Best Supermarket Westchester
- Vielka Jan 27, 2006 01:29 PM
Please toss out your selections. My opinion:
Stew's great for dairy and their homemade salsa, not much else. Their meat is tasteless, poor quality.
Whole Foods is fine for several products: ground nut butters, grains and the like that are available in bulk, some harder to find healthier/veggie/organic products. their meat is fine/okay quality but with a higher price than reasonable. Their produce in the main is too highly priced for what should be average quality stuff. I wouldn't go near the seafood.
In NYC Fairway does a decent job with meats, seafood, some limited healthier/veggie items and very good produce at reasonable prices. unfortuantely they are not a full service supermarket.
Can someone suggest other choices? I am beginning to tackle the towns one by one at this point. I tried 2 in Hastings without luck: organic place was tiny and over priced; Food Emp. as usual in my experience was a supermarket-lette: tiny, limited offerings and over priced.
Funny you should mention the Hastings Food Emporium in less-than-glowing terms! I have always described it as a small supermarket that manages to have a lot: nice organic produce selection, decent deli and prepared foods, good selection of both basic and somewhat more upscale canned and jarred items. I am definitely price-conscious, and I didn't find it to be exorbitant, especially when you factor in the convenience factor (everything under one roof). **Disclaimer: I used to be a regular shopper there, but circumstances have dictated that I haven't been there in a couple of years.
.and Trader Joe's (Hartsdale, Eastchester) OF COURSE!!
What town are you in? That would help with our suggestions. I won't suggest places on the other side of the county, unless that's what you want.
Here are some of my favorite:
Viva Ranch, Huegenot, New Rochelle - Great produce and great prices.
Local Farmers markets during the summer only
Fish Market, Division St, New Rochelle ( 2 Korean sisters run this place - not a glamorous place but I have never had bad fish and the 2 sisters take pride in their fish )
Fish Market, Arthur Ave, Bronx
Prime Butcher in Bronxville ( expensive but high quality )
Biancardi's Meat, Arthur Ave Bronx ( But in the retail market next door is another butcher that has his own specialties )
Greek/Middle Eastern Market, Top of Central Ave on the left, White Plains.
Asian Market, Next to the DMV, White Plains
Auray Cheese, Palmer Ave. Larchmont.
Bagels and whitefish, smoked salmon etc,- Bagel store in the Quaker Ridge Food Emporium Shopping Center, New Rochelle
C Town in Pelham ( looks like a basic grocery store but over the past few years they keep upgrading their merchandise. Good Cheese selection, Fresh Bread- Ecce Panis , Foie Gras, Sushi Bar, and more. )
I agree with you on all choices, except for Biancardi's in the Bronx. It's way too expensive.
C-Town in Pelham has excellent butchers. The prices in the deli at C-Town, however, are too high. For what they charge, one might just make the trip to Mike's Deli in the Arthur Avenue Market and get some really quality antipasto food.
The farmer's market in New Rochelle is pretty good.
Viva Grande is indeed a good choice for inexpensive produce as well as Goya products.
The problem (as you can tell) is that "best" is very subjective. I would suggest Shoprite for general purpose groceries at very good prices. Then figure out what sort of gourmet/better quality stuff you want and find one or two places that fit that bill.
Stop & Shop has better produce but they are more expensive. Depending on what A&P you have in the area, they might work. The one in Mount Kisco is nice (if somewhat expensive).
I agree. I find the parking situation and the prices prohibitive at Whole Foods in White Plains, hence I only go there for unique items I can't find anywhere else, and even then I have to steel myself for the rudest drivers in the world.
Ditto for Apple Farm. The parking is better, but if you are not adverse to sardine can aisle manuevering or pushcart jockeying at checkout, then I will admit their produce is very interesting.
However, if I'm not in the market for an unusual cheese, a quality dairy product, or an odd piece of produce, I am perfectly happy on a daily basis with Stop and Shop on Palmer Ave. in New Rochelle. As I've noted before, I am lucky to have a quality relationship with Vinny the butcher and his service is not to be equalled. I don't do the fish at supermarkets or Apple Farm...again, I'm perfectly happy with Imperial Seafood in Mamaroneck...so Stop and Shop has met my day to day needs for many years.
I really hate that you have to pay for parking at Whole Foods in WP (except for Sunday mornings, apparently). I like Whole Foods but I've been there only once, when I was at Cheesecake Factory. Other than that, I do without it. And I've NEVER been to Fortunoffs, and we used to be big fans of theirs when we lived on Long Island.
Of course, now that you can't get free parking from Nordstrom's at The Westchester anymore, we don't do that much either.
