 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
This Middle Eastern market in Murray has an eclectic array of items – everything from Lebanese to Greek to Iranian to Eastern European. When I hit up Black Cherry I usually first stop at the freezers near the entrance – the frozen gyro meat and Montana falafel are excellent standbys to have for easy dinners. After that I’ll also grab some frozen beef from local Canyon Meadows farm. After that a slow wander of the aisles, maybe some fresh lavash bread or tinned dolmathes might inspire me. Probably my favorite item here is the premade ghormeh sabzi sauce – a jade green mix of parsley and spices – studded with kidney beans. It’s a riot of flavor and when brightened with some diced preserved lemons (ona nearby shelf) it’s a stunning dish.
4346 900 E, Millcreek, UT 84124
Japan Sage Market
Craving Yamazaki wafu bread? You can find that as well as a whole other slew of Japanese goods at this Main Street spot. Also sports a modest cafe on site featuring gyoza, soba, ramen and more.
1515 S Main St, Salt Lake City, UT 84115
Great Nepalese grocery store on 33rd South in Millcreek. The store features fresh veg, spices, canned and jarred goods as well as a great range of rice, lentils, beans and more. The store also has plenty of frozen and refrigerated goods such as fab frozen curries and paneer.
741E 3300 S, Millcreek, UT 84106
Pirate O’s Gourmet Market
This Draper market is a foodies dream. The shelves are packed with a variety of idiosyncratic international imports, local producers, and regional makers. Around the store you will find charcuterie, imported European acids galore, twelve feet of hot sauces, an entire room devoted to pasta – and a fabulous on site deli to grab a panini before or after your shop. I wrote about the store in great detail in this story.
11901 S 700 E, Draper, UT 84020
You can find this Middle Eastern market in Midvale. The selection isn’t as extensive as Black Cherry but it’s still plenty usable. What also draws me here is the attached cafe which serves up crazily good Iranian cuisine. Their koobideh (ground beef made into a kabob) is maybe the best I’ve ever tasted.
751 Fort Union Blvd, Midvale, UT 84047
Big Box Stores
These stores can provide everything you need in one single shop. If you’re looking to complete the BIG shop – these are the stores to consider.
This home grown brand has large stores all over Utah. Pricing is on the higher side, so I typically shop here more selectively. I tend to shop at Harmons for special occasions; things like the holidays, throwing a party etc. Either that or picking up some specialty items to take my cooking to the next level.
Their fresh baked bread is without match, and worth a trip by itself. The bakery is heads and shoulders above any other supermarket chain in the state; their product even rivals boutique specialty bakers it’s that good. Their butchery department is solid, and again is better than many of their big competitors. For a general grocery shop, I find the pricing prohibitively expensive.
Another plus point for Harmons is that if you hit up the more modern Harmons locations (downtown, Holladay) they’re certainly fun stores to shop at – very modern, bright, resplendent in shiny metal. Harmons offer both delivery (which I find to be slick) and a drive up option (order online then pick up in person).
While you won’t find TJ’s famous Two Buck Chuck in Utah stores (see our liquor laws here) you will find the rest of their impossibly fab line up of foods – available at the equally wallet friendly prices. Standout items at Trader Joe’s can be found in their freezer aisles. Their frozen Indian meals and snacks can beat several restaurants in Salt Lake hands down. Other frozen items like Chinese food and sweet treats are stellar too.
Since Amazon’s acquisitions of this notoriously pricey grocery store, things have become more affordable. Indeed Whole Foods these days is much more on parity with other local grocery options in Utah. Yes, you’ll need to be careful you don’t mistakenly add those crazily priced hydroponic tomatoes to your basket – always check the prices carefully.
I find Whole Foods to have great fruit and vegetables, maybe the best of all the stores on this list. The butcher counter is decent as is their fish which is sustainably sourced. Whole Foods stocks a decent range of local craft beers and if your looking for things such as vegan or gluten free eats – they are unmatched in town.
Wait! Hear me out. Picking Walmart high up the list might not be a popular foodie choice, but there are several reasons that put Walmart at the top of my own shopping list more often than not. First up, there’s no denying the keen pricing you’re going to find at Walmart. Sure, some membership stores or cash only specialists might beat the odd price here and there; but for general product availability coupled with routinely fair pricing, you won’t really find a better option in SLC. Not for a regular shop anyway.
Next up, their delivery and pick up services can be life savers; and quite frankly game changers. No, I don’t particular relish traipsing the aisles of Walmart either – but there’s no need to. Using their online ordering and pickup option, there’s never a reason to enter the store at all. Order online, pull up in the parking lot and a staffer will load your shop into your car. See our review here if you’re wondering how that all works in practice (hint: very well actually).
And yes, before you ask healthy eating via the shelves of Walmart is indeed possible. We tend to steer clear of the meat aisle at Walmart truth be told, but for pantry items, consumables, tinned and bottled goods, frozen items and yes even fruit and veggies – it’s hard to match this mega-mart. And no. I’m not paid by Walmart to say any of the above.
Smith’s / Fresh Market
These two are kinda interchangeable. There’s nothing massively of note at either. Pricing is moderate. Lower than Harmons, more than Walmart. I’d probably skip the meat counter at both, but veggies are o.k.
True fact: Salt Lake City has the worlds biggest Costco. Not even kidding! Utahns absolutely love the bulk options a this mega-store. Me, not so much to be honest. This might be different if I had a larger household, but buying iceberg lettuces three head to a pack just doesn’t make sense for me.
Standout items include their rotisserie chicken (hidden in the back of the store duh) and certain bottled/canned/gourmet items. It’s a bit of a crapshoot to be honest – their baked goods are relatively poor quality but their in house polish dogs are killer crazy good. The meat counter is solid, but beer selection is virtually nil.
Some folks are obsessed with Winco, and there’s no denying the prices are very keen. The mammoth stores offer perhaps the biggest selection of any local grocery store – and the bulk bins are the best around. My personal deal breaker that prevents me coming here more regularly is that the store doesnt accept credit cards. You can use cash, you can use debit cards, but you can’t use your regular cards. The checkout experience can be fraught/fun too – depending on the kind of day you’re having. It’s a unique setup where you bag your own goods, controlling the conveyor belt with a knee height accelerator. The ‘twin lane’ setup means you have to act expeditiously on your bagging on the busy days – or risk slowing down the whole operation behind you.
Hi, I’m Stuart, nice to meet you! I’m the founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic SLC. I’m a multiple-award winning journalist and have written in myopic detail about the Salt Lake City dining scene for the better part of seventeen years.
I’ve worked extensively with multiple local publications from Visit Salt Lake to Salt Lake Magazine, not least helped to consult on national TV. Pause those credits, yep, that’s me! I’m also a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune. I’m largely fueled by a critical obsession with rice, alliteration and the use of big words I don’t understand. What they’re saying about me: “Not inaccurate”, “I thought he was older”, “I don’t share his feelings”.
Want to know more? This is why I am the way I am.
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