New Kid on the Block: The Daily Grocer

There’s loads of Tribeca connections in the meet-cute behind the newest new kid: The Daily Grocer, a ready-to-cook meal kit company that just opened yesterday on West Broadway and Warren.

Tribecan Lee Weiss is a veteran of the restaurant industry: he’s been working in commercial dining for forever, most recently taking over the food program at the Metropolitan Museum with chef Bill Telepan but before that at Eleven Madison Park, The Musket Room and as GM for our Eataly. Aaron Abramson has been cooking in fine dining for 20 years all over the world: Blue Hill At Stone Barns, The Willows Inn, Flora Farms in Mexico.

When the pandemic hit, Abramson started working as a private chef and loved the ease of it. “I was very serious as a fine dining chef and I still love it — it’s just a challenging industry. The glory and the glamour of the 16-hour day fades after a while.”

And Lee had been chewing on (get it?) the idea of chef-prepped meal kits for a while, “but I needed a culinary person. I can operate anything — and I saw this as operating like a restaurant but just not finishing the meal.”

That’s where Tribeca comes in. Lee knew Dustin Wilson of One White Street and Verve Wine from working together at Eleven Madison Park; Aaron and Austin Johnson of One White are best friends — they first worked together as line cooks at Cascadia and later at Canlis, two culinary landmarks of Seattle. Dustin and Austin match-maked and the idea for The Daily Grocer developed quickly from there.

The idea for meal kits is not original — Blue Apron, FreshDirect, HelloFresh are all out there — but there’s three things going on here that I love way more: chef-designed with incredible sauces (Aaron is known for them), fresh that day and not shipped from who-knows-where, and almost zero waste. Anything that doesn’t need to be packaged isn’t; all the wrappers are compostable; the sauce containers are reusable. Plus this is a simple retail operation: no subscription necessary. (They deliver through ChowNow.)

Aaron has been developing the recipes for the past couple years as a private chef, where he realized that 1) everyone has a similar taste for the Mediterranean diet and 2) clients preferred that he work at his home and deliver the meals just about ready to cook. “And I have always worked at restaurants that are ingredient first — that’s what everyone wants at home too.”

I bought the miso salmon last week and my nephew and I devoured it — the cooking instructions were perfect and I was able to add in some extra bok choy and broccoli I had in the fridge anyway since there was extra sauce, giving me a bit of leftover veg for lunch the next day. I sent the harissa pork downstairs to my neighbors and this is what I got in the thank-you text: “Ours was amazing with flavors we would never do solo. I think I need to use this service a few nights a week. Such a no-brainer.”

The idea is recipes that people will love but not necessarily think to do at home. For instance, the miso salmon has to sit for a while in its dressing, and the chicken will be brined for six to eight hours — “that’s a good chefy thing that no home cook will do on a busy weeknight,” said Lee.

Since they are not actually cooking, they were able to convert the former Revolution Eyes space quickly with refrigeration, tables and shelves; this is just a pop-up for the first three months — a low-cost opportunity to workout the kinks and get feedback. Plus ideally there is not a lot of waste, and since nothing is cooked, it has a longer shelf life.

Pricing is $26 to $28 per kit, which feeds two, and there are seven different meals available. To start they are just making 25 to 30 meals per day. Go early.

The Daily Grocer
82 West Broadway | Chambers and Warren
Monday to Wednesday
3 to 8p



  1. Loved the steak! So easy to prepare for an even less than amateur chef. Can’t wait to go back!

  2. This is awesome! So often get stumped what to make and lose momentum. We tried it Monday and it could not have been easier or tastier. Will definitely be regulars- keep up the good work!

  3. Too bad I live in Colorado otherwise (get it) I would be a patron for sure. Never liked the idea of food being shipped from who knows where and when I used those other products, was left dissatisfied. Shop and support local business.
    Best of Luck Lee!

  4. Lee is one of the best. The food is top quality and the recipes are east to execute for chefs of all levels. More convenient than grocery shopping with significantly less waste. Highly recommend The Daily Grocer. I’ll be going once a week.

  5. This is great addition to the neighborhood, hopefully they stick around beyond a pop up, Portion size was good and ingredients high quality, easy to prepare, and best of all NO SUBSCRIPTION needed like Blue Apron and others.

  6. So excited to try. The owners’ background and expertise are impressive. Often my desire to cook is spontaneous and unplanned. I’m thrilled it’s no subscription.

  7. This is a dream come true. I’m going for groupie status! For the “I love great food, hate to cook, can’t ever shop correctly, always forget an ingredient, food store aisle navigation flunkie, insta-cart targeted road kill, always out of time” person…..THANK YOU!!!!! P.S. Please get that website taking orders! :)

  8. and good to support local. Most services are pricey. If that is the case I’d rather pay someone down the street and pick it up

  9. Tried this for the first time tonight and wow!! It’s delicious, healthy, and simple to prepare. I also love that there is minimal packaging aka significantly less waste! Can’t wait to make this part of my weekly routine.

  10. Okay! Finally got around to picking up Monday night dinner and it was superb. Started with Miso Salmon. Walked in and walked out with a box (all recyclable).

    Lee was/is amazingly accommodating wanting to give me more Bok Choy (which I’ve never bought OR cooked by the way!). And I was like “Dude – you have no idea! I’m not a cook! I’ll be your easiest customer!” This is top-star chef handing me his art! Um…hello…GRATEFUL.

    Was pressed for time but focused and followed instructions…and it was AMAZING. I would have spent this much money on just the ingredients (really would have been more because it came with the fish already marinated in Miso sauce, the stir fry sauce etc.).

    And best thing ever?….no extra food to rot the rest of the week — perfect portioning. And…it was kind of a zen experience to still do the actual cooking but having it all right there. No stress with any list, shopping and all that entails these days, portioning, etc. It is all I could ask for two-three times a week for me and my husband who lives off pizza and subs if I’m not “cooking” (poor guy). So thanks Lee and Aaron (I’m going first-name basis with this duo!) It’s a win all the way around. Perfecto!

  11. After reading your piece about The Daily Grocer, I tried out their meal kits and have become a huge fan. The food is fresh, the recipes are easy to follow, and the results are delicious. Each kit I’ve cooked was perfectly proportioned for two adults and took no more than 30-40 minutes to get on the table. I hope they do well. Shop local!