BTW I've had pretty good tuna from Apple Farm. I like that they have the whole slab there and will cut as much as you want. The price is reasonable, too. And they can put it on ice if you're not going right home (or do not live in the immediate area).
That's good to know! I don't generally spend $15 there (we are kosher so we do not buy meat there, and it takes a lot for me to buy much of their overpriced stuff). But if I can buy one thing then it's good. Of course, if I'm not spending much, then I probably shouldn't waste my time going there but if I'm in the area I might stop by.
I don't understand the venegance against Apple Farms. I like their prices on produce.
I like the stock at C-Town in Pelham, but I must agree with the other poster that the prices are way too high. The deli prices are outrageous. I used to shop there all of the time, but now I do most of my shopping at Shop n Stop, and I only go to C-Town for the meat.
bill, SOMEhow, I missed your post, ALL these months ago. I wholeheartedly agree, Whole Foods is NOT worth the trouble, even if the parking is comp'ed. I went there with someone recently who was driving, and it was as if they were giving the stuff away. They have traffic monitors there now, since the rabid fans apparently don't have the manners to park safely and courteously on their own. NO amount of overpriced food is worth that aggravation to me, thank you very much.
No, Fortunoff's is not worth it either, although their parking is on a separate floor, away from the Whole Foods maniacs.
Oh, and I haven't even done the Cheesecake Factory yet, and I live in White Plains. That's how much I hate parking in White Plains.
I agree, since Nordstrom no longer validates, I have done without White Plains for a long time now. I have a big problem with the fact that the mayor has allowed their meters to run until 9:00pm at night. Greed knows no limits.
As to Apple Farm, they are nuts there too, but if I time it right (AND the parking is FREE!) I can get cold cuts priced lower than other places, they have a nice selection of cheeses, and they have an abundance of unusual fruits and vegetables. Still and all, their checkouts are as unfriendly as can be, so get in and get out as quickly as you can.
Oh, finally, my favorite Stop and Shop butcher Vinnie is now in Port Chester's store. Still offers up the very best meat, and I don't have to pay $88. for porterhouse for two.
If you're referring to Briccetti's Market in Bedford Hills, I agree their butcher provides some of the best meat in the area. I also agree with the earlier poster that for general fare, ShopRite in Bedford Hills is pretty good, and quite underrated. If atmospehere is what you seek, by all means go down to Whole Foods(aka "Whole Paycheck") in White Plains and submit yourself to the voracious parking situation, but ShopRite has some surprising quality. Turco's in Yorktown has an ok cheese section. And Stew Leonard's in Danbury has some surprisingly good coffee -- esp. for the money. probably because they can turn it over before it loses its freshness). I guess the picture's emerging: be selective.
I'm a big fan of Four Season Supermarket on Croton Ave in Ossining. They have an incredible selection of international food, particularly South American although there are also Egyptian, Polish, Jamaican and Irish imports that I've never seen in any other supermarket. If you like to cook, this place is invaluable -- even tho I live in White Plains I find it worth the trip about once a month. Not because I necessarily NEED frozen cuy or Peruvian giant-kernel corn on the cob or 9 varieties of arrepas or Uruguayan cookies, but having this stuff available has encouraged me to expand my cooking repertoire. I do a lot of shopping all over southern Westchester and the Bronx -- some of my faves include Yaranush and Golden Village on Central Ave, the fruit & vegetable grocers on Main St in New Rochelle, the West Indian Market about a half-mile into the Bronx on the Post Road, Teitel Bros. on Arthur Ave, and Yonkers Miasarnia on Lockwood in Yonkers -- but Four Seasons is where I stock my pantry.
We've given up the idea of one-stop-shopping. You just can't get the products you want for the prices you want all in one place. Here are our heavy hitters:
Fairway 125th Street: cheeses, meats, gourmet items, coffee. We live in New Rochelle and go in the afternoon or evening, non-rush hour,check channel 61 first for traffic. It's about a 20-25 minute drive, or a bit longer than our drive to Wholefoods. The cakes and pastries are NOT good, but the breads come from some respectable bakeries
Costco: toilet paper, tissues, laundry detergent, non-food grocery items. Don't buy actual food there.
Trader Joes: organic milk, eggs, cream (not ultrapasteurized), health and beauty aids, excellent flavored crisps. Excellent health foods--cereals, protein bars, juices. DON'T buy cheese (all mass produced and plastic wrapped)or fruit (all pre-bagged -- for every good piece, you get a damaged piece). Baged salads are fine, though.
