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Survey: Where do you shop in Park Slope?

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This may have been covered already but I can't find a thread.

Other than the Coop, which is another topic altogether, where do all the Park Slopers do their grocery shopping? Fresh produce, quality meat, etc.. Any places that have good selections of certain items while having not much else? Places with good values or stores that are worth the extra expense. Friendly staff?

I’ve been a Coop member for years so I already have an intimate knowledge of its/our advantages and shortcomings and, in the end, I also know that it will still be one of the few places in all of NYC to get local produce and sustainably raised meat. I’m just trying to get a feel for what else is out there.

Also, anybody know what’s up with the Whole Foods? Have they cleaned up the toxic spills? When is it opening?

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  1. The 5th Avenue Key Food is a great general purpose supermarket. Eagle Provisions at 5th Ave. and 18th St. has a nice selection of meats (at lower prices) and Polish products.

    1. I lived in Park Slope for many years but moved away a year ago - and definitely second the rec on the 5th Ave Key Food. Forget the one on 7th Ave, the selection is terrible unless you go first thing - but no matter when you go, the staff is always sour.

      The other place I would go to very often was D'vine Taste on 7th Ave - think it is near Carroll St? It's on the same block as the Key Food. They have a good selection of cheese, olives, nuts, spices, oil, vinegars, etc. and the prices are very reasonable. I thought the staff was always friendly and I liked going there better than Blue Apron Foods (which is on Union and 7th) which has a similar selection but is tilted towards higher end.

      And Russo's on south 7th ave (around 12th st? forgive me, apparently a year is long enough to forget everything) has terrific fresh pasta/sauce and mozzerella.

      1. I like Union Market on Union and 5th Avenue they have nice meat and produce (a little pricey though). I also shop at Back to the Land on 7th Avenue, I find certain things there cost a little bit less than Union Market and Key Food. (Stonyfield yougurt is $1.19 at Union Market & Key Food, only 99 cents at Back to the Land). I also like D'vine Taste because they have the best selection of spices in the neighborhood.

        2 Replies
        1. re: MrsT

          Isn't Union Market on 6th Avenue?

        2. all oif the above ...don't forget steve's ctown on 9th street. good selection and nice people running it. union market has a high mark-up but they have some really good meat that i think is often worth the extra $.

          1. In the Slope - definitely the 5th Avenue Key Food. Clean, fresh, good selection, including stuff from the Emerald, British, and Caribbean isles. If I'm in a pinch, I head to the Met Foods across from PS 321. I'll stay away from everything else - too crummy/expensive/twee.
            But I usually shop at Red Hook's Fairway. The dream city market.

            2 Replies
            1. re: dw438

              My normal general stop for groceries is at Eagle Provisions - but its mostly a gap-filling source since its often on the way back from Brooklyn Chinatown, Costco and at places like Three Guys, A&S (for mozzarella) GAP Farmers Market, Sahadi,Coluccio etc. In Prospect Hts we get our normal groceries at Met.Ive recent bought espresso grind coffee at Fairway, but I cant decide whether its worth the drive and zoo-ey parking lot.
              Ive also been known to shop at Trader Joes, Costco and Chinese and Indian supermarkets in NJ but I guess those dont count.

              1. re: dw438

                I suggest staying clear of the Met Foods unless it is for something really basic or in an emergency. Over the summer I tried to buy a bunch of asparagus and an avacado. The price was just under $9.00. When I would not go through with the transaction the woman behind the counter was completely surly with me.

              2. im not a big grocery shopper but usually go to union market. i quit the co-op after a year...total waste of time unless you're broke or a hippie...i will occasionally get something at c-town on 9th or the carroll and 7th ave key food but im not too particular.

