Union Square Market
We're busy, I know, but chances are you pass through Union Square at some point each week. Lucky for you, the Union Square Green Market is open all day Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday year round. Fresh organic veggies, herbs, baked goods, meats, even wine are for sale by neighboring farmers. The produce is actually the color it's supposed to be! And about half the price of my corner deli. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the opening of Trader Joe's and Whole Foods near Union square, but unless I have an extra hour to wait in the sprawling lines, I skip the stores completely.
Most of the vendors let you try before you buy, with samples of 14 kinds of apples, homemade jams and icewine. It's crowded but the lines move quickly. You can get fresh components of an entire organic meal in no time. After 4pm many of the bakery vendors sell their baked goods for a discounted price! I've had many a $1 butterscotch oatmeal cookie in my day.
Starting in late November, the south end becomes a Holiday Market. Candy cane striped tents house vendors selling ornaments, scarves, jewelery, handmade gifts and other unique ideas for holiday giving. That can get really crowded and cold, but it's worth a walk through. I suggest a weekday morning.
And then! Every major subway line is right there to take you and your purchases home! No old lady cart! No taupe eggplants. Deliciousness awaits.
Union Square Farmer's Market
Union Square (NW corner)