When you first walk through the door, the aroma of fresh spices and Mediterranean cooking envelops your senses and draws you into the bustling atmosphere of this iconic Middle Eastern grocery store. With bins of fine grains and exquisite spices, bulk containers of imported olives, nuts, and dried fruits, old fashioned barrels of coffee beans and the simple ticket dispenser from which customers must “take a number” during crowded times – this feels like an old-world place – and it is. Sahadi’s has been doing business in Brooklyn for over 65 years with the original Sahadi’s established in Manhattan in 1898.
Originally from Lebanon, the family opened Sahadi’s on Atlantic Avenue in 1948. Business continues to thrive, with customers filtering in from all boroughs. “Here you’ll find ethnic items that you would not find in the average grocery store,” says Charlie Sahadi. His family works with him at the store which is now three generations strong.
Today the store anchors a historic Middle Eastern commercial enclave that flourishes along Atlantic Avenue between Court and Clinton Streets. This shopping district endures where there are no Middle Eastern residents to speak of. The appeal of Sahadi’s is, and always will be, the quality of their food. From the gourmet chef, to the adventurous home “experimenter”, you will be sure to find the perfect ingredients on Sahadi’s brimming shelves. Grains, beans, spices and many multinational varieties of olive oils and cheese abound. For those seeking a takeout gourmet meal, over thirty specialty dishes are proudly prepared daily.
Over 200 bulk bins are filled with many different varieties of nuts, dried fruits, candy, grains and over 30 different olives in our olive bar.
As Charlie Sahadi says, “I can sell you five ounces of peanuts or a fifty pound bag“. Because the store is a wholesaler and a distributor as well as a retailer, the prices are very moderate compared to other similar stores. Remember though, that Sahadi’s range and quality is not exactly a state secret, so you’ll have to “take that number” during the weeks before Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other big food holidays. The consistently helpful and cheerful staff will always answer your questions and let you taste an olive or try a piece of cheese as you wait.
Sahadi’s features a full line of specialty cheeses from around the world including farmhouse cheddar, a multitude of blues, Swiss and soft ripened, as well as five types of Feta. We have many holiday favorites and regional specialties with a service case for our ethnic line. On any given day, Sahadi’s has on hand over 200 varieties including some Lebanese and Syrian cheeses you’re not likely to find anywhere else in town. Our cheese department also encompasses smoked fish products, frozen and refrigerated pastas and a full line of pates and sausages.
Sahadi’s carries dozens of different types of Olive Oil from all around the world.
Packaged Specialty Foods and Ethnic Items
Sahadi’s carries a huge selection of high quality specialty foods. We carry a wonderful assortment of spices, pickles, mustards, spreads, pastas and sauces, biscuits and candies, and many other specialty lines from around the world.
There’s cricri, exotic herbs like sumac and mahlab (made from the inside of cherry pits and used to flavor the Syrian string cheese), and mloukhiyeh (a forbidding spinach-like vegetable used in soups and gravies). There’s Afghan bread as big as a pillow case and Turkish delight studded with pistachios. There is a full line of Middle Eastern products of course, as well as products from all over the globe.
Sahadi’s carries a full line of fresh roasted coffee beans ranging from the everyday French Roast or Breakfast Blend to the exotic Kona or Blue Mountain style beans. Whether regular or decaffeinated, we serve up the whole bean or ground to your specification. There is also a coffee bar where they serve the flavor of the day – hot or cold – for your drinking pleasure.
Prepared Foods and Catering
Sahadi’s offers a full line of specialty dishes prepared fresh daily. These items include various grilled chicken dishes and pasta dishes, amazing humus, baba ghanoush and tabbouleh, and also what experts (us, actually) believe to be the best kibbeh (ground lamb with pine nuts and spices) in New York. We also offer savory filled pastries and a full line of healthy grain and vegetable salads. We have approximately 30 dishes daily and our menu changing seasonally. We do party platters and catering for anything from cocktails to full holiday dinners for pick up.
So the next time you are in our area, be sure to stop in and do a little shopping. Whether it’s just to say “Hi!” to Charlie Sahadi – he is always manning the floor making the customers feel welcomed and cared for – or to get some ingredients for that special dinner you are making for the in-laws – or to get an excellent meal for yourself to eat – make sure to come on in and experience all that Sahadi’s has to offer. See you soon!