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Apr 21, 2010 05:34 PM

Help Me Find Markets and Restuarants in the LES!

Chowhounders don't let me down!

I just moved to the end of the universe (Grand st. @ FDR) and I need suggestions for good restaurants/fishmongers/produce shops/butchers, you name it!

I moved from BK Heights and I already miss being in proximity to Staubitz, TJ's, Sahadi's and Fish Tales.

I'll go to hole-in-the-wall establishments, I'll go to fancy schmancy places, as long as it's good. There's so much around me that I'm afraid that I'm overwhelmed with choices. I've discovered the Essex St. Market so far (not bad, not bad...) and I know there's a lot more out there yet to discover.

I like it affordable and I like it fresh and I know you Chowhounders out there have got lots up your sleeve...

Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

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  1. Wow, that is pretty far south and far east! Good luck on your new neighborhood. You're pretty close to Donut Plant, at least!

    Unfortunately, that part of town doesn't really have a big selection of great produce shops, butchers, or fishmongers. Aside from Essex St Market, the only other place I can think of is Whole Foods on Bowery, or just going into Chinatown. It's just a straight shot west on Grand St from where you are.

    Butcherwise, though, my friends RAVE about the butcher in the Essex St Market so maybe stick to Jeffrey's for meat, go to Chinatown for your fish and produce?

    There's also supposedly some new bar/restaurant/fishmonger hybrid opening in the EV soon as well (address is 171 Avenue A, don't think they have a name yet). Apparently the Pathmark by you has great prices as well.

    Fish markets in Chinatown:

    GrowNYC's site says there's a Greenmarket on Essex & Hester but it's only open Jul 11- Nov 21, from 8 - 4 on Sundays.

    Lower East Side recs

    Good luck!

    227 Cherry St, New York, NY 10002

    3 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      The Pathmark is nowhere near Grand & FDR. We have the Fine Fare. It's...close.

      1. re: small h

        Well, it seems about the same distance to Pathmark or to Chinatown....though I'd probably prefer to go to Chinatown.

        227 Cherry St, New York, NY 10002

        1. re: kathryn

          Yes, it's a comparable distance to the markets in Chinatown. But it's way farther than two Fine Fares, which are also full-sized supermarkets, and it sells the same items. I've been to the Pathmark twice and didn't think the prices were anything worth returning for (not for what I buy, anyway). It was also filthy both times, but that could have been a temporary situation.

    2. Kossar's (bialys), The Pickle Guys (guess), Donut Plant (guess, again), Russ & Daughters (appetizing), Whole Foods @ Bowery & Houston (you probably already know what Whole Foods stocks), Greenmarket @ Tompkins Square Park on Sundays (you also probably also know what you're likely to find at the greenmarket), DiPalo's (Italian foods), Aqua Best or The Hai Sein Co. or Ocean Star in Chinatown (fish). If you've been to Essex Market, you already know where to go for bread & cheese & meat. Hester St. Fair kicks off this Saturday, and we're all very excited about it. And there are approximately 10,000 Chowhound posts for LES & Chinatown restaurants; I won't duplicate them here. Search is your friend.

      I often do an M14 swing up to Union Square & hit the greenmarket, Whole Foods & Trader Joe's for one stop shopping. Or I take the M22 up East Broadway and buy super cheap groceries in the supermarket inside the Manhattan Bridge.

      Welcome to "the end of the universe." Although your neighbors - me, for one - don't really think of it that way. It's the center of the universe.

      6 Replies
      1. re: small h

        Hey, thanks so much everyone! I have to say the first time I ventured into Fine Fair, I was a little shocked at how expensive some stuff was. But, it's close and I pretty much stop there just when I need little things.

        Thanks for the heads up about the Hester St. Fair and Ocean Star. I have to say I was a little confused about the "Pizza and Self Sufficiency" place over by Donut Plant until I read something about it in the times recently.

        I'm sure my universe will readjust it's center... some things just take time.

        Ocean Star
        250 Grand St, New York, NY 10002

        1. re: C Elise

          If you haven't been to the Hester Street Fair yet, try to get over there - it runs every weekend through October (according to their Facebook page). Opening day on Saturday was a huge success. I got to try a Montreal bagel from Miles End (saving me a trip to Brooklyn).

          Yes, Pizza A Casa is mysterious, but after Pong, nothing surprises me. And Fine Fare does charge more than they should for some things (they have a captive customer base). But believe it or not, their stock - especially produce and dairy - has improved significantly over the 7ish years I've been here.

            1. re: C Elise

              It's gone now, but it was a little ping pong clubhouse or something. With one table. Sometimes there were people playing. Sometimes not. It was odd, to say the least.

              1. re: small h

                Shame that it's gone.... Do you know anything about the speakeasy at 202 Rivington, in the basement of a Mexican restaurant?

                1. re: C Elise

                  Was sort of pan-spanish and speakeasy now gone it seems was more in street than downstairs, newly redone looks like they're trying to run legit resto now.

      2. i'm not that familiar with your new 'hood, but I had a fantastic meal at Perbacco. I wish it was a local in my 'hood. Awesome italian dishes, unique but still comforting. Plus good service and interesting/ delicious wine list.

        234 East 4th Street, New York, NY 10009

        1 Reply
        1. re: mes876

          I agree that Perbacco is very fine. But it's above Houston, which makes it an East Village (rather than a Lower East Side) restaurant.