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Favorite Specialty Food Store

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Ahh, the gourmet food wars: Zabar's vs. Citarella's; Grace's vs. A & V's, etc. In your opinions, what are the best markets in the city? Also, which foods in the respective places are truly outstanding? Thanks for the tips!

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  1. Despana--for the samples alone!

    1. I too like the smaller, country-specific stores: Despana for Spanish cheeses and other products, Sunrise Mart for Japanese food, and a big market in Chinatown (don't remember the name)for Chinese food. I also love Murray's Cheese Shop.

      --Sarah
      http://www.avenuefood.com

      1. Of course, depends on the specialty....

        DiPalo's in Chinatown for Italian/cheese; my newest find, at Essex St. Mkt., Saxelby's; Coach Farms at Greenmarket, and the Yaphank grower of organic salad greens at the Greenmarket; Moore Bros. on 20th and Bway for wine....the list could just keep expanding....happy hunting.

        1. here's where I go to buy things:

          Zabar's for the fresh-baked ruggelach and the leftover smoked salmon ends and the glatt kosher chicken broth (so good!)
          Citarella for fish and organic whole chickens
          Jefferson Market for Moulard duck breasts (much thicker than Pekin)
          Garden of Eden for giant bargan jars of Maille mustard, and a good salami selection, and rare(ish) tropical fruits
          Manhattan Fruit Exchange for baby vegetables and wild mushrooms (but feel the mushrooms to make sure they're still moist) and red-tipped butter lettuce
          Dean & Deluca for guanciale
          Whole Foods for their bargain 365 brand and some great goat cheese, and good prices on nice beers
          Murray's Cheese for everything
          The Lobster Place for a good deal on smoked salmon, and great fish
          Quattro Farms for duck legs
          Epicerie (in Fort Greene) for incredible hanger steak, pork chops, and Toulouse sausage and boudin noir
          Fairway for the prices, including Plugra butter
          Florence for meat

          1. This is a great thread on great Manhattan shops: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/348770

            1. My choices would be:
              Citarella for fresh fish
              Zabar's for coffee, smoked fish and cheese
              Lobel's for fresh meat
              Viniero's for fabulous desserts
              Farmer's market for produce

              1. Raffetto's for their pastas and sauces (144 West Houston St.).

                http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/10/mag...