• Whole Earth Center

  • (11)
  • Health-food-store Health Store
Fast food

Natural food market with a vegetarian deli inside serving lunch type of foods. Bakery has vegan cookies and cakes daily. Find a variety of vegan pantry essentials. Meat and dairy are also sold here. Open Mon-Sat 8:00am-6:00pm, Sun 9:00am-6:00pm. Closed Sun.

Venue map for Whole Earth Center
© OpenStreetMap contributors

11 Reviews

First Review by goshdavey


Points +299

27 Nov 2021

Less vegan-friendly than it seems

I've been shopping here for several years, and during the early part of the pandemic, it was the only place I shopped. It is a very irritating place to shop, though, and I've recently been avoiding it. There are now just a few things I buy here, and I'm looking for another place to buy even those things.

1. It's clear who the target shopper is: a well-off omnivore who wants to feel good about the "humane" flesh and secretions they purchase at a hip "health food" store. The deli is vegetarian, but pretty much everywhere else you look, you will see animal products: canned fish flesh, mammal and bird flesh, animal breast milk, animal eggs, whey, flesh broths, and, of course, bone broth. It's a little disturbing to see all this carnage in a place that claims to be earth-friendly. If I have to shop at a store that caters to omnivores, I'd rather shop at the nearby McCaffrey's, which has a larger selection of vegan products than the Whole Earth.

2. There are often piles of cardboard boxes blocking the aisles. Frequently, when I stop by here to pick up a few things, I end up leaving empty handed because everything I need is either out of stock or blocked by a wall of boxes.

3. Prior to the pandemic, the workers would rearrange the store at least once a year, moving everything to a totally new position for no apparent reason. Just as I got used to the new layout, it would suddenly change again. It was clear that the management ordered this because they wanted people to walk through the store looking for what they came in for and find other things in the process that they wouldn't have noticed otherwise. I don't like to feel that I'm being manipulated. Furthermore, as an introvert who doesn't like to ask for help, I hated the inconvenience.

In short, the management of this store doesn't respect its customers. In particular, its vegan customers are clearly an afterthought.

Pros: Vegetarian deli

Cons: Too many animal products


04 Jun 2023


Points +217

24 Jun 2019

Love this place

Wonderful organic produce , hard to find natural grocery items. We always eat lunch at their cafe and there are lots of vegan options - mostly vegan in fact. Lots of good vegan prepared food in their cold shelves too.


Points +538

13 Mar 2018


Best store around!


Points +60

13 Mar 2018

love this place

Since 1970 they have been doing the earth and eaters a solid.


Points +94

02 Sep 2016

Thank god for this place

Whole Earth is a haven for Princeton vegans. Amazing lunch deli (not all items are vegan though; they do write out ingredients on little cards by each item). Love the tofu specials, the braised collard greens, house guacamole, and cashew sauce pasta. Bulk section for nuts, grains, and spices. Good organic produce. And you can find vegan marshmallows, vegan egg replacers, vegan chocolate chunks, veganic cereal, vegan meat substitutes, vegan cheese, almond/soy/coconut/etc milks, vegan Mac and cheese in a box, vegan butter and mayo, vegan buttered popcorn, flaxseed meal, wheat germ, seaweed, and more. A little pricey but worth it.


Points +222

22 Aug 2015

Tasty Food at Fair Prices

I love this place! They have a nice selection of products that can’t be found in Whole Foods and Trader Joes and their produce is so fresh and local. The deli is great! There are plenty of vegan options on the menu and in the to-go case. The tempeh blt is very tasty and filling for only $3.99. Where else can you get a good vegan sandwich for that price and in Princeton no less? Juices are only $3 for 10 ounces. All of the prices are completely reasonable. I notice they tend to use less sugar, which is nice. Service can be a little slow but the people are great.

Pros: Tasty, quality food, Nice selection of vegan options, Great prices

Cons: Service can be slow


Points +24

29 Aug 2014


I stopped in to pick up some fresh veggie food to go after an international trip. I tried the kale chickpea salad, beet fennel salad, herbed roasted potatoes, and lemon rosemary tofu. Everything was fresh and delicious!


Points +113

11 Aug 2013

Best food in town

Lovely grab and go deli setting. Fresh foods prepared each day by Alex and his team of chefs. You can even sample something before you buy it. All deli foods are vegan or vegetarian. Our favorites from the grill area are the vegan BLT with smoked tempeh, the falafel sandwich and the rainbow sandwich. From the hot case, try the sautéed tofu, the daily Indian inspired dish, the sautéed potatoes. From the cold case, try the house salad -amazing, the green slaw, vegan rice pudding, vegan chocolate pudding, hummus, beet soup, gazpacho...selection varies daily. All ingredients are listed on the name cards, so you can see what's organic, vegan, etc.
Updated from previous review on Sunday August 11, 2013

Pros: Crazy good, Many organic foods, Vegan bakery on-site

Cons: Busy at 12:00


Points +73

24 Feb 2013

The freshest local organic produce

Whole Earth Center has the best organic produce sourced from local NJ growers. They always have a well-stocked variety of season fruits and vegetables and they can actually answer questions about where the food came from. Additionally they have a great selection of pantry goods, a wonderful bulk section and a small deli that makes vegetarian breakfast and lunch. The staff is super friendly and helpful.
You might pay slightly more for certain items than you would at Whole Foods, but the fresh produce is often cheaper and you are helping to support local businesses and growers.

Pros: Freshest produce, Locally grown, Knowledgeable staff

Cons: Some pantry items priced high, Deli not open past lunch


Points +13

18 May 2010

an overall good experience

ive been to whole earth many times. for the several years i was vegan it was THE PLACE to go for specialty cooking, fake meat or other items i could not find else where. i also find the prices to be much more reasonable, especially when compared to some of the upcharges at similar but smaller local stores. the only one in the remote area that is close in size is basil bandwagon in flemington.

my complaint is with my first foray into their deli prepared vegan selection. i picked up the veggie, fruit and nut cabbage role and it was a horrible experience. it came with 3 cabbage rolls in the package for 7.98. this was steep compared to other things in the store and higher than i like to spend on something like this but they looked delicious and the cabbage looked delicious; rich bright green and fresh. the first bite was such a let down. the wraps are cold, crunchy, incredibly oily and flavorless. what these needed was like a soy/sesame oil and green onion and garlic type of dressing. it really had no flavor and i detected no fruit or nut in the wraps. the flavor was close to cold wet greasy cardboard.

overall i will obviously continue to go to whole earth, but i will think 3 times before ever purchasing one of their over priced deli convenience items ever again

Pros: variety of items, overall pricing, plenty of vegan items incl bakery

Cons: flavor of deli items, pricing of deli items


Points +13

05 Feb 2008

a very special place

One of the few health food stores left in the area that is not a chain. The Deli and bakery make food from scratch - the way it should be made. All the food has ingredient lists to make eating on special diets easier - you know exactly what you are eating. The chefs at Whole Earth Center are very creative and make fabulous food creations. Be sure to try a cup of soup that is made daily. You can also get super healthy sandwichwes loaded with fresh veggies. Grilled sandwiches are also available. Top everything off with a large selection of tasty vegan and non-vegan cookies and cakes.

Whole Earth will also be opening a brand new deli sometime this year in the space that was once a flower shop connected to Whole Earth Center - even more reason to check it out!

Pros: fresh food, great menu

This page has been viewed 8975 times.