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upper east side food shopping

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Just moved to the upper east (74th street) and am not thrilled about the produce/fish/meat selections. Went to Leonard's fish & meat and there were no labels of origin on the fish and nothing jumped out at me. Agata and Velenti's produce seemed just OK. I have not been to Gace's Market yet. Eli's is a good spot, but it is super expensive - I got a locally raised chicken there that seemed to be of good quality (am going to roast it shortly), but did not see any grass fed beef there.

Does anyone have a place on the upper east where they find good produce? Grass fed beef? Fish?

Any suggestions would be great. I plan on heading to the farmers market up here next weekend, so I cannot comment on that yet.

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  1. Try Fairway. I think it's on East 86th but do a search.

    1. Fairway is between 2nd and 3rd on 86th. Maybe try Citarella too?

      1. Everything in that neighborhood (I lived on 76th & 3rd for years) is expensive. I always liked A & V for the fish and meat departments...they also carried the "Italian" vegetables before they became available in every store.

        Grace's and Eli's make Agata and Citarella seem like a bargain.

        The 6 train is your friend to get to Union Square.

        1. I live in the east 60 and there is no place to shop. I go to 42nd and ninth and find everything from veg to fish.
          Great places and it is a quick cab back. Good luck

          1. Fairway on E86 bet 2nd and 3rd for most stuff, produce, some fish, olive oil, staples.. Citarella for good fish and meats. Agata for cheese, bread, Italian products, coffee, and prepared foods. Eli's for nothing: his pricing is an insult.

            1. Fairway is the best spot for one-stop shopping. There are a few old-school butchers in the area including Ottomanelli's, Conte's and Holland Court that would help you source quality meat. For fish, I shop at the Japanese market on 59th and Third, but there is a Whole Foods on 57th that would be able to provide you with more information on where their fish originate.

              1. Eli's chicken is good... spoiled me for anything else.

                A great fish store is Dorian's on York at 84th Street. She's an alumna of the old Rosedale fish market and has the same pristine standards. Not cheap but worth it. They also deliver.

                1. Agree with Citarella (especially for all things seafood, it's generally pristine and expensive) as well as Fairway (albeit for everything but fish). I do a lot of shopping at Fairway and take a $5 cab ride home if I buy too much (I'm on 73rd St). Eli's is egregiously expensive. I'd put Grace's a step below Citarella but basically the same price on most things. It has a slightly larger selection though.

                  I've found pretty decent produce at the ubiquitous fruit stands in the area. 3rd ave between 73rd and 74th in front of Duane Reade, Lex between 72nd and 73rd in front of Chase. Not everything is great and it's no farmer's market, but their prices are generally ~50% less than Citarella/Fairway and the selection surprisingly broad.

                  I avoid Gristedes/Food Emporium and the like. They are as bad up here as they are in other parts of the city. I will augment with the occasional Fresh Direct order if I need things in bulk/non-perishables.

                  Not sure about grass-fed beef, I'm not a red meat eater these days. Others could chime in.