Upon entering, you will be amazed by how beautiful and bright the market is. The staff works hard to maintain the spotless grocery store and ensure that customers are provided the freshest foods by keeping sell-by dates up to date as well as preparing hot and cold foods daily.
Compared to nearby grocery stores Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, Westside’s prices are reasonable (one can say they’re “Manhattan appropriate”—adjusting to the life of a New Yorker requires us to adjust to New York’s expensive price tag as well). I suggest shopping for pantry staples at Trader Joes or Whole Foods, however, Westside’s prepared foods and meat/seafood selection are worth checking out. They have a hot foods selection, and on weekdays, you can get a dinner option consisting of a protein and two sides for $9.99 ($12.99 if you get fish). Their prepared cold foods range from mini Chinese dumplings and fried taquitos to pasta and quiches—all perfect for whenever you’re in the mood for a healthy and inexpensive quick meal, or if you just lack any kitchen skills and want something different from your typical Chinese Takeout.
Don’t miss out on their sushi selection either, which has everything from the generic spicy tuna roll and fresh salmon sashimi, to unagi (eel) rice bowls. The bakery display is full of cakes, cookies and freshly baked breads. Looking to pair something with that warm French Baguette? Head to the cheese aisle, which features more than 500 imported and domestic varieties!
Personally, my favorite part of the store is the beverage aisle. I typically pick up one of the many juices or smoothies for a post-workout snack, such as a freshly pressed juices or coconut-almond cinnamon smoothie. I also recommend checking out the ice cream selection, which carries both local and national brands with in a variety of flavors—for all the banana lovers, I promise Phin & Phebes’ Banana Whama flavor – banana pudding ice cream with vanilla wafers – will have you eating out of the tub.
When it comes to variety, Westside is hard to beat; they have almost every vegetable and fruit you can imagine, including more exotic options such as dragon fruit! Look out for some of their good deals such as 3 for $5 strawberries.
Best yet, Westside is open 24 hours! My roommate and I refer to Westside as our “home away from home” since we find ourselves here late at night when nothing else is open to stock up on desserts – we’ve pretty much thrown the Freshman 15 out the window.
All in all, head over to Westside if you haven’t yet gotten the chance. While prices are comparable to Trader Joes’ and Whole Foods’, their selection is unbeatable and their never-closing doors life-saving.