The Citarella on 125th street is a strange oasis almost hidden amongst the throng of a major thoroughfare. Upon entering from the chaotic street, it has a cool, calm suburban vibe. No rushing here. Even though it’s small, there’s always room to push your cart and browse. This branch of the venerable gourmet grocery chain is 3 years old this week, and considering that the very first Citarella opened in 1912 on Broadway and 164th, I guess Harlem is it’s rightful home.
While it is more expensive and has much less variety than Fairway, on the other hand, it is much closer to my apartment and much easier to access and navigate, so I’m always popping in for a nice cheese or prosciutto or filet of fresh fish.
Weekday or weekend it never seems to be incredibly busy so I’m not sure how it sustains itself (Citarella owns the entire buiding so that may help). And if the upscale grocery gods ever grant us a Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods or Garden of Eden in SoHa 118, I don’t know what the future of this Citarella would be. But for now I’m glad it’s here and encourage everyone to check it out.
461 W 125th St @Amsterdam Avenue