I’ve always felt fortunate, from a food perspective, to live in NYC. The city was filled with fine restaurants that bought from specialty growers and other providers in high enough volume so that even ordinary people had access to wondrous ingredients. Many of those providers are established in a way that produces a regular supply in quantities that are now going to waste.
Bravo to the restaurants for coming up with this method of distributing some of these amazing ingredients to regular people. With some judicious shopping and fine cooking skills, this is a time when the home cook can rule supreme.
A Guide to NYC Restaurants Now Selling Groceries
One of the more interesting aspects of the current crisis is the morphing of restaurants into institutions that do so much more, selling seasoning mixes, delivering cocktails and bottles of wine — and using their foodstuff sources to become de facto grocery stores. Yes, sometimes the groceries closely resemble the ones they once used to make our meals, but they have also sometimes used their connections with wholesalers and farmers to offer a wider variety of high quality products. Some restaurants are delivering produce and other groceries, including in weekly installments, while others offer contactless pickup for locals living in the neighborhood. The selection at these restaurants are largely more limited than local grocery stores, but for those struggling to get delivery times from bigger players, it’s both a possible alternative and a way to support a beloved local restaurant.
Here’s a guide to some of the restaurants now offering produce and other groceries. Warning: Demand is high right now for grocery delivery across the city, so lengthier delivery times and changes to the offerings may occur. For more information on how to get groceries now, see Eater’s bigger guide on current options.
Bourke Street Bakery: This Australian bakery is taking orders for sourdough bread and also a “bread + essentials” biweekly delivery. The essentials can include milk, butter, kale, carrots, onions, potatoes, broccoli, oranges, apples, bananas, strawberries, a loaf of bread, four croissants, a muffin, coffee, and four avocados, according to one report, for $80. Sometimes all the scheduled same-day deliveries are marked sold out, so keep checking back.
Panera Bread: This bread-based cafe will deliver groceries from select locations in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and near New Jersey, including produce, dairy, and bread. Check the nearest location to see if it’s participating.
The Butcher’s Daughter: The NYC cafe mini-chain has transformed all three of its locations into “Butcher’s Bodegas,” selling all of its regular menu items along with bread, olive oil, granola, pasta, and pancake mix. Order by calling any of the locations or through Grubhub, Uber Eats, Caviar, and Postmates.
Colonia Go: Offering a Latin pantry from Colonia Verde, a Fort Greene restaurant, items available for delivery include skirt steak, ribeye, marinated pork chop, frozen arepas, flour and corn tortillas. Frozen pão de queijo to be baked at home, and even a kit to make chilaquiles. There are natural wines at retail prices, and the option to donate a soup to a staff member at Brooklyn Hospital. Keep in mind there’s a $50 minimum on delivery orders.
Just Salad: Many Manhattan locations of this salad chain are now offering meal kits and fresh produce, in addition to prepared green salads, for pickup and delivery. The program is called Just Grocery, and includes grains, beans, seeds, bread, vegetables, fruits, and proteins such as skinless, boneless chicken breast, hardboiled eggs, and tofu. Same day delivery service is promised.
Dig Inn: This fast-casual restaurant chain has its own farm in Chester, NY that provides vegetables, and the company is delivering $26 boxes that typically contain seven to nine of them. A recent weekly selection ran to broccoli, green kale, cauliflower, avocado, watermelon radish, purple daikon, purple fingerling potatoes, and parsnips. Other staples such as milk, eggs, and flour are also available.
Purslane: This ethically conscious catering company — which is part of the same company that owns popular restaurants and bars Rucola, and Rhodora — has a zero-waste philosophy and is now shipping both a weekly CSA box and a prepared family-meal. The $50 box from Lancaster Farms is available through a subscription service.
Taiyaki: This ice cream purveyor with stores in Chinatown, Williamsburg, and Flushing has established a platform for the delivery of Japanese groceries by truck, so for those missing their nori, wasabi, kewpie mayo, tofu, frozen shumai, soba, and Nishiki rice, this may be the place. Contactless delivery promised to Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Nassau, with a call ahead to residents of apartment buildings without doormen. Orders over $75 are free, and $9.99 for others. Orders placed Thursday through Sunday will be delivered on Wednesday. Orders placed Monday through Wednesday will be delivered on Friday.
Mimi’s Hummus: Ditmas Park Middle Eastern mainstay Mimi’s Hummus has always peddled staples like prepared salads, bread dips, sauces, sweets, and cheeses, but now in addition to its regular menu plus beer and wine, it has also started stocking fruits and vegetables, which currently include eggplant, fennel, avocado, zucchini, and corn. Pick up at the restaurants or delivery via Caviar and Seamless.
Lea: In addition to wood-oven pizzas, pastas, salads, and snacks, Lea in Ditmas Park also stocks Italian groceries that include five pound cans of San Marzano tomatoes, faro, quinoa, dried beans, several kinds of fresh bread, cheeses including burrata, caponata, fresh and dried pastas, as well as beer and wine, all for delivery via Caviar.
Tannat: Inwood is not rife with grocery delivery options, but this wine and cheese bar is inaugurating a grocery service whereby shoppers sign up for a time slot, fill out a chart to preorder certain perishables, then appear at the appointed hour for their delimited shopping spree.
Cervo’s: This Lower East Side Spanish restaurant offers contactless pickup once a week for provisions such as tinned fish, chicken stock, olive oil, and wine. There’s also a weekly Lancaster Farm Fresh box filled with organic vegetables and eggs for $45. Pre-ordering starts at noon on Thursdays for pickup on Saturday. Warning: the CSA box tends to go quick. 43 Canal St., between Orchard and Ludlow streets, LES
The Fly: Bed-Stuy rotisserie chicken destination the Fly, which is owned by the same team as Cervo’s, also does a weekly contactless pickup store with She Wolf bread, ready-to-roast chicken, and a similar $45 CSA box from Lancaster Farm Fresh. Pre-ordering starts at noon on Mondays for pickup on Wednesday, and the CSA box tends to go quickly here as well. 549 Classon Ave., north of Fulton Street, Bed-Stuy
Fort Defiance: This Red Hook bar and restaurant has turned into a contactless general store, including a $28 CSA vegetable box from Lancaster Farm Fresh. Other groceries like raw chicken, ground beef, garlic, scallions, butter, and sugar are also available. A portion of the sales go toward the Fort Defiance Employee Fund. All orders must be made online; pickup is available from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. 365 Van Brunt St., Dikeman and Coffey streets, Red Hook
New Shanghai Deluxe: When the virus hit, this classic Shanghai restaurant at the corner of Mott and Bayard closed for two weeks, but then reopened up as a vegetable market. Display bins offer baby bok choy, leeks, cilantro, and other predominantly green vegetables, in addition to potatoes and mushrooms, both fresh and dried. Phone: (212) 566-4884. 50 Mott Street at Bayard Street, Chinatown