Lidl is a German grocery store chain that recently started opening stores in the U.S. Specifically, they’re starting in North Carolina and Virginia and there’s one not far from my house.
Before I tell you more, I’m going to let you know that I love grocery stores. Growing up my extended family owned and operated grocery stores and I worked in grocery stores as a teenager. The first time I went to California I called my family from Safeway because I couldn’t wait to tell them how cool it was. I even sent them photos of the store’s walk-in wine cooler. I have tourist photos of grocery stores. I mean business, people.
I’ve tried to include photos here, but didn’t take photos in the busiest spots of the store. I didn’t want to be that weird stranger taking random photos of people.
I love Lidl. Lidl is the baby that Target and Aldi would have if they hooked up. It’s well-organized, has great prices on store-brands, and competitive prices on name brands. It sells a huge variety of stuff in a small space. The quality of produce and meat is top notch and the bakery, oh, the bakery. Well, I’ll tell you about that now…
The bakery sales breads, donuts, sweet pastries, savory pastries (think mini-pizzas with veggie toppings) and bagels. It’s basically a “serve yourself” bakery, so you grab a paper bag and grab your own items from gigantic bread boxes. You can also use their bread slicing machine which is like magic and proof that Lidl has enough faith in humanity that they think we can handle the decision of bread slice thickness. *fist bump to Lidl*
Meat/Seafood/Dairy…Cheese and the perfect Charcuterie Platter
I find that the quality of the meat, seafood, and dairy items are pretty good. We’ve had a roast and salmon from Lidl that were awesome, ribs that were so-so. The manchego that comes in at about $3 a pound is a bit drier than most manchego I’ve had, but it’s still delish and who am I to belittle a perfectly good cheese?
They also have a wide variety of packaged meats and cheeses that is better than most other grocery stores. You can create an epic meat and cheese platter…or if you want to get fancy, call it charcuterie. Some veggies, a good piece of bread, cheese, meat… I’m getting hungry.
Personal Care and Home Care
They have a limited quantity of personal and home care items. Store brand dish soap, clothing soap, hand soap. Household cleaners, feminine products, hygiene items like cotton swabs, baby items like shampoo, diapers, and wipes. Some of these things are name brands, others are store brand. I’ve found the quality of all the Lidl brand products in this category to be great.
Surprises only last until the store runs out. In any given week you’ll find items ranging from cycling jerseys to coffee makers to plant stands to dish sets. The prices are fair and the items are a mix of name brand and Lidl brand. I’m still mourning an adorable tiered plant stand I didn’t get because I waited too long!
Produce at Lidl is competitive with local brands and is often from the same sources used by other local grocers. They don’t have a huge variety, but everything is fresh and you can pick up most of what you might need for a week’s worth of meals.
In the last month or so my area Lidl has been stocking up on Italian foods – yummy cookies, unique pastas, you name it. It seems like this is cyclical, so maybe at a different time there will be German or Greek delicacies, for instance.
Beer and Wine
The beer and wine section is HUGE! And the prices are very fair. Lidl doesn’t carry overly expensive bottles of wine, but they take care to cover all price points. I’ll let the photo do the talking!
Definitely, check out Lidl when it comes to your neighborhood! It’s fantastic and I think it will change the way Americans grocery shop.