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.
Wow looks like a great store. I wish we had one here in Tennessee!
Great review of the store! I haven't made it up there yet but a lot of my co-workers live nearby. Does the UES store have a bulk section like the west side one does? That's what I'm looking for! Nice to hear they have a dedicated G-free section.
Lisa, they don't have that large bulk section like the West side store unfortunately, unless I missed it somehow. I guess one reason you still may want to visit the West side.
My favorite (and one of the few) thing about Dallas is Central Market, the best grocery store ever. Imagine a combo of Whole Foods and Trader Joe, but huge and relatively inexpensive. Central Market has all the specialty sections MM highlighted above, most of the foods they carry are very clean, and they have a HUGE chocolate section. Fantastic selection of organic produce, most of the meat and seafood are "clean" as well. There's a superb prepared section, a good cafe, and "food festivals" highlighting seasonal foods each month. Hatch green chile week starts soon, and I'm beyond thrilled. I do almost all of my shopping there, excluding a few cleaning products that I get at Target. It's the grocery store of my dreams.
Marie- any chile week sounds good to me. With the Dallas weather maybe you should find a place to hang in the produce section and camp out. Doesn't sound all that bad. How nice that the grocery store of your dreams actually exists. Awesome.
I really loved this review. The probiotic section is something that sparked my intreats. I have never been to a Fairway but after this post it looks like I will be making a visit.
I am so excited to check this place out (obviously a fellow nutrition nerd here). The olive oil tasting is a good idea, i never know how to choose one, although the thought of people double dipping makes it a little less appealing, haha. I usually bounce around between whole foods, TJs and a regular store too, so Melissa I would love to shop in your ideal market!
Miss Fezza- I think the importance of probiotics is something most people don't pay enough attention to. Carolyn- samples gross me out too though a good idea if sanitary.
Wow..olive oil tasting! Gosh, I wish we can a Fairway in Vegas. I would LOVE it!
I hate going to more than one grocery store, but it seems ineveitable to get everything you're looking for.
Looks like a nice store 🙂
looks like a great market must admit I am blessed here with fresh market whole foods, farmers markets the black and white picture was when I was featured in skirt magazine 🙂
Nice overview of the store. My favorite place to shop is still Trader Joe's, especially the one on the UWS. The eastside Fairway was a madhouse when I went there on a recent Saturday afternoon so my experience there was not quite as pleasant. I will make it back there soon.
And see Sam I don't always get Traders because you can't do a full shop there. Agreed about the "madhouse" description, Fairway best at off peak times. I'm a Whole Foodser.
What a great review! I also loved your "grain of salt" post too 🙂 Glad I stumbled upon your blog!!
Thank you Sara, I'm glad you found us and I look forward to checking out your blog.
Sounds like a great store, especially considering the prices are reasonable! I too shop at multiple stores with the majority of my shopping being done at Jimbos and Trader Joes. Jimbos is a San Diego chain with a great selection on gluten-free foods and organic produce. The only issue is that the prices are not shat I would call low, but are cheaper than WF. I do like Trader Joes for lots of things and love the pricing, but agree with Lauren that you can't do a "full-shop" there. Then there's WF which I do go to a couple of times a month to stock up on some specialty items I can't find elsewhere. Oh, and I loved Central Market too when I lived in Dallas!
Jimbos sounds good, I have a small market on the UWS called Gary Nulls that I like a lot. It's small (good gluten free, all produce organic) and they only have baskets, it's so easy with a cart to toss everything in. So curious about this Central Market now.
They seem to cover a lot of the different food preferences and diet types out there- its impressive!!! i love how it's organized and sectioned- i'd love to shop there!!!
Kelsey you have to think their categories are based on what customers are asking for. It's just funny to think that a store that's been in existence for over 50 years has a probiotic section. Impressive they have "kept up".
what a fabulous place! especially love the peanut almond station for nut butter.
I would love a market tour. 🙂 I live in Riverdale which is a relatively affluent neighborhood but we have a dearth of good shopping options. I usually have to drive down to Kingsbridge (Garden Gourmet) or go to Westchester.
My boyfriend and I often split up the grocery list to keep it more manageable, but it would be nice not to have to do that all the time! If I lived on the east side, I'd definitely check out Fairway.
Well, I would have to say that my few trips to this place were overall positive. Haven't ever really noticed a "sock" section there, but it would make sense that the staff would be much less inclined to push a sale versus let someone comfortably peruse their crowded store. In general I see their prices very competitive, especially since they offered to price match and even called the other guys to find out.