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Oct 11, 2010 08:58 PM

Shopping NYC for unique food items.

CH from Phoenix will be visiting NYC this week. Where do I go for unique food finds that I can bring back home? Union Square Farmer's Market, Chelsea Market, where else? What's good, what to avoid? I tend to search for gourmet items, jams, sauces, whatever I can't get at home. Thanks for your help Cooking Hounds.

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  1. The Union Square Greenmarket doesn't have that many prepared goods that will keep for a few days but I'd go to:

    Oak Grove for grains (and I think they have some interesting flours and pancake mix, as well as corn for popping)
    Catskill Merino for hand-dyed yarn
    3 Corner Field for wool, milk soap, hats, sweaters, sheepskins, etc.
    Honey from Berkshire Berries or Twin Spruce
    Jams from Berkshire Berries (he has unusual ones like garlic jam and pepper jam) or Beth's
    Deep Mountain's maple syrups
    Pickles from Rick's Picks
    Wines from Anthony Road, Buzzard Crest
    Hawthorne Valley Farm for granola

    Some of the produce stands will probably also have apple butter. And some of the stands also have kimchee -- there's one run by a Korean family and another by an Amish (?) fellow.

    In addition to to the Union Square Greenmarket, I'd go to Despana (Spanish goods store), an Italian goods store (there's one in Chelsea Market called Buon Italia or you could go to Di Palo or Eataly), Kalustyan's (huge spice selection), Katz's (they will vacuum seal you pastrami if you tell them you are traveling).

    You can also get additional brands of local pickles from Whole Foods or Murray's Cheese, to name a few. Look for Brooklyn Brine Co. and McClure's.

    As for chocolates, some of our local chocolatiers are great but don't travel especially well. Try Kee's (if you're careful it should be OK just don't get the creme brulee) or Bespoke.

    Can you get Stumptown coffee beans in Phoenix? They recently opened a roasting plant here (they're well known in the Pacific Northwest).

    NYC food gifts that travel well:

    Local NYC gift ideas?

    BTW, I highly recommend RGR's self guided Lower East Side Gustatory tour but sub in Pickle Guys for Guss' Pickles:

    Best foodie shopping:

    Union Square Greenmarket advice

    Murray's Cheese
    254 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

    123 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016

    Union Square Greenmarket
    Broadway and E 17th St, New York, NY 10003

    Pickle Guys
    49 Essex St, New York, NY 10002

    408 Broome St, New York, NY 10013

    Buon Italia
    75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

    Rick's Picks
    195 Chrystie St, New York, NY 10002

    18 W 29th Street, New York, NY 10001

    200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

    1 Reply
    1. re: kathryn

      Thank you Kathryn. Just what I was looking for and more.