COMING TO A NEW CITY CAN BE TOUGH, especially figuring out where your regular spots are. We mined our annual Best of the Chippewa Valley Reader Poll to find out where the locals say you should shop.

Where do I buy groceries?

3007 Mall Dr., Eau Claire

The Midwest chain offers a massive variety of food, including a huge organic section. By the time you read this, Festival should have taken over two additional locations at 2717 Birch Street and 2615 North Clairemont Ave (west side).

2855 Woodman Ave., Altoona

This enormous, employee-owned grocery store is packed to the gills with just about any kind of food item you’d ever need.

2424 E. Clairemont Ave., Eau Claire

This big new grocery store is slated to open in the fall of 2021. Expect to find plenty of grocery options (including natural and organic fare) plus an in-store coffee show and a Wahlburger’s restaurant.


1117 S. Farwell St., Eau Claire

The downtown co-op offers a variety of locally produced and organic products, including fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and milk.

Where do I buy music?

Sure you can load up your Spotify, but sometimes it’s nice to talk to a real person and get some new recommendations.

128 S. Barstow St., Eau Claire

The downtown record store offers a massive collection of new and used vinyl and used CDs with a friendly staff to boot. They also host occassional all-ages shows and signing events.

The weekend after Thanksgiving has “Small Business Saturday,” and local shops roll out all kinds of great deals.

The First Friday of every month, downtown businesses stay open later and have special sales.