I've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on groceries over my four decades. I used to bring my grandmother to A&P on West Main in Waterbury, Everybody's on South Main near RollerMagic, Pathmark, and, my favorite, the Town Plot IGA.

I still regularly shop at Town Plot's hidden gem, but I started thinking about my favorite places to pick up groceries around our area nowadays. There are quite a few local/regional small supermarkets to spend your grocery money besides Stop & Shop, Big Y, and Shop Rite in Western Connecticut. Here are some of my favorite spots that offer much more than just the big brands.

  • Town Plot IGA

    Fairfield Avenue in the Town Plot section of Waterbury. The store colors speak loudly, if you're looking for Italian specialties, the Schnaars family delivers. Small enough for our neighborhood's elderly population to easily navigate around without getting winded. I've never seen it more than two people deep at the registers.

    Credit - Google
  • Watertown Meat Center

    Main Street in Watertown. I'm a noob when it comes to this place. Been going there for a few years now. Continually impressed with the diversity and quality of the products that they can fit in their tiny market.

    Credit - Google
  • Labonne's

    Locations in Watertown, Woodbury, and Salisbury. The second IGA on my list. Labonne's truly has LOCAL products. Not Massachusetts, not New Jersey, Connecticut products. Great selection of produce.

    Credit - Google
  • DiNova's Four Corners

    Middlebury Road (Rt. 64) Middlebury

    The prepared hot food section of their deli is outstanding. Many a night I've decided that it was too hot to cook and stopped in. Funny thing, I use that excuse in February.

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  • Balducci's

    Post Road - Westport. OK, I admit, this is not a 'local' market. But damn, if you want unique food items that you will not find anywhere else, this place is worth a visit. Be prepared, it's in Westport, you can't walk out of there without dropping half your paycheck

    Credit - Google