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Favorite Long Island Supermarkets

chiefofeating Feb 2, 2013 07:55 AM

I thought it would be interesting to start a thread about everybody's favorite supermarkets on Long Island.

One thing I love about living near the 135 is that there's such a great variety of large well-stocked ethnic supermarkets, which I don't take for granted! If I'm cooking Asian at home, I shop at H&Y in Hicksville. I've been to Apna Bazaar in Hicksville for Indian ingredients and sometimes Uncle Giuseppe's in Massapequa when I'm cooking Italian. There's also Fairway in Plainview, which is well-known for it's fantastic quality and selection. I round out my grocery shopping at Meat Farms or Stop & Shop for everyday items. I especially like Meat Farms for cheap produce and deli items.. but watch the dates on some of the desserts in the bakery section!

Where's your go to spots for food shopping?

  1. mcf Feb 2, 2013 11:43 AM

    There's also a Fairway in Westbury and Douglaston now. Better than Uncle G's (I never get the love for that place, meh), there's Iavarone Brothers in Woodbury. I like Mr. Sausage in Huntington, too.

    I like ShopRite in Plainview.

    1. p
      Pierogiconnoisseur Feb 2, 2013 12:03 PM

      Northshore farms has nice quality things, Best Yet is also quite awesome!

      7 Replies
      1. re: Pierogiconnoisseur
        Scott_R Feb 4, 2013 10:59 AM

        I'm not thrilled by the fruit/vegetable section of BY. I've gone to two different stores on several occasions to buy juice oranges, and given up when I'd found quite a few rotten ones in the loose bin. Not overripe--I mean squishy and moldy.

        I once called up someone in corporate and reported this, but nothing's changed.

        1. re: Scott_R
          Motosport Feb 4, 2013 12:28 PM

          Scott: If the oranges were bagged or shrink wrapped you would have no idea of their condition until you got home.
          I've bought bags of juice oranges at BJ's and Sams Club. They all looked good but within a day at least one was turning bad.
          Produce does ripen and over ripen in the loose bins.
          I am glad that I can "test" the condition of the produce at Best Yet.

          1. re: Motosport
            coll Feb 4, 2013 02:02 PM

            Motosport, me too, I love being able to look the produce over piece by piece, unlike the big chains. I have close to zero complaints with the perishability at Best Yet, but I DO look over each piece like an old Italian grandmother. Just bought a bag of honey tangerines there, ate one and it was like heaven. And this was pre-bagged; this place started as mainly produce and they know their stuff. It is an art to know good produce and I feel like they have a great balance between price and quality. I have seldom seen anything rotten in the loose section, and if I did I would just leave it for the employees to deal with at end of day. I know the owner and how he is, can't believe they wouldn't respond to a customer complaint in a timely manner. I never even have a complaint on price discrepancies, unlike all the big chains, and lately am doing the majority of my shopping there. But everyone's entitled to their opinion!

            1. re: Motosport
              Scott_R Feb 4, 2013 08:26 PM

              And that's an excuse for having rotten oranges in the bin?

              I bought bagged oranges at one location. For some reason, they were small navels oranges re-bagged as juice oranges--in fact, the bagged oranges were individually labeled (with those little oval labels), so I could tell exactly what they were: low juice/high pulp oranges. I don't recall seeing pre-bagged oranges that had labels on the individual oranges inside. To top it off, they were California oranges in a "product of Florida" bag.

              They blamed this on their distributor.

              1. re: Scott_R
                coll Feb 5, 2013 02:34 AM

                Oranges are one of the few produce items I hardly ever buy....but I will monitor my honey tangerines and report back when I am done with the bag. I really like buying my fruits and veggies loose, but made an exception this time for such a hard-to-get item. And another great thing about Best Yet is how they always have the most hard-to-get items in stock, it's like a treasure hunt every time I go there.

                I buy single oranges as garnish or for the peel, but of course one at a time so there's always lots of good ones to choose from. They have quite a variety of oranges, but juice oranges (Valencia) are usually not available til later in the summer. Maybe that was part of your problem, were these out of season? Breakfast places I know that squeeze their own juice are always unhappy with their large Sunkists, which is as good as it gets until the real juice oranges finally appear in the market.

                1. re: Scott_R
                  Motosport Feb 5, 2013 04:54 AM

                  I strongly feel that the culprit is "Mother Nature"!!!
                  There are times when I put a banana in my banana basket and a day later: OMG!!! It's got brown spots!!!
                  Such is life!!

            2. re: Pierogiconnoisseur
              Miss Priss Feb 4, 2013 01:26 PM

              There's plenty of good grocery shopping in my Manhattan neighborhood, but when I visit relatives in the Port Washington area I love going to North Shore Farms. Doesn't matter whether I need anything or not--I just enjoy wandering around the place, especially the produce, seafood, and prepared foods sections. Compared to Fairway or Whole Foods, NSF feels (to me) more welcoming and manageable, and I think the quality and selection are excellent.

