Yes, this is the most common question that I’m asked about downtown life!
My Austin friends would not be surprised to learn that I still mostly shop at H-E-B (a huge Texas grocery chain). I think the South Congress store is closest to downtown Austin but my life tends toward north Austin and so does my grocery shopping. My favorite H-E-Bs are on Jollyville Road or Far West but I sometimes head to the East 41st Street store with my son and half of the UT student population. Some of you may have spotted me at the H-E-B in my old stomping grounds on Spicewood Springs Road but I will deny it.
Downtown Austin has a small convenient store chain called Royal Blue Grocery. All three stores are less than a 10-minute walk from our apartment. Prices are a bit expensive but these little stores carry a surprisingly wide variety of items. For example, one day I was in desperate need of a tomato for my lunchtime salad and ran over to the closest Royal Blue. There were only two tomatoes in their case, but hey, I only needed one.
About once a week Bill and I walk the mile or so over to Whole Foods on Lamar. This is their corporate headquarters as well as their flagship store. Whole Foods is a bit too expensive for a full grocery-shop, but excellent for picking up dinner or those irresistible mini-cupcakes that someone in my family loves. This store has lots of indoor cafes plus multiple salad bars and buffets. I feel certain that some downtown dwellers eat all their meals at this Whole Foods location. If we lived just a little closer, I would be tempted too…