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Fat Guy

The other greenmarkets

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The Union Square Greenmarket is the iconic farmers market for the New York metro area, but unless you live near Union Square it's only practical to do a small percentage of your shopping there. But for the other 99% of us there are 44 other greenmarkets around the city. I've only been to about 5 of them, and was hoping we could assemble some thoughts and observations here about the non-Union-Square greenmarkets in New York City.

This morning I stopped by the one on West 97th Street just west of Columbus Avenue. It was, I thought, a credible microcosm of the Union Square market. There were plenty of vegetables and fruits from 3 or 4 different growers (I got some tomatoes and peaches from New Jersey -- both excellent) as well as a meat vendor, a bakery, a creamery and a fishmonger. So it would be possible to do a pretty comprehensive shop here, albeit without the diversity of choices that Union Square offers.

I've also been by the one near Columbia University, on Broadway between 114th and 115th Streets. I wasn't all that impressed, but it was much earlier in the season so who knows.

One I really like is the one near my mother's apartment. It's in the triangle where Columbus and Broadway meat at 66th Street. A lot of vendors. The number of vendors seems to have a strong correlation with the overall quality of a given greenmarket.

There are two relatively near my apartment on the Upper East Side, neither of which is as good, in my opinion, as the two I like on the Upper West Side. One is near Mt. Sinai hospital and the other is on 92nd Street way over by First Avenue (I actually think, as the crow flies, 97th and Columbus is closer to me even though it's across the park, because I live near Fifth Avenue).

Most of the small greenmarkets are not year-round operations. Several opened this month (or in June, or a few in May) and will run through November or thereabouts.

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We have a very local, Sunday only greenmarket, that starts around May and goes through November. It's on Grand St. between Essex and Norfolk, or right across the street from Kossar's Bialys. Biggest problem is the lack of choice - there are only 3 or 4 vendors, but the product is the same as at Union Square.

There is now a permanent (we'll see) greenmarket on South Street - but it literally started just a couple of weeks ago - across the street from the old Fulton Fish Market building - so it's on the west side of South St., just north of the seaport (talk about a pain in the ass to get to). Best part - Ronnybrook Farms sells ice creams there in little cups for $1.

There is the Thompkins Square market - also Sundays only, but fairly well stocked.

As far as practicality goes, even though I don't live that close to Union Square, it's very convenient to so many transit options that I can easily do the bulk of my fresh fruit, vegetable, egg, pork, lamb, and even some seafood shopping there (like, if I'm going to cook the seafood that day). Though, by the time I get home, I need 2 advil and a massage.

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Yeah I can get to and from the Union Square Greenmarket pretty easily on the number 6 train. And I can carry a bunch of stuff home in two shopping bags. So for a special dinner or two (or three) I can shop there. But multiple trips per week would be out of the question. Today I just needed some non-crap non-supermarket tomatoes and I didn't have the sense of humor to brave Union Square. The West 97th Street greenmarket was just the ticket.

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As far as practicality goes, even though I don't live that close to Union Square, it's very convenient to so many transit options that I can easily do the bulk of my fresh fruit, vegetable, egg, pork, lamb, and even some seafood shopping there (like, if I'm going to cook the seafood that day). Though, by the time I get home, I need 2 advil and a massage.

I heard that. I live so close to the L train, it's pretty convenient for me to hop on over to U.S. But then I inevitably shop until I can no longer carry anything else, or until I can no longer stand it.

It is less convenient for me to walk to the greenmarket in my neighborhood, but if I manage to make it out of the house before noon on a Saturday, I'd rather go there than brave the awesome and terrible crowds of Union Square.

MacCarren Park Williamsburg/ Greenpoint

Corner of Lorimer and Bedford

Saturdays only

This one is fairly small. There is a meat vendor, a fish vendor, some dairy, and a baker (which sucks IMHO), in addition to a few veggie stands and some guy with honey.

Pickings get really slim after 12. No one except the meat guy seems to bring nearly as much stuff as they would to U.S.

But I do like the meat vendor, who is also at U.S. on Mondays. He has a good variety, even some fresh merguez.

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Visconti's Farm sets u exclusively at w97th now I think. They were muscled out of Union Square somehow. They have the best tr-stars imo so that makes trips to the UWS pretty sesnsible...

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The Wednesday Greenmarket on E 47th Street between First and Second is thriving. Fish from Pura Vida; a good half a dozen vegetable/fruit vendors, including Maxwell's; Ronnybrook (what else is new?); a couple of cheesemakers; a baker with appalling croissants and wonderful crumb cake. At the height of the season, now, it takes up almost the whole long block and meets our needs for everything fresh except terrestrial animal protein, bread and better milk and cream - to the point where we seem to get down to Union Square (a mere 35 minute walk) only once a month or so, which is a shame. Even in wintertime, the market's vestiges keep us in fish, cabbage and potatoes through the cold weather. And (off-topic) good bread we can buy a stone's throw away, at Corrado's in Grand Central Terminal, where okay cream is often to be found at Murray's.


