Foragers makes good on a triple threat to Chelsea

BY SCOTT STIFFLER | Based on observable patterns, certain cynical assumptions can be forgiven. But that doesn’t mean each new event is in lock step with a distressing trend. Sometimes, change leaves a good taste in your mouth.

“Thank you for not being a nail salon or a yogurt store or a bank,” says Foragers City Table floor manager Melissa Beck — citing an oft-repeated customer sentiment regarding the evolving face of ground floor businesses on Eighth Avenue, between 14th and 23rd Streets.

The unique new tenant at 22nd Street and Eighth is a welcome addition to the neighborhood, and not just because it occupies that long-derelict eyesore below The GEM Chelsea Hotel.

Five months ago, Foragers City Grocer made its debut — joined next door by sister space Foragers City Wine. Foragers City Table restaurant soon followed, located in the back of the grocery space.

Husband and wife team Richard Lamb and Anna Castellani, along with co-owner Clifford Shikler, hope this evolved version of the DUMBO-based Foragers Market will serve as a business model for other locations throughout the city.

For now though, Beck (again citing customer feedback) says they’re content to offer “quality, so we don’t have to go to Chelsea Market.” That reasonable trek, mere blocks away, can nonetheless seem daunting when priority number one is quick access to morning coffee or the missing ingredient for a meal that’s already behind schedule.

Fresh, largely organic and light years away from the preservative-infused selections that line the shelves of nearby convenience stores and supermarkets, Foragers has curated its limited space with offbeat takes on typical grocery store offerings.

Cashew Utopia vegan ice cream (from a small upstate company), salt water taffy from across the river in Brooklyn and legume-based spreads from Sullivan Street’s own Peanut Butter & Co. are among the products whose manufacturers eschew aesthetic and nutritional compromises made by the demands of mass production. Twice a week, a delivery truck packed with meats and produce from Foragers Farm and any one of over a dozen other organic and free-range suppliers makes a delivery of fresh product that will be served in the restaurant, put under glass in the butcher’s section or be turned into prepared staples and comfort foods available in the Grab and Go case.

Patrons of the restaurant (55 table seats, five bar seats, three chef’s bar seats) are encouraged to visit City Wine before or shortly after ordering their meal. Before diners reach the exit, items from the menu (soon to undergo an autumnal makeover) are available for purchase from store shelves. Currently, Saturday’s brunch crowd might walk out with the housemade toasted quinoa granola as well as the Maple Hill Creamery yogurt it’s served with. Add your own choice of fresh fruit, and the City Table experience can be duplicated at home on Sunday.

Foragers is located at 300 W. 22nd St. (btw. Eighth & Ninth Avenues). City Grocer is open daily, 7am-10pm. Table: Mon.-Fri., 6pm-11pm; Sat. & Sun. brunch, 10:30am-2pm and dinner from 6pm-10pm. Wine: Mon.-Sat., 2pm-11pm; Sun., 2pm-9pm. For more info, call 212-243-8888 or visit foragerscitygrocer.com.


Foragers uses every effort to source our goods from local, sustainable farms, promoting freshness, originality and health.


Hudson Valley Fresh Cooperative (Hudson Valley, NY)

Highlawn Farms (Lee, MA)



Foragers Farm (Canaan, NY)

The Golden Egg (Chatham, NY)

Raven & Boar (East Chatham, NY)

Climbing Tree Farm (Berlin, NY)

Kinderhook Farm (Valatie, NY)



Kress Family (Hudson, NY)

Old Chatham Sheepherders (Old Chatham, NY)

Nettle Meadow (Warrensburg, NY)

Spring Brook (Reading, VT)

Grafton Village (Grafton, VT)

Lazy Lady (Westfield, VT)

Maple Hill Creamery (Little Falls, NY)



Sir William Farm (Hillsdale, NY)

Arcadian Pastures (Sloansville, NY)

Kinderhook Farm (Valatie, NY)

Climbing Tree Farm (Berlin, NY)

Crystal Valley Farm (Corning, NY)

Yates Farm (Brownsville, VT)



Foragers Farm (Canaan, NY)

Fingerlakes Farm (Ithaca, NY)

Bloominghill Farm (Blooming Grove, NY)

Satur Farms (Cutchogue, NY)

Whickam Farms (Penfield, NY)

Faurot Farms (Royal Oaks, CA)

Berlins Best Hydroponics (Berlin, NY)

Signal Hill Farms (Sharon Springs, NY)



Long Island Vodka (Baiting Hollow, NY)

Van Brunt Stillhouse (Brooklyn, NY)

Tuthilltown Spirits (Gardner, NY)

Breuckelen Distillery (Brooklyn, NY)

Fingerlakes Distilling (Burdett, NY)