Are you a C-Store denizen?

For quite some time I’ve been running early morning errands that end up with a stop at my local 7-Eleven for coffees and sausage biscuits to take home for breakfast.

Depending on what day of the week it is, I’ve recognized scores of customers that are “regulars” at this outlet. And I recognize they, and I, have our “normal” purchases to ring up. This prompts me to ask: do other HO readers make it a habit to visit C-Stores for snacks or meals or “essentials” on the way to somewhere else?

I think I’ve been in a 7-11 type store once in the past 20 years (other than getting gas on a road trip). It was to buy milk afew weeks ago since it is 2 blocks from my house and it was all we needed for coffee in the morning after returning from vacation.

I was just in a CVS and wondered - who comes here for food purchases? I could see picking up soup maybe with a prescription but they had a pretty big food selection.

1 Like

No. Cheap gas and road trip emergency snacks only.

1 Like

I like fountain diet coke, so I often stop in for a diet coke but that’s it. I always get a kick out of when I see people grocery shopping there.

1 Like

Coffee is job #1 upon waking up. I would be in a fog if I had to hop in the car to get coffee.
Our PNW convenience stores don’t compare to Wawas’ in the East or Quick Trip in the center of the country, where both invest a lot in having good fresh food instead of prefab frozen stuff.


The local CVS seems to be popular among what appear to be heavy drinkers, ruddy-faced individuals picking up a couple of boxed wines. And snacks.


Box wines and slim jims can be a complete meal. :slight_smile:

1 Like

My neighborhood has basically one kinda crummy grocery store in the immediate area, and easily one bodega per block or two.
I stop in about once a week for random things like garbage bags or pretzels, but they’re not part of my daily routine the way they are for many people who go every morning for their coffee and eggonaroll

1 Like

For the elderly and the disabled, a regular supermarket can be unfeasible. I heard a report on public radio (the BBC, I think) last week, about how in Japan, convenience stores are changing to make them attractive and practical for the elderly, including adding benches and rails, and non-slip flooring. Googling the topic reveals that this is also happening elsewhere in Asia.


I totally hear you on that aspect of things. 90% of the people I see are single 20 something guys doing their shopping, which just kinda makes me laugh!

1 Like

When I was a letter carrier, there was a 7-11 en route to my route. In summer, I’d get a bag of ice there every day, for a cooler that I kept in the mail truck (which, lacking insulation, gets extraordinarily hot, its floor as overheated as asphalt), so as to be able to have ice water throughout the day.


It occurs to me that big users of these places are in “food deserts”, areas, frequently low income, where there is no alternative, no supermarket at all.

But not all food deserts are in low-income areas. My home town, a commuter stop on Long Island, supported four supermarkets when I was growing up. Now there are none at all. Somebody walking home from the train station now has to pick up that quart of milk and LeanCuisine dinner at the CVS or 7-11.

1 Like

One of the reasons I started this thread is because, on other sites I’ve heard endearing comments about Wawa C-stores in the east.

1 Like

WaWa has a terrific coffee bar. I usually get my morning coffee there.


WaWa makes really, really good sandwiches – I’ll swing through if I need a sandwich and not near anything else… Added bonus is that they’re made to order with fresh stuff – crisp lettuce, fresh bread. Beats hell out of fast food or a premade sandwich somewhere else.

Other than that, c-stores are for gas and (road trip only) a soda and a restroom.

CVS actually has really good prices on milk, so sometimes I’ll swing through and grab a gallon because I’m in and out before I could even walk back to the dairy department in the Publix next door.


Ahh…those college days in Philly, when my lunch was often a sandwich from WaWa. Ha, not sure I really want to relive those days, but I ate many a tuna sub from WaWa for a good 3-4 years of my life. :laughing:

CVS here seems to sub as a convenient store, as well as big drugstore. My Australian cousins were amazed that the local chemists sold so much stuff that was not drug-related. They got a big kick out of that. While I don’t partake, they are often a grab and go lunch stop downtown here. It’s a convenient stop to get your errands done and to grab a quick bite. I’ve never partaken so I don’t know the quality of their food. We have way more CVS and Rite Aids, than say a 7-11 or other c-store chain.

When I’m in Japan, I actually love the little pre-packed egg sandwiches and onigiri at the local c-stores. I wish we had more of that in the US.


Decided to bump this thread.

I visit my local variety store once a week to get the Sunday NY Times , and I’ve been buying candy or chips to give the owner business.

When I go on road trips, I tend to buy more at convenience stores. I like bringing home regional brands of treats and drinks, or local specialties.

On a recent day trip to the small town of Neustadt, Ontario, I bought some small batch sweet pickles, Chelsea buns and date turnovers at Granny’s General Store. It’s been around longer than a convenience store. I’d say it’s the ancestor of modern day convenience stores, with the bonus of home baking and local apples.
Granny’s General Store in Neustadt, ON.

In Toronto, there are a handful of variety stores that focus on Japanese or Korean snacks and sandwiches.

Have you been buying more at your convenience stores/variety stores/ corner stores/Quickee Marts this year?

Where are your favourite convenience stores? Which ones do you seek out? Which products do you seek out?

I’ve been impressed with the spam musubi at convenience stores in Hawaii, and the Cuban pastries at some in Miami. The pie and baked goods look tempting at some gas station marts in smalltown Montana and Sask. The variety store in a small town in Saskatchewan I visit regularly, doubles as a pizzeria.

The local dépanneur throughout Quebec and some parts of French- speaking Ontario is a pretty big deal. I’ve had some amazing sandwiches from depanneurs in Montreal.

Still haven’t tried any gas station fried chicken yet.

This thread jogged my memory. I have also had some good meals at rest stops cafeterias in Europe. Especially in Germany, Austria, Greece and Turkey. Amazing pastries, coffee, schnitzel in Bavarian and Tyrolean rest stops, and memorable kalamaki pork skewers at a rest stop in the Peloponnese.


I have bought food and drinks at CVS in Lake Tahoe, and NYC, when I’m staying at a hotel. Nuts, cookies, chips, water if the tap water doesn’t taste good, regional things I can’t find at home like TasteeKakes.

Also, I’ve bought sandwiches at Boots in the UK.

1 Like

The Little Y market a few blocks from my house is the only local place I know of to get It’s-Its and Mexican popsicles, so I make trips there for that when in the mood.

Bartell’s in Seattle has good deals on some foods - Niko Niko rice, sardines, Tim’s chips. I would drop by there since it is across the street from the library. (It is more of a drug store than a convenience store.)

I do remember being impressed during the 80’s by convenience stores called
épiceries in Québec. They had hot food counters, which I had never seen in Seattle groceries.


I like the fact that Wawa has a free ATM. I try to limit the amount of time I spend in convenience stores, because I got in with a plan: get money from the ATM, but then I am easily tempted to buy things I shouldn’t be eating. So, the less time in there, the better for me. One of the things I like is that you can get single serving sized items, rather than the bigger sizes at the supermarket. That is a good way to limit myself if I succumb!