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Paleo NYC Food Guide/Budget?

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  • Paleo NYC Food Guide/Budget?

    Hi all,
    I maybe moving to NYC for work in the near future. *I am just curious if any local primals can tell me the following:
    Good places to buy organic food in terms of grocery stores. *Online is OK as well.
    Any farmers markets in NYC?
    The biggy - anyone can give me a rough idea at how much I should be budgeting for a paleo diet - trying to stick to organic as much as possible - for a family of 6 (2 adults, 4 kids all under 10)?

    If its useful I will be working near 7th and 51st - sorry I don't know if thats north, central or whatever Manhattan. *Tentatively looking at living in Forest Hills.

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    I love the Union Square greenmarket! It's at Union Square Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat. I usually got on Saturday, when the most vendors are there. Awesome produce, meats, etc. I love the grass-fed bison and angus beef, as well as the fresh fish. I try to get most of my fruit, veggies and meat there, then buy whatever else I need from Whole Foods and Trader Joes, which are a few feet away (on 14th St).


    • #3
      If you're in Brooklyn, the Fairway in Red Hook would be a good grocery store to start with! Like a Whole Foods, they have lots of organic... And tons of produce. But they struck me as being much more meat/dairy friendly (ie less vegan-leaning). And, if you're taking your car, they actually have a parking lot and free parking (or, you can take the 61 bus).


      • #4
        You really, really, really need to join the park slope food co-op and jump through all the hoops there. it's the best food at the best prices in the city. Brooklyn meatshare can hook you up with bulk meats especially pork and lamb. There are many good farmer's markets but they range from expensive to silly in price. As far as budget, the sky is the limit and I'm no good at economizing on my food. Join the coop!
        If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least and this (personal fave):


        • #5
          Oh, and you'll be working in "Midtown" - we have our own special directions here. For a big family, you'll probably want to live in Queens off the F or 7 trains, Flushing might be a good choice, safe & quick commute.
          If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least and this (personal fave):


          • #6
            I second the Fairway recommendation for produce but I find it's a bit pricey but quality is good. I order my grass-fed beef and my pork online from a farm just outside of Syracuse. The farmer ships everything via FedEx and I've been very satisfied. Everything is expensive here though. For your family, eating organic and fresh foods, I'd budget at least $1k / month (that includes meats and assumes you are cooking enough for 3 meals a day). There are also farmers' markets scattered throughout the city. Check out Our Markets | GrowNYC for a list of markets around.

            I hear good things about Trader Joe's but I haven't been yet. Apparently the quality is good but the crowds are horrible so it's not worth the hassle for me.


            • #7
              On line sources are great for grass fed beef. Your best bang for the buck is going to be bones, toss them in a slow cooker and make broth/soup.

              Fairway is good.

              Trader Joes is "meh", their grassfed ground beef is awful, I literally cannot eat it now that I have a freezer full of grass fed meat that I had shipped to me. I really only buy bacon, kerrygold butter and shiitake mushrooms there. They have plenty of organic breakfast cereals if that's your thing.

              If you find your budget's getting tight, and you're not too squeamish you can get all kinds of fantastic deal on produce and meats in Chinatown. I can't always bring myself to buy meat down there, but the conventional produce is always cheaper and usually fresher. A chef friend of mine took me on a walking tour and she let me know that the meat comes from the same farms that the fancy grocery stores get theirs from. Eggs are much cheaper down there too. Again, this is when you're looking for cheap food, not the pristine organically homeopathic pastured college educated stuff... which can blow up you food budget in a hurry. I am sure the same kind of deals can be found in Flushing as well, I just haven't been out there too often.

              The Union Square farmer's market is fantastic, but it ain't cheap. There are tons of other much smaller farmer's markets around where the selection is less diverse but the prices might be a dollar or two cheaper. For a while the 66th st. farmer's market had a grassfed farmer who's price just edged out ordering online delivery grass fed meat once shipping was factored in. Sadly that farmer was cranky and decided not to continue coming into the city to sell his meat.

              There are lots of smaller markets also where you can get good deals on conventional meats and produce there was one in the Times Square area called the Big Apple Meat Market, but I heard that it might have closed. Dunno. Look for places where white people don't shop and you'll find some deals. I got an absurdly large Pork Shoulder Roast the other day for $14 at the local spanish market. No one read this piggy any bedtime stories, or wiped it nose, or taught it how to play Bach on the piano, but it was 2/3 the cost of what it might have been elsewhere... it's HUGE.

              And get a freezer chest. This will help you a lot. Buying bulk meat is far more economical than paying for on cut at a time. You could freeze seasonal veggies from the market as well if you were incline... mine's full of beef though.

              Good luck, and welcome to our fair city.


              • #8
                Brilliant. Thanks everyone. Will need to explore when I get there.


                • #9
                  Welcome to the city! Nit primal related but If you have kids and they're going to be in public schools, you will want to absolutely make sure that you pick a good neighborhood for schools. Forest Hills queens is your best bet if you're looking at Queens. Feel free to email if you want some information. I work in public education so I think about this all the time! As for the primal info, I actually love Trader Joe's. The lines move faster than you would think but definitely going off hours is best. The 23rd street location is best. I happen to like their grass fed beef and their pork. The shredded chopped veggies are awesome and cheap, and make cooking really quick, I also buy bags for work to snack on. Park Slope Coop is an institution to say the least! Google it and you'll be entertained, or horrified, or both, for hours on end! But yeah, the quality is great. The 14th street farmers market can be pricey but it's so enjoyable to go and the kids will love it. Great place to wander and stop for a snack. Great new playground there as well, along with a 60ft zip line for summer! I personally love Fairway for organic, and there is a Costco on east 117th street. If you don't have a car, it's worth doing zip car and heading there as they carry a lot of grass fed and organic products these days. Good luck to you all with the move!