First Trader Joe’s Sign Posted on 14th Street – Late March Opening Still On Track

1914 14th Street, NW

In early January we learned the Trader Joe’s coming to 14th and U Street would be opening the week of March 21st. I’m told that is still accurate. A new sign and a peek in the window reveals they’re getting close:


43 Comment

  • So excited!

  • Please bring a Trader Joe’s to H st NE.

    • I wish! Though I am super excited for this one to be on the 90s route. No more walking six blocks with bags about to burst with the weight of my groceries. 96, 92, and 90 are all just 2 blocks from my front door.

    • Not happening. There is already a Giant, and a Whole Foods has also been confirmed. I doubt Trade Joe’s would opt to open a location in such a saturated area.

      • Within 1 mile of this store there is a Giant, Target, Harris Teeter, 2 Safeways, 2 Yes Organic’s, and some other store coming in at 14th and Florida as well as a bunch of smaller corner stores…I don’t think being in a Saturated area is such a big deal to Trader Joes.

      • gotryit

        Whole Foods is kind of pricey to buy a lot of groceries from, and Giant is generally a not-fun experience. Trader Joes definitely has a niche that’s different than those two.

        • Trader Joe’s is a fun experience? Every time I’ve been to one I left exhausted and hating humanity.

          • gotryit

            I like the variety. I find it easier to try something new / different there.

          • I go on Saturday mornings and I’m in/out usually in 30-40 minutes. And that’s buying two weeks’ worth of food for myself. There was no line at all at 930am this last Saturday.

  • Looking at the progress through the window this past weekend I’m surprised it is going to take another 5-6 weeks. Any chance it could open sooner?

  • It is going to be awesome to have TJ’s two blocks from my condo!!! #doing_the_happy_dance

  • I don’t get the appeal of this store. I’ve only been inside a Trader Joe’s once, their Foggy Bottom location, and thought it was pretty worthless. I left thinking I’d be able to get better produce from the street vendors.

    • Well….it sounds like I will not have to worry about you getting in my way when I go in the store. I will be shopping there enough for both of us. Sooooooo excited to having this asset coming to our neighborhood.

    • For me, TJ’s is all about the niche specialty items. don’t think their produce is anything special, and I couldn’t do all of my shopping there. But their canned smoked trout makes the greatest “tuna salad”-style sandwiches ever. It’s the stuff like that that is worth seeking out there.

    • It’s more for people who buy things like snacks and frozen meals. It’s like an upscale 7-11.

      • I think of it more like a French storefront traiteur. Smallish stores all over France where you can pick up prepared dishes, small quantities of staples at elevated prices, and specialty items. One usually visits a traiteur for that day’s meal, not to stock up for the rest of the week.
        When I go to TJ’s, I might get ONE package of nicer-than-usual meat or fish, some cute little oddly-colored tomatoes, a fresh herb you don’t see every day, and a bunch of their frozen stuff for days I get home late and need to have a meal on the table like, now.

        • What kinds of unusual fresh herbs do they have? I’ve never noticed anything like that!

          • Nothing exotic or weird, just things I don’t usually see at Giant. Chervil, for example. Or (not an herb, but) I’ve often seen celeriac at TJ, which I love.

      • nailed it. although they do have decent hummus.

    • The Foggy Bottom store, like the Whole Foods there, isn’t the greatest and smaller than most of their stores in the burbs. That said, TJ’s isn’t great for produce. You can get some good stuff, and they have great prices on seasonal produce, but it’s not a one-stop shop. It’s great for meat, dried goods, cheeses, and organic or more sustainable options. I find the meat and fish there leaps and bounds better in quality and price than what you can get at the big grocery stores and more reasonably priced than Whole Foods. They have great selection of healthier options, snacks, whole wheat or organic products, and they’re prepared foods are awesome too. It’s not the best place to go, especially as a first timer before you know their products, with a set list of things you want to buy. Better to come with an open mind and find the great deals and unique offerings. Their prices might not be quite as low as the Giant or Safeway store brands (though sometimes they are or lower), but the quality is much better, and I’m looking for the best bang for my buck. However, some of their prices are the lowest around, especially on nuts, butter, and coffee. Where else can I buy organic, virgin, cold pressed coconut oil for $6 a jar?!

