Staff Picks: Best State College Grocery Store

Grocery shopping is just one of those chores you can’t get out of doing.

While you can put off laundry for another day, you can’t necessarily put off eating. Besides, Grubhub and Uber Eats aren’t the cheapest options, and there are only so many days you can order out in a row before you start to feel gross.

However, a nice grocery store can make the food shopping experience all the more bearable. Luckily for Penn State students, State College has a plethora of grocery stores for them and the surrounding community to choose from.

But which store ranks supreme? Our staff’s go-to grocery shoppers weighed in.

Caitlin Burns: Wegmans

My favorite State College grocery store is Wegmans. They have healthy options like Trader Joe’s but also 10 times the options that Trader Joe’s carries. They also have a hot food bar and prepared meals that are great for college students. To top it all off, they carry a lot of the same higher-end brands as Target.

Sarah Sacker: Giant

Giant all the way. However, I think that the one down on South Atherton is better than the one on North Atherton, in my opinion. The South Atherton location is better organized, usually has more product, and is less crowded. I also highly recommend getting a Giant card. It always helps knock some money off at the end of your trip.

Lindsay Tagliere: Target

If I’m going grocery shopping in State College, the Target on Colonnade is my go-to. No matter what I need, I know Target has my back. Its selection of groceries, clothing staples, hair, and makeup products, and everything in between at affordable prices has never disappointed me. Although honestly, wandering around Target can be a little hard on my wallet.

As the kids say, “You don’t know what you need. Target tells you what you need.” The warm lighting, friendly employees, and fun music selection make Target a great shopping experience and part of my weekly routine.

Renata Daou: McLanahan’s

My freshman year, I lived in Pollock, which is really close to one of McLanahan’s stores. It was not my first option when it comes to grocery shopping, but that store was definitely life-saving when I wanted a late-night snack or when I just wanted to buy a few things. 

Despite having half of the store taken over by the clothing section this location still had everything I needed (food, cleaning supplies, school materials, etc), and they were open pretty late, which was perfect for me. They also had a lot of fruits in the front of the store, which I loved, and I bought them fresh every single week.

Acacia Aster Broder: Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s is my go-to grocery store. They always have fresh produce, exciting snacks, and yummy pre-made meals. The Hatch Mac and Cheese is a staple for me, along with the marinated rosemary chicken. I like the layout of the store along with all the quirky Trader Joe’s things – the funky signs, cute packaging, and actually helpful employees.

I grew up less than a block away from a Trader Joe’s, so shopping there reminds me of home (and a time when my mom made all of my meals.) Whenever I need groceries, I know the first place I’ll head is TJs.

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