Southerners love their Publix. With 1,289 stores across the Southeast, the grocer is known for its selection, deals, and its Southern hospitality, Insider previously reported.
In 2021, shoppers ranked Publix as the best regional grocery store in the Southeast, according to a report by data science firm Dunnhumby.
Most of the grocery stores near me in Brooklyn, New York, feel cramped and have limited brands and products to choose from. I'm used to not finding everything I want in one store.
So when I wandered into a Publix during a recent trip from New York to Florida, I left wishing we had a Publix location in New York.
I was amazed at how much variety Publix had in all its departments compared to what I'm used to, and I even noticed some of the same products I buy at home were cheaper at Publix.
Upon entering Publix, I was greeted with a sign in their signature shade of green, a color I found to be calming.
Once inside the store, I was greeted by a floral section. I love looking at flowers and appreciated their placement near the entrance.
I saw signs for the deli and produce sections nearby. Publix is known for its subs, which have a cult following of their own, as Insider previously reported. So I made a mental note to stop at the counter on my way out.
Next to the deli section, I noticed a wide variety of Publix-made teas and lemonades. I would have loved to snag one of these half gallons if I was on my way home or had a car to haul my groceries.
Compared to other grocery stores I've been to in NYC, Publix seemed to have an extensive selection of prepared foods for eating on the go.
In the fresh produce section, there were so many different kinds of fruit to choose from.
In between produce aisles, there were sections for smaller items like candy and nuts.
I appreciated how Publix placed items you would usually serve together nearby, like pita bread across from hummus. I sometimes — though not often — see this done in New York markets.
I could smell the seafood section before I saw it. Past the produce, the selection looked fresh and diverse, reminding me that I was just miles from the ocean.
The aisles were clearly labeled, so it seemed like it would be easy to find whatever I might be looking for.
I noticed a wider variety of individually-packed snacks than I normally see at grocery stores in NYC. The packages of snacks reminded me more of what you'd find in a Costco than a regular supermarket.
The chip aisle seemed endless, with seemingly every flavor and brand of snacks I could possibly want all in one place.
But when Publix was out of something, there was an apology note next to the label. "How polite," I thought.
Near the snacks, I saw my go-to caffeine source — Mio Energy — and found more than 20 flavors, some of which I didn't know existed.
Some of the price points were noticeably more affordable at Publix, too. I pay $15 for Justin's Peanut Butter at the market near my Brooklyn apartment, so I was surprised to see it selling for just $12 at Publix.
I found many brands and types of milk, including cashew, coconut, and goat milk. At my local grocer in New York, I usually have to choose between two or three different kinds of milk.
When I walked through the pet aisle, I thought that dog and cat owners could easily skip going to a pet store to buy food, toys, or even leashes.
Publix even had clothes ...
... and after seeing all the tech and home products, I thought that a trip to Publix could also replace a trip to Target.
In the personal hygiene section, I found all the face wash brands I typically use. Few of the markets I've been to in NYC have this section, so I usually have to stop at a pharmacy for these items.
In the bakery, I saw a variety of inexpensive, pre-packaged bread, and it reminded me that I needed to try a sandwich from the deli.
I ordered a Publix roast beef sub on wheat and added cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and Italian dressing, which an associate assembled in front of me.
When my sandwich was complete, I went to the self-checkout area to purchase it with a drink and was surprised the sub cost only $5.50.
It tasted like something I'd pay at least $10 for in New York. The bread was fresh, and I could taste all of the fresh ingredients individually. I thought the sub was excellent and the perfect way to end my tour.
The next time I have to stop at two different markets plus a pharmacy to get a week's worth of supplies in Brooklyn, I'll be dreaming of Publix.