Top 10 Items to Buy at Mariano’s Fresh Market
If you haven’t already noticed by my social media feeds I LOVE Mariano’s Fresh Market. For those of you who are in Chicago and have not yet tried them please do yourself the favor and go today! There are other variations of Mariano’s in the midwest which go by the names of Pick N Save, Metro Market, and Copps. These are all part of the Roundy’s supermarket chain. Unfortunately, I cannot speak for any of them since I have never been. Although if you are located on the south east coast I can say that Publix is somewhat comparable. Of course, in my personal opinion nothing is as great as Mariano’s!
Mariano’s has changed the grocery store game for the better (for me at least). I can’t tell you how fabulous I feel when I step foot in there. Honestly, I love it so much I go anywhere from 2-3 days a week (I wish there was a cringing husband emoji I could insert here lol). I love taking long romantic walks through the aisles in search of new treasures to buy. But seriously, what I most love about Mariano’s is their fresh and wholesome food selection in conjunction with their out of this world, amazing customer service. The aisles are very easy to navigate through as they have specific sections designated by country. This makes it super easy if you are working on a specific ethnic recipe. Not to mention, I have a champagne taste on a beer budget so this place is perfect for me. Keep reading below as I will share with you my favorite items to purchase at Mariano’s. I have been to other grocery stores, and at no other will you be able to purchase items like this with such great quality and price.
These are the top ten items on my list that I get at Mariano’s.
- Fresh squeezed Orange Juice
- Fresh squeezed Lemon juice
- Fresh squeeze Lime Juice
- Local grown sweet basil
- Cheese (my favorite is Cypress Grove Midnight Moon)
- Orange Fig
- Crostini Rustic Style Crackers
- Birthday Cake
Fresh squeezed orange juice
Their freshly squeezed orange juice is some of the BEST $3.90 that I have spent in my life. The taste is amazing with just the right amount of pulp. I love knowing that the juice was freshly squeezed in store without any mysterious additives. If you are in the store at the right time of the day you will get to see the juice makers in action. My family loves when I walk in the house with my little OJ bottle, and I am pretty confident I have my little sister hooked on it since this is the only OJ she requests.
Fresh squeezed lemon & lime juice
Being able to buy freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice at my local Mariano’s has been a lifesaver. I cannot tell you how much money and time these little bottles of magic have saved me. I used to buy both lemons and limes and watch them go to waste because I was “too busy” to cut and/or juice them. This sounds like such an easy task but between balancing being a wife, mom, and career woman I just don’t have the time I wish I had to finish everything on my list. The lemon juice is always available right in the fresh orange juice section along with other all natural juices. The lime juice has to be called into the produce section at least an hour in advance. Keep in mind that they also sell all natural lemonade which will have water and sugar in the ingredient list so be sure to double check your bottle before purchasing. Typically I buy them in pints at $3.49 for the lemon and $8 for the lime. I know that may sound pretty expensive to most of you, but in my opinion time IS money and it beats all that squeezing I could have done. Free tip- I like to spruce up my orange juice with a spritz of lemon. It is my new favorite morning drink!
Local grown sweet basil
I love the aroma and color of fresh local grown basil. In my search I have yet to find a store that has basil as beautiful as Mariano’s. I will say because of the freshness I find that if you don’t use it between 2-3 days of purchasing it chances are you will start to see the fuzzy mold. However, I am happy to see that because it’s more alarming when produce doesn’t go bad quickly which makes me wonder, “what was this sprayed with.” I have purchased basil from other local grocery stores but I always go back to my trusty Mariano’s basil. Other basils I have purchased have been a deep and dull green or the aroma has not been as strong and the flavor is not as noticeable. The price is approximately $2.99 for the bunch.
Mariano’s donuts are seriously a little piece of heavens dough in your mouth. You will never … listen to me NEVER … enjoy any other store bought donut like you would this one. My favorites are the cookies and cream (one of their gourmet choices) white icing sprinkled, and sugar donuts. The best time to go is when the store is recently opened for the morning. The donut shelves are full of choices, the smell is in the air, and well who doesn’t enjoy dozen warm donuts for only $7!
Cypress Moon Grove cheese, orange fig, and crostini crackers
On a recent trip to Mariano’s cheese heaven I came across a sample of this delicious trio! Oh my word…. It was so amazing I could not leave the store without it. The Cypress moon is a goat cheese and let me tell you the orange fig really enhances the flavor of this cheese. The crackers really balance out the salty and sweetness of both the cheese and fig combined. This is a perfect match for a wine and cheese type of night.
I like to think of myself as the designated family “cake purchaser.” I have a pretty serious sweet tooth and cake is by far my favorite dessert so I take cake buying very seriously. When I am in charge of buying a cake there is a 90% chance I will make my purchase from Mariano’s and most of the time that’s what my family requests! Most of my friends will even tell you that is where I usually recommend people to go. The cake is full of flavor, moist, and not overly sweet. My favorite is vanilla cake with their yummy Chicago style buttercream. The prices are also very reasonable. I always email the bakery the picture of my idea and they have never let me down. Their cupcakes are equally amazing!
I love ice cream, but I cannot deny I like to be a little fancy, and since Gelato is a fancy Italian word for ice cream … I LOVE it. My boys and I love going for gelato at Mariano’s mostly because it tastes great and secondly because the prices are reasonable for this growing family of mine! The consistency is so rich and creamy I wish I could have some every-time I went in there. Too bad my hips can’t afford it. However on hot summer days I will gladly bargain my hips for a nice scoop of this yummy goodness. `
All in all I really believe that Mariano’s sets the stage for the best grocery store experience that I personally have ever had. Their customer service is exceptional which is so important to me because it makes my shopping experience that much more enjoyable and convenient. I love that their calendar is full of events for the entire family. They do everything from sushi making to flower arrangement classes. Most importantly I like to know that my hard earned money is going towards purchasing high quality foods.
To be completely honest I will say that most of the time their produce is marked higher than your average neighborhood grocery store, but I will attest that their quality is much better. I cannot tell you how many times I have purchased cheaper produce at another store Mariano’s has greatly outlasted that produce. To each their own, but I am at a point in life where I have realized that quality costs and sometimes buying cheaper actually means you’ll spend more down the line. If you love Mariano’s too I would love to hear about your favorite items and experiences.
Follow me on Instagram and Facebook @lovemrsvelez to keep up with my Mariano’s trips!