      • Agreed. I shop at TJs twice a month for all my groceries. They have basically everything I can ever want. That said, I’m not a picky eater, I’m not a “foodie,” I’m cooking only for myself (and occasionally my girlfriend), and convenience is more important to me because I tend to work long hours and see cooking as a chore. If you’re a huge food snob or have a very restricted diet, maybe it’s not good for you. They do have incredibly cheap deals on organic stuff, usually only 10% more in price than the non-organic. Seasonal produce is great and stays good for longer than the produce from Safeway or Giant.
        But it definitely gets you the best bang for your buck in terms of the price-to-quality ratio. And cheapest wine and beer in DC, by far.

  • This place is huge and looks like it’s coming along very nicely. I’m hoping at the very least it will be cheaper than Yes! Organic. I always knew Yes! was expensive, but the other day, I finally saw the proof. The same exact canister of baby formula (same type, same brand, same size, same everything) that I had just purchased at Whole Food for $30.99 was $41.99 in Yes! (It is $23.95 on Amazon and even cheaper if you buy it in bulk).
    Relatedly, but not, what is coming into the retail space across the street in the Harper next to Georgetown Optician? It is painted yellow and red (Wells Fargo maybe?) and has a built in desk constructed in the front with “reception desk” spray painted on it. I’m shocked all that retail space in the Harper is already rented. Do they just offer incredible deals on the rent? I don’t know how else they could lure Universal Gear away from their space just 5 blocks south.

  • Very exciting to have another option! I made the horrible mistake of going to the West End TJ on Saturday afternoon. The line wrapped around the entire interior of the store like they were giving food away. Walked right out an up to Whole Foods instead.

    • The suburban ones are even worse. And after you finally make it out you still have to deal with a madhouse parking lot.

    • The Foggy Bottom TJ’s is unpleasant… Too small, too crowded. I work in Lorton, and on my commute home back up to DC, it’s easy to jump off the highway to stop into the Springfield VA Trader Joes. It’s huge and has tons of parking. Though, I, too, look forward to the new one, so I’ll have a weekend TJs option nearby.

  • If I go to a restaurant they are all packed. If I go to the grocery store it is packed. Do people do anything but eat in this town? 🙂

    • Yes, they drink. 😉

    • Apparently a lot of people can’t or simply don’t cook at home, because they’re filling up the restaurants.

      • I’d say more than half of the restaurant patrons in the trendy, busy restaurants don’t even live in DC. The area has become a magnet for upper income suburbanites to enjoy a night out. And when you look at the options in the suburbs (chains galore), you can quickly understand why that is.

  • I’ll stick with the good old Whitelaw Market.

  • Everything isn’t for everyone. I find TJ to be a lot cheaper than Safeway or whole foods. Unfortunately they don’t sell everything.

    Sometimes you need flavored coffee creamer.

  • Given the relative paucity of grocery stores in the District, every new one is a welcome addition. TJ’s can’t be beat for quality and value when it comes to pantry staples such as coffee, teas, jams, crackers, pasta, sauce, beans, grains, nuts, condiments, spices, soymilk, soup stocks, etc. Their prepared foods are pretty good, and their produce section, while obviously not offering as big a selection as that of Whole Foods, is far cheaper and covers a lot of essentials. They have great deals on avocados, blood oranges, Minneola tangelos and grapes, when in season, which Whole Foods charges an arm and a leg for.

    For snackables, munchies, and sweet-tooth baked goods, TJ’s again comes through. And, TJ’s is tops for low prices on cheese, wine and beer.

    This is my temple. And, I will worship there, often. 😉

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