One of the many reasons to love living on, or visiting, the Upper West Side is the abundance of amazing food markets. From world-renowned Zabar’s and Barney Greengrass, to the original Fairway and Citarella locations, you’ll find the best ingredients and finest prepared foods in the city on a small stretch of the Upper West Side.
Here are some of the best reasons to bring your holiday gift list uptown right now:
2245 Broadway at West 80th Street
The cheese counter at Zabar’s (Image: Shinya Suzuki/Flickr)
Zabar’s has been a bustling, family-owned business and New York City institution for more than 80 years. At this eclectic outpost, you’ll find hand-sliced fish, including their famous nova salmon; rows and rows of artisanal cheeses; fresh-baked rugelach made from a family recipe and much more. Aside from the food, visitors can browse Zabar’s vast selection of imported copper cookware and kitchen accessories, plus a full line of branded merchandise. Now is the perfect time to peruse their near-endless selection of gift baskets too. We love the kosher Eight Nights of Hanukkah Crate and the snack-filled The Appreciation Basket, perfect for co-workers and clients. Can’t make it to the store? Many of their finest delicacies are available for purchase on their website.
2131 Broadway at West 74th Street
Fairway’s former, iconic blue awning (Image: Austen Squarepants/Flickr)
Founded in the 1930s, Fairway Market has emerged as one of the most respected chains in the northeast with 14 beloved locations and more in the works. The original Fairway Market, however, remains on Broadway, and what was once a modest produce store has since expanded to encompass everything your heart, and stomach, desires. In the store, you’ll find wonderful kosher and organic selections, along with health and beauty items, and hand-selected coffee beans that are roasted on site. There’s also a great café, weekly specials, mystery gifts for those who buy enough to qualify, and gift cards, which make perfect stocking stuffers for your foodie friends.
2135 Broadway at West 75th Street
Citarella (Image: Austen Squarepants/Flickr)
Occupying the same location where a small seafood shop was founded in 1912, Citarella has been part of the Upper West Side food scene for more than 100 years. Today, Citarella bills itself as “the seafood authority,” and with a fish counter that stretches 40 feet long, they’re not kidding around. In addition to fish, you’ll find an excellent meat counter with full-service butchers, amazing chef-prepared foods, a great deli and to-die-for pastries and baked goods. Check out their incredible gift baskets this holiday season, including the Taste of Italy, filled with pasta, spices, sauces and gourmet olive oil.
541 Amsterdam Ave. at West 86th Street
The deli counter at Barney Greengrass (Image: Ann Dabney/Flickr)
With a decidedly old-school vibe, Barney Greengrass has served the Upper West Side for more than a century. In fact, the James Beard award-winning institution has often been called the best deli in New York City. It’s no wonder, then, that it’s made appearances in top-rated TV shows, including “Seinfeld,” “30 Rock,” and “Sex and the City.” Specializing in hand-selected fish, you can also find amazing bagels, challah French toast, a corned beef triple-decker sandwich with chopped liver, rugelach and more. Heading out to stay with friends or family this holiday season? A selection of goods from Barney Greengrass makes an excellent hostess gift, especially for any NYC expats on your list.