A Fair Way
September 27, 2018 4:53 PM   Subscribe

What is best at Fairway supermarket?

I live near-ish a Fairway and it is great. However, after having what could only be described as a religious experience over the huge olive selection and finding those little cookies my grandpa always used to buy for the holidays (you know the ones), I need some help narrowing down what they do best and what I should buy. What are the Fairway must-haves, like when people ask What's Good At Trader Joe's?

I'm an omnivore, I'm not kosher, and I'm a great cook and very good baker, and I have no food allergies.
posted by colorblock sock to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Smoked salmon
posted by The Whelk at 6:01 PM on September 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

Yes, the salmon selection It's a pleasure to watch someone expertly slice it to order.

I really think what they do best is having a great selection of high quality foodstuffs. It really all depends on which location you're in. The cheese alone though.

The meat selection. Honey! Basically everything really. Wildly different kinds of flour for different uses. Olive oil. Nuts. Chocolate. Tea!

I've never really bought much produce there. I think of it as a place to go for pantry items and specialty items. I cook a lot so it's like Mecca for me. There and Kalustyan's.
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 6:38 PM on September 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

We always have their garlic hummus, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Olives and cheese are great there! Sometimes there is excellent discount bread, we also prefer to buy meat there rather than whole foods, but it's still kind of pricey.

Seconding kalystyans for spices.
posted by larthegreat at 6:48 PM on September 27, 2018

the spinach/veggie souffles in the kosher section
posted by brujita at 7:09 PM on September 27, 2018

Coffee beans
Finn Crisp crackers
Castelvetrano, Alphonso and Kalamata olives
Greek yogurt cream cheese
Lamb shoulder chops
Murray’s chicken
La Valle canned tomatoes
Rocchetta cheese, my God (not ricotta, although the Calabrio brand cones they sell are also top notch)
posted by STFUDonnie at 8:11 PM on September 27, 2018

Seconding Conrad-Casserole- it’s defintely a place to stock up on pantry and specialty items.
Olive section-make sure to try the red peppadew peppers!
Cheese- such a great selection. I especially like the New Zealand cheddar.
Their olive oil section is truly amazing.
Rao’s tomato sauce- I stopped making my own after finding them. Enough said.
Chocolate aisle- so much chocolate, great array of brands, defintely fun for browsing.
I have an affinity for Koeze cream-nut peanut butter,
Keep an eye out for it, it’s particularly delicious peanut butter.
posted by Champagne Supernova at 8:41 PM on September 27, 2018

Oh yeah the house brand olive oil is amazing and varied and I don’t even think twice about the price cause a bottle lasts a good nine months (it’s a finishing oil!) and the store brand ‘everyday’ oil is great quality.

They’re pushing hard into more prepared food and hot bars and they’re not as good as I remember but the deli, cheese, and meat counters are still tops (and great for me so I can say no I really just want that small a,pint of X and not buy a whole packet of it)

Oh! The rotisserie chicken is sold at a loss and the with a basic homemade gravy it feels like cheating somehow

They sometimes have those small packets of those UK ring/tube chips that are very addicting. I get like five at a time.
posted by The Whelk at 10:05 PM on September 27, 2018

I’ve been going for years and have watched the uptown Manhattan store evolve through the corporate expansion and restructuring. There has been a drop off in quality of certain items, such as the store brand bread. However, the cheese and olives are still great, the prices for organic milk and eggs are hard to beat (only TJs is cheaper), and there is a wide selection of beers. The produce and meat depts are very good and you can find good deals.

I’m glad they still maintain a bulk section, but who knows how long that will be around.

Overall, the selection is wide, but they can be maddeningly limited. I do seek out the managers whenever I don’t find something that has been stocked previously.

Finally, I would like to point out my absolute favorite item there: the store brand peach habanero salsa. Any other salsa now tastes unbearably dull and sweet.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 4:03 AM on September 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

We live in DC and still exclusively get our coffee beans and olive oils from Fairway when we go up to NJ to visit family. The cheese selection, olive bar, appetizing (smoked fish etc) and imported tinned/jarred selections are also outstanding.
posted by foodmapper at 5:47 AM on September 28, 2018

Coffee, Cheeses, Whitefish salad, Smoked salmon
posted by eusebis_w_adorno at 1:26 PM on September 28, 2018

The citrus selection. Tangelos, Meyer Lemons, Key Limes, Sweet Limes, etc. You can find all of those elsewhere, but not that easily. (This is for the one up by 138th or so, I don't know if the ones in midtown have as good a selection.)
posted by Hactar at 10:21 PM on September 28, 2018

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