For the third time, we asked you, our AOL users, to tell us which grocery stores bring you pleasure ... and which bring you pain. And your responses surprised us! We expected the message boards to be teeming with stores that drive you crazy. And there was some of that, but as it turns out, there also seems to be many great supermarkets out there.
Click through our gallery as we highlight 10 stores you detest and 10 you adore.
Reader Nez 727 says: "You can never beat ShopRite prices anywhere else in Northern New Jersey. Stop&Shop prices [are] way too high! Acme [has] bad meat, plus super-high prices. Pathmark is about as good as ShopRite, but ShopRite has their Can-Can sale, which I always stock up on all canned foods. You can never beat their prices. Never! [I] cannot wait until the new ShopRite [opens] in Bayonne. I hope [it] is as big or bigger than the one in Harrison, N.J."
Reader Man Ape Ore says: "Believe me, the place stinks. I don't have to say much more. The place reeks, rude workers, moldy produce, horrible hot dogs, spoiled milk, four-dollar bags of chips, dented cans, paper thin or 2-inch thick cold cut slices, wilted lettuce, stubborn shoppers, sticky floors, asphalt in parking lot crumbling breaking apart, automatic doors installed in late 1970s, crumbled doughnuts, cracked eggs, broken apple juice container, expensive pet food, leaking ceiling, rotten apples, stale bread. Need I say more?"
Reader Muffywhite80 says: "My husband and I like Aldi. There are [only a] few brand name items, but their brands are great and top-notch produce to boot. Also , I save half what I would spend at the other grocery stores in our area."
Reader Ceciledeboard says: "... In some cases, the prices are even doubled and then advertised as "for sale" at prices even higher than at most other stores. There is never a chance of getting a good deal at Albertsons."
Reader Susancinder says: "These are Northern Calif. grocery stores and they are privately-owned by one family. Which means they focus on the important things like excellent customer service and great prices, as well as treating their employees better than most companies. They could teach Albertsons and Safeway a thing or to about valuing your employees."
Reader CHROBO42 says: "Marc's is the pits. Recently I was in the Cleveland area and shopped at the Marc's in Westlake, Ohio. I would stay away from it at all costs. It's dirty, not well organized and their registers are ancient. They don't even accept debit cards. The store is a joke."
Reader Carolynccab says: "H-E-B is the best chain in Houston. The prices are very reasaonable. The stores are always clean. They have a wide selection of produce, beverages, cheese and ethnic products. I love this store chain and their store brand products are pretty good as well."
Reader DABOO JJ says: "I HATE Acme markets! They are ALWAYS higher than their competitors down the street, and seem to not even care! Especially the one in Hockessin, Delaware. They seem to think that since the majority of the population is mid-to-upper income, they can just charge whatever they want! I talked to someone in my neighborhood about this, and they told me they did some research, and the Acme Market in Hockessin , Delaware is the highest priced Acme on the East Coast! I wish I had enough time in the day, I would rally a group to protest right out in front of their stores!"
Reader MissLisaLT says: "One of the worst -- STOP N SHOP. Fresh is NOT available and their prices are that of a high-end market. Not only is it unhygienic, but their personnel is discourteous and get agitated to assist you in any way. I have lived in different states and though NJ is where I hail from it has few good, fresh and reasonably priced markets, however, Stop N Shop is by far one of the worst!"
Reader StageStooge says: "I think the Anderson's Chain of stores in Ohio are some of the best stores I've ever been to. They have a great amount of local products, wonderful quality foods, their staff is very knowledgeable, and one of the best things is that they let you sample almost anything in the store if you ask. They're very active in their communities and really show that they're not just another general store."
Reader CEBJStorey says: "Food City stores in our area of Tennessee are about 15 to 20 percent over priced and the fruits and vegetables always seem to have bad spots on them. We need more stores like Martins and Meijers."
