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favorite places to forage

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Hey all:

I was looking to find out what some of you think are the best places to forage for food in this fair city. I pretty much spend every Saturday early morning looking for the best, cheapest or most random things I can find. But I'm always looking for new mainstays, so please feel free to share your NYC secret spots. (Or not-so-secret anymore.)

Categories: Wine, Bread, Cheese, Normal Grocery, Produce, Spices, Butcher, Fishmonger, Outer-borough

Mine?
1. Wine--The Wine Shop on Bedford in W'burg. Those guys know their stuff.
2. Bread--Good question. I like Amy's, I like the bakery on Metropolitan near my house. But I don't have a favorite.
3. Cheese--Bedford Cheese?
4. Grocery--Fairway, Harlem (but never on a weekend)
4. Produce--Lately, the Union Square Famers Market.
5. Spices--Kalustyan
6.Outer Borough--Patel Bros. (Jackson Heights)
7. Butcher -- I don't have one!
8. Fishmonger -- Again, I am without!

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  1. I love going to Di Palo for cheese, prosciutto and various Italian food products - and good that you want to go early, because the lines can get long. I think they open at 9am.

    I don't go that often, but for your butcher request - Ottomanelli's on Bleecker. It's near both Murray's Cheese and the Lobster Place as well. Another good butcher in that area is the Florence Market on Jones Street.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MMRuth

      ooh nice. I'll have to run over to that butcher ASAP. Thanks.

    2. For Spices and Cheese - don't forget the Essex street market. The cheese shop there is wonderful. The spices are great. Produce varies in quality but it is full of unusual choices.

      1. I agree about Patel Bros in JAckson Hts for spices and Indian groceries-- it's amazing to go in there! and about half the price of Kalustyan's as well.

        Esposito's Pork Store on 9th and 38th is a wonderful butcher-- old-school, they really know their stuff over there. And the prices are good too.
        Giovanni Esposito & Sons
        500 Ninth Ave., at 38th St 212-279-3298

        CHEESE--- don't forget East Village cheese-- 3rd ave and 9th st. possibly the best prices for cheese anywhere in the city. their selection isn't as extensive as Murray's, but you can't brealk the bank there either. I have found beautiful ripe époisses wheels there for $2.99!!! (usually $15)
        and raw milk manchego is usually around $7 /pound.

        I've a got a good fishmonger in chinatown on Grand and Chrystie, on the southwest corner-- although I wouldn't buy shrimp from them these days, due to the recent ban.
        Wild Edibles on 3rd Avenue and 32(?) street is wonderful. True gourmet/dayboat shop.

        I'm always on the hunt for good little specialty places. Good post!

        1. Not in one of your categories, but Despana is fantastic and now has a branch in the soho/chinatown area (408 Broome). I just returned from a semester abroad in Madrid, so I've been jonesing for things you really just can't find here in NY - marcona almonds, decent tortilla, a number of fantastic canned goods (peppers, tuna in oil, and I think I saw some gandules), cheese, and of course a few varieties of olive oil. There are samples set out everywhere for tasting and they've got a sandwich counter in the back that uses Sullivan St. Bakery bread. The staff are friendly and very helpful. Note that the pork products (jamon, chorizo, sobrasada, etc.) aren't imported - just made here in the US in the "style" of Spain and definitely not the same, but not too bad either. And that comforting smell of tortilla that hits you as soon as you walk in...ah, I've gotta make another trip soon.