            3. s
              scunge Feb 2, 2013 02:52 PM

              I like V&T in Hempstead for Asian as well as Compare and Met Foods Hicksville for Central American products Tavlin in Bellmore has Mediterranean /Middle Eastern products ON Main st In Riverhead a Polish shop with some real good and fresh sausage and cooked foods like stuffed cabbage and stuffed potato and in the Walmart shopping center a Eastern European market .

              1. coll Feb 3, 2013 02:22 AM

                Best Yet is my overall everyday favorite, their prices are great, they carry lots of exotic stuff and their bakery section is mostly imported from the city. Living out east in the boondocks that means a lot to me! A few times a year, when we have doctor appts by Stonybrook, that means a stop at Trader Joe, Whole Food, maybe Meat Farms and the "Oriental Market" behind Burger King. Once a year, when I have to really travel somewhere, then we have Fairway, my favorite destination of all. Ummm: lox, cheese, Blue Mountain coffee, oil and vinegar, honey....think I'm about due. Oh and yes Compare, but only the one in Farmingville, to stock up on Mexican and the like.

                2 Replies
                1. re: coll
                  scunge Feb 3, 2013 07:36 AM

                  Has anyone ever been to the Riverhead Market on Main st I pass and observe mostly a Hispanic group of shoppers . I like to know if they have store made products such as mole,tamales etc.

                  1. re: scunge
                    coll Feb 3, 2013 07:51 AM

                    Too bad, the place on Sound Ave, A Taste of Country, had the BEST homemade Central/ South American food, but the town was trying to close them down last I heard. Not because of the food, because of that it was supposed to be a farm stand. If they are still there, run over immediately.

                2. Motosport Feb 4, 2013 10:49 AM

                  Fairway and Wegman's are my all time favorites but Fairway is too far from the North Fork and "Wegworld" does not exist on LI.
                  Best Yet is my favorite local market. A nice variety of fresh produce with great prices. Same for the meat and seafood departments. Nice bakery section too. Fabulous store baked bread and nice imports from NYC.
                  Reminds me a bit of a non America public market. I don't need my broccoli shrink wrapped and pristine looking. Let me grab a head of broccoli or a bunch of cilantro and hold it in my hand.
                  All of that produce packaging at S&S and Julia's (Waldbaum) have got to drive up the prices.

                  1. Motosport Feb 4, 2013 03:04 PM

                    I just stopped at Best Yet on my way hom from work. I needed some dessert and staples for dinner and breakfast.
                    As if I was not alrady a fan, Lo and Behold, in the bakery department they had JUNIOR'S cheesecake. One of my all time favorites.
                    Best Yet!! Wha't they do?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Motosport
                      coll Feb 4, 2013 04:11 PM

                      I got one last week on sale for $11.77. And it wasn't all freezer burned like Waldbaums! Nirvana.

                    2. c
                      chiefofeating Feb 4, 2013 04:05 PM

                      All this love for Best Yet!.. I gotta try this place out. I have to admit never thought about shopping there.
                      I understand the "meh" response to Uncle Giuseppe's, especially the Nassau County locations, however all my experiences at their Port Jefferson Station, which is their largest have been great.
                      I'll also get around to Iavarone Bros., heard good things about them before.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: chiefofeating
                        coll Feb 5, 2013 02:42 AM

                        Some people are turned off because it's sort of crowded and not all bright and shiny like the big chains, but I think that's part of the charm. Give yourself time to go up and down all the aisles and check it out, it can get sort of mobbed, at least at the Riverhead location. Just yesterday, I noticed that they had lardo (packed with rosemary sprigs) and also big pieces of gorgeous pancetta for sale in the deli area, and it looked like something you'd see in Italy. I had to hold back from buying it until I come up with a plan, but I did pick it up and admire it for awhile!

                      2. coll Feb 5, 2013 06:13 AM

                        That's the cool thing about produce, it's grown not manufactured.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: coll
                          debmom Feb 5, 2013 07:19 AM

                          I believe produce is transported in bulk (bags or boxed) even when it is displayed individually

                          1. re: debmom
                            coll Feb 5, 2013 08:05 AM

                            Most is in bulk, around 40 lbs. But you can also buy retail packs, already bagged, usually 5# each for the same weight case. The packing and getting to market is a whole 'nother ball of wax from the growing.

                        2. c
                          CurlieGlamourGirlie Feb 5, 2013 09:30 AM

                          Count me in as one of the Best Yet fans. You will notice some difference from store to store.

