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The Best Independent Pharmacies in NYC

In New York when you need a drugstore, there is likely a big chain store on a nearby corner, which is fine for a magazine or bottle of water. However, you will probably be better served if you take your business to an independent pharmacy. For those waiting for a prescription to be filled, independents are almost always less crowded, meaning wait times are shorter. Independents offer services including free delivery to home or hotel; patient charge accounts; compounding; durable medical goods like crutches and wheelchair rentals (not all, so check); and medication counseling. Most independent drug stores are smaller than big chain stores so you aren't left wandering endless aisles searching for what you need. There is usually a higher staff-to-customer ratio which translates into more personalized care. Service isn't limited by corporate oversight, too, and money spent in an independent mostly stays in the community rather than going to headquarters elsewhere. Best of all, independent pharmacies treat you like a person with knowledgeable, friendly help. Read on for NYC's best independent pharmacies.

Independent Pharmacies NYC: Jaros Pharmacy

jaros pharmacy nyc

Jaros Pharmacy fills prescriptions, sells an array of itemsfrom greeting cards to women's hosieryand has a cosmetologist and nutritionist available Tuesdays through Sundays. Besides English, Jaros staff speaks Spanish, Hindu, Arabic, and Portuguese. They offer a full line of Skinceuticals, NeoStrata, Dr. Hauschka, Lucrece, and others, as well as perfumes, Mason Pearson hairbrushes, and cosmetics by NUXE, Caudalie, RevitaLash, Avène, StriVectin, Santa Maria Novella. You'll also find a full line of vitamins. 25 Central Park West, 212-247-8080, jarospharmacy.com

Independent Pharmacies NYC: Cedra Pharmacy

Cedra Pharmacy is a chic, smallish store with a makeup artist on-site six days a week. Cedra offers delivery and shipment, fills prescriptions, and sells Mason Pearson hairbrushes, hair and skincare products, and diabetes kits. A pricey concierge membership brings perks such as limo service to the doctor, someone to come in weekly to fill your pill box or take vital signs ,and other '"uptown" requests. 1207 Second Ave., 212-758-9614, cedrapharmacy.com

Independent Pharmacies NYC: New Drug Loft 

New Drug Loft is close to Lenox Hill Hospital and uptown hotels. Staff is exceptionally friendly and helpful. NDL, which is never crowded, does compounding for many conditions, and sells a good selection of beauty products, dietary supplements, and natural baby products. 1103 Lexington Ave., 212-879-0910, newdrugloft.com

Independent Pharmacies NYC: Carnegie Hill Pharmacy

carnegie hill pharmacy

Carnegie Hill Pharmacy, on Broadway between 54th and 55th Streets, is a haven for travelers. The pharmacy can translate foreign prescriptions and find the right over-the-counter product for people visiting from other countries. Carnegie Hill sells European and domestic beauty products such as the popular Elgydium toothbrush and offers lots of items in travel sizes. 1721 Broadway, 212-246-0020

Independent Pharmacies NYC: New London Pharmacy 

New London Pharmacy in Clinton does a big business in prescriptions as well as OTC remedies, beauty products, and fragrance. On Fridays during holiday season, staff dress in costume and there are often fun-filled special events. New London, opened in 1960, can help in eight languages It offers discounts to seniors and stylists and sells LVX nail treatments and Pickles Foot Ointment. 246 Eighth Ave., 212-243-4987, newlondonpharmacy.com

Independent Pharmacies NYC: Zitomer 

Zitomer has been described as a "pharmacy on steroids." The shop does its stuff capably, but the real fun is the enormous range of offerings from alternative healing products to kids' clothes to jewelry, hats, scarves, and hair accessories. Zittles, a toy boutique on the third floor, sells anything a little one could desire; there's even a section devoted to pet accessories. Buying toothpaste was never this entertaining. 969 Madison Ave., 212-737-5560, zitomer.com

About the Author

Mari S. Gold is a freelance writer whose work has been published in The New York Times, American Profile, Go Nomad, www.newyorkarts.com, Stratton Magazine, Go World Travel, and other outlets. A lifelong New Yorker and avid traveler, she also writes on food, theater, and other cultural events. Her blog, But I Digress…can be found at www.marigoldonline.net.

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