Wholefoods: if traffic is bad, whatever we can't get at Fairway. Also good convenience and health foods, reasonable sandwiches, good (but pricy) meats. Loss leader pricing on some dairy items (milk, yogurt, eggs, cream), great for bakers and home cooks (organic, higher butterfat butter, for instance.)The cakes are pretty good and it's a cleaner, more pleasant shopping experience than Fairway. You're paying for it, though.
In a pinch: we end up at Stop and Shop. Good sales, good basic inventory, fine for little emergencies and cat food.
Kam Sen: Asian foods, fish, pork products, produce. I'm an avid cook, and I've never ONCE not found what I've needed at Kam Sen. You just have to look.
I agree with the poster who said they've given up on trying to get all their groceries in one place. I've spent the last 1.5 years here in Westchester trying to find the good stuff I got used to in NYC. I would observe:
1) I find Stupid Stop & Shop to be vile. The service is horrible, the meat is nasty, the produce is limp and overpriced. Blech. You will never see me there.
2) Stew Leonard's isn't bad - if you have kids it's a good place to shop (my eldest never gets tired of the dancing banana). Posters are correct about the steaks not being great but basics like flank steak and pork ribs are just fine and well priced. Fruit and veg are passable. The dairy is very good - they are also the ONLY place I've ever been to that sells pastuerized (versus ultra-pastuerized) heavy cream - by the half gallon, even! I also find both the cream cheese and the cottage cheese superb. They also stock some higher-end chicken that's decent. It's a very well run store.
3) DeCicco's, referred to by many posters by its "insider Pelham" name of C-Town, is pretty good (it's on 5th Ave near the train station). Its produce is beneath my consideration, but the meat is excellent (very rare for a grocery, they sell lots of prime meat). It's also a very well stocked grocery with phenomenal service - there's never a wait to check out and they're extraodinarily helpful. It's not a gourmet grocery but it succeeds very well at what it attempts. Pricey.
4) Viva Ranch on Hueguenot, mentioned above, is one of my favorite places to shop. It confirms my belief that Hispanics simply won't stand for the mediocre quality of produce sold at Anglo stores. Although sometimes the produce is not as fresh as it could be (examine your berries carefully), the variety is staggering, absolutely staggering, and the price is awesome. I can do a full fruit and veg shop for a family of four and can't spend more than $25. Great place. Did I mention the variety?
5) FreshDirect is expensive and only fair in quality (I'm frequently disappointed in the meats). It has good cheese. It also has very good variety and is very reliable. We used it in NYC and use it here in Pelham all the time.
MarkD in Pelham.
As someone who lives in Riverdale, I'm used to driving to multiple shopping sources.
I think the meat at Stew Leonard's can be good: I've had wonderful results with their rump roasts and stew meat in particular. I think their weekly sale on steaks and London Broil is quite good for a family of four. Their fish is uniformly fresh and tasty. I think their meat, at least is better than Fairway, and I don't feel like driving as far as Turco's (or spending that much). My wife feels their milk is much better than typical supermarket varieties.
For groceries I go to the Stop & Shop slum on Broadway, which has some good values. So does the Shopright in Yonkers, but that's even more of a slum and doesn't seem to be worth the drive most of the time.
The new development in the picture is the fruit and vegetable store across Broadway from Stop & Shop and Staples. They have a good selection at good prices, and also stock prepared foods, cheeses, breads, etc. They seem to be one level below "gourmet," but they do have quality merchandise at excellent prices.
I think that most NYC supermarkets are slums (which I use in a literary rather than literal sense).
1. They're usually dirty.
2. The aisles are narrow and claustrophobic.
3. For the most part, the sales staff has virtually no idea about the merchandise they're selling.
4. They frequently run out of specials.
5. They don't have a tremendous diversity of products.
3. The lighting is terrible.
4. The "gourmet" section looks old and dingy and unappetizing.
5. The place feels old (I know that it's gone through at least two incarnations...it was a Finast before it was a stop and shop).
6. The checkout people seem like completely alienated labor.
7. The fruit and vegetables are typical of supermarkets in this area: inferior.
If you've visited supermarkets in other parts of the country or abroad you'll see what's possible in attractive, inviting shopping.
And of course I have to shop there for basics. I can't afford to do my family shopping at an upscale place like whole foods or turco's.
I have two growing teenagers and a large dog, and I need every bargain I can get, so I shop the sales at Stew's, shop for everyday items at Stop and Shop, and do my fruit and vegetable shopping at a greengrocer. In many parts of the world, you can combine all that in one place--and even have a good selection of wine to choose from.
