NYC is a land of bodegas, not really supermarkets per se. Bodegas are small corner shops that carry a small selection of produce, pantry items, household supplies, and miscellaneous items. Some of them are also delis, serving made to order coffee, sandwiches, or salads. There are, however, a few larger supermarket chains around the city, which we’ve listed below. If you’re going on a big spree, we’d recommend going to one of these places. These stores will also generally be more cost effective than your local neighborhood bodega.
- Fairway – Hands down our favorite of the supermarkets. We love this place. Everything is great about it, but particularly the fresh baked breads, bagels, and pastries. Some locations even have samples in the style of Whole Foods.
- Morton Williams
- Westside Market
- Key Food
- Gristedes – Hands down our least favorite. The most expensive of the chains, the workers are so unhappy for some reason, and every store is kept at the temperature of a refrigerator for no discernible reason. We have asked many times and even the workers don’t know why. You see them wearing sweatshirts and hoodies year-round.
- Whole Foods – National chain, and the ones in NYC are no different. Same style, same standard. And all their locations have the classic hot food and cold food stations and buffets, so you can pick up a homemade meal if you’re in a hurry. Many New Yorkers actually do get their weekday lunch or dinner meals here if they work near one.
- Trader Joe’s – Same as above minus the food stations.
There is no Walmart in NYC, but there are several Targets (Atlantic Station in Brooklyn and UES Manhattan) and a couple of Kmarts (Midtown West, East Village).
Supermarkets transition well into a quick discussion about pharmacies for the main reason that many New Yorkers actually do their full grocery shopping at them since fresh produce and packaged foods are offered at many throughout the city. NYC is really monopolized by Duane Reade, which is fine by us because we actually really like Duane Reade. There are some particularly awesome DR stores in various parts of Manhattan (particularly 40 Wall St.) that are multi-storied and have things like sushi chefs, nail salons, and frozen yogurt stations. Of course, the majority are not that elaborate, but still, you always know what you’re getting with Duane Reade. Better yet, many of them are open 24 hours.
CVS also has a smaller presence in NYC.