New York City doesn’t have a super store like Walmart or SuperTarget within its boundaries (though there is talk that the superstore chain may come to the Bronx soon) but its food and grocery requirements are more than adequately met by the many supermarket chains that operate in the city. Apart from these main supermarket grocery stores each neighborhood also has several independently owned grocery stores which aim to cater to the residents of the neighborhood. The prices at these independent groceries are a trifle higher than those charged by the supermarkets but they tend to stay open longer than the supermarkets and even offer home delivery which, until recently, was not a service that the supermarkets chains offered.
In addition to these independent groceries, the city, especially in the borough Manhattan, is also equipped with cart vendors who sell fresh fruits and vegetables on the pavements. These vendors are licensed by the city and are open for business all throughout the year except when foul weather conditions make it impossible for them to operate. These fruit and vegetable carts are largely operated by immigrants and they often charge prices which are much lower than those charged by the supermarkets.
Here are some of the major supermarkets in New York City :
The Morton Williams Supermarkets (http://www.mortonwilliams.com/)
This family owned supermarket operates 12 stores in New York City and it offers a wide assortment of fresh produce, baked goods, canned and bottled goods, deli meats and diary, prepared foods, kitchen and laundry products, breads and frozen items and much more. Morton Williams also offers international foods and stocks products from countries like India, Italy, Israel, Great Britain and Ireland. The supermarket publishes a weekly circular which is specific to the neighborhood where it is located. This circular lists the items that are being offered on discount that week. Morton Williams is slowly venturing into the realm of online grocery shopping as well and some of its stores already offer home delivery for a charge.
Much like the Morton Williams group, D’agostino’s is also a family run chain of supermarkets which operates at several locations in Manhattan and other areas in the state of New York. D’agastino’s product range is similar to that of the Morton William’s supermarkets but prices tend to be slightly higher. D’agostino’s or ‘DAG’ as it is affectionately called offers online grocery shopping, home delivery (for a current charge of $6.99) and also publishes a weekly circular with its deals. D’agostino’s also has a loyalty card known as the DAG card which entitles customers to periodic discounts.
The Food Emporium (http://www.thefoodemporium.com)
The Food Emporium is found at several locations in Manhattan and in addition to the regular grocery items like fresh produce, canned and frozen products, fresh meats and dairy products it also offers several fine and gourmet foods. The Food Emporium stores also have offer regular food tastings and samplings at various locations. These stores are also a decent source for international foods, though the collection at individual stores tends to differ as it is dependant on the needs of the neighborhood in which the store is located. Food Emporium also has its own loyalty card called the Food Emporium Card which entitles holders to periodic deals and discounts. It also offers online shopping and its prices are comparable to those of D’agostino’s.
This supermarket has been in New York for over 100 years and offers a wide assortment of fresh meats, produce, dairy products, baked goods, frozen foods, gourmet foods, and nonfood items. Gristedes also has its own loyalty card called the Diamond Value Card. Gristedes only has stores in Manhattan and it also offers online shopping and pharmacy services in some of its stores.
The Key Food Stores (http://www.keyfood.com/)
This supermarket is found in all five boroughs of the city and its collection of products varies with the neighborhood where the store is located. For instance, the Key Foods store, which is located in the neighborhood of Jackson Heights, Queens, carries various ethnic foods that cater to the South Asian and Latin American populations that populate that particular neighborhood. Key food also has its own brand products and issues a weekly circular that lists its deals.
Pathmark supermarkets like the Key Food stores are widely found all over the city and this supermarket also offers its own branded products in addition to the regular brands that usually populate an American supermarket. Pathmark stores offer pharmacy services and have their own PAC card. The prices at both Key Foods and Pathmark stores are slightly lower than those of the other supermarkets which are mainly concentrated in Manhattan.
The Whole Foods Market (http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/)
This largely natural and organic supermarket which opened its doors in New York City some years ago was an instant hit when it launched and it is currently in expansion mode. Whole Food Stores are concentrated in Manhattan and these stores offer a wide variety of bakery, grocery, meat and fish, sea food, prepared foods, diary and cheese and other products including products branded under their own 365 Everyday Value line. The supermarket actively promotes natural and organic products and follows a ‘green’ ethos though it does source many of its products from overseas. Prices at Whole Foods Markets tend to be higher than other supermarkets but this doesn’t deter its many clients who believe they are buying a healthier lifestyle by purchasing its organic and natural products.
Trader Joe’s (http://www.traderjoes.com/)
Similar to the Whole Foods Market concept, Trader Joe’s, a California based chain, has three outlets in New York City (one each in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens). Trader Joes also offers organic and natural products many of which originate from overseas. These products are largely packaged and sold under the store’s own brands. Trader Joe’s offers daily samplings of its products and also promotes the ‘green’ theme by discouraging the use of plastic bags. Its prices are more reasonable than those of Whole Foods even though its products are comparable. In fact its prices are lower than many of the regular supermarkets as well. Trader Joe’s is always packed and the best time to visit this store is in the morning when it opens its doors at 9am. The store also offers home delivery services though the delivery charges differ with the location to which the shopping has to be delivered.
Fairway Markets (http://www.fairwaymarket.com/)
Fairway Markets is another supermarket which is a family run enterprise. Fairway has two outlets in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn. The supermarkets offers fresh produce, frozen products, kosher foods, bakery items, prepared foods, a wide array of international foods, non food items, organic foods and it also offers catering and gift basket services. Fairway market also has its own in-house café and restaurant and its immense popularity is attributed to its competitive prices.
Fresh Direct (http://www.freshdirect.com/index.jsp)
This online grocery store which offers all the various products that are found in a brick and mortar grocery store is extremely popular with the residents of New York City who don’t have the time or the inclination to go out to the stores. Fresh direct also offers direct delivery to homes and offices in Manhattan and it is soon expanding to deliver in Brooklyn and Queens. Fresh Direct offers organic, prepared and kosher foods as well.
The Park Slope Food Cooperative ( http://www.foodcoop.com/)
The Park Slope Food Cooperative is a membership coop that is located in Brooklyn which makes organic food and other standard supermarket fare available to its 12000 members at discounted prices in exchange for membership dues and volunteer service. This cooperative is located at:
782 Union Street
(between 6th and 7th Avenues in Park Slope)
Brooklyn, New York 11215
Hours: M-F:8a-10p; Sa:6a-10p; Su:6a-7.30p