The issue in the city is generally space - it's limited. As for the Stop n Shops, the newer the better. We have an awful one here in Larchmont on Boston Post Road but the two new, much larger ones - in New Rochelle on Palmer Ave. and in Port Chester - Waterfront, are generally nice, clean, large, have a good overall selection, nice international foods sections and fairly decent produce although not always. I realize Port Chester (the better of the two imo) is far from Riverdale but New Rochelle isn't so awful and you can do a full shopping there. If you're willing to drive to Whole Foods or Turcos, I don't think this is much farther or may be the same for you, further east but south. Of course, if you go to NR you can continue just a little further and also hit Trader Joe's in Larchmont. Might be worth the trek.
For special dinners, I always buy Stew Leonard's Filet Mignon or Prime Rib. Both are excellent. You're wife is right! I also think they have the best tasting milk milk around. I am a Stew's fan and hit there whenever I am entertaining.
Apple Farms - I think the place is filthy and don't see what the attraction is.
Whole Foods - If you're not an organic or health food freak, I don't see the attraction of this overpriced, pain in the butt parking, place. There is never parking on the first level, and I'll be damned if I am going to take an elevator to food shop!
Stop and Shops are excellent supermarkets, but Shopright probably has better prices.
Turco's (or at least the one in Hartsdale, the sign in the entry seemed ambiguous to me) has been acquired by Morgan Williams. Anybody know anything about them? They claim nothing much will change. When I was in the other day, groups of managerial types were eying and rearranging the goods around the store, probably for the better, but I'm used to the old arrangement and it will take some getting used to.
Turco's in Hartsdale has just been bought by a family that owns a chain in the city. Can't remember the name off-hand but I will post it when I get back from there in an hour. They have always had an excellent produce department and a good meat department. I'm usually underwhelmed by the fish and the deli but hopefully that will improve with new ownership. I talked to one of the new owners-to-be the last time I was there and he said they are planning to expand the cheese department which is already great, so looking forward to that. Most importantly though, he promised to turn off that HORRIBLE '60s surfing music that is currently played waaaay too loud throughout the store. I was starting to avoid the store because the music was bothering me so much. Maybe that's just me. :0
Also, agreed on Stew Leonard's - I can't take going there on a weekend or holiday, it's like a demolition derby in the parking lot but I will say their Christmas trees are actually very nice and fresh. I can never get everything I need there and usually walk out missing one item, usually something basic, which irritates me to no end. I haven't been there in over a year now.
Glad to hear that, heathseal. Earth calling me, I just discovered Turco's a few weeks ago, and was surprised to see a particular Boar's Head cold cut was cheaper than at Stop and Shop. No, I won't go to Apple Farm any more than I will go to Viva Grande, so don't ask!
I did get their olives with Gorgonzola and found them excellent. I haven't yet tried their cheeses though and...am I deaf???...didn't hear the music! Hating Bocelli music in restaurants as much as I do, I most surely would have noted the obtrusive music.
Bottom line, the parking is free and is not a zoo, so I'll go back.
On Stew's -- yes, their trees are nice, as is their ice cream, but I don't like the rat maze setup nor the lack of all items nor the unfathomable crushing crowds, so I don't go there often.
Ok, Turcos/Morton Williams has not yet changed the music (and now that I've mentioned it to you you will not be able to get it out of your head!) but the rest of the store is already looking nicer. The produce section had a bit more variety to it and the cheese section is half-way done with the renovations. Plus they gave me a free canvas tote bag for spending over $50. Not sure if this is just a promo that will end soon, but it was very nice as I am a bring-my-own-bag kind of girl anyway.
I drive 15 min to Whole Foods every week from Tarrytown. I would rather pay a little more for a more civilized shopping experience- not including the parking lot which is awful. I eat a lot of wheat/glute free foods so there's nowhere else like it in the area for that. I do try to buy organic produce and again, no one else has the selection. Also their milk, eggs, etc are very well priced.
I wouldn't buy much at Apple Farms, it's dirty, the cashiers are rude and they don't take credit cards.
Stop and Shop is walking distance from my house and I rarely go there as well. My husband does pick up eggs and milk there for himself, but their produce is disgusting.
Also in the disgusting category is the market in Tarrytown, I think it's called Novello market or that may have been the old name. There are bugs in the produce dept and their prices are insanely high.
Stew Leonards is over-rated and not worth the drive for me. I don't find their prices to be worth it and their produce is only ok.
I wish that Fresh Direct would deliver to Tarrytown and the west side of the county. When I lived in the city I ordered from them a lot.
My big problem with Stew Leonard's is their pricing policy. Why do I have to buy multiples of items in order to get the reduced price. Why isn't 2/$5 the same as $2.50 each? This drives me bananas!
