Best Produce in Bergen County
After moving to the area from Brooklyn, land of the small fruit store, I am unimpressed with the produce offerings (both quality and price-wise) at my local supermarkets.
Can anyone suggest a place to go for Fruits and Vegetables in the Teaneck/Bergenfield/Hackensack area? I am willing to go further if the low prices and quality are worth it.
I look forward to reading your responses!
A little bit outside of your area, but not by much- there's a good place in Tenafly called Tenafly Gourmet Farm that might fit the bill. I have found them to be reliable in both price and quality for vegetables and herbs, but don't think I've ever gotten fruit from there.
Agree with Tongo on tenafly gourmet to a degree, but lately (over the last 2 years) they've taken to refridgerating their tomatoes which drives me freaking insane. Hackensack has the "Farmers Market" (i it goes by another name but i can't remember what it is..) right off river road a block away from the McDonalds..there's sign that says "farmers market"..you can also get there on Main street. Good produce, lots of ethnic (i.e pervuian/latin/asian) stuff , interesting mix of people, a decent meat market and excellent fish mkt.
Teaneck has a farmers market, as does Englwoood, and those should begin in a few weeks....they're nothing like union square, but at least they're something. Worth a drive to is the Warwick farmers market up in NY and Monclair's.
BTW: if you check the Bergen Record, they published an article this past week on area farms that may give you yer fix of farm fresh.
Welcome to the area!
If you provide a little insight into the type of vegetables and fruit you are looking for, I can provide you with some very good suggestions. Are you looking for the basics or something more exotic? What type of cooking? Asian, Latin, Italian or other? Teaneck, Bergenfield and Hackensack all have a couple of Korean Produce markets independently owned and operated. Little Ferry and Englewood have larger Asian Supermarkets. All mentioned have their specific good qualities catering to a specific customer base.
The "Hackensack Farmer's Market". Sixelagogo mentions is actually named "Giant Farm". and is a good overall market and choice with a wide selection of produce, but their quality is sometimes suspect IMHO. This can obviously be said of anywhere, but the owners here tend to stock the deals they can pick up at Hunts Point, more so than keeping stock of first grade staple items. In Bergenfield on New Bridge Road across from the Pathmark, the "New Bridge Farmers Market" opened recently and has much better quality basic produce and dairy, but is weak on the exotic items. Since this place has opened, I find I rarely make it to Giant Farm unless I am passing it in my travels. Personally, I have never been a fan of the "Tenafly Gourmet Farm". To me they always seemed more expensive than the others, but that's expected for being in Tenafly. NBFM and GF's prices are very good and both are comparable to each other. Skip the two smaller brick and mortar farmers markets in Teaneck. Both are not good.
For Asian Fruits, Vegetable, other Produce, Meats and Seafoods:
There are the HMart Supermarkets with excellent everything.....Bergen County locations are in Englewood, Little Ferry and Ridgefield. HMart is also known as "Han Ah Reum"
A smaller competitor to HMart is Hans Food. They have a location in Bergenfield:
433 South Washington Avenue
Last, to fit your bill of......"I am willing to go further if the low prices and quality are worth it". Consider making a trip to Corrado's Family Affair in Clifton. It's a 20 minute ride from Bergenfield. Like my previous statement "their quality can be suspect IMHO", this is very true of Corrado's, but if you are looking for deals and unexpected finds, this is your place especially for seasonal items. During berry season, you can walk in and find the best strawberries for $4.00 per flat......a flat is 12 pints. During tomato season you can purchase locally grown bushels of beefsteak or plum tomatoes for $11-13 per bushel. These special finds and deals are available without notice and dependent upon the unique deals Corrado's picks up daily at Hunts Point Market........ Banana's are usually .29 or less per/lb everyday. All the basics are always under .99 per/lb. Items such as zucchini, eggplants, peppers, broccoli are usually around .79 per/lb. average. During the holiday season this is one of the busiest markets around. they even have their own wine making store. I could go on, but I am sure you get the picture. Check the link for more information. Another favorite Asian Farmers Market with excellent quality, prices and selection is the one located just off State Highway 17 North in
East Rutherford......appropriately named......Route 17 Farmers Market. These R17FM and Corrado's are the two markets I use exclusively for holiday shopping festivities. I always know either one will have everything I need on my shopping list......including great breads.
I agree with fourunder, though i would advise to avoid Corrado's on weekends unless you like being trampled by deal-seaking people of like minds (the place worse than Hackensack's costco on Sat&Sundays).
BTW: Rt. 17 farmers market and Hackensack's Giant farm are owned by the same family.
Nice post- I've been meaning to get to Giant Farm for a while now. Mostly I've been curious if I can get better poblano chiles there than I get at the local Mexican markets. What drove me to Tenafly Gourmey Farm in the first place was that I like to get my tomatillos, cilantro, jalapenos, etc there (much better luck with that stuff than with the supermarket or the alternatives), but they don't carry poblanos, unfortunately (it's hit or miss at the Mexican markets, based on how long the crate has been sitting in the cooler). Do you think it's worth a trip from the Closter area (most of the time I only hit Hackensack if my travels take me there)?