                          I love their produce (although I was at the Meat Farms on 109 and holey moley - what a produce selection!!!) and their deli counter. If I need a specific vegetable or fruit, that's where I head. They also have AMAZING halavah! It's imported from Greece and rivals halavah brought back from Egypt!

                          You have to know your prices, because on their regular grocery items, sometimes you can do better with sales elsewhere.

                          I also hit ShopRite a lot - the one on 109 has the best donuts ever. But the store is clean and wonderfully organized and you can do well at their sales.

                          I also have a tiny little village market on Carleton Avenue in East Islip - chicken cutlets for like 1.99 a pound. Really good sales.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie
                            coll Feb 5, 2013 10:34 AM

                            Ha, Best Yet had chicken cutlets for $1.77 a week or two ago. But still, that is a ridiculous price, I have not yet adjusted to this violent inflation of recent times.

                            1. re: coll
                              robinsilver Feb 8, 2013 03:50 PM

                              You think $1.77 is a rediculous price for chicken cutlets? I don't buy those because they are always the toughest and driest, and seeing as we like to eat good food, once I spend my time cooking it, I have made the decision to only buy Bell & Evans. For the pound I use to make our dinner, i can live with it, and whatever I make is cheaper than eating out.
                              The great thing is that there are now so many great places on Long Island, it is hard to pick one because there are certain things that are better at one than another, and times you prefer to go somewhere because of the convenience of it. The Fairway in Westbury was a little disappointing when it first opened, but I am starting to like it. Today I loved it, it was starting to ice up, and I pass it on the way home from work. Get stocked up for the snowy weekend, and am a happy camper.
                              I also have to mention that sometimes H-Mart has great things, and certain items that we used to have to go to Flushing for. The North Shore Farms in Mineola has a great bakery oven left over from the previous spot, and there are lines at the bakery department. They have an excellent variety of produce at fair prices, very good quality too. Their fish department, although expensive, has top quality and a great fish guy. Take out foods are also excellent. I won't eat their lasagna very often, but it is terrific.

                              1. re: robinsilver
                                coll Feb 8, 2013 04:33 PM

                                I am amazed at how much good food is available on Long Island now. And I am way outside Nassau county, where I have come to expect it. When I was first married in the mid 70s, I was on a mission to learn how to make everything from scratch, just in case, but no longer necessary in my opinion.

                                If I wasn't on a budget right now, I would get Bell and Evans, or even better buy from one of the local farms, but instead I just do without most of the time. When I buy the bargain stuff, I have a great Greek dressing packed for a pizzeria upstate by my family, it is magical. But no biggie either way, I'm having fun learning how to eat semi vegetarian and having lots of fun doing it. So very easy to pick up any ethnic ingredient you need at so many places.

                                1. re: coll
                                  robinsilver Feb 8, 2013 06:53 PM

                                  Funny but I was going to say that the only thing that made $1.77 sound expensive was remembering when I wa first married in 1974 chicken cutlets was 99 cents, and filet mignon was $1.99.

                                  1. re: robinsilver
                                    coll Feb 8, 2013 07:40 PM

                                    I could have sworn it was even cheaper than that. I was just going through the Best Yet flyer for next week and thinking how just a year or so ago, all the meat was around half the price now. Today everything is at least $6.99 it seems, with big "wows" written next to it, and we're talking rock bottom at Best Yet. Except bone in country pork ribs, they will be 99 cents starting Friday. I feel like I stumbled into a time machine, and will be stocking up with pozole, pots of sauce and maybe some cheater pulled pork being made with them in the near future!

                          2. s
                            scunge Feb 5, 2013 01:09 PM

                            http://johnsfarms.com/weeklyads.htm when I'm in Plainview and have the time ( it gets crowded but good prices) and as far as I'm concerned one of the best private fish concessions in a market

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: scunge
                              mcf Feb 5, 2013 01:39 PM

                              That store smells so bad, it makes my husband and I ill. I only go there if I can't find chayote anywhere else, and get out as fast as I can.

                              1. re: mcf
                                coll Feb 5, 2013 03:24 PM

                                I've been hearing bad things too, and since it's an hour each way for me, haven't gotten there yet.

                                1. re: coll
                                  mcf Feb 5, 2013 04:07 PM

                                  Their chayotes are smooth and fresh, but there's an overwhelming smell of... I don't even like to think about it. Husband hates to set foot in there.

                            2. s
                              scunge Feb 6, 2013 12:37 PM

                              I'm considering buying fish something non local maybe the red snapper or the bronzini or the porgy. Most probably to the to the Shirley store .Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: scunge
                                coll Feb 6, 2013 01:43 PM

                                I would call Mastic before I went, not sure if they only sell local or not?

