Getting Your Bearings in Williamsburg--Groceries


Fred Dingledy, Reference Librarian

When you're moving to a new home, one of the first things that you'll probably think about is where to buy groceries; Williamsburg has a number of stores that can serve your needs, most of them part of regional or national chains. Of course, any opinions are mine, and not those of any part of William & Mary.

Personal favorite

Trader Joe's, located at 5224 Monticello Ave. Friendly staff and good prices on organic food, "natural food"-type items, and the usual staples--much of it private label. The only major drawback is that Trader Joe's probably will not have everything you need--you'll likely need to shop elsewhere for some items.

Here are other grocery shopping options in Williamsburg:

The basics

These are the standard grocery store chains in the area. You might develop a preference, but out of these three, I usually choose whichever one happens to be nearby.

Farm Fresh

Farm Fresh is generally a bit nicer than the other two chains in this category, but also often a bit more expensive. Nice, reasonably-priced salad bar. Offers fuel discounts on their gas stations (Merrimac Trail and Norge Lane locations) with purchases of certain items.

Food Lion

Most locations in the area. OK, but nothing worth going out of your way for. Free MVP Club discount card is worth getting.


Formerly part of a Richmond-based chain called Ukrop's, this store was bought out by the corporation that runs Giant Supermarkets and absorbed into its Martin's brand. The Ukrop's name remains on the bakery area, which has some pretty good stuff (try the king cake available around Mardi Gras), and ready-to-eat items. Offers a free discount club card, and a "fuelperks" program that can give shoppers discounts on gasoline at their gas station with purchases.

We sell groceries, too--cheap

The major discount chains are in Williamsburg, and they sell groceries, too; they may often be the cheapest in town.


Target has recently expanded the grocery offerings in their stores. Not a big selection--fresh produce is usually limited to a table or two, and any meat is going to be in the freezer section--but there's a good price on what they do have.


Wal-Mart has a fairly large grocery section with a good selection, including produce, baked goods, and meat, at good prices. If you shop on Saturday, though, you might find some items running a bit low. Bonus: Open 24 hours.

Fancier, but pricier

These stores also offer the full range of items you'd normally expect from a grocery store, but their offerings tend to be a bit higher-end, with corresponding prices.

The Fresh Market

Very nice stuff, great butcher, bakery (try their king cakes around Mardi Gras, too), and seafood area. Expensive, no discount cards. Go here for stuff like meat, baked goods, and produce, and go elsewhere for packaged goods that will be the same no matter where you get it.

Harris Teeter

Relatively new to the area. Very nice meat, seafood, produce, and ready-to-eat items, as well as a decent international section. Prices are high, but you can get good discounts with their VIC Card, which is free. However, the store wants your drivers license number to get a discount card, something the other stores with discount cards don't do.

Williamsburg Pottery

"The Pottery" is a collection of several different types of stores. The food store here is probably your best bet in the Williamsburg area for any type of exotic item you can't find elsewhere. Also expensive.

Ethnic groceries

Williamsburg does not have many ethnic groceries, but there are some:

Kielbasa Euro Deli

  • 113 Palace Lane, Suite P (Palace Lane is located off of Bypass Road; look for a sign pointing you to the Ascension of Our Lord Byzantine Catholic Church, and that will be Palace Lane)

Focuses on Polish food, but also offers items from other parts of eastern Europe.

La Tienda

Offers Spanish products of all sorts.

Tu Tienda & Gifts

Latin American market.

Going a bit further out--Richmond and Newport News

For some shopping options, you may have to travel a bit outside the immediate area.

Asian Groceries

E-Mart (a.k.a. Evergreen Mart)

Has some delicious items from the Korean bakery located next door.

Tan A

South Asian Groceries

Bhavani Cash and Carry

Natural/Organic Groceries

Ellwood Thompson's

Whole Foods Market

Warehouse Stores


Sam's Club

Photo credit: rick, under CC BY 2.0 license