McCarren Park Greenmarket, Brooklyn

I'm having coupon withdrawal. Most of the stores I encounter in NYC are actually tiny markets, not the mega grocery stores abundant in Atlanta. The larger grocers sell items for much more, it seems, than the smaller businesses. These inflated prices cancel out the benefit of using a discount. Trader Joe's has become my stumping ground. Even so, its produce isn't always the freshest. Thank goodness for NYC's network of Greenmarkets.

Farmers Market

The McCarren Park location sells fruits and vegetables that make grocery store selections look like ugly ducklings. And, as expected, this farmer's market boasts a wider variety of produce, which usually costs less. Booths also offer honey and related products, maple syrup, cheese, ice cream and milk, herb seedlings, eggs and meat.

I bought purple carrots, cucumbers, potatoes and chocolate milk for $5.50. But I skipped green beans and a basil plant, buying both at Trader Joe's for a savings of over 50%. I snacked on the carrots then shredded them to garnish Salmon Sliders (even using the leaves) and I added some to Shrimp Fried Rice. I boiled the potatoes too long but still paired them with Coconut Curry. Despite the soft texture caused by overcooking, they possessed a buttery appearance and depth of flavor.


A word of warning if even the smallest dog ignites fear in you. Many visitors stroll over from the dog park section with their pets in tow. Though tinier than Union Square's market, McCarren offers plenty of choice without the massive Manhattan crowds.