5 Things to Buy the First Time You Shop at Publix

I love Publix fried chicken so much that I served it at my own wedding.

Publix storefront

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Publix is well known for their super fresh produce, high-value store-brand products, and their big BOGO (buy-one, get-one) deals. The employee-owned grocery chain’s tagline is “Where Shopping is a Pleasure” because it is quite literally enjoyable to step into any of their brightly lit and well-organized stores. They also have a generous coupon policy that allows shoppers to use competitor coupons to save money at Publix. I love Publix grocery stores so much that I count it among one of the main motivators for moving my family back to the South after a stint out West. 

Publix devotees understand that loving the grocery tore goes beyond their sub sandwiches with a cult following—their deli offerings, store-brand goods, and gorgeous cakes are just a few of the reasons to love Publix. But if you truly want a sampling of the kinds of foods that make Publix so beloved, these are 5 must-buys that will make you fall in love with Publix, too.

Four Publix subs


Publix Sub 

Known more affectionately as the “Pub Sub” these sub sandwiches might appear to be a basic sandwich that you can get at any chain store. But Pub Subs combine all the things that make Publix one of the best grocery stores: their baked-in-house bread and high-quality ingredients—including the deli meats and fresh produce. Everyone has their favorite, but noteworthy are the Chicken Finger Sub, The Italian (my personal fave), and the Mojo Pork. 

A box of Publix fried chicken.


Fried Chicken 

When I first moved to Atlanta 15 years ago and inquired about the best fried chicken, food friends recommended Publix’s deli fried chicken. I was surprised by the suggestion and then surprised again by how delicious the chicken actually was. Publix fried chicken is tender and crisp on the outside, juicy on the inside, and just spicy enough to keep you coming back for more. It is as close to homemade chicken as you can get at a grocery store. My husband and I even served Publix fried chicken at our wedding 12 years ago. They have a great meal deal that gets you 8 pieces of chicken, a pack of Hawaiian rolls, and two deli sides (think baked beans and potato salad) that makes for a quick and utterly mouthwatering weeknight dinner. 

A loaf of Publix bread


Bakery Bread 

Publix bakery bakes fresh bread every day to fill out their bakery case. You can get dozens of different bread types and shapes including their infamous Pub Sub bread. We most often grab the Italian Five grain, their brioche buns (which conveniently come in a 4-pack as well as an 8-pack), and their breakfast bread (try it toasted and buttered). You can also grab a free chocolate chip or sprinkle cookie from the bakery if shopping with kids in tow. 

Tub of ice cream from Publix


Publix Brand Ice Cream 

It is not a secret that Publix’s store brands are super high-quality and often packed by well-known name brands, but their Publix Premium ice cream is the most notable of these. Even though this store brand ice cream is less expensive than its name brand counterpart, fans know to keep an eye out for a BOGO deal and stock up. Highly recommended flavors include Mint Moose Tracks (any of their Moose Tracks really), Chocolate Trinity, Coastal Caramel Getaway, and the seasonal Peppermint Stick. 

Buffalo Chicken Dip from PUblix


Buffalo Chicken Dip 

The deli cold cases are one of my first stops to grab snacks for a game night with friends or for tailgating—we love their salsas, storebrand hummus, and you can grab veggie platters, cheeses, and pretzel chips quickly. But if I could implore you to buy one additional dip it has to be the buffalo chicken dip. I have, rather shamelessly, bought a few of these dips, moved them to a skillet, broiled the dip, and then passed it off as homemade. It truly is that delicious. 

Cake from Publix


BONUS: Chantilly Cake 

In the South, Publix cakes have a kind of reputation among the elementary kids’ birthday circuit. Your party is only the best if it includes one of their Twinkie-like cakes. But grown-ups swoon over their Chantilly cake. The soft vanilla-almond cake is enrobed in a light-as-air mascarpone and whipped cream frosting and topped with fresh berries in this epically delicious Publix bakery cake. Pre-ordering this cake is recommended but you can sometimes find it in store ready to buy, especially around spring party season. You can also buy Publix beloved cake frosting in the bakery’s cold case, which is one of my favorite finds for making a homemade cake that “tastes like Publix” for those school-aged super fans. 

Publix might be a relatively small regional chain (it has about 1350 stores compared to Kroger or Albertsons with over 2000 stores each) but my hope is that everyone gets to enjoy the pleasure of shopping and eating at Publix stores at least once in their lifetime.