                              2. s
                                scunge Feb 7, 2013 02:02 AM

                                Mastic Seafood ? or the Mastic / Shirley Bestyet?? I'll give a call or stop at both. Thanks

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: scunge
                                  coll Feb 7, 2013 03:10 AM

                                  Oh sorry I didn't know there was one there,thought you meant the fish market. I've gotten bronzini at my Best Yet, all their whole fish are very nice. They are the only supermarket I would buy fish from, they bring it in from Hunt's Point themselves. I had a long talk with their seafood buyer who happened to be at my store when they were opening up that dept and he was very proud of the quality of his merchandise. They are especially great with local fish too.

                                  1. re: scunge
                                    Motosport Feb 7, 2013 07:13 AM

                                    Nice article on Mastic Seafood in Newsday today.

                                    1. re: Motosport
                                      coll Feb 7, 2013 08:06 AM

                                      Gotta check the story out, they are my favorite and I miss them since I'm not over by the rez weekly anymore. Couldn't do Xmas Eve without them!

                                  2. l
                                    lenorel57 Feb 9, 2013 05:55 PM

                                    Love Trader Joes in Westbury . It's in the same shopping center as shake shack, Bloomingdales. Saks, and Nordstroms outlets.

                                    1. s
                                      scunge Feb 16, 2013 03:59 AM

                                      Can you tell me if H&Y carries any fresh root ginseng or other wise ? Thanks

                                      1. Gastronomos Mar 28, 2013 02:18 PM

                                        Small with all the essentials if not exactly "well stocked" yet... the new GRK Market on Merrick Ave, Merrick (formerly Limani Greek Marketplace).
                                        New Bakaliko in Hicksville for a very well stocked marketplace.
                                        Both have very good imported provisions your local megamart does not.

                                        1. EM23 Mar 28, 2013 07:12 PM

                                          Fairway, Shoprite and TJ’s in Plainview used to be my regular stops, but now that there is a TJ’s and a Fairway in Westbury, I have been going there. I miss Shoprite though, and find myself doing the Plainview circle once every month or so just to get a Shoprite stop in.
                                          John’s has a fishy smell, but with the way they turn over seafood, I bet that it is more of inadequate store air circulation issue, than bad seafood. That said, I only stop in there during bbq season, when I need large amounts of fruits & vegetables for bbqs.
                                          Not a fan of North Shore Farms – I have had a few freshness issues with seafood and cheeses that I have bought there, but the bakery in the Mineola store is totally worth the line – great bread.
                                          Based on multiple recs on here for Best Yet, I finally shopped there last month, and it is good – especially for sales, manager markdowns on meats and cheeses nearing expiration (I have only caught these markdowns in the morning) and good prices on produce.
                                          Iavarone’s has some tasty prepared foods and deli specialties. I have learned to veer left down the produce aisle, upon entering the store, to avoid the temptations and lines, and head straight to the butcher counter in the back for the delicious cheese and parsley pork sausage rings and imported blood orange juice in the refrigerator cases.

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: EM23
                                            mcf Mar 29, 2013 08:01 AM

                                            "John’s has a fishy smell, but with the way they turn over seafood, I bet that it is more of inadequate store air circulation issue, than bad seafood."

                                            I so disagree that they have a fishy smell. It smells like the inside of a dumpster, just a dirty and rotten smell.

                                            1. re: mcf
                                              Gastronomos Mar 29, 2013 08:38 AM

                                              LOL!!! Can't beat the prices! You HAVE to know about fresh fish to buy there. No exceptions! The tuna at $12.99/Lb may be ok on a specific day and on the same day the tuna three trays down at $4.99 isn't just inferior quality, it's also at least a week old. Same with a new shipment of lobsters. A week later... well... half the price though! LOL!

                                              1. re: Gastronomos
                                                mcf Mar 29, 2013 08:48 AM

                                                Periodically, I hold my nose to get chayotes there and run out.
                                                I wouldn't touch anything else.

                                                Their lobsters are way under the size I'm putting in the effort to eat any more. :-)

                                                1. re: mcf
                                                  Gastronomos Mar 29, 2013 09:00 AM

                                                  BTW, whatcha doin' with the chayotes? I like mine sauteed in butter... ;-)

                                                  1. re: Gastronomos
                                                    mcf Mar 29, 2013 09:44 AM

                                                    I have grilled them, sauteed them, and next I plan to use them the way some folks have suggested, as a low carb sub for apples in a dessert. I tried as similar, but much less tasty squash from the Indian produce stand Opa squash, I think it was, chayote is much better. Try grilling, really my favorite so far.

                                              2. re: mcf
                                                EM23 Mar 29, 2013 08:54 AM

                                                Yikes! I have not been there since early last summer, so maybe the odor has faded with my memory. Now that I have found Best Yet, I don't need to shop at John's anymore for cheap veggies. No smelliness at BY:)

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