The Market Basket: Morton vs. Westside

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As the effects of the recession sink in, your dollars become even more valuable. “The Market Basket” will save you the time of remembering where to get the best bang for your buck. We start with a simple question: Morton or Westside?

Ah, the perennial question: convenience or Neil Diamond? Today, we take another look at a debate that may never end: which supermarket should you frequent? Instead of rehashing the obvious (Westside has the cheerful employees and iffy Flex, and Morton has the across-the-street-ness and no Flex). Well kids, why not take a page from Lit Hum and go back to the source text: how much stuff costs.

Desperate to get to the bottom of which supermarket sucks more/less, we picked six items you probably buy at one of the two stores: beer, cereal, coffee, instant soup, milk, and ice cream and compared prices. See the results after the jump.


 Morton Williams

 Westside Market

 Six-pack of Corona Extra



 Pint of Ben & Jerry’s



 Box of Special K



 Half-gallon of

Organic Valley 1% milk



 Cup Noodles

 69 cents

 89 cents

 Chock Full O’ Nuts Coffee



And there you have it: score 5-1 to Westside, winning on every count except, ironically, the cheapest item we compared: instant soup. So if you’re in a pinch like we all are, best to head to 110th, where the Jackson 5 will be waiting to welcome you home.


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  1. Westside  

    sooooooooo much better than Suck-ton Williams

  2. yea

    morton williams is rather overpriced and the selection rather sucks. westside is pretty nice but still pricey. fairway can't be beat in terms of price and selection.

  3. FairWAYYYYYYYY~!!!!!  


  4. DHI  

    Corona is really shitty and overpriced beer whether it is 10.99 or 9.99. By pointing this out before other commenters I have now gained credibility or "cred."

  5. this  

    is a ridiculous study. i know bwog isn't claiming it's at all rigorous or statistically sound but it's just so misleading. also i love fairway but i hesitate to give it the unadulterated praise it often gets. some items, especially produce, can be pricier than westside and in a pinch westside's selection is not so bad. Fairway is however the best for meat, dairy, cereal, beer, etc. (i.e. the "market basket")

  6. there never has

    Nor will there ever be a good argument for mortons over westide.

  7. Anonymous  

    When I first arrived at M'side Heights I did M-W all the time (well, for a week or so...) until found Westside and realized that I did not have to put up with the long lines at M-W, the nasty cashiers and the unhelpful staff. The data on prices just vindicates my personal two-year long boycott of M-W. Thanks!

    • the good ole days...  

      Ah, you youngsters. I remember well the dark days before Westside opened, when the choice was MW or Dagg. Those were hard times.

      • and i  

        remember the even older days when the previous incarnation of westside was there.
        also, don't forget garden of eden. granted, it'll probably lose most price wars but they stock a lot of quality brands, especially in the organic/health food/all natural/etc vein. and pretty good quality produce too

  8. mortons  

    Morton Williams consistently has slow checkout service and incompetent employees. Geographical convenience is its only selling point.

    Remember the cost of the subway if you go to Fairway!

    • but sometimes  

      incompetent employee is a good thing - last semester thanks to one such employee who apparently can't figure out a way to scan a six-pack, I got 18 cans of soda for the price of one - try beat that, westside!
      (no, it doesn't happen every time. What a pity.)

  9. OMG  

    what a duh article.

  10. you should  

    do comparisons to others including fairway and fresh direct...

  11. Go on an adventure  

    to Trader Joe's every couple of weekends. So worth it.

  12. wow!

    amen to ditto, at least some people aren't sissies at this school...do the comparison to fairway and westside

  13. For Beer

    Go to the shady distributed on the corner by Fairway. Don't know if it's still open, but it's pretty cheap and let's just say there's no sales tax.

    If you want REALLY cheap beer in party proportions, 207th and 9th Ave. One block from the 1 train. 30's of all cheap beers for ~$12 including deposit and tax. Less than $10 per 30 rack of the real cheap stuff.

  14. Ohhh  

    Whole Foods! Yes, it's from Texas. Yes, it's pretty bourgeois. Yes, the closest location is Columbus Circle.

    But, it has such an extensive selection of everything, and is so well organized!

  15. The thing about Westside  

    is that because it is/is supposed to be "better," it is always more crowded, and with the tiny aisles and sometimes really complex salad orders you have to wait for, that makes going there a really unpleasant experience sometimes.

  16. ...  

    What about prices for those of us that actually cook? Most things DO tend to be cheaper at Westside, but meat can often be better at Morton.

  17. Mmmm

    I remember the old days at MW...one day I bought a container of half and half which I didnt know was leaking. Sat it down on the belt and failed to notice the puddle it was making. The heavy-set cashier made this disgusted sound and yelled something along the lines of "look what you did!!" to which I rashly replied "why don't you go fuck yourself dumbass." I think that may have been the angriest I have been at someone in a year or two...place needs to just shut down.

  18. careening off topic  

    Fairway wins or as an alternative maybe one of the cheap hispanic centered supermarkets up at 137th. Yummy eggo waffles and all that delicious crap you forget about in the gourmet halls of Westside and Fairway. But going up there requires a commitment of time and effort that isn't really worth it unless you're buying decent volumes of stuff.

    Now to veer dangerously off-topic. The MW customer service reminds me so much of the our own bookstore, where any attempt at getting the store to provide a service (such as refunding something in cash) is met with utmost disdain. Also I get followed around in there because apparently I really want to steal post it notes and stuff. Am I the only one?

    • Anonymous  

      You're not off topic at all really -- customer service in the area does leave something to be desired but still no one is as overtly horrible than Morton Williams. I have never had such rude and dismissive (not to mention SLOW) service in my life. Even during the ice and snow storms this season I walked much farther to go to Wesstside than shop at the infamous-but-convenient MW. (Do you think they are even aware of the problem????)

  19. in FACT  

    you should instead go to Trader Joe's. Cause it's cheapest and organicalicious. The line is really long, bring some book.

  20. yes  

    Westside isn't across-the-board cheaper than Morton's; it depends on what you're buying (5 items isn't a statistically significant, or even intuitively useful sample at all). Tortilla bread is about a dollar cheaper at Morton's and hummus is cheaper too. Morton's has weekly sales (FACT: THEY HIDE THE FLYERS BEHIND THE ATM) and Westside has none. Milk was cheaper at Morton's for like a year until this week when Westside lowered theirs to 2.19 (zomg). In sum, buy stuff from the flyer, and compare more prices, and you can save time+money by shopping at Morton's.

  21. the employees  

    at both westside and morton williams are really really rude... especially the cashiers. it wouldn't hurt to smile once in a while!

  22. Mo-Will  

    ever notice the receipts still say "Welcome Class of 2011"=day late and dollar short

  23. sadsdsadsa  

    You wouldn't be smiling if you had a full time job at a supermarket

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