No, not that kind of trippin', but the travelin' kind. See, there's more to grocery shopping in this city than hoping the lady in front of you with two handfuls of clip'n'cut coupons knows how to work the self-checkout line (she never does...). Enough with that noise, instead, I prefer to shop at some of the area's more choice specialty markets that sell more international ingredients. This way, I can leave the country culinarily without having to miss the latest episode of So You Think You Can Dance, er, or I mean Masterpiece Theatre...
Cafe Mozart (1331 H St., NW)
Although known widely for their delicious back-room restaurant that serves up some of the best 'wurst this side of Berlin, the long room of grocery items you have to walk through to get to the café is worth a long pause. And once you see all the German chocolate, it's also worth a quick purchase.
Hana Japanese Market (2000 17th St., NW)
This U Street location may be small, but it's packed full of legitimate Japanese products (I know, because often I can't read the labels because they're all in Japanese). This is the place to stock up on things like miso paste, sushi rice, wasabi sauce, seaweed snacks and everything else that'll make you live a long and healthy life like Japanese dude Jiroemon Kimura, the oldest man alive.
A Litteri (517 Morse St., NE)
Known for their drool-inducing sandwiches, A Litteri also offers some of the city's most delicious coldcuts to go. Making your own lunch to take to work suddenly sounds like a good idea, but make sure your coworkers don't find out, especially if you use a communal fridge. Keep your mind on your sammie and your sammie on your mind...
Kielbasa Factory (1073 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Md.)
Finally, how could we not include a place called the Kielbasa Factory? This is the place to make all your Polish sausage dreams come true. (Don't try to tell me you don't have them.) With about dozen varieties daily, the staff here will let you sample before you purchase, as well as explain to you clearly what you're eating.
Duangrat's Grocery (5888 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, Va.)
While there are several pan-Asian grocers in Falls Church (the most popular of that variety is probably Eden Supermarket in Eden Center), Duangrat's specializes in everything you need to make authentic Thai food in your own kitchen. Think curry paste, fish oil, palm sugar and fresh keffir lime leaves. Now if only they offered cooking classes...