Is NetCost The Best Supermarket In The World? Epicurious Thinks So

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This week, the foodie site Epicurious stumbled across one of our neighborhood’s best kept secrets. Bath Beach’s NetCost Market (8671 18th Avenue) is a wonderland of Russian products that has the selection of Whole Foods but without the sky high prices. Quail eggs, whole pigs, gefilte fish, buckets of caviar, and sausages for miles await at the 18th Avenue superstore.

In the Epicurious article and accompanying video, Adina Steiman, who grew up in the area, revisits the store as an adult with fresh eyes, dusting off her halting Russian, and reluctantly sampling some kholodets, or jellied chicken, from the buffet.

Once she gets over the exoticism of the place, Steiman comes to the realization that the expansive grocery story is not that dissimilar from your average Trader Joe’s — only better:

After the culture shock wears off a bit, I always realize that NetCost isn’t the Mysterious Russian Other. It’s actually O.G. food nerd. That rock-solid baby pig that’s staring at you from the freezer section? That’s nose-to-tail cooking, without the hipster markup in price. The rows of swampy bottled kvass? It might give off Superfund vibes, but it’s pretty much proto-kombucha. The frozen bags of sea buckthorn berries? They’re the darling of Dr. Oz and the visionary chefs at Copenhagen’s Noma, and you probably won’t find them anywhere else. The whole pickled pears at the prepared foods buffet? Thanks to their long winters and short growing seasons, the Russians were pickling anything they could get their hands on centuries before “Portlandia”.

Do you agree that NetCost the best supermarket in the world? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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  • greatj

    This is a great place to shop. They have a wonderful selection of fruits and vegetables, hot food, and so much more. We as senior citizens receive a discount of at least ten percent from Monday to Thursday. We just love this place and recommend it all.

  • Suzi La Regina

    Net Cost is a hidden gem of the neighborhood. In addition to Russian favorites, they carry a wide selection of grocery items for all ethnic groups at reasonable prices. Meat and produce are top quality, and the employees are courteous and friendly.

  • brooklynite

    NetCost is a good store but in that particular location on 18th avenue parking is a nightmare. They have very small parking lot which is always packed so you have to search for parking on the streets.

    • Ben Fong

      Trader Joe plz

  • 1ifbyrain2ifbytrain

    Net Cost has the best selection of Eastern European beers in NYC! Combine this with the ever expanding collection of domestic craft beers at 84th Street Beverage and Bensonhurst can proudly claim a seat at the Craft Beer Revolution Table!

  • Ben Fong

    I’d still like a Trader’s Joe to replace Walbaum though. I’m kinda tired of seeing the same type of supermarket in the neighborhood.

    • Emerald5Forever

      Hey, you are not alone. There are many Bensonhurst people who want a Trader Joe’s; have you heard about the online petition against the Chinese supermarket that is replacing Walbaum’s? It caused some racial tensions, because of the anti-Asian sentiment; it was upsetting to see, but I guess like you, people are tired of seeing the same type of supermarket (I am also like that). However, I highly doubt that an organic market like Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods would come to Bensonhurst anytime soon…we can only hope, lol.

      I like your icon, btw.

    • Nadirecur

      I usually shop at the Trader Joe’s in Chelsea and schlep it all the way back to 18th ave in Brooklyn via D train. Sometimes I see others doing the same! The demand is out there. I wonder what we’d have to do to get a TJ in our neighborhood.

      • Sean F

        The only way TJs would come to Bensonhurst is if we undergo a massive demographic shift, and start to look like Williamsburg or Park Slope – God forbid. I’d rather drive to the TJs in Staten Island, tolls and all, than have that happen.

      • Emerald5Forever

        Hey, I agree with you. I always see at least a couple of people holding Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods bags around here when I get off the train now.