A thin space filled with everything from Ben & Jerry's to fresh fruit, University Market is a welcome alternative to hiking to the nearest full-scale grocery store on 55th Street when you're jonesing for a quick snack, missing one ingredient for dinner or need a quick bouquet of fresh flowers.
Despite the plethora of food, dining in a grocery store doesn't appeal to many. University Market's deli may just change your mind. Tucked away in the back, the full-size deli counter boasts everything from crab salad to sub sandwiches and wraps. The simple yet addictive mozzarella sandwich is a closely guarded neighborhood secret, with fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil piled onto an Italian roll, baked fresh from the Medici Bakery down the street, and then drizzled with olive oil. And at only $3.99, this is an addiction your wallet can afford.
For $4.99 you can build your own sub, choosing from an extensive menu of breads, cheeses and meats, though the owners are also happy to tell you their favorites. With salami, cheddar, mustard, alfalfa sprouts, lettuce and tomatoes on semolina bread, Kirsten's Favorite is crisp, crunchy and salty. Aside from the deli counter, University Market offers cold take-out from local restaurants, including the Nile, the Medici and Soul Vegetarian, as well as pre-made deli sandwiches for those truly in a rush.
There's no seating inside, though University Market does face a large park, turning this grocery store and deli counter into the perfect pre-picnic stop.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Kate Rockwood