Cheap Eats: An Ode To Angelo's

Customers flock here for a treasure trove of groceries.

Don’t let the scruffy bargain-hunting vibe of Angelo’s—the concrete floors and cluttered shelves—fool you. This treasure trove behind The Milano Inn downtown offers a surprising gourmand selection, with mustards, exotic oils and vinegars, organic teas, canned goods, European chocolates, all-natural chips, designer waters and juices, and restaurant-sized grains and sauces. Open since 1934, this third-generation salvage store purchases, then resells, bulk grocery and dry goods from trucks and railroads in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio. Though the store won’t confirm sources, many of the organic brands here are also spotted at Whole Foods, like King Arthur Flour and  Seventh Generation.

Angelo’s steady group of regulars (who range from low-income families to well-off organic fiends hungry for a deal) rely on this spot for its many diamonds in the rough. “I have customers who come from Michigan and Ohio,” says general manager Tony Sund. “And a woman who regularly buys and ships a couple hundred pounds of butter to Georgia.” But, as many frequent shoppers will attest, if you see something worthwhile among the racks, snag it, because tomorrow it’ll be history. And carefully check expiration dates, as many of the items are past their prime.

Angelo’s Truck and Railroad Salvage, 201 S. College Ave., 317-634-6552. Hours: Mon.–Fri. 8 a.m.–4 p.m.; Sat. 8 a.m.–2 p.m.

Photo by Tony Valainis

This article appeared in the August 2013 issue.