New York is a culinary dream, especially for a home cook. I know of at least 3 green markets, 2 quality grocery stores (Trader Joes and Union Market), and 1 supermarket (MetFood) within just a few blocks of my apartment. Additionally, my office is right next to Union Square which boasts a huge farmer’s market. So when I can, I pick up the freshest foods I can find at smaller, specialty stores so I know I’m always getting the best product and supporting local businesses.

Shopping for Groceries Around New York City

In order to buy local, I’ll split up my grocery shopping between multiple stores so I know I’m getting the best quality and great prices. For produce, I stop by a green market just 2 blocks down that has everything from pineapples to basil to kale to grapefruits, all for cheaper than a standard grocery store. They typically have a much wider variety and fresher products. For seafood, I’ll stop by a local shop called Fish Tails, or I’ll walk to our local Union Market. When I do go to chain markets, I prefer Union Market since it’s also great for cheeses, breads, and produce. Anything else that I can’t find from a local grower, I can pick up at a MetFood, a typical grocery store at the end of my block.

This week’s worth of groceries cost me just over $60. My green market haul cost $17, Fish tails was just $3.50, Union Market was $27, and MetFood was $16.

Seafoood from Local Markets in New York City

Seafood Market in New York City

Oysters from Fish Tails, Seafood Market in New York City

I’ve recently gotten really into oysters and have starting shucking my own. A market down the street from me has a bunch of different varieties so I can set up my own little tastings. Fresh lemon and horseradish were also purchased to eat with the oysters!

Cost for Food at Fish Tails: $3.50

Local Seafood in New York City

Seafood Haul from Union Market

PEI mussels, salmon, and tilapia make really simple, delicious, healthy dinners. I marinate the salmon in teriyaki sauce, and the tilapia with lemon and herbs. I steam up the mussels with some fennel, tomatoes, white wine, butter, lemon juice, parsley, shallot, garlic, and cayenne. The prep takes about 10 minutes, but it takes less then 5 to cook! You can also see some eggs here — I like keeping eggs in the house for easy breakfasts or dinners (if I get home late and am super lazy).

Cost for Food at Union Market: $27



Produce from Local New York City Markets

Local Fruit Market New York City

Fruit Haul from Green Market

A new fancy blender for my birthday means super quick yummy smoothies for breakfast! I like putting in bananas, apple, strawberries, and orange in the mix, so I keep my fruit bowl full for this.

Cost for Food at Green Market: $16 (includes vegetables below)

Grocery Haul

Vegetables Haul from Green Market

I like to eat seafood or chicken with some fresh veggies for a meal. This week, I picked up items that looked extra good at the market: fennel, kale, corn, bok choy, and cauliflower.

Cost for Food at Green Market: $17 (includes fruit above)


Food from New York City Grocery Stores

New York City Grocery

Snacking Groceries from MetFood

I like keeping little snacks around, like hummus, crackers, and pickles for when I need a salty kick. The horseradish was to eat with the oysters, though it’s also good to make homemade cocktail sauce or add some heat to marinades.

Cost for Food at MetFood: $16

Local Grocery Shopping in New York City

Local Seafood in New York CityBuying local isn’t always the cheapest, and it can be a pain to lug heavy bags of produce around, but it’s definitely worth it. It requires flexibility and creativity in menu planning — I rarely come out of the store with what I intended to buy, because I just pick up what catches my eye! However, the food lasts longer, and honestly tastes better. I encourage everyone to take a walk through their local farmer’s markets and buy local, seasonal food whenever possible!

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