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A Foodie’s Guide to Eastchester’s Grocery and Specialty Markets

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Eastchester resident and author Tony Shaw takes us on a journey up and down what he calls Eastchester’s Culinary Miracle Half-Mile.

By Anthony E. Shaw

The Town of Eastchester is geographically split roughly in the middle, east and west, along White Plains Road, otherwise known as the Post Road and Route 22. It’s a straight shot down this road, traveling past gracious homes, verdant trees, and stone wall enclosures, with churches and a gas station or two as you cruise by.

White Plains Road/Route 22 is the oldest portion of a Native American trail, used by the Dutch and English settlers to transport their farm products to market in the 18th and 19th centuries. As the Post Road, this path was designated in the horse and wagon days to carry mail from New York City and its surroundings, eventually to upstate and Boston, and vice versa.

Today, there exists a fascinating assembly of high-quality retail food stores, from single storefronts to massive modern brick, glass, and mortar stores to feed, nourish and delight shoppers, diners, and gazers. This is an unparalleled collection of gustatory venues in Westchester County, all within a delightful half-mile.

DeCicco & Sons

777 White Plains Rd, Eastchester; 914.704.3220

Opened October 2020, in the space formerly occupied by another chain supermarket, this DeCicco & Sons is bright, clean, spacious, and anxious to please with a company mission that states: “We are your destination for specialty and gourmet groceries, as well as all of your everyday needs.”

The store is well-lit, and the staff moves determinedly throughout, cleaning, checking, restocking, and giving on-the-spot assistance. The bakery offerings are mouthwatering (don’t miss the mini Italian pastries), and there are tables in the front window to sit and snack after shopping. There are hot and cold serve-yourself buffets, ready-made family meals, a deli counter, a butcher department, a mind-boggling cheese assortment, and an enormous Italian food section with fresh and dried pasta, cookies, crackers, cakes, snacks, and drinks, plus a fresh seafood section, a sushi station, fruits and veggies, and more. And did we mention there’s also a bar on premises?

 

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Eastchester Fish Gourmet

831 White Plains Rd, Scarsdale; 914.725.3450

Tracing its beginnings to 1981, Eastchester Fish Gourmet’s mini-empire was first a fish market helmed by Rick Ross, who added restaurant space in 1987, and then separated the two functions a decade later. In 2019, the casual seafood spot Go Fish opened next door, forming a legit fisherman’s trio. Ross is still there, piloting the ship.

The market, known as “the authority on fish,” is open seven days a week and does all its buying at the New Fulton Fish Market. It sells fresh (not previously frozen) seafood, some frozen items like Alaskan King crab legs, and, although the selection is too varied to detail fully, it includes branzino, clams, cod, salmon, haddock, tuna, sea bass, and shrimp. Ready to eat and prepared items include Petrossian caviar, cooked cocktail shrimp, grilled swordfish, crab cakes, clam chowder, and honey mustard salmon. For the Jewish holidays, the market prepares gefilte fish.

The Fresh Market

723 White Plains Rd, Scarsdale; 914.723.6600

With more than 110 stores nationwide and carrying only the products and brands it deems marketable, The Fresh Market earns high customer ratings for service and overall quality. It is an upscale grocery store, and its prices reflect that. However, when something goes on sale, it really goes on sale.

One product always available is the roast chicken. It is fresh to market, juicy, tasty, and just $5.99 (at press time)! Another highlight is the butcher counter, where pre-cut steaks are sold at a set price per piece, a convenient touch when planning to serve several diners an equal portion. And don’t miss bagged fresh bagels.

 

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Green’s Natural Foods

780 White Plains Rd, Scarsdale; 914.874.5481

Green’s Natural Foods is part of a national market chain promoting “Simply, real food.” Its mission is to offer items that “contain no known artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, sweeteners, or hydrogenated oils” and sell “only USDA-certified organic produce.” Talk to the associates in the store and you’ll soon learn how knowledgeable and passionate they are about this mission.

Green’s has a large stock of packaged and fresh food items, produce, bulk grains, plus a vitamin aisle, and a deli/prepared food section. There is also an extensive dairy and non-dairy section.

 

Hutchinson Farms

833 White Plains Rd, Scarsdale; 914.723.7603

This specialty grocery store is small, but it’s a well-stocked, inviting space. The surrounding colors and smells, from earthy potatoes and onions to alluring oranges and grapes, makes a trip here like stepping into a Renaissance still-life painting. The staff, unfailingly smiling and attentive, take time with customers to discuss produce availability and preparation, and to answer questions. Even the owner is hands-on to ensure customers’ needs are met and exceeded.

 

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Maruichi Japanese Food Deli and Ramen Musashi

816 White Plains Rd, 914.874.5290

Maruichi has seen several retail lives and survives, like the ubiquitous Hello Kitty at the entrance. While it sold Japanese groceries for many years, it now mostly offers Japanese pre-packaged dry food goods (curry powders, rice, dried seaweed, shrimp crackers, snacks) and bottled beverages, a limited choice of fresh vegetables, and frozen meat, seafood, proteins, and sweets. These are almost all imported goods, and prices mirror that.

On the other side of the store, through the archway to the adjoining Ramen Musashi, expect on-premises cooked dishes like quickly prepared, tasty, and fresh ramen noodles and rice dishes. Eat there or take it to go.

 

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Mona Lisa Salumeria

829 Post Road, Scarsdale; 914.723.3493

New owners are at the helm here, stepping in ably for the Neapolitan brothers who formerly owned the shop. Expect the full gamut of cold cuts, cheeses, and Italian products and snacks, including Italian sodas, juices, and frozen Bindi desserts. The chicken cutlet wedge is a gem, as are the chicken piccata, arancini (meat or cheese), and the stuffed zucchini.

North End Quality Meats

835 Post Rd, Scarsdale; 914.723.3363

Two Italian cousins opened this traditional butcher shop in 1981 and, in addition to custom-cut meats, they also sell Arthur Avenue bread, milk, eggs, and a select offering of groceries. The store is known for exceptional customer service and personal attention, and will advise on which cuts are best for particular dishes and give cooking instructions, too. They care about their products and their customers, so going the extra mile is business as usual for them.

 

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Trader Joe’s

727 White Plains Rd, Scarsdale; 914.472.2988

Since 1967, Trader Joe’s has been a national chain of neighborhood stores with a difference.  They carry only their own home brands, chosen by the company based on quality, reliability, and proven track record. If it doesn’t sell, it’s gone. Thus, they keep their inventory low and prices reasonable.

Take one look at the constantly moving Trader Joe’s parking lot and you’ll see how popular this place is. Though the selection varies from time to time, it’s all easy to prepare and reliably tasty, particularly the frozen meals and side-dish selections. Check the price — typically lower (sometimes by a lot) than anything comparable in a chain supermarket. Plus, the swift checkout system runs like a precision Swiss clock movement.

As it’s plain to see, the Eastchester Culinary Half-Mile proves the past never perishes, it simply re-creates itself. Where Native Americans and colonials trod wearily, bearing the edible results of their hard farm labors, now we whiz by in SUVs, to food shop ‘til we drop!

 

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Related: Krasdale Foods’ New President Works Toward an Eco-Friendly Future

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