                1. Key Food on 5th Avenue is the best of the bunch in the Slope. btw, they are happy to deliver to us and we live on Union near 8th Avenue, so don't be afraid to ask, as they have a van. I prefer Fairway (which will also deliver to the Slope apparently although I have never tried the delivery service) but its a trek and takes me a while to get through the market. I go to Blue Apron for olives, cheeses, caviar and other speciality items. Natural Land, the Korean grocery store, on Flatbush near the old movie theatre has a good selection of fresh produce, Asian products, and the fresh fish I have bought there has been fine. Fresh Direct is ok for stocking up when I can't make it to the Key Food on 5th and I have found their meat, poultry, fish and produce to be good although their selection can be somewhat limited.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: chowkitty

                    I love Natural Land! I buy most of my produce from there (supplemented by Union Market for the stuff I can't find at Natural Land). It's inexpensive and good quality. I think the 5th Ave. Key Food is only okay. (though I do love the music there!) It's good for staples, but I feel like their produce is hit or miss. I went there for some baking supplies the other day, and thought I'd pick up some veggies for dinner as well. The brussels sprouts and salad greens were so wilted, I ended up making a separate stop at Natural Land. Also, there are never enough registers open at Key Food, so I feel like I always spend as long in line as I do shopping.

                    D'Vine Taste is my favorite gourmet store. Great food, spices in bulk (which I love), and it has a real neighborhood vibe. I go in there often and the people who run it are very friendly, often letting me sample things before buying, etc. I also like Bierkraft for cheeses.

                    1. re: neversent

                      I agree about Russos but think you need to be careful shopping there. I've noticed they often leave out items on the counter all day that should require refrigeration, things like crab cakes and pork ribs. Plus their prices seem to flucutate with the mood of whomever happens to be working there.

                      Has anyone tried Grab on Seventh Ave. and what do people think in general about Fairway's prices for basic grocery items? Are they better or worse than Steve's C town or other Key Foods.

                      1. re: bklyndiner

                        I think the selection at Grab is okay, though somewhat limited (but then hey, it is a small shop. I still like Murray's better though, if I'm doing cheese. The people at Grab just aren't as friendly and enthusiastic as they are at Murray's.

                        I also am a big fan of D'Vine Taste -- the owners are wonderful, they have bulk spices and many other great items, and you don't have to do a workshift every month!

                        Add me the list of zipcar/Fairway fanatics -- I just do a big shop once every 2 weeks or so, and the zipcar pays for itself if I eat home once instead of going out. Plus, I find that I have much more food in the house, so it's alot more fun to cook -- I have so many more options now that I don't have to buy all my ingredients. I don't think the prices are any higher at Fairway, but it's just such a pleasant experience to go there and shop.

                        Between D'Vine Taste and Fairway, I finally did up and leave the co-op after 5 years, and if I miss the prices and often the produce, I still it's one of the best decisions I've made in a few years.

                  2. Eagle Provisions, Russo's, the Met (on 5th and Prospect) for the basics, the great fruit/veg store on 15th and 5th.

                    1. fyi, the last few times ive gone to eagle provisions, ive seen fuzzy, green strawberries for sale in the front of the store and salmon with white rotten specks on it in the seafood area.

                      their beer has always been dusty so i tend to avoid that as well.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: sam1

                        Eagle has always had an enormous selection for a store that size. They offer a lot of stuff, which may not find a market and may languish - sometimes much too long (check the date before buying olive oil) and dont buy the dusty beer.. I also think they are going through a transition with a decrease in the number of traditional ethnic customers while at the same time getting more competition from new competitors for the "gourmet" dime. this is really hitting them on the produce IMO. they try very hard and often offer things that are not frequently available. You just have to be more picky there than in some other stores. Ill try to build up my nerve to talk to John (the owner) too!

                      2. I've got to mention the Associated on 5th and President has been upgraded in the last year or so and is getting a lot more traffic. They opened a decent deli section. I get German pumpernickel bread there.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: FastEddie

                          I'll second this. THis is my main staples market, closest to home. They have really improved a lot. However, their meat selection is limited and they have recently started selling fish but not much. I sometimes go to Keyfood on 5th to load up on stuff the Assoc doesn't have...it's a better supermarket all around and you've got to love it that shoppers and stock boys are ALWAYS singing along with the oldies they play in there.

                          1. re: prunefeet

                            "...and you've got to love it that shoppers and stock boys are ALWAYS singing along with the oldies they play in there."

