Turn the key, and there you are. The condo you rented is even more beautiful than you thought it would be. To heck with going out! Well O.K., maybe just once to get some fish tacos on the Malecon. And some groceries. But where? While convenience stores are…convenient, they don’t have a lot to choose from. A weekend of beer and lime flavored potato chips was fine back in the day, but the family is gonna want more. Where to shop…?
The options for grocery shopping have never been more complete, as any Rocky Point regular can tell you. There are supermarkets and small specialty stores. And while you may not find thirty seven brands of catsup like in the states, all you need for a weekend or a month is right here.
If walking into this big box store has a familiar feel, that’s because this is Walmart made over for the Mexican market. Isles of clothing, cleaning supplies, and toys are all here, as well as groceries. Aurerra has a bakery as well as a ‘deli’ for cheese or cold cuts (more kinds of ham than you knew existed). There is a butcher shop, alcohol, and a complete produce section. Catering to U.S. visitors, they always have a good exchange rate for the dollar. Aurrera is located on Benito Juarez, and is easy to spot as you come into town.
Sam’s Club is located right next door. While you do need to be a member, your card from the U.S. works here too. You can find electronics, camping gear, vitamins, even patio furniture. As in the states, food is sold in larger quantities. There are good choices for coffee, frozen foods, wine, and the only gourmet foods section in town.
*Super Ley / Ley Express
Located throughout Mexico, Super Ley is complete and a little chaotic. The main location is on Ave. Constitucion, while Ley Express is on Blvd. Josefa, the other big north / south street. The newer Ley Express is an abreviated version of the store, and tends to have a better exchange rate as well. In either store, you are sure to see other ‘gringos’ walking the isles.
The big public space on the water in the Old Port is called the Malecon. As you enter it, you drive past restaurants and curio shops. Here is where you will find vendors selling iced down kilos of shrimp, lenguada, and the catch of the day, all pulled from the sea earlier that morning.
Carneceria is the word for butcher shop. You can get cuts of meat at any of the supermarkets mentioned above, but since Sonora is known for beef, buying the very best might be worth going out of your way. It certainly is not much more expensive. Cedasa has a grill outside, and they will prepare your purchase for you (tipping the chef is considered good form). They can include everything you need for a traditional carne asada (tortillas, salsa, grilled green onions). On Sonora / 16th Street four blocks east of Benito Jaurez (turn at Pollo Lucas).
Moy sells herbs and spices. Here you will find things like cinnamon, pine nuts, chia seeds, moles, valerian root (herbal sleep remedy), even cat and dog food. Locally produced jars of honey are on the shelf, as well as more varieties of dried chilies than any where else – for the brave to try. On Ocampo /17th Street near Elektra department store.
Fruterias are like farmers markets, and there are a few around town. They sell fruits and vegetables from Mexicos’ interior, usually fresh off the truck, once a week. On Sinaloa Avenue (same street as Capone’s, but north of Freemont Blvd.), it is easy to find, and has great prices on produce. From the familiar (onions, apples, tomatoes) to the exotic (chamoy, verdolagas, membrillo), it is a place where you are sure to meet other ‘Americanos’ shopping. Or dancing. Happy background music is always being played. Check out the little kiosk in the parking lot that sells fresh flour tortillas. It is the only place around that also makes the whole wheat variety.
For the sake of convenience, go three blocks south on Sinaloa Avenue to Agua Reina. You can buy purified water and ice cubes there. No one drinks the tap water in Rocky Point, but then again no one in Avondale does either.
*El Crucero Liqour Store
Crucero means crossing, and this little place is located in the plaza where the railroad tracks cross Blvd. Benito Juarez. El Crucero has an above average selection of brands that are familiar to those from the states, more types of beers than you can usually find, and a seperate wine room. There are also a lot of tequilas here, as well as those little bottles that you get on airplanes.