Edited by emsny (log)

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An exception to Steven's generally true observation that the more vendors the better the market is the tiny Greenmarket on Ninth Avenue and 57th. Sometimes there's only one vendor there, but he sells an amazingly wide range of vegetables of excellent quality. We bought excellent cheese a while ago at the Tomkins Square market.

Has anyone visited the Sunday market in Stuyvesant Town?

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The Greenmarket near me on 67th St between 1st and York isn't bad, I have to say. They've added a new farm which has some gorgeous potatoes and mushrooms and fresh herbs, and the meat purveyor is pretty good if pricey. I think they have a total of about 6-8 vendors, but the quality of the foods has been pretty high since Day One.

Cheers! :cool:

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For what it's worth, I don't think the E 67th Street market is a Greenmarket; hence, it is not subject to any of the Greenmarket rules about where the produce comes from. Not to say that there isn't good produce there, but be aware that some (not all) of the stands may be selling the same things you can buy in a supermarket or corner greengrocer, distributed through normal wholesale channels. This began life, some years ago, as a Greenmarket, but there was some sort of dispute with the school on whose property the market is set up.

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I've been shopping at W. 97th for about 10 years now and it continues to get better. New farmers this year are Grazin' Angus, Madura and Amendajo (I'm probably mispelling their name).

It's a very good market, but it's not as comprehensive as USGM - there are certain varieties of vegetables/fruit that you can't there - for example Red Jacket only seems to sell the greengage plums at USGM. Nobody sells a variety of chilis like Oak Grove. On friday mornings I'm at W. 97th by 7:45 and then go to USGM on my way to the office (I work 2 blocks away).

Farmers are off the top of my head (I believe this a complete list):

Locust Grove, Kernan, Bradley, Bialas, Visconti, Red Jacket, Madura, Amendejo, Tello (not just eggs as at USGM but a variety of vegetables including cranberry beans).

Patches of Star for cheese, Grazin' Angus for beef, Ronneybrook - dairy, Pura Vida - fish. There's also a baked goods vendor - don't know their name.

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For what it's worth, I don't think the E 67th Street market is a Greenmarket; hence, it is not subject to any of the Greenmarket rules about where the produce comes from. Not to say that there isn't good produce there, but be aware that some (not all) of the stands may be selling the same things you can buy in a supermarket or corner greengrocer, distributed through normal wholesale channels. This began life, some years ago, as a Greenmarket, but there was some sort of dispute with the school on whose property the market is set up.

Oh? I didn't know that. The eggs are fabulous, much better than the ones we get at the local Food Extortium, that's for sure. The produce at the new farm is very good too.

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There is no CENYC Greenmarket anywhere near East 67th Street, according to the website.

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We finally visited the Stuyvesant Town Greenmarket today. It is one of the more pleasant, set up on the periphery of a lawn filled with sunbathers. Plenty of vendors, including a fish stand, a cheesemaker and several fruit-veg stands, including Migliorelli. Well worth a visit of a nice Sunday afternoon.

Our walk then took us to Tompkins Square, also thriving both along Avenue A and down the side street. At either of these, you could do all your food shopping, apart from meat and liquids (although the ubiquitous Ronnybrook was present at Tompkins Sq).

We continued south to buy some doughnuts on Grand Street, and were surprised to find a tiny (three vendors, was it?) CENYC Greenmarket on Grand between Essex and Norfolk. Fantasy Fruit was there, with stunning Tri-Star strawberries, along with a nice veg vendor who gave the tops of my leeks (which I didn't need) to an elderly Russian lady, who will put them in her soup pot.

Yesterday at the E 82nd St market, the kid minding a veg stall responded to my question, "Are these Yukon Golds?" with "No. Potatoes". Yikes.

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I got a thing today on Facebook from Fleisher’s Meats that indicates a new Sunday operation at the Seaport. I guess not a Greenmarket as such, but intriguing nonetheless:

Fleisher's at the New Amsterdam Market

Fleisher’s Meats is proud to be joining more than eighty farmers, producers, mongers, purveyors, vendors, butchers and bakers (but alas no candlestick makers) on September 13th at the South Street Seaport to participate in the New Amsterdam Market.

Founded by Robert LaValva to promote the idea of a public market like London’s Borough Hall or San Francisco’s Ferry Building, the NYC version will take place in September, October, November and December. So join us down on South Street, between Beekman Street and Peck Slip and enjoy the bounty of the season.

Sundays from 11am to 4pm

September 13, October 25, November 22, December 20

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