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Polish G. I. Delicatessen
Mon-Fri, 7am-7pm; Sat, 7am-6pm; Sun, closed
Nearby Subway Stops
6 at Astor Pl.
Polish G. I. Delicatessen is among a disappearing breed of Eastern European specialty-food stores that were once common in the East Village. The initials stand for its sunny owner, Grace Iwuc, who has steadfastly provisioned loyal locals since 1996. The front window is packed with locally baked Polish-style breads, and the narrow but deep space is stocked floor to ceiling with a variety of instant soups, bags of roasted buckwheat, jars of sauerkraut and marinated sweet peppers, and jams imported from Poland. There is also an excellent selection of beautifully packaged cookies, cakes, and candy. The real action is in the back, with its refrigerated cases of whole smoked whitefish, salmon, and caviar, and an array of meats like kielbasa, Westphalian ham, double-smoked bacon, and duck pâté. The homemade prepared foods are uniformly top-notch and authentic. The bigos, a hunter’s stew of long-cooked sauerkraut, kielbasa, bacon, pork, and prunes, is hearty, tangy, and a touch sweet. Exemplary potato pierogies are enriched with farmer cheese and savory onions; their doughy exteriors are delicate.