H-E-B on Bunker Hill and I-10: One Grocery Store to Rule Them All

Categories: Grocery Guide

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I have lived in Houston a long time and it a lot of different neighborhoods around town. As a result, I have shopped at more than my fair share of grocery stores. From the Randall's that used to exist on the North Freeway as a kid to the Kroger where I worked all through high school to a Food Town on 11th that is now a bank (or Ghetto Kroger on Shepherd) where I went with my grandmother every Tuesday in the summer followed immediately by a trip to the farmer's market at Canino's on Airline. From the Fiesta on Main Street with its slow jams over the loud speakers to the one on Patton rocking the Tejano. From every Whole Foods inside the loop when I decided to go vegetarian and healthy for a few years to the Central Market on Weslayan where I used to buy pre-marinated salmon filets and fresh produce.

Food City, H-E-B, Randall's, Kroger, Food Town, Joe V's Smart Shop, Whole Foods, Central Market, Canino's and Trader Joe's...from the Galleria to downtown to the Heights to Spring to the Third Ward, I've tried everything in my immediate radius, and when a usually polite checker asks if I found everything I was looking for today, I always respond politely with, "Yes," even though that was quite often not the case.

One of the problems inherent with most grocery stores is their need to cater to a certain demographic and only fill shelf space with things they can and will sell. This is why, as amazing as Central Market is, the lack of cleaning products and cat food always leaves me one trip short of a complete shop. The slow jams at Fiesta along with the ridiculous Mexican food options are great, but the modest produce section and aisle after aisle of boxed, processed food leaves me wanting.

Up until recently, there wasn't a solution that didn't include multiple trips to various locations, certainly a first world problem and one unique to a city like Houston -- in New York, this is a way of life -- but an issue nevertheless. And even though I love to shop for food -- a trait I inherited from my father -- and will travel great lengths to get what I want, I'd prefer to find it in one place.

This is how the H-E-B on Bunker Hill and Interstate 10 became my wonderland, my perfect grocery store, the one store to rule them all.

My wife and I both like to cook. She particularly enjoys cooking ethnic food and she's good at it. A few months back, a recipe called for the spice sumac. The only thing I knew about it was that, like poison ivy, you could get hives if you rubbed up against it. I was convinced we would never find it at H-E-B. I figured this would require a trip to a specialty store. My wife was more optimistic. Guess what we found on the spice aisle?



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24 comments
h_e_x
h_e_x

HEB feels like a casino with the layout they have. I don't like going to them because it's always such a roundabout process. Food Town, Michocana, and a few other places have good stuff. Food Town in particular has some pretty good produce and meats at good prices.

Rebecca Keaton
Rebecca Keaton

I live in Crosby but drive to the Summerwood HEB for the best shopping.

lambmn
lambmn

One of the reasons this is such a great store is that it is close to Scott McClelland's home.  It is HIS store, and I have spotted him shopping there more than once.  I, too, love its huge selection, efficiency and prices that are usually better than Kroger or Randalls, without the need of a keytag.  It is one of many reasons HEB is kicking grocery butt in this town. 

queenoftheworld98200
queenoftheworld98200

loved your story, I am with you on being a grocery store fan... I shop em all!


kimbosita
kimbosita

and their beer & wine department is the bomb.

Katrina Clarence Rene
Katrina Clarence Rene

One of my favorite stores. But it's not I my neighborhood burin drive past a couple of others just to go there.

Robert Weber
Robert Weber

HEB 660 in Conroe, the beer & wine department is very well run and everything they suggest is perfect.

Jeremy Garcia
Jeremy Garcia

Viki Huynh and Emily Martin-Mckamie. The one grocery store that I will run over an old lady to get to.

gibbon
gibbon

Please tell the groceries in Houston to carry Jamaican Jerk seasoning, Walker's Wood specifically. It's like nowhere but Fiesta. What is it that makes a store manager order 30 flavors of crappy bbq sauce but not one single jerk brand. Thank you Fiesta, others please get a little culture beyond hot sauce and bbq

erichenao
erichenao

That being said…sunday at 5pm, it's crazy getting around there. Parking lot is a mess. and just like in every other store, people are so self absorbed to understand how to effectively move about in a crowded grocery store. Luckily we hit up El Rey before tackling the weekly grocery list.

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

Shhh! You seriously didn't need to publicize this..

h_e_x
h_e_x

Could stand to pay their employees a bit more.

h_e_x
h_e_x

@gibbon Have you tried Caribbean stores or restaurants? I know some places that sell food also sell sauces, drinks, and other products straight from the Caribbean. Depending on where you live I know they have some places near the suburbs on the South Side near Pearland and some closer to town.

jeffbalke
jeffbalke topcommenter

@erichenao That's why we sneak in via the feeder road not on Bunker Hill, which is a nightmare.

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