The parking lot at Whole Foods is my number one reason for avoiding the place.
I love Trader Joe's and wish they would add another store further south, perhaps in the Yonkers area. Their prices on milk and eggs are tough to beat.
I shop frequently at the Stop & Shop in Yonkers but am always disappointed with the produce.
Fairway is great, but a big pain now with the construction on the pier.
All in all, the speicialty markets seem to be the way to go - Yaranush in White Plains, A&S in Yonkers, anyplace on Arthur Avenue, etc.
Oh, and don't forget the Farmer's Markets!
Whole Foods is quite nutty with the parking - and the 1 hour validation is totally BS - if you go a minute over, they sock you for the whole amount - no discount at all. I can't tell you the number of times people have almost backed over my 6 year old!! We go occasionally, because they have a great price on Chavrie goat cheese (under $3) and we use it in a lot of dishes and sandwiches...
I would also recomment Mint on Main Street in Tarrytown. My friend had a party catered by them and the food was to die for. The owner (I don't remember his name) is very nice, and always has some nice cheeses to sample. He also has some of the best dried mangos around!
Yonkers Miasarnia on Lockwood is great when you are in the mood for kielbasa and pierogi - you can bet I am there every year, a few days before Easter! I should make my way there more often, but I am mid Westchester...
I am still looking for a good all purpose grocery in my area - I am close to the Millwood A&P, so that's where I end up the most - along with the overprice Briarcliff Food Emporium. Sometimes I wash myself down with Purell and brave the Ossining Food Emporium - there are some good sales, but that is one dirty store. They are planning on building a new one, and not a moment too soon, IMO.
This is a great thread - I am inspired to try some of these places!
DeCicco's is a family mini-chain with markets in in the Chester Heights area of Bronxville, Pelham and Scarsdale - there is one more but I forget where. The produce is average, but the meat is excellent. Their Italian Sausage is outstanding. They carry Silver Palate products, including tomatoe sauce, Green Mountain Coffee, and a decent selection of organic dairy products. The staff are very helpful. I think their prices are average for the area.
Stay away from the Country Market on Post Road in Eastchester. The meat department smells dreadful and the rest of the store needs cleaning.
<< I love Trader Joe's and wish they would add another store further south, perhaps in the Yonkers area. Their prices on milk and eggs are tough to beat. >>
Further south??? Go to Eastchester -- it's not that far. There is nothing in New York north of Hartsdale, which means all of northern Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess. Yes, they have a store in Danbury, which is slightly closer than Hartsdale. But I have no sympathy for not wanting to drive from Yonkers to the existing TJ's.
BTW, I still think that Shoprite is your best bet pricewise, if you have one in your area. The one in Yonkers (Tuckahoe Road) is a zoo but they often have great sales, certainly compared to S&S.
This is a topic close to my heart.For a town that is teeming with fashion stores we are woefully deficient in food stores.I'm in agreement with JSexton on shopping choices. We take a trip to Fairway when we can and then make do with "stupid" Stop and Shop for the essentials. Trader Joe is wonderful but just when you get addicted to one of their products they pull it. (that's how they get'cha). The trick to Whole Foods is to know precisely what you need and to wear your watch. The new owners of Turcos don't seem to be making big changes..yet. Stew Leonards is fun for the kids and has a good deli department because the turnover is rapid and keeps it all fresh. Stay away on weekends and near holidays! My husband plans trips to Brooklyn just to go to Sahadi's middle eastern gourmet store.Whenever possible we'll go to Arthur Avenue too to shop. Apple Farm is one of those hit or miss places. We do like their fresh mozzerella.My husband shops in KamSen a lot and buys fish there. We will also buy fish at LaMaree in Mamaroneck.
I think they may have changed the name of the store from LaMaree to Portier Fine Foods. But, it is on 436 Waverly Ave. where there are several industrial outlets. It is also a smokehouse and you can buy all kinds of smoked fish, and French imported gourmet foods. It's an interesting place. A word of advice the earlier in the day the better the selection.
The ShopRite in Thornwood (which I've always disliked for being understaffed and understocked) is being renovated, and it looks like it might be entering the 21st century. More aisles, more ethnic food, a larger organic section, self-service checkout (which is kind of fun for the kids but I'm not sure how much time it saves). I'm intrigued.
The ShopRite in Bedford Hills recently renovated, and is not only more pleasant, but has bolstered its offerings of more interesting fare, like its modest selection of interesting microbreweries (like Stone and Smuttynose) and Belgian styled beer, both imported and domestic. This store's organic section has als been significantly expanded.