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Food Shopping in NYC: Best Fruit Cart in Manhattan

Carolina Sanchez

When you have to walk 1 mile to the grocery store, suddenly the logistics of buying a watermelon become a challenge. Or maybe you want to stock up for the week because you know you have a busy schedule ahead of you, but you'll have to figure out a way to get it all home.
What about the "wintry mix," aka grab bag of weather that New York offers in the winter? Not so conducive to paper bags. If you've never lived in New York, you probably take grocery shopping for granted.

After living in NYC for two years, I can say that grocery shopping is a learning process. You learn to go to the store several times a week, like in many countries.  In this way, you buy less quantity, but there is also less food waste. You are able to choose fresh produce throughout the week, instead of letting it wilt in your fridge and go uneaten. In this week's post, I am highlighting my favorite fruit cart in New York on 6th Avenue between 21st and 22nd Streets, right outside of the Trader Joe's.

They are there in all weather conditions, and they always have the best prices and best selection of fruits. I had a chance to get to know the guy that works at the stand over time. He hails from Bangladesh and came here three years ago. He always tells me the truth about the fruit, and when I ask him if the fruit in question is sweet, he tells me his honest opinion; "no sweet, no buy." He has all sorts of fruits and vegetables, sometimes organic too. Some of my favorite things to buy are papaya, mangos (Haitian, Champagne, and other varieties), okra, lychees, cherries, and persian cucumbers.

First cherries of the season at the fruit stand on 6th Ave between 21st and 22nd Streets in NYC 
At Whole Foods, the cherries are $9.99/lb and here, the same cherries are $3.00/lb. And if ever I have bought something that didn't live up to the "no sweet, no buy" motto, I just told him next time and he would give me another one free or my money back, no need to show him the fruit or vegetable in question.

Raspberries at the fruit stand on 6th Ave. between 21st and 22nd Streets in NYC
Shopping at a big grocery store is convenient and maybe faster than going to several different stores, but I enjoy the personal rapport you can develop with a small store. It feels nice to have someone remember my face from week to week, and unlike a traditional grocery store, price negotiation is on the table. He always gave us the best price though, so we didn't need to talk it down. There are plenty of fruit stands around NYC, but not all of them have this kind of service, quality, selection, or prices.

Want to learn more savvy shopping tips? Check out my post on Best Grocery Stores in NYC. 

Location: 6th Avenue between 21st and 22nd Streets
Nearest Metro: 23rd Street and 6th Ave (F, M lines)
Hours: 9am-9pm
Payment: Cash Only
Top Fruit Picks: Lychees, Persimmons, Figs, Mangoes, Cherries, Bananas, Papaya

Haitian and Tommy Atkins Mangoes at the fruit stand on 6th Ave between 21st and 22nd Streets in NYC