Rumor has it that the new University Village will house a glorious, though undoubtedly busy Trader Joe’s (which makes perfect sense because the founder of Trader Joe’s is a Trojan himself). Unfortunately, its completion is years away and virtually no one on campus will actually be around to enjoy it. Until then, students will be forced to travel around LA to get their TJ’s fix. To make your life easier, here’s a list of a few (relatively) close by stores along with some pros and cons for each. Get shopping, Spooners.

Speculoos Cookie Butter

photo courtesy of Megan via flickr

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Photo by Instagram user aguyinthedesert.

Culver City:

This store is just a short drive West on the 10, making it the closest on the list. Even if you don’t drive, the Expo line gets you within a block of the entrance. Additionally, it’s about half a mile away from a Target. Need some sheets to go along with your organic guacamole? This store is for you. This TJ’s also boasts an ample 45 minutes of free parking in a covered structure – no validation needed. Even at peak hours, spots are easy to come by. One negative factor is that the store itself can get very busy, and narrow aisles make it hard to navigate. Try and go at an off time or be prepared to fight traffic.

9290 Culver Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

Manhattan Beach:

In truth, this one is definitely a bit out of your way – as in, a little ways south of LAX out of your way. That said, it’s definitely worth the trip. Fully stocked, ample parking and a great selection of both organic and conventionally-grown products. A huge plus is the fact that there’s also a Target, a Ralph’s, a Whole Foods, a Bed Bath & Beyond and even a Costco all within about 2 minutes of one another. Stock up.

1800 Rosecrans Ave., Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

Beverly Grove:

Very, very big. Seriously, this store is huge and has an incredible selection – you’ll no doubt be able to find all of your Trader Joe’s favorites (and then some). Best of all, this location is directly across the street from the Grove. Catch a movie, do some shopping… and then do some more shopping. At Trader Joe’s or at the nearby Whole Foods. Parking is free (with validation), but is a one-way-in-one-way-out type pain. You may also be interested in checking out some of the nearby restaurants, such as Golden State, Animal, Son of a Gun or Joan’s on Third. This is definitely a top-notch location given everything around it, but just understand that you’ll be facing crowds.

175 S. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036

Take your pick. Given that all Trader Joe’s in Southern California receive essentially identical stock, you’re sure to find you’re looking for at any location. Whatever you do, always make sure to snap a pick of your finds and use #spoonusc let fellow Trojan’s know how rad you are. Cookie butter for life. For more reading on Trader Joe’s, check out the linked articles after the map.