Many towns have a wide array of grocery stores to choose from. You’ve got your no-frills supermarkets, high-end shops that specialize in organic selection, and discount groceries like Walmart and ALDI.
But few grocers have garnered the unique, cult-like following that Trader Joe’s has. It sits nicely in its own category of stores. It’s not quite high-end, doesn’t feel cheap, and certainly isn’t no-frills. From the tattooed employees stocking shelves with a smile on their face, to the vast presence of murals and hand-drawn signs lining the walls, things feel a lot different.
Far and away, what sets Trader Joe’s apart from the rest of the lot is their selection of food. Yes, there are the staples: bread, milk, eggs, beans and produce. But there is also a treasure trove of goodies inspired from cuisine all around the world. In every aisle, there are prepackaged items that whet the appetite and take cues from lots of different cultures.
Here are some highlights and fan favorites to give a whirl the next time you’re shopping at Trader Joe’s.
Mandarin Orange Chicken
It cannot be overstated how much customers love Trader Joe’s Mandarin Orange Chicken. The chicken is tender and the citrus sauce is zippy. Served with some rice and veggies, it can feed a family of four for under $5!
Carne Asada Autentica
No need to take hours to marinate a cut of beef when you can pick up this pre-sliced, flavored meat off of the shelf. Just give it a quick sear on the pan and you’re all set. Carne Asada Autentica is truly dinner in a bag.
Trader Joe’s Soy Chorizo is not just for the vegans and vegetarians out there. It’s made by a small company that specializes in chorizo. The flavor and texture of this chorizo is something both carnivores and herbivores can come together and appreciate.
A list of Trader Joe’s goodies is not complete without giving props to their excellent dessert selection. The 30 layers of pastry that make up a Danish Kringle is produced by a Danish bakery in Wisconsin. Each bite is a pillowy delight. Keep an eye out for special flavors throughout the year, like pumpkin caramel in the fall.