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Apr 16, 2008 08:36 PM

Groceries at 72nd and 1st

I'm soon to be moving to that shiny beast they're putting up on 72nd and 1st, and when I walked by the other day I saw my choices were basically Food Emporium and Gristedes, at least for things right there. I'm coming from Bklyn Heights, where shopping at Gristedes was akin to taking your life into your hands, what with the puffy dairy containers and salt flats-scented meat. I hear, though, that the ones in Manhattan aren't so bad. I have zero experience with or knowledge of Food Emporium. I'm going to be spending nearly half my take-home pay on rent (hey, it has a dishwasher!), so as much as I'd love to continue my Fresh Direct/Garden of Eden junkie ways, I'm going to have to reign it in a bit.

So: Gristedes or Food Emporium - Thoughts? Opinions? Other places to get that one ridiculously expensive fancy item when I just can't help myself?

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  1. Gristedes is a last resort kind of place. Food Emporium is pretty expensive and not worth it at all.
    Gourmet Garage on 64th between 1st and 2nd Ave has great stuff, most of it is expensive, though.
    For that fancy item try Agata and Valentina on 1st @ 79th.
    You'll find quite a few fruit stands around. Their prices are low and quality is usually not bad.
    There's a small farmer's market every Saturday in the schoolyard on 66th between 1st and York. Good apples during the season.
    There's a guy on the 2nd Ave near 62nd that sells low quality produce for dirt cheap. His stuff is not always low quality, though, so you can get a good bargain there. But the reason you want to get yourself to that corner, is the Chicken Kitchen next door. Fast, healthy, cheap and tasty - very tasty - chicken. Service is horrible and the sides are ehh but you'll get addicted to that chicken.

    Sorry I couldn't be more helpful. There aren't many reasonably priced options around here.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ow77

      I think there may be a fruit guy on the corner of 72 and 1, but I definitely second the guy on 62 and 2 - I am a regular there. He's not the friendliest and there isn't always a great selection, but you can usually muster up enough vegetables for dinner and fruits for snacking. Especially in the summer. I actually go to the FE on 72 and 1st for most of my groceries - it's much better than Gristedes and I don't think their prices are astronomical (for NY, that is). I wouldn't buy steak or fish there (go to Citarella), but I buy chicken and ground turkey there with no problems.

    2. On Third Avenue, you have Grace's Market Place (at 71st Street) and Citarella, at 75th for your expensive fancy items. Citarella is my "regular" grocery store - I actually find it more reasonable than Food Emporium for many, many things, and has very good meats and fish. The cheese is better, I think, at Grace's, and both have a wide selection of "gourmet" foods.

      1313 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10021

      Grace's Marketplace
      1237 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10021

      1 Reply
      1. re: MMRuth

        I agree with MMRuth. Citarella is my go to store too. A lot of their produce is not much more and sometimes the same as the Food Emporium and definitely better quality. Gristedes is more expensive than Food Emporium. I have compared prices on some identical items that I buy often from the supermarket as opposed to Citarella and Food Emporium always wins unless there is a sale. With that said, I would look at the weekly sales and typically buy items then if I can.

      2. Walk across town or cab to Fairway on 74th and Bway. Huge organic market upstairs, everything else downstairs.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Elizabeth Rothman

          no need to walk or take a cab to Fairway...
          just take the 72nd crosstown bus all the way to Broadway and walk the 2 blocks north.

        2. You're practically in food lover's paradise. There's six places all within walking distance
          of you. Citarella's, Grace's Marketplace, Agata & Valentina, Eli's Manhattan, Gourmet Garage, and even Associated Supermarket. ... ALL of them good.

          Sadly, you will be leaving Sahadi's and Lassen & Hennigs in your wake. For fancy items, ahem, and ridiculously expensive ones, go to Eli's. ... He'll satisfy on both counts.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Cheese Boy

            Eli's also has really beautiful produce, and when I can't find a produce item elsewhere, I usually find it at Eli's.

          2. Just walked past that corner yesterday... the Gristedes on First and 72nd was CLOSED.

            2 Replies
            1. re: nocherosoy

              That Duane Reade presently across the street will be moving into the Gristedes space.

              1. re: pbjluver

                Do you know what will go into the Duane Reade space? I keep on hoping for some good retail in this area.