Village Apothecary

Neighborhood: West Village
Type of Place: Accessories


By shopping at Apothecary (with aliases Village Apothecary and C.O. Bigelow Apothecary), you’ll be supporting a local favorite as opposed to shopping at monster pharmacies like Duane Reade and Rite Aid which are slowly but surely threatening to swallow NYC whole.

Apothecary is a downright good old-fashioned “pharmacy” that is so well revered, it’s a spot marked to visit on many walking tours of New York City. Here, you’ll receive personal, undivided attention and care, just like years ago when owners cared more about their customers than racking in bucks. Not only that, waking into Apothecary will actually make you feel like you've traveled back in time when the neighborhood chemist diagnosed sicknesses and prescribed natural remedies to kill the pain and lower the fever.

Founded by a doctor named Galen Hunter in 1838, this shop is touted as the oldest apothecary in the United States. You’ll get the antiquated feel when you spot the store’s original oak cabinets and Gothic-esque chandeliers that have been hanging from the ceiling since 1902. You’ll also feel the old-fashioned touch when the pharmacists treat you with some major TLC that you will definitely not receive under the blaring fluorescent lights at big chain stores. And when you’re downtrodden with the sniffles, cough and fever, the first thing you need is some one-on-one care which you are guaranteed to get at Apothecary. And for those to sick to make it to the shop – they deliver!

Forget long lines and slow script refills; Apothecary’s mission seems to get you back on your feet in no time. The stock at this shop is emphasized by its objective to get you well, so you will not find a massive stock, but instead a small array of candies and cosmetics. But the gist of this review is that visiting this store will have you thinking the counter people are standing by to mix up a magic potion that will take care of all your infirmities. Of course, that won’t happen, but the fantasy makes being sick somewhat bearable.

The pharmacy was the winner of the 2000 Legend of the Village award for outstanding community service, and has maintained that level of exceptional assistance to its customers ever since. While I cannot quote prices adequately being that costs vary according to insurance, I can say that their small collection of non-medication goods is fairly priced. Apothecary even has a motto: “The community pharmacy that cares.” To me, that’s indicative of a pharmacy well worth sticking around for a very long time. 

  - Janice Bevilacqua

Village Apothecary
346 Bleecker St
(10th St & Christopher St) 10014
(212) 807-7566