                            I've noticed that. Whole generations that were never exposed that music are learning all about it as they shop. Ah ... the 60s.

                            1. re: Bob Martinez

                              I always kid the managers and tell them I only shop there because of the music. I've been shopping there for twenty years and it's gotten better over time. They try very had to keep up with new items, organics (especially the meat/chicken) and other 'gourmet' items. And the staff is terrific--helpful, courteous and all around nice guys. I think that Fairway has taken some of their business so I try to shop at Keyfood regularly.

                              1. re: micki

                                I've thanked the manager personally for doing such a great job. He's just outstanding and that attitude has taken hold with his staff.

                                I don't notice any drop off in customers since Fairway opened. Sure, Fairway has a huge selection but the place is often mobbed and an additional 15 minute drive from the Slope. I'm glad it's there as a resource but Key Food meets most of my needs.

                        2. It's just beyond the PS border (though in real estate listing terms these days it would probably be labeled "center slope") but United Meats on Prospect Park West is a really excellent butcher/Italian grocery store. I love this place.

                          1. I shop at the Coop and the Saturday GAP Greenmarket (and I'm not a hippy, thank you very much. I just like to cook.)
                            I like the Tellos egg lady, and the Evolutionary Organics greens/root veg, even tho the Coop is no slouch in either dept.
                            And of course the fish is great, but not avail in winter.

                            I also go to A&S Pork Store on Fifth Ave, Chinatown/Sunset Park, and Trader Joes on 14th St.

                            1. I'll add to the enthusiastic chorus on 5th Ave. Key Food, which is about as good as you can get for a 'regular' NYC supermarket. I live about 20 feet from the 7th ave one (the 'supermarket from hell,' as i like it call it...) and go to 5th Ave. as much as time and opportunity allows. For more upscale and specialty, I'd go with Union Market and D'Vine Taste (cheeses, olives, bread and gourmet packaged items), with a nod to Union mkt for quality meet and fish and an efficient staff, altho D'Vine's proprieters are, well, divine (sorry!). Bierkraft has an interesting array of specialty items also. BUT WHERE'S PARK SLOPE'S BUTCHER??? There's a potential gold mine, I should think...

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: bklynbiker

                                Butcher you ask? Check out A&S Pork Store on 5th (Garfield & 1st?) They have more than just pork. All kinds of beef and they've recently started carrying dry-aged steaks. Being an Italian style pork store thay also carry fresh mozzerella.
                                And they make fantastic sandwiches in the back with every combo of cured meats you can think of.

                                1. re: Gnu23

                                  thanks i'll check it out. i had heard they were almost all pork products, sausages etc (which i'm up for, but i was thinking steaks, beef roasts and the like). if they're doing more beef now i'll definitely check them out, i'm v. close by.

                                  1. re: bklynbiker

                                    NO! They have whatever you want. Ask them if you don't see it. Really good quality. Not cheap. Great place.

                              2. ill third bierkraft for good quality cheese and beer. the cheese and beer both at the Coop are unfortunately not well cared for.

                                1. Since I discovered Zip Car and Fairway opened in Red Hood - this 13-year resident of PS does all my grocery shopping at Fairway - hell, it's actually become entertainment and their river-side cafe is the best deal in town.

                                  For in-between trips to Fairway - Bierkraft for cheese, charcuterie and Il Laboratorio de Gelato, Blue Apron for cheese and charcuterie, & Russo's for mozzarella & bread

                                  1. There's a good butcher on 5th between 6 and 7th (or is it 7th and 8th?- either way next to Leopoldi Hardware).

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: pastoralia

                                      I second that butcher. They're the same owners from the previous one on Berkeley and 7th Ave. Eagle is good for canned and jarred goods. I would stay away from their meats. Go to Jubilat a few doors down. They have their own smokehouse and the kielbasa and bacon is extraordinary. D'Vine Taste and Bierkraft for cheese and olives. The Key Food on 5th for every thing simple. Blue Moon for fish when they're around at the GAP Farmer's market, oherwise I like the Koreans on 3rd and 7th (not the ones on 7th between 4th and 5th streets). Tellio's eggs, when they decide to show up at the Farmer's market as well. They have great tasting blue eggs. Another great butcher is the guy by Farrel's on PPW and 16th. 7th Ave Donuts for simple donuts and crullers. I also go down to Flatbush Ave by Midwood Street and hit the local Carribean stores for spices and oddities as banana porridge. Or you could hit the supermarket by Hawthorne on Flatbush, I forget if it's a C-Town or not.

