In New York City, gourmet markets bridge the gap between corner bodegas and corporate grocers. These unique and often independently owned stores import artisan foodstuffs, stock hard-to-find delicacies, and prepare wholesome takeout dishes. Catering to the hectic lifestyle of New Yorkers, these specialty food shops are undeniably essential to life in the big city. Here, some of the best gourmet markets in NYC.
Upper West Siders flock to this institution, beloved for its smoked meats, freshly baked bread and bagels, as well as gourmet coffee. Situated at the corner of 80th and Broadway for more than 80 years, Zabar’s offers a vast selection of cheese from around the world, fresh pasta, fruits and vegetables, and the neighborhood’s busiest deli counter. One of the Upper West’s best stores for grab-and-go, Zabar’s makes everything from Caesar salad to steamed shrimp to brisket, rotisserie chicken, and Asian dumplings. The second floor is a chef’s dream, showcasing cookware, small appliances, tools, and gadgets to complete any cook’s kitchen.
Sainte-Maure de Touraine, Vermont Creamery Torus, and Jasper Hill Farm Bridgman Blue are just a sampling of the cheese options available at this West Village shop. While cheese is the lifeblood of Murray’s, it’s not all you’ll find here. The store also stocks every imaginable accouterment to accompany your Franche-Comté or smoked gouda including honey, jam, spreads, dried fruits, olives, antipasti, and cured meats. Foodies appreciate the pasta, olive oil, crackers, spices, and other edibles, as well as takeaway sandwiches and cheese plates.
254 Bleecker St
Agata & Valentina
This family-owned specialty shop offers artisanal products from Sicily and other parts of the world. Founded in 1993 by husband and wife team Joe & Agata Musco, the store is named after the co-owner and couple’s daughter, Valentina. A go-to for Upper East Siders, the market stocks over 7,000 gourmet items, including fresh and frozen foods, meat, seafood, caviar, sushi, and desserts. Beyond the original uptown location, there’s also a store in Greenwich Village.
1505 First Ave
Grand Central Market
Set within the iconic Grand Central Terminal, this bustling Euro-style market features local merchants selling locally produced fare. Choose from vendors such as Pescatore Seafood Co., Oren’s Coffee, and Li-Lac Chocolates, as well as a variety of bread baked on-site, and more than 400 types of cheese and meat. From inside the station, you’ll have several ways to enter Grand Central Market, which is a narrow, rectangular space between Graybar Passage and Lexington Passage, and Lexington Avenue and the Main Concourse. From the street, access the market at Lexington Avenue and 43rd Street.
89 E 42nd St
Considered New York’s “Seafood Authority,” this gourmet grocer sources fish from the finest fisherman around the world. At Citarella, all seafood has been shipped overnight, so what you see on display in the store is fresh and never frozen. The market also sells meat, produce, baked goods, deli items, and prepackaged hot and cold meals to go. The turkey meatloaf (delicious cold), Greek salad, and key lime pie make an excellent picnic in any one of New York’s fabulous public parks.
This Italian emporium in the Flatiron District allows shoppers to graze and sip while they browse. Grab a glass of Barbera d’Alba or Pinot Grigio before picking up items like wild mushroom focaccia, eggplant caponata, and for dessert, chocolate with white truffle. Besides groceries and ready-made foods, Eataly has several restaurants and bars within the marketplace, catering to every Italophile’s cravings. The original market is across from Madison Square Park, but Eataly also opened an outpost in the Financial District.
200 5th Ave
By Tracy Kaler