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Sep 18, 2007 01:41 PM

Best Grocery Stores in Manhattan

Looking for the best grocery store in Manhattan for gourmet foods. I'm looking for something unique where you can get ingredients etc. from around the world. Please don't mention Whole Foods, Pathmark, etc. Thank you!

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    1. kalustyan's

      gourmet garage

      dean & deluca

      IGNORE the listing below for kalustyan's in's an error, but for some reason the system won't let me edit or remove it. sorry!

      123 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016

      2 Replies
        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          I know everyone loves Kalustyans, but am I the only one offended by their rampant price gauging???? I mean, I know its not always easy to find a preserved lemon or a jar of rosewater, but does that mean that a can of chipotles needs to be 5 bucks (its 1.50 at my local grocer)? I try to frequent the cheaper, well stocked neighbors of Kalustyans when possible. But, sigh, it is true that there is occasionally no alternative.

          I just wish that they would price fairly. I get the Dean and Deluca pricing--you are paying for the experience, but Kalustyans? If I have to hike up to 28th street and bump into angry foodies, I would like my basmati to be affordable please.

          Sorry for the rant.

        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. I always love going to Citarella when I am in NY. The first couple of times I went to NY, I stayed with a friend so we went shopping there often to make ourselves dinner instead of going to the restaurant every night. Their calf liver is excellent. I am difficult about this liver but theirs is excellent!

            1. Hey afaroogs, the most commonly mentioned ones are probably going to be

              Zabar's (excellent and obscure cheeses, smoked fish, prepared foods, coffee, olives, olive oils, chocolate, jams, and a whole bunch of good stuff they manage to stuff into a teeny, crowded UWS store)

              Fairway (great produce, nice bin products, oftentimes good meat behind the butcher's counter; generously sized, but always crowded)

              The Citarella right next door to Fairway on the UWS has very fresh meat. The Lobster Place in Chelsea Market has very fresh fish. Oh... for Italian food items, you have to go to the specialty store in Chelsea Market. They're pricey, but they really do have a lot of fun, obscure items (like mustard fruit) .. and giant gallon containers of Nutella, fresh pasta, corn-based pasta for the gluten intolerant, decent selection of cured meats and cheeses. There's an okay produce store in Chelsea Market, too, called the Manhattan Fruit and Vegetable Exchange, I think.

              Outside of Manhattan, I also like Kalustyans--and j'adore Patel Bro's in Jackson Heights (supercheap bags of jasmine rice, fresh produce, fresh yogurt, kulfi, indian spices, ingredients for chaat, dried nuts and fruit, etc..)

              11 Replies
              1. re: cimui

                OUTSIDE of manhattan?

                kalustyan's is on lex between 28th & 29th.

                murray hill, curry hill, lower midtown...classify it however you want, but last time i checked, that was very much still part of the island.

                  1. re: DoctortedNYC

                    ooh, i forgot about garden of eden. i really used to like that place when i lived in ny.

                    i'm surprised no one has mentioned the union square greenmarket yet! i know technically it's not a store, but that's precisely what makes it such a great resource. products from small, local growers & artisans you won't find in any store.

                  2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    Hmm, sorry, maybe I am confused. I am talking about a gourmet grocery store in Brooklyn near the Target. Perhaps you can help me out with the name.

                    1. re: cimui

                      Is it Patel? Or is that in Queens?

                      1. re: MMRuth

                        Patel is in Queens. I'm not aware of a "gourmet store" anwhere near the Target/BAM in Brooklyn, unless the OP means Sahadi's. Which is good if you live in the (very general) vicinity but not worth a special trip except maybe once to see it.

                        Definitely agree with some of Kalustyan's pricing (some is suprisingly OK), but disagree about Dean & DeLuca - what there is of "experience" these days is hardly worth the price of the ticket IMNSHO.

                        1. re: MMRuth

                          Yeaaah! That's it. Sahadi's. A little embarrassing that I, in gringo manner, conflated the two names. They're both multisyllabic and "foreign" sounding... oi.

                          Thanks. =)

                    2. re: cimui

                      I despise Zabar's. The selection of foods there isn't so unique that it justifies having to deal with the crowds of tourists and little old ladies beating you with their carts so they can get a good deal on whitefish.

                      Fairway, however, has a great selection of produce and international products (though it could definitely be improved) and fair prices. The crowds are actually a lot more obnoxious than at Zabar's at the 74th St. location, but I'm hoping Harlem or Brooklyn might not attract the angry, Rascal-riding set.

                      1. re: JungMann

                        Hah, sounds like maybe you just hate the ppl who shop there. I have seen little old ladies beat people with umbrellas, there, to make them give way. It's a terrifying sight.

                        However, I do have to argue with you on the food. Zabar's has interesting cheeses that you can't find anywhere else on the UWS (and beyond, sometimes). (For instance, recently, someone was looking for an obscure Icelandic cheese on this site and found it at Zabar's.) They have a great store-brand babka and apple pie... and other baked goods. I don't think I've found such good olive oil for the price anywhere else. And the smoked fish really is excellent, now that you mention it.

                        The crowd is actually not so terrible if you go the hour before closing or early morning. Try to regard dodging mean old ladies with umbrellas as some sort of exciting urban sport.

                        1. re: cimui

                          Is the olive oil at Zabar's cheaper than that at Fairway? I thought the prices for oil at the latter were rather good. I'm not much in the way of baked goods, but I may have to give Zabar's another chance for cheap oil and cheese.

                          1. re: JungMann

                            We shop at Zabar's, Fairway, Whole Foods, Chelsea Market, and the Greenmarket. All have their strong points & all have their minuses...
                            Zabar's has great cheese selection at a fraction of Fairway or Murray's. They also have a far superior deli counter. Zabar's onion rolls, croisaints are terrific. Fairway's veggies can be subpar and borderline fresh, Chelsea Market's veggis & fruits are very good & is the next best to the Greenmarket. Fairway cannot be beat for prime meats as far as prices are concerned, Citerella's quality is equal or better, but the prices are higher, no Lobel's, but what is that high. The olive oil'sd at Fairway is a hair cheaper for regular EVO, but they have some higher priced specialty oils that are pretty good buys. The Italian foods store in Chelsea Market is a bit of a rip, Teitel Brothers on Arthur Ave. in the Bronx is as good as it gets for Reggiano Parm & Prochut de Parma. & they have an oil that is really good too with a price to match. If you need an appliance for the kitchen or house Zabar's prices can't be beat.