Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
Liz B-F

Top Grocery Bargains in Manhattan

Recommended Posts

What are your favorite places to get cheap but great groceries in Manhattan?

I'm especially interested in bargains for produce, and for dried fruits and nuts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The city's various Chinatowns, and perhaps Jackson Heights and Astoria in Queens, would be good places to start.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well, in Manhattan, Chinatown for produce.

Trader Joe's. also keep an eye on specials everywhere else...the lower end grocery stores (Food Emporium and the like) all run weekly specials at below cost in an attempt to compete with TJ's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For dried fruits and nuts, I'd head to Economy Candy on Rivington St. between Essex and Ludlow. Excellent quality at the best prices around- the candy selection ain't bad either.

Then, head back across Essex and one block south is the Essex Street Market. The two butchers, two fish mongers, and two produce purveyors will offer you some of the best values in Manhattan, in some instances with greater variety than Chinatown.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much! I hadn't thought to try Economy Candy for anything other than guilty pleasures...but I checked online, and they do have really good dried-fruit prices.


Edited by Liz B-F (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For dried fruit and nuts, either Trader Joe's or nutsonline.com (in NJ, so next-day delivery is the norm!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For dried fruit and nuts, either Trader Joe's or nutsonline.com (in NJ, so next-day delivery is the norm!)

A quicky, cursory check shows that Economy Candy's prices are $1 - $2 per pound cheaper than nutsonline. Trader Joe's doesn't list prices on line. Economy sells nuts from Bazzini - which, if you're looking to buy nuts and fruits in bulk, is probably your best bet, in terms of quality and price. The store is at 339 Greenwich Street, and is an old NY institution, as is Economy. The website for Bazzini will give you an idea of their pricing.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can still get very good and VERY cheap produce, and deals on dried nuts, fruits, and spices, at the farmer's markets on 9th Avenue below 42nd, and at International Grocery at 40th, a place I absolutely love and I hope never ever bows to developers -

Here's a great map of the area -

http://nymag.com/realestate/map/19143/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I visited Essex St Market for the first time today and have to say it was pretty impressive. Prices overall are slightly lower ($1.69/lbs for fresh-killed chickens, $1.99/lbs for cow's feet, for example), and the type of produce available is different from most markets/stores (lots of stuff from countries where most current immigrants come from, ie Latin America and Southeast Asia).

Interesting, I might have to revisit next week before a wine dinner.

Cheers! :cool:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a place on 9th just one or two doors north of 40th if I recall correctly (it's behind Port Authority and next to Casa @ Cupcake Cafe). They have dried fruits, nuts, spices, olives etc. in bulk and I believe the prices are very good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There's a place on 9th just one or two doors north of 40th if I recall correctly (it's behind Port Authority and next to Casa @ Cupcake Cafe).  They have dried fruits, nuts, spices, olives etc. in bulk and I believe the prices are very good.

That's International Grocery. That place is simply amazing. Rather than several varieties of any one thing, they have the single best occurrence of that very thing, no matter where it is from. In a small space there quite an amazing array of stuff. And their homemade yogurt, taramousalata, babaganoush, etc., are delicious and cheap, as are their olives, pickles, cheeses, and meats.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I forgot to mention... when it comes to economical for coffee try Porto Rico Imports on Bleeker Street. You probably won't find decent quality coffee cheaper anywhere else. The downside is that they don't have a good espresso blend and all the roasted beans are stored in open barrels (oxygen is not coffee's friend) so you have to figure out what sells fast in order to get the stuff that's really fresh. But the upside is coffee at about $5 to $6 per pound that easily sells for $10 - $12 elsewhere in Manhattan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I forgot to mention...  when it comes to economical for coffee try Porto Rico Imports on Bleeker Street.

Are there two locations for that place? I could swear I pass a "Porto Rico Imports" that sells coffee on St. Marks near 2nd Ave when I walk to the subway from my apt...


"I know it's the bugs, that's what cheese is. Gone off milk with bugs and mould - that's why it tastes so good. Cows and bugs together have a good deal going down."

- Gareth Blackstock (Lenny Henry), Chef!

eG Ethics Signatory

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did a quick web search and appears there are 3... I don't drink coffee so it doesn't do me much good, but if someone has input on any possible differences between locations that would probably help someone out there.

their locations

(edited to fix link)


Edited by feedmec00kies (log)

"I know it's the bugs, that's what cheese is. Gone off milk with bugs and mould - that's why it tastes so good. Cows and bugs together have a good deal going down."

- Gareth Blackstock (Lenny Henry), Chef!

eG Ethics Signatory

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't believe there are major differences among the locations. I shop for beans occasionally at the one on St. Mark's just east of 2nd Avenue. As phaelon56 mentions, they keep their beans exposed in barrels -I think they have a high enough turnover to be pretty fresh, but beans can turn stale rather quickly when left out. At these prices, though, it's hard to argue. They sell as little as a quarter pound.

I also buy beans at Whole Foods -and they started keeping them in barrels as well (what's with this trend?), but they also have the roasting date for each barrel posted, so I tend to buy stuff that was roasted on the day I'm shopping or the day before. It is, however, much more expensive than Porto Rico.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I sometimes buy beans from Whole Foods, too, and a few times, they have been so freshly roasted that the metal scoop is too hot to touch. I suppose that implies freshness? At least their barrels have plastic covers.


"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I sometimes buy beans from Whole Foods, too, and a few times, they have been so freshly roasted that the metal scoop is too hot to touch. I suppose that implies freshness? At least their barrels have plastic covers.

If they've just taken them out of the roaster, that certainly implies freshness - however, beans aren't at their best until they've "gassed out." That is, they need a good overnight (at least) rest before their flavor is at peak. Take 'em home, transfer to a small (I use pint Ball jars - they hold about 1/3 lb.) jars, cover them lightly and by the morning they should be perfect.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...