Reader Paramale says: "... It's literally the best supermarket chain I've seen in my 53 years of life ... Publix has it all. What struck me immediately was the sheer variety of stock in an area where you have shoppers from Latin and Central America, New York, a smattering of a few of the Midwest states, and the Deep South. They have something for all of these groups, and while things may vary a little from store to store, the produce is usually fabulous ... There always seem to be many employees on the floor so you don't have to search forever for help, and every time I have asked where an item is, they have insisted on walking me there, unless I just insist they don't need to. After living in FL now for 5 years I have only met one even grouchy Publix clerk, and have NEVER met one who was rude to me ... Florida certainly has its share of problems, but finding a good grocery store is Southeast Fla. is not one of them."
Reader slade1955 says: "The Ingles in Cleveland, Georgia is overpriced. The past week they have had 2 for $5.00 sales or 2 for another amount. But the price of the items are higher then they were in the weeks past. Their Lay's products are way overpriced. Unless Lay's has been having a potato shortage I didn't hear of. Not enough new products either. You have a few brands of let's say snack foods and that's it. They need a bigger variety."
Reader MASTERJEN9 says: "[It's] always exciting for adults, as well as children. Prices are extremely low for the incredible products you receive."
Reader MADSILBER says: "Love Trader Joe's! Excellent milk and dairy foods at great prices. Delicious Nantes carrots not available elsewhere. Have also received many new ideas from their sampling table ... best one was shrimp and tomato pesto appetizer salad."
Reader Karen Mess says: "Trader Joe's offers food at a fair price. Customer service at Traders is EXCELLENT. This is an excellent example of how and where relatively small grocery stores excel."
Reader KMPast says: "I wouldn't shop at Winn-Dixie on a bet. Every store I have ever been to has been filthy and on more than one occasion, I've grabbed chicken from the selection to have the slimy package slip out of my hand and the smell to be something akin to a toxic dump site. I've also seen products that should be refrigerated or frozen left on shelves by stupid, lazy customers for at least an hour while I was in the store and then see an employee put it pack in the respective freezer or refrigerator section knowing full well this item had been left out way too long for consumption. Even Walmart gets better marks than Winn-Dixie and that isn't saying much. I'll stick with Publix or Meijer."
Reader KP3296 says: "Wegmans is based in Rochester, NY. Its' stores are located in NY state (none in NYC area, yet), NJ, PA, MD, and Virginia. They offer a great variety of fresh produce, organic foods and prepared meals to take home for dinner. Stores are clean, staff is courteous, prices vary by location (but usually reflect the local median price). You can find most anything at Wegmans."
Reader Stevenholland says: "Anyone who has been to 'Weggies' knows what I'm talking about ... [it's] the very best! Nothing is close!"
Reader REDSYD1 says: "Pathmark started out well and went downhill. Sale items impossible to find, bad carts, dirty aisles and super rude checkers. Once, when I was reaching for a bag to bag my own groceries, the checker started up the conveyor belt which caught the skin of my forearm giving it a painful pinch. The checker's response was 'So, sue Pathmark.' I told the manager and hope the twit was fired." Next: One of the Best
Reader Slipwest says: "Smith's is the BEST. In the Southwest, the Smith Chain is No. 1. They have weekly specials on the products you buy regularly. It is clean and well organized. Excellent produce and meats. By contrast, Safeway's specials are things you rarely buy and every day prices are always higher than Smith's."
Reader Erthwmn72 says: "I live in Nevada and do almost all of my grocery shopping at Smith's.I love Smith's, they have great prices, awesome sales and, if I ever have enough money at the time, great case sales.The store is clean and the employees are very friendly.We shop there so much they know us by name and we know them by name!!"
Reader Ddax1 says: "Hate it! [They are] overpriced and their motto "the friendliest stores in town" is a joke. Their employees are lukewarm, and my biggest pet peeve, THEY NEVER, AND I MEAN NEVER, HAVE ENOUGH BAGGERS!"
Reader Shadenumina says: "I was in admiration of Schnucks chain when it first opened for its innovative arrangement, pleasant shopping atmosphere and for its sales. Now a number of the stores have become tacky and the service is from disinterested to rude. They don't seem to give a darn about you or what you buy any more."