Tony's Fresh Market in Berwyn

Grocery shopping can be a mundane task that often feels like a chore, but I like to make shopping excursions fun by getting out of the rut of shopping at the same place every week. I'm always excited to try out a new shopping venue and I'm known to get just as excited shopping for cheeses and breads and bakery items as I am when I shop for clothes and shoes. So, I was thrilled to be contacted by Tony's Fresh Market and invited to check out one of their stores for a little shopping spree.

Tony's started in 1979 and has now grown to 15 locations throughout Chicagoland. I live in the south suburbs and there isn't one super close so I'd never heard of the local chain before. I was told they had a big selection of international foods, a great bakery and a number of Tony's brand items and I couldn't wait to explore the store. I visited their Berwyn location late on a Sunday afternoon. 

It happened to be St. Patrick's Day and once I was in the door, the first thing I noticed was their hot food bar that had - you guessed it - corned beef and cabbage among the offerings. There was also a chicken, macaroni and cheese, onion rings, pulled pork and a number of other hot prepared food that you could purchase by the pound. So, if you are stopping in just to grab something for dinner, you can step right in the door and they can ring it up nearby at the gelato counter. There was also a self-serve soup counter with eight varieties of hot soup and ethnic goodies like Puerto Rican rice, tamales and menudo.

I also loved the wide variety of cold items, including some wonderful-looking ceviche.

Nearby was a large cooler of fresh salsa verde, guacamole, pico de gallo and more salads. They definitely have the authetic Hispanic food covered. Normally if I want something like this I have to visit a local Mexican market, but then go to a larger grocery store for other essentials or ingredients for meals. Here I can pick up favorite Mexican dishes and snacks and get everything else on my grocery list. 
And speaking of ethnic goodies, Tony's has their own brand and offers several Italian products. You'll find them throughout the store - at the deli counter, in the condiments, with the pastas and more. I spotted them throughout the store.

I also was so delighted with the international aisles I had heard about. They cover a lot of ground and have everything from beverages to candies to canned items to pastas and jellies and oils and snacks. 

So if you want to make some hearty ramen, you can get noodles and do your thing. Or if you want to indulge in German chocolate, you can do that. Or if you are looking to prepare a middle eastern feast, they have shelves of products to do so.

Our cart included items from Japan, Mexico, Turkey, Germany, Thailand and Italy and I can't wait to try them what I got. I could have easily spent an hour or more just perusing the three or four international aisles in the store and planning out meals with imported ingredients. I love to try new foods and if you're an adventurous eater, this is a great place to find a large sampling of items from around the world.

Tucked back in the front corner past the hot foods, you'll also find a juicing station where they press juices throughout the day that you can grab from the cooler - and it's more than just orange juice. They also offered freshly-squeezed carrot juice, tangerine juice, beet juice and more. 

Beyond the produce section, which has a large and varied selection of not just your standard fruits and vegetables, but some more exotic varieties as well as fresh herbs, are the bakery and deli counter.

I picked out way too many items at the bakery, but it was hard to pass up all the goodies. Cupcakes. Cookies. Brownies. Tiramisu. Cheesecake. Canoli. Eclairs. And much, much more. I love that you can get so many mini treats for just 99 cents. Sometimes all I want is just a bite or two of something sweet.

There also happened to be a delicious Italian pastry available when I was there called zeppole. A deep-fried doughnut like dough is stuffed with a flavored filling. We got a box with each of the available flavors - Bavarian cream, Bavarian cream with strawberries, canoli filling and French cream. It's associated with St. Joseph's Day on March 19 and is a popular treat for the Feast of St. Joseph.

I loved that the deli counter included a number of salads way beyond the basic potato and macaroni salad. They had a nice fresh antipasto salad, a Greek salad and even a baby octopus salad.

There's also a self-serve olive bar.

We continued on through the store for the common grocery items, meats, seafood, liquor and dairy. You'll find everything you need there and then some. I loved the unexpected surprised of freshly-squeezed juice, authentic Hispanic cuisine, the large hot bar, the olive bar and other features. 

I've got more pics to share and will fill you in on what I tried in a future post. If you live anywhere near a Tony's Fresh Market, I'd totally recommend getting to one and especially trying some of their more unique items or ethnic specialties. And even if you don't live super close to one - like me - it's worth a little bit of a drive to make it into a foodie field trip day. I spent over 2 1/2 hours shopping and snapping pics - and sitting down for a bite to eat. There are some tables in the corner near the hot bar, so if you want to take a break for a meal, a cup of soup of an ice cream cone, you can park there for a little bit.

Tony's has 15 locations - six in Chicago and nine in the suburbs. For a listing of locations or more store info, visit

**A gift card was provided for part of my purchase. I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.