Where there’s a helpful smile
10. 96th & Q Hy-Vee (Store #6)
There’s nothing to this Hy-Vee. It’s bare bones. It sits at the end of the Applewood Centre strip mall next to a second hand clothing store for children and adjoined with a Papa John’s. The only thing I’ve ever purchased here was some sunscreen a few years ago. It’s an older Hy-Vee that’s had a retrofit jammed down its throat, forcing consumers to navigate though awkward aisles - a common trait it shares with a few of these Hy-Vees.
9. 51st & Center Hy-Vee (Store #1)
This particular Hy-Vee caters to the densest part of Omaha’s population. If the parking lot isn’t bursting with vehicles, it’s dealing with a retrofit that makes so little sense that they’ve got soaps with their salamis. During the renovation, they had empty aisles for well over a year, and when you worked up the courage to actually ask an employee where a particular item is, they’d flash that classic helpful smile, while their eyes told a story of defeat, knowing full well that their knowledge of the layout of the store had already changed twice over the course of their 6-hour shift.
8. Fort Street Hy-Vee (Store #4)
I’ve never been to this Hy-Vee so it’s hard to fully grasp what it looks like inside, but from the looks of the exterior, it’s exactly the same as the Peony Park Hy-Vee.
7. Peony Park Hy-Vee (Store #5)
If the Fort Street Hy-Vee is the same as this Hy-Vee then it suffers from a lack of space; although the Peony Park Hy-Vee has an excellent wine & spirits store located on the west end. Besides that, it’s another retro fit, with fluorescent lighting that’s more keen to a store designed in the 1980’s. This is the start of the solid-as-hell Hy-Vee’s. This has a giant produce section that’s easy to navigate but suffers simply because it’s typically teeming with elderly folks who don’t like to interact and avoid eye contact because they’ve recently been put up in a home against their will; their devil children forcing them into a life of seclusion in which they never visit, thus making the already bitter older person even moreso.
6. Stony Brook Hy-Vee (Store #2)
In the same architectural vein as the previous two Hy-Vees, the Stony Brook location features a lot of things that one comes to enjoy: strange layout, dairy in the back, a market grille forced upon it, but excellent ready-to-eat lunch sandwiches for everyone to enjoy. The only drawback is that it’s in the heart of Millard, tucked away into the southwestern part of the city that’s more keen to serving neighbors than your typical Hy-Vee tourist.
5. 180th & Q Hy-Vee (Store #9)
This was a personal favorite of mine when I was a youth. Open 24/7, they’d happily sell toilet paper to miscreants and mischief makers in the darkest hours of the night, knowing full well that the paper wouldn’t be for wiping butts, it was definitely for flinging gracefully into the suburban night sky. Its proximity to Millard West High School makes it a hotspot for:
- Kids working their first job
- Kids smoking cigarettes for the first time
- Kids shoplifting chocolate for their weeklong girlfriend
- Exhausted parents finding any escape available away from their children
4. 156th & Maple Hy-Vee (Store #10)
We’ve finally made it to the ‘elite-tier’ of Hy-Vees. 156th offers a spacious environment with multiple easy-to-use checkout stands, an excellent beer & liquor section, but has the second-best convenience/gas store in the city. It has deals but it just feels comfortable walking in, which is the greatest bargain one can afford. The red brick facade isn’t the most welcoming thing about this place; the employees take the cake in that category!
3. 90th & Center Hy-Vee (Store #3)
Maybe it’s District 66. Maybe it’s the newly revitalized ‘Bookworm’ across the street. Maybe it’s the Earl May a couple blocks away. There are never any lines, the parking is light, and the people are friendlier than a Minnesotan in a snowstorm. Without a doubt this is the coziest, most sensible Hy-Vee in the city of Omaha. Everything makes sense. Upon walking in the west entrance you’re greeted with the pharmacy and the well-placed health food section. As you traverse to the back of the store, you pass by all the cleaning, paper, and pet supplies - kept completely separate from the human food. The aisle running adjacent is the seasonal candies. The produce is on the complete opposite site. It’s incredible how well this store is planned out. It’s just solid. The Damien Jefferson of Hy-Vees.
2. Linden Market / 132nd & Dodge Hy-Vee (Store #8)
On the surface this is just a regular Hy-Vee, although it’s more expansive than most in town. It’s one you can seemingly get lost in while knowing exactly what you’re looking for. Their lunch items are superior to the rest; always fresh and always prepared well. The layout of the store is comforting while having a similar amount of sense as its 90th & Center counterpart.
What sets the two apart is simply the Wine & Spirits section. It easily trumps every Hy-Vee in town in terms of its beer selection. It’s arguable that it puts Beertopia to shame. There’s a vast cooler of beers that stretches nearly the entire west end of the store, filled with mind blowing beers from Red Cloud to Timbuktu. It might be the best kept secret in town; but no longer. The Linden Market store has the best craft beer selection in the city of Omaha.
1. ****GOD TIER**** 180th & Pacific Hy-Vee (Store #11)
It has literally everything. Every older Hy-Vee was renovated and retrofitted to match this one. It’s expansive. They sell clothes for whatever fucking reason. Their health market is ginormous. I feel small and insignificant in this gigantic store. It’s beautiful and boldly done, with what’s probably the most square footage of grocery shopping space against all other Hy-Vees. It’s impeccable. I hate it because it represents the rich and bourgeois of West Omaha but god damnit it’s a fucking phenomenal grocery store.