The Tunnel – San Felipe Grocery Shopping Convenience

In San Felipe, grocery shopping has been made easier, more convenient, and faster at Alicia’s.  Family owned and operated, Alicia’s is unique in town because of its drive-through tunnel.  ‘The Tunnel’ (or ‘tunél’, in Spanish), is an actual tunnel through which you can drive, order, and pay for groceries without ever leaving your car.  Not only that, but Alicia’s is a full-service grocery store, as well.   And, to top it off, Alicia’s also offers free grilling of store-bought meat Friday thru Monday from 11 to 5.  This is, indeed, a store that offers everything a shopper could want.

Easy to locate, Alicia’s is found at the corner of Mar Caribe Sur and Calle Manzanillo.   The expansive structure has plenty of space for parking.  As you exit your vehicle and face the building, you will notice that the walk-in door is on the left, while the tunnel itself is to the right.  Behind you stands the grilling area.   Expedient with space, but never exuding a crowded feeling, Alicia’s seems to be just the right size to insure all your shopping needs, from locally-grown produce to fresh meats, and several of your favorite American brands of foodstuffs are available as well.   Alicia’s is a shopping adventure everyone will want to try.


The term ‘autoservicio’ means self-serve, and refers to the fact that you may do your own shopping in-store as you please, or you may drive up to the cashier in the tunnel and ask for assistance in getting what you need.   The cashiers here are friendly and willing to help you with your choices as best they can.  Note the scale on the counter in the tunnel where fruits and vegetables you asked for can be weighed as you wait in your car.   Behind the cashier is a refrigerated locker that holds soft drinks, teas, fruit juices, and beer, all types of cold, refreshing  beverages that are just right for a hot day.  Bottled water of various sizes is included here, along with a variety of oft asked-for items, such as milk and yoghurt.

The tunnel also holds another cold locker that contains more cold drinks, but in larger bottles.   Cases of beer and soda are situated toward the back.  Snacks of all kinds from salty and crunchy to sweet and soft are within arm’s reach.  Service is quick and efficient, so you don’t have to worry about sitting around in your car wasting gasoline. 

Grilling is an option much utilized every weekend.  After you buy the meat at the counter inside, simply step up to the hot, smoky, mesquite-fired grill and hand it to the griller.

First come, first served is the norm, and during peak grilling hours you may find that you have a bit of a wait.   The meat turns out tender and tasty.  Here’s an example of fresh carne asada for all!

As you enter the main store, you’ll immediately notice the neatness and cleanliness of the floors and surrounding display cases.   This is a welcoming place, one that invites you to feel good about doing your shopping here.  The proximity of foods may be unorthodox, such as in the following photo, where the liquors are arranged above the ice cream cases, but such unorthodoxy is part of the charm of shopping in a Mexican grocery store.  Just past the various alcohol bottles you can spot the scale that signals the entrance to the produce aisle.

The fruits and vegetables are on display in all their colorful, healthy glory.  They nearly reach out to you to choose your favorites, as well as to give a try to some of the native produce, such as chayote, ginger root, mango, and papaya.  Peppers both sweet and hot, from yellow to light green to red to black dare you to be adventurous, while mainstays, such as lemons (yellow) and lemons (green  --  that’s right.  What you might know as limes are actually lemons in Mexico.  Limas, or limes, are a different fruit, sweeter and less often used than the green ‘lemons’), encourage you to dabble in the fine art of Mexican cuisine.

Refrigerated foods line the wall.  Alicia’s offers fresh cheese, goat cheese, and the ever-available Monterrey Jack cheese, both packaged or already shredded for your quesadillas and enchiladas.   Outdoor and throwaway eating supplies and utensils are available.  Just make sure to always look up when attempting to locate something.

Cold cuts and packaged meats make for quick, delicious sandwiches and snacks.

The meat counter displays fresh meat, including beef, pork, chicken, and, at differing times of the year, turkey (whole or drumsticks), or quail, in a variety of cuts.  You are welcome to special order a cut if you like. 

The meat preparation area is kept clean, and proper care is used in serving up the meat of your choice.  Thin bisteaks are the most common cut of beef, used regularly for that Mexican delight, carne asada, or grilled meat.  Carne asada is the go-to meal when guests are invited for a casual get-together, and whenever there is a party outdoors, the smoky smell of meat on the grill wafts through the streets.

The shelves are stocked to bursting with offerings to  make your meal using traditional Mexican food, or food made in Mexico, but, as you can see, there are several different types of familiar products throughout the store.  While it’s comforting to be able to fall back on the tried-and-true of cooking, I hope you will always keep an open mind to try products the way the Mexicans make them.  You’ll find that there may be subtle differences in spices used that provide a new adventure in eating, and discover that you are looking for the Mexican brand when you return home.  If you have a Mexican neighborhood in your home city, you just may locate one or more Mexican grocery stores, or Mercados, where you can, indeed, buy the brands you came across while actually in Mexico. 

The main store is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.  The tunnel opens at 9 a.m.  All in all, Alicia’s is a good, clean, friendly grocery store that offers so much more than groceries.  Enjoy the experience.

  • Community: El Dorado Ranch
  • Business Type: Groceries
  • Address: ,1, 1,1,21850
  • Telephone:
  • Website:
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