Best Grocery Store (2005)

H-E-B

Howard E. Butt knew a thing or two about designing grocery stores. According to the company's Web site, his motto was "He profits most who serves best." From the looks of them, some other supermarkets' mottoes appear to be "sell crappy food out of sketchy buildings." When you walk into an H-E-B, you'll get the feeling that you've never been to a real grocery store before. The produce is unbelievably fresh, and the seafood, meat and bakery counters are chock-full of quality stuff. The stores are huge and clean, the inventory well priced. There are even cool little kitchenettes where chefs demonstrate how to prepare everything from sushi to soup. H-E-B: Here, everything kicks butt.
Readers' choice: Whole Foods Market

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