                                      I'm not a fan of Blue Apron, Eagle, Grab, or a lot of the "organic" meat stands such as Flying Pig at the Farmer's Market. IMO, they all reek of style over substance.

                                      1. re: bigmackdaddy

                                        I really beg to differ about Flying Pigs Farm. The bacon's fantastic (better if you fry it at a slightly lower heat and longer than you would supermarket), and the chickens are simply a different animal (bird?), not to mention the fact that you know they were raised humanely. I roasted one last week and my son (a foodie) was stunned by the breast meat, which he usually doesn't bother with as being too dry and bland—it's amazingly juicy and full of flavor, even the color isn't really "white" the way standard chicken is. Pinker, darker.

                                        1. re: tamara

                                          I didn't know Flying Pig sold chickens. I certainly have no idea whether their chickens or any of their other animals are raised humanely because I've never had the pleasure of visiting their farm. As far as bacon goes I fry all my bacon on low heat as a matter of course. I like Jubilat's better. It's thicker and has a heartier flavor. And, considering that Flying Pigs adds Nitrates to their bacon it kind of cancels out the whole organic thing they plug.

                                    2. I am a big gay nut for Steve's C-Town. Maybe because I just have a preference for BIG clean stores and big clean latin boys ;-)~

                                      1. Natural Land green grocer on Flatbush, Blue Apron (7th ave/Union St), Union Market (Union St/6th Ave), Back to the Land (7th Ave), the fish store on 7th Ave between 3rd & 4th (?) streets (the second one, that has a few steps up to the fish section). Sometimes the GAP Farmers Market.

                                        Outside of Park Slope:
                                        Sometimes we drive to Fairway, but never buy fish there; it really does not look fresh. The fish meat looks mushy and the eyes always look dull.

                                        After the one time that Fresh Direct delivered fish that was not fresh, we stopped using them. Total deal breaker. Thankfully that evening we did not have guests over.
                                        I had also grown really leery of the environmental impact of Fresh Direct: all those trucks driving around all day long to private households - and all that excessive packaging also made me uncomfortable.

                                        1. I'm a big fan of D'Vine taste. The folks who run it are so nice and knowledgeable I feel good spending my money there. Also, Mona's homemade dishes are wonderful. And they carry Bagel Hole bagels!


                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Peter Cherches

                                            1) we drive to fairway redhook
                                            2) 5th ave key food
                                            3) c-town(only out of necessity)

                                          2. As a non-Coop member, I shop at different stores for different things. C-Town on 9th street for staples or if I can't muster the trip to Fairway. Fairway whenever I can make it there. Fresh Direct when life is too chaotic for a Fairway trip. And Union Market if I want to treat myself or need higher-end meat, fish or other items, say for a dinner party.
                                            I've tried the local fishmongers and haven't been ecstatic with any of them; I'm told Fish Tales in Cobble Hill is worth the trip. I try to go to a local butcher - A&R Pork I think it's called, across the street from La Villa - but am most pleased with Fairway.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: Brooklyn Hound

                                              i agree with the chickens from flying pigfarm amazing! I love the united meat market for meat. for produce and other groceries Mr. and Mrs. Lee's small store on 7th btw. 11th and 12th is fantastic, great produce and they are the nicest.

                                              1. re: Brooklyn Hound

                                                I find the prices on many items at Union are pretty affordable. Many of the cheeses were priced lower than other shops in the area that I've explored thus far (valabreso, for example) and the fish prices weren't so bad during my last visit - $6.99/lb for bluefish (it's $5.99/lb in Boston during the summer/fall season) and dry scallops were $16.99. I recall organic greens being priced right, too.