Whole Foods Market in Manhattan
photo credit: Vornado Realty Trust
Don't expect to find a super-sized Publix or Costco in Manhattan. Real estate in Manhattan means top dollars, and grocery stores have to make the best of the limited space. You may have to shop around to find the best options and prices, and don't expect to find everything under one roof in Manhattan. It is not uncommon to go to 2-3 grocery stores to get everything on your list, and sometimes it can be time consuming.
I finally bought a shopping cart so I could carry larger amounts of groceries, and I highly recommend it if you're going to be walking to get your groceries! So how did I choose the best grocery stores? Well trial and error of course, and lucky for you, you can read my blog so you don't have to go around and test them all out yourself!
Drum roll...and the winners of the 2014 Plant-Based Carolina Manhattan Grocery Store Awards are...
Best Whole Foods Market: Whole Foods Tribeca
Runner Up: Whole Foods Columbus Circle
Whole Foods Tribeca is the 2nd largest Whole Foods in NYC boasting 69,000 square feet of beautiful space (the largest is the store in Bowery). They have a fantastic eating area upstairs with plenty of space. We saw people playing Bananagrams, working on their laptops, and having a meal with friends and family. The produce section is extensive, and they even have a "Dosateria" on the first floor, offering made to order dosas and other Indian dishes. They also have vegan and gluten-free options available. We really enjoyed the prepared foods section; they had many Health Starts Here options that were vegan and oil free, woohoo!
270 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10007
- from Chambers 1 2 3 A C:walk south on W Broadway, go west on Warren.
- from World Trade Center E: walk west on Barclay, go north on Greenwich.
- from World Trade Center PATH: walk north towards Greenwich and Warren (just under 3 short blocks).
- free shuttle service is available from various downtown locations. Please visit the Downtown Connection for details.
Whole Foods Tribeca Dining Area
Photo Credit: Jefferson Siegel
Best Trader Joe's: Trader Joe's Chelsea
No Monkey Business, Bananas are Really Only 19 Cents Each at Trader Joe's in Chelsea, NYC
We like this TJ's because it is not as crowded as the other two in Manhattan. It's best to go during the morning hours on weekdays. Friday and Saturday evenings are also pretty low key. After 5pm on weekdays, the store is packed and the line often wraps around the store, but,
"It moves quickly," I often reassure people who I hear gasp, "IS THIS THE LINE?!"
Bananas are 19 cents each, and you can get good deals on berries which are usually pretty pricy (try $3.39 for organic strawberries!)
The people that work here are also pretty nice, many of them hipsters, but let's face it, we're all a little hipster after living in New York for some time. And bonus, right in front of the store there is an awesome fruit cart you can read more about
Address: 675 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10010 (between 21st and 22nd streets)
Best Independently Owned Supermarket: Garden of Eden
(Chelsea and Union Square Locations)
Produce section at Garden of Eden Grocery Store in Chelsea, NYC
This store is full of forbidden fruits, and we mean fruits that are perfectly good to eat but sometimes too expensive! They have a large selection of high quality produce and exotic selections. I've found Mamey (4.99/lb) and Cherimoya (8.99/lb). For non-exotic items, the prices are no more expensive than Gristedes (and certainly more pleasant than Gristedes). Their medjool dates are always fresh and you can select the ones you want with the tongs and buy them by the pound. International food standards given by CODEX say that 6% of dates that have insects and mites will be allowed to pass regulation, and 1% of dates with mold or decay will be allowed
(CODEX STAN 143-1985). That is pretty disgusting, and if you've ever split a date in half, sometimes you may indeed find black mold or bugs inside, I know I have!! But I am happy to say I have never found bugs or mold in the dates from Garden of Eden. Trader Joe's on the other hand...
Address: 7 E. 14th St, New York, NY 10003 (Union Square)
220 W 23rd St Ste 605-607
(btwn 6th & 7th Ave.)
And there you have it! What are your favorite grocery stores in NYC? Drop me a line and share with me your picks!