Market Melissa reviews the new Fairway Market and dreams up her what her ideal market would look like, take it away Melissa.
You won’t be hard-pressed to find a food market in NYC but what’s tricky is finding one that has everything on your weekly shopping list. I often go to 3 different stores in order to get the best produce, seafood and organic food. Fairway Market is a true one-stop shop. While Westsiders have been enjoying this store for over 50 years, the East side was just recently blessed with one this summer.
Brittany (our summer nutrition nerd) and I checked out the new store on a recent Friday afternoon. We were there around 11am and had quite an enjoyable shopping experience. This was a sharp contract to my experience at the West side store, which I like to compare to the game show Supermarket Sweep.
What I love about the new East side store are the wide aisles (for NYC) and how well everything is laid out and organized. The organic produce is clearly labeled in its own section of the store. In addition to the organic choices, you will also find all of your mainstream brands you find at other supermarket chains.
Here are some of the highlights that wowed us Supermarket nerds:

  • A wheat free, gluten free, dairy free section – You won’t need to scour the aisles to find products that meet these allergy needs. All of the products that meet these criteria are neatly labeled and packed into a nook downstairs. 
  • Ground peanut butter and almond butter station – Whole Foods has this as well. This is perfect for those who can’t be trusted with a full jar of peanut butter at home. You choose how much you want to purchase with a no nasty ingredients added. 
  • Probiotic section – Next time you experience digestive woes or your immune system needs a kick in the butt, head to this section of the store. You will find everything from Kombucha, yogurt shots such as Siggi’s yogurt here. and supplements including Culturelle

  • Oil tasting section – No more just picking up a plain extra virgin olive oil. Fairway has a whole section dedicated to different flavored oils, which you can taste with a small piece of bread that is offered. We opted out but there were numerous shoppers dipping in (perhaps double dipping).

  • Made to order sushi – For all of you sushi lovers out there, Fairway offers grab and go, as well as made to order sushi. The best part is you can also request brown rice.

Despite the “specialty” nature of the store, Fairway is known for great value. I have yet to find a store in the city that can beat Fairway’s prices. Shoppers beware though – not everything is healthy. As always, read your labels and steer clear of the hot food self-serve bar upstairs.  They were serving fried chicken and mac n’ cheese during our visit.
Lauren asked me what my ideal supermarket would look like. After spending a good part of the past year at various markets I said:
It would be a place where everything you could possibly want would be available to avoid running to 10 different stores.  I would have a seasonal/local section and plenty of organic options. I’d love a cafe like Whole Foods so customers could buy food and sit down and eat and really spend time there. A juice bar would be nice. My store wouldn’t sell items with HFCS, hormones, food dyes or artificial sweeteners (so it may be a smaller store). And of course there would be someone like myself who could offer shopping advice and recipes to correlate with what the store was currently selling.
Where is your favorite place to shop? Do you find you need to visit numerous stores to find everything you need? Tell us about your dream market.

Overwhelmed with food shopping? Join us on a Market Foodtraining tour at the new Fairway or your store of choice. Contact Melissa to hop on the next tour. Not in NY? Follow Melissa on twitter (@MarketMelissa) for the latest market finds. Melissa is also giving away a NYC Market Foodtraining tour for four. To be eligible leave a comment below telling us you’re in the NY area.

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