New Kid on the Block: Best Market

Best Market TribecaAs you may have heard, Best Market has taken over the former Food Emporium store in Independence Plaza North.

That it’s an improvement possibly says more about the state of Food Emporium in its death throes than about Best Market itself, and of course it’s too early to tell how it’ll fare in the long run. But it is definitely an improvement. In a neat design trick, the company made the aisles seem wider by leaving the bottom shelf where it has always been, but pushing all of the other shelves back a few inches, and the half-high shelf at the end of the produce aisle is a relief. The shelves are taller, too. But the checkout stations are as narrow as before; a Best Market staffer explained that removing one would’ve increased lines, so they left them unchanged.

The merchandise hews closer to the mass-market brands of Food Emporium than the artisanal ones of Whole Foods, although you’ll find some of those, too. Whether the store has everything you want depends on what you want. Personally, I was delighted to see actual watercress, neither of the fraudulent “Upland” variety or hermetically sealed in a plastic bag. Moreover, my fears that produce would all be pre-sliced and bagged proved to be unfounded. (Cheese is another story.) But I was disappointed that there were no single-serving bottles of Schweppes tonic water. G&T season is around the corner!

All in all, I’d wager that it’ll be very warmly received, especially if prices are as low as the many slogans insist. (I’m rather price-insensitive when it comes to groceries.) But it also feels a bit bare bones, as if they wanted to avoid overinvesting in a store with a lease that may not get renewed.

The store is open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week. I didn’t see if George was there, because I don’t actually know who he is, but I’m sure others will report in.

Best Market is at 316 Greenwich (at Duane), 212-587-3171;

Best Market Tribeca flowersBest Market Tribeca produce Best Market Tribeca produce2Best Market Tribeca cold cutsBest Market Tribeca shelves2Best Market Tribeca chipsBest Market Tribeca cheeseBest Market Tribeca baked goodsBest Market Tribeca HostessBest Market Tribeca seafoodBest Market Tribeca juice and coffeeBest Market Tribeca salad barBest Market Tribeca checkoutRecent New Kid on the Block / First Impressions articles:
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  1. Buy George?

  2. It is a big improvement over Food Emporium. One of the stock guys told me they pride themselves on catering to the local markets and that if you want something they don’t stock, put in a request with the asst manager and they will make a big effort to get it in (in time for gin and tonic season)

  3. No beer?? That’s what I was most looking forward to. The beer selection at the Best Market in Astoria is incredible.

  4. Beer is coming Friday (most likely). Asked an employee about it last night

  5. Let’s hope Zbest Market won’t start putting merchandise displays in the middle of aisles and near the cashiers so you can’t navigate the aisles even without a cart. Remember, when Food Emporium first opened it was moderately upscale in appearance and product before it became a glorified bodega and deli.

    • I remember how thrilled we were when the Food Emporium opened because except for a few little delis – there was NOTHING down here for groceries. Now we had a butcher, fresh fish, great deli section.

      What a difference 3 decades make…

      And to best Market – I wouldn’t mind waiting a little longer if I could get my shopping cart through checkout…

      • Granted the aisles are too narrow and who needs all those cashiers stations when only about 3 are operating at one time. But if you could get your cart through where would the carts go? Not enough space!

  6. No delivery until next month.

  7. I was there today—1 day before the grand opening tomorrow. The workers are friendly and helpful, which is not what happened with the Food Emporium team. It’s products are a bit more upscale but it has regular groceries as well. It’s clean and has a new floor. You won’t cringe when you walk in.

  8. I just bought four 6-ounce cans of tuna for $3. Would have cost almost $8 at WFM.