I hear you on the hit or miss...since mi peublo (and their groceries) is no longer mi favorite, i've had a hard time finding anything fresh and mex. I've bought moldy tortillas and 1 day from dead produce from El Bandito, so, though it's close, it's not my favorite. Since Food Basics in Dumont closed (also of questionable quality,) i think it's worth it to drive out to Hackensack for mex. ingredients as they always have poblanos, habeneros, dried chilies, blue corn fresh torillas, and a variety of mex. cheeses.
BTW: Have you checked out the mex. grocery store in Sparkill? knowing yer penchant for real deal mexican food, i'm interested in knowing yer opinion of the place.
I just saw it mentioned in another thread- it's La Bamba, right? I haven't been yet, but I'm in need of a chorizo run so I'll make it a point to get there. I was going to try a market in Pearl River that caught my eye, the next time I go there on a beer run, but this one is along the way as well so I'll give it a go.
sixelagogo- I made it to La Bamba last week and posted an initial report here:
Got some killer poblanos, but would have been better of going to Tenafly for the cilantro ($2 as opposed to $0.75 in Tenafly, for half as much and not nearly as fresh as Tenafly's). Still, it's nice to have options and I'm glad I went to check it out.
I'm bumping the thread and replying to myself because at this point I think this is a reliable tip- either something changed since 2008 or my shopping skills have improved, but Tenafly Gourmet Farm has been my go-to place for poblano peppers over the past 6 months, and it's a real bargain. They will frequently put them on close-out, and you can get them at like 4 to a pack, very good size, usually around $0.75 or less for the whole thing. Of course they aren't as fresh as a daisy, but honestly I haven't seen that it matters much. The worst I have encountered is a bit of leatheriness on the skins, no real blemishes or spots, and that's just fine if you take them home and roast/peel them that day. I've always got some in the freezer these days, either as pods or sauce, and I will replenish every 3 or 4 weeks. All for pocket change!
I went to Corrado's last week for the first time in about four years... and boy, I forgot what I was missing! They were better than I remember. Nice produce at dirt cheap prices ($.99 lb for vine-ripened tomatoes and asparagus!) but also a great deli and Italian and Mediterranean foods. Got some very good dolmas (stuffed grape leaves) for $2.99 a pound, sun-dried tomatoes for $4.99 a pound, Proscuitto di Parma for $15.99 a pound. Also got some fresh meatballs and some chicken cordon bleu which were very good.
In the meat department, I got some very good sweet sausage, and a very interesting item which I forget the name of, but it was a flat bread stuffed with halal beef and spices. Boy was it good!
Groceries: Got some cool udon noodles, and jars of Corrado's homemade spaghetti sauce for $1.99 for 32 ounces. Nice basic ingredients: tomatoes, olive oil, basil, garlic, salt, pepper (and thank goodness, no onions)! Very good!
The bakery is also better than I remember. Their butter cookies and ruggelach are good, but won't win any prizes (but they are only $5.99 a pound), but I got a very good chocolate mousse cake for $10 and some yummy lobster tails for around $2.00 each.
Finisehd my trip with a sextet of ale and a bottle of limoncello from the booze shop. Also got a monster liter bottle of Giroux grenadine for $5.99.
Yes, the place is crowded. ALWAYS. But it was a great trip, and now that I know what I've been missing, Corrado's is going to make it into my regular rotation!
BTW, Maywood Market is also a great produce/gourmet food shop. They also have very good prices, and though they don't have a huge selection of produce, what they have is good and usually very reasonably priced. (They do have very good fresh basil for around $1.49 usually.) They're kind of like Corrado's smaller less hyper brother. They excel in prepared foods for reasonable prices!
<The bakery is also better than I remember. Their butter cookies and ruggelach are good, but won't win any prizes (but they are only $5.99 a pound>
There are some great bakeries in every neighborhood, and these following comments are not meant to disparage any of them, but...... When you go to many Bakeries, especially the ones in your local Supermarkets, the majority of the items are frozen and defrosted. The cakes and danish you see with the clear dome lids are almost always frozen. It's very rare to see fresh baked goods at the Supermarkets.
Specifically to Italian Butter Cookies, whenever you see them arranged in the white corrugated containers...and usually sealed with vacuum plastic wrap.....the cookies are also frozen and defrosted for display and sale. I realized this when I went to a local bakery supplier in North Bergen to purchase Pillsbury Cookie Dough Mix and Muffin Batter Mix and was supplied with the Product List available for other item purchases. I was taken a bit by surprise the sheer number of items that were frozen........the Italian Butter Cookie section had at least 50 varieties offered. I can confidently say the Ruggelach is probably the same. The next time I go to Corrado's I will check, but my recollection is they use the white container boxes of cookies........In my past work life we also used these cookies in a very prominent catering facility for the Viennese Dessert Bar. They are actually a very common item today.
ilovemooshoo - I'm in the SAME predicament....what I would give for a 3 Guys to open up somewhere around here! Moved here 2 years ago and have found myself driving to Brooklyn for produce every now and again..
The Tenafly market is pretty OK, as is the Hackensack farmer's market; but I generally DO avoid Corrado's if I can. You can find good deals early on in the week but I've been put off by the quality of much of their produce.
Sometimes by walking around the few fruit sellers around Corrado's you may be able to find some good items.
So much for the Garden State...eh? *sigh*
my favorites beside giant market are 17 farmers market, han ah rheum, and the paterson farmer's market on railroad avenue-
a small neighborhood market in lyndhurst-riverside market is good as well