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Jan 20, 2010 01:21 PM

Finally! Good, inexpensive food comes to the Upper (Upper) East Side

After many years living in Carnegie Hill, and lugging groceries from the Upper West Side and Union Square, we finally have a source for good, reasonably priced food (and many other things). Never shopped at Costco before and thought I'd have to buy a side of beef, at a minimum, or other things in bulk. Not true! Large quantities are available, but so are smaller ones more suited to Manhattanites, still extremely reasonable. Great rotisserie chickens, meats, seafood, and on and on...friendly service. Definitely worth the trip, even without a car, as there is a car service stationed right outside the exit and only cost $10, in my case, door to door.

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  1. Just took a trip up there on Sunday - got some dried fruit, brownie mix, chewing gum, a rotisserie chicken, fresh produce, and some other items. Between my mom and me, we each carried a cloth shopping bag, walked over to the M15 on Second Ave (after getting a slice at Patsy's, of course) and made it home just fine. It was quite the fun adventure!

    1. And how much is the membership fee there? Do you know if they offer 1-day trials or anything similar? Thanks.

      4 Replies
      1. re: LNG212

        There is a $50 regular membership, for which you get no rebate, and a $100 membership, for which you get an annual rebate of 2% of qualified purchases. We got a 1-day trial through a mailing from American Express. The savings are huge, and membership costs can easily be recouped the first visit!

        1. re: City Kid

          We've been going for years - in DC, and now in various Costcos in the area. It's definitely worth the money, and we are a two person household. There are a lot of good threads on the Chains board about products people like at Costco, for those of you who may not have shopped there before. I think to talk about Cosco generally further, though, we should probably head over to the Chains board.
          I've not yet been to the Harlem location, but my husband went right after they opened. There is a $5 parking fee, FWIW.

          1. re: MMRuth

            It's probably the only Costco with a high-rise parking garage. I've had a wonderful time up there. Gotten a few things that come in larger quantities, divided it into individual portions and popped it into the freezer. One friend told me that you can cut up the rotisserie chickens (which are very good and very cheap) into portions and freeze them too. She says they thaw, heat and crisp up really well.

            1. re: Jane A.

              I guess they have tailored things a bit to succeed in Manhattan -- high-rise parking and it looks like a specific car service they must have an arrangement with that continually has cars coming and going from the garage entrance. And also perhaps carrying smaller quantities for those without suburban storage space. But I still laugh every time I look at the 64 ounce jar of artichoke hearts I bought there!

      2. The cabs-mostly gypsy cabs line up so you can conveniently lug all your stuff home by car and the charge is very reasonable-ie cost me $8 to go from 117st to 87th and 2nd which i didnt mind paying since i saved so much on items purchased.

        8 Replies
        1. re: UES Mayor

          From what I could see they are not "gypsy cabs". They are licensed limos from a "black car" service that has a deal with whoever operates the garage. There is a dispatcher who flags the next car in line to pull up right where your cart is. What's better than that?

          1. re: Brian W

            What's better than that? I pay at checkout and go home and my stuff magically appears at my apartment later. I belive it's called deliver service. :-)

            1. re: gutsofsteel

              I'm willing to put in a little effort for the great savings, which seem somewhat magical to me. And not much effort if I also get a ride home.

              1. re: City Kid

                I'm willing too sometimes, but it's still shortsighted of them not to have set this up. I means I can't run errands on the way home, can't walk home, etc. Just like with their marketing plan, this is another thing they didn't think through very well. Every grocery store in my neighborhood delivers. It's normal for Manhattan and people want it and expect it.

                1. re: gutsofsteel

                  I'm sure they'll figure it out since all the other big box stores have - Bed, Bath & Beyond & Home Depot have delivery service in Manhattan, though you do have to pay.

                  1. re: Jane A.

                    I don't mind paying for the service.

              2. re: gutsofsteel

                Fine, if you don't mind living on D'Agostino's schedule. We've done that and gave up years ago. It's better to go all the way crosstown to Fairway and lug it home on the M79 than to wait for overpriced and half melted groceries from just up the block. Also, Costco has items just not available anywhere else. I wouldn't consider Costco suitable for everyday grocery shopping but a once-in-a-while trip can be fun.

                1. re: Brian W

                  Fairway delivers. And the D'Agostino's and C-Town near me are both open pretty late. (By the way the C-Town on 1st near 89th is surprisingly okay). And I have a doorman so the stuff can come when it comes. I want convenience, plain and simple. I'm happy to pay for it, but they should have it available. If not, they are losing some customers, which is of course their choice, but in my view an unfortunate one.

          2. anyone know how much parking is here?
            I usually go to the LIC one, but would make the trip if its worth it.

            1 Reply
            1. Initially I was hesitant to join, not certain where I would put industrial sized goods in an NYC apartment, but the quality has wooed me and I am repurposing the empty jars/cans (more appropriately vats) in and around my apartment. The beef is far better than what I can get at a similar price point at the local grocer and their seafood is far better and more varied. And given my household of 3, 6-lb. packages of beef and 3 lbs. of salmon are easily managed, especially when butchered at home and frozen in individual meal bags.