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Grace's Marketplace vs Eli"s Manhattan

Being only 10 blocks from each other, how do these 2 stores compare to each other? Which one do you like better?

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

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  1. Skip 'em both and go to Agata & Valentina, on 1st/79th.

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    Agata & Valentina
    1505 1st Ave, New York, NY 10021

    1. Along those blocks of Third Avenue, I usually go first to Citarella, then Grace's, then Eli's. Eli's is incredibly expensive, but sometimes has things I'm looking for that I can't find elsewhere. Don't like the fact that most of their cheese is pre-wrapped.

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      Citarella
      1313 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10021

      Eli's Manhattan
      1411 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10028

      7 Replies
      1. re: MMRuth

        My 2 favs are A&V and then Citarella. Great staff at both.
        Both places have wonderful fresh fish...Citarella's does have a larger selection though
        A&V = yummy cheese dept. and the most delicious calamari salad. Fresh sushi.

        Eli's = highly over-priced. Great bakery.
        Place is always empty. Can not understand how they remain in business.

        1. re: pbjluver

          Grace's, Eli's and A & V are ALL way overpriced, especially compared to their West Side counterparts that are much cheaper, Fairway and the Original Zabar's!

          1. re: menton1

            I don't find A&V overpriced relative to the quality and service. I do find the other two vastly overpriced.

            1. re: menton1

              I'm glad the UES is soon getting a Fairway. Construction is happening. Not sure when it will be done.

              1. re: ellenost

                Me too! Last I read somewhere it's supposed to open in June, but we shall see.

                1. re: gutsofsteel

                  Fairway will have a significant impact on the UES stores we mentioned, A & V, Grace's, etc. They have to be concerned.

                  It's not only got MUCH lower prices, it's a much more efficiently-run place as well. (Love Fairway's Cucumber Salad, $4.99/lb.) That's about HALF of what these other places charge!

                  1. re: menton1

                    Really looking forward to Fairway and its pricing...but have to disagree about it being more efficiently run than Agata. Service at Agata is really good, and the place runs so smoothly.

        2. i will chime in, though i dont have much new to add.

          i think i like citarella's best, though am more often at A&V, as i pass by ot more often in my daily routine. i am nearly equidistant from citartella and grace's - and while i like graces i almost never go. it it just that i habitually turn uptown instead of down? perhaps, but i think if i really preferred graces i would turn that way. i find it to be poorly designed in terms of moving around. i also find the fish to be better quality at citarella.

          eli's just always seem overpriced and snooty to me

          2 Replies
          1. re: thew

            I too live equidistant and I basically don't have much to add though I do feel that recently citarella's prices have gone up while the quality has gone down. I've lived in the neighborhood since it opened. Their fish is better and they have a larger butcher selection but prices can vary between the two--with one thing bizarrely much more expensive than at the other place.. Grace's layout can be maniacal when busy but I find their produce, partiucularly their mesclun mix, seems fresher. I must admit though that I end up hopping on the cross town bus and hitting the 72nd/broadway TJ's...

            1. re: preppie foodie

              TJ's???? That's a whole other ballgame, some quirky stuff, interesting, but all packaged and prepared elsewhere. Apples & Oranges to the places we are discussing.

              Now, if you went to 74th/Bway (Fairway) or 80th/Bway (Zabar's) those are Apples/apples.

          2. I live on 3rd exactly midway between Citarella's and Eli's. I find Eli's veg choice and quality a little better, more dried pulses, gluten free foods and range of spices. The fish is marvellous at Citarella's, the queues ( line) monstrous sometimes. Even so I favour 80:20 Cit:Eli. I agree Grace's is a bizzare maze, with few obvoius adjacencies. For clever pricing i "admire" Gristedes, looks scruffy and cheap, but isn't I get on the subway to Murray's at Grand Central for cheese,theirs is so much better.

            1. Grace's is the only place where I've found Bernina-brand bresaola, so I go there specifically for that.

              Funnily enough, the Grace's on Long Island (Greenvale, on the North Shore) is probably twice as spacious, with aisles that are twice as wide, and they still find a way to arrange everything exactly NOT how you'd expect it to be.