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Food/Shopping to haul back on the plane!

Greetings. I am coming to NYC for a couple days at the end of the week. Been a few years since my last visit. My question for those of you privledged to live in the greatest city on earth (IMO) - if you no longer lived there - what food/items would you haul back with you on the plane? Obviously - they have to be somewhat non-perishable for travel. I'll have my cooler bag and I pack agressively. I haul wine from all over the place in my bag as well as other items.

For instance - when I travel to SF - I always get cheese from Cowgirl Creamery (Mt. Tam for those that care), Chocolate from Recchiuti (Ginger Heart Squares are literally the best chocolate I've ever had and I don't care much for Chocolate). When I hit Philly I get Marinara from Tuluttos.

I already plan to hit Eately as Italy itself is our favorite international destination and the food scene in Denver (where I now live) is a bit lacking.

Thank you in advance for any advice. I'd love to someday form a list like this. When in this city - hit these places to eat and buy these items and haul them because you can only get them here....



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  1. Beef Jerky or Zhongzi/Joongs from Chinatown.

    2 Replies
    1. re: fourunder

      Never had it but sounds great. Can you describe it?

        1. re: gutsofsteel

          Some of the best Pastrami I've ever had. Do they package this for hauling?

          1. re: jsnyder262

            Unfortunately they don't vac pac anymore but I haul a a big unsliced cold chunk (which they will sell you) every year to Europe. I wrap it in foil., then plastic, then double bag in freezer bags....never had a problem.

        2. A chocolate babka from the place in the Seinfeld episode

          1 Reply
          1. re: redfish62

            Along with that, a marble rye and black & white cookies (ebony & ivory)...

          2. Hard-to-find spices & seasonings from the superb Kalustyan's, one of the best food stores in the city. Filled with all manner of exotic ingredients, super nice help, located in "Little India."


            123 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016

            1. 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

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

              Pickle Guys
              49 Essex St, New York, NY 10002

              1. - Smoked salmon and bagels from Russ & Daughters
                - A jar of pickles from Brooklyn Brine Co., Rick's Picks, or McClure's Pickles - all available at Murray's Cheeses and other stores around town
                - A small box of filled chocolates from Kee's or Bespoke Chocolates - call for availability
                - Salsa from the Brooklyn Salsa Company - available at the Brooklyn Flea's Gifted market
                - A bar or two of chocolates from Mast Brothers - they have a shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and are sold at Whole Foods as well as Murray's, I like the olive oil/sea salt ones
                - Handmade candy bars from Liddabit - available at the Brooklyn Flea market
                - NYC honey from Andrew's Local Honey, which is grown on various rooftop hives throughout the city - available at various Greenmarkets
                - Also at the Greenmarket: 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., Jams from Berkshire Berries (he has unusual ones like garlic jam and pepper jam) or Beth's, Deep Mountain's maple syrups, Wines from Anthony Road, Buzzard Crest, Hawthorne Valley Farm for granola. Some farmers may still have apple butter, and/or kimchi. Check GrowNYC for who'll be at the Union Square Greenmarket this Wednesday.
                - Some pastrami from Katz's with instructions on how to reheat, perhaps a salami as well, and a loaf of rye from Moishe's
                - William J. Greenberg Black and White cookies and babka
                - A bottle of Fox's U-Bet with instructions on how to make an egg cream
                - Junior's, Two Little Red Hens, or Eileen's cheesecake
                - Some jams from Sarabeth's bakery
                - Hot chocolate mix from Jacques Torres or MarieBelle
                - A pound of coffee beans from Gimme! Coffee, Ninth Street Espresso, Abraco, maybe Stumptown which didn't originate in NYC but is very popular in NYC now
                - Breuckelen Distilling Company's gin, Fire Island Beer Company or Brooklyn Brewery beer, or some local NY State or Long Island wines
                - Cookies from Levain Bakery (chocolate chip) or Momofuku Milk Bar (chocolate, cornflake-marshmallow)
                - Momofuku Milk Bar pies and cookies, which cost a lot to ship
                - Pretzel croissants from City Bakery
                - Pretzels from Sigmund Pretzel Shop
                - A copy of Edible Manhattan, Brooklyn, and/or Queens

                Russ & Daughters
                179 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

                Jacques Torres
                350 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

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

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

                Two Little Red Hens
                1652 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028

                City Bakery
                3 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011

                Ninth Street Espresso
                700 E 9th St, New York, NY 10009

                86 E 7th St, New York, NY 10003

                Levain Bakery
                167 W 74th St, New York, NY 10023

                484 Broome St, New York, NY 10013

                Gimme! Coffee
                228 Mott St, New York, NY 10012

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

                Bespoke Chocolates
                6 Extra Pl, New York, NY 10003

                18 W 29th Street, New York, NY 10001

                Sigmund Pretzel Shop
                29 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009

                Momofuku Milk Bar
                15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

                1. H&H Bagels; Belly lox from Zabar's; Sturgeon from Barney Greengrass; Corned beef & pastrami from Second Ave Deli. EATALY is good, of course, but you have to be selective: Great chocolates from Piedmont there and great dried pasta from the south. If you have room, beef from Lobel's...

                  Barney Greengrass
                  541 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

                  H&H Bagels
                  639 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036

                  1. I would take up all the space in my bags with bagels and pastrami. Bagels from Ess-a-bagel (I think H&H are too sweet) and pastrami from Katz's. I'd also consider black and white cookies but i'm not sure how well they keep.

                    1. All of you are overachievers and leave me something to strive for. Thanks for all the great replys. I am in town for an interview and really only have from 3pm on one afternoon/evening. I am going to do my best to stimulate the manhattan economy and do some big boy eating and hauling. Thanks so much for all the advice. I am trying to prioritize my stops now!

                      1. Anything you want in NYC can be mail ordered-except for some Chinatown meats.
                        But if I was going to do it, it would simply be soft stinky spanish cheese from Murray's, nova lox from R&D, bagels from Ess-a-bagel and pastrami from Katz's.
                        You dont want to be "that guy" that smells like salmon on the plane LOL!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: AdamD

                          Thanks Adam. I actually can't stand Salmon. I am a foodie - but have never really enjoyed it. So - I will just have to settle for smelling like a pastrami!

                        2. Instead of wasting your money at Eataly, go to DiPalo's on Grand Street for authentic Italian products such as imported pasta, proscuitto, pancetta and wonderful Italian cheeses. Also bring back tuna fish in olive oil, and porcini mushrooms. Do it up grand, and also bring back a lobster tail from Ferrara's. Good luck with your shopping!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: TravellingFoodie

                            You know - I just rewatched the Best Thing episode last evening with the Lobster Tail in it from Ferraras. That definately just went to the top of my list. So are you saying Eataly is not that great? Can you provide some thoughts? Was going to hit DiPalo's as well. Thx.

                            200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                            1. re: jsnyder262

                              I'm glad the Lobster tail is appealing to you. It's wonderful. I visited Eataly in mid November and feel that DiPalo's is much better for prices. I have bought from DiPalo's for years and they have excellent service and are very caring. Eataly is an enormous food hall and was overpriced with items like Barilla, which I can get in a local supermarket, and also their proscuitto was $5 per pound higher than DiPalo's. DiPalo's has items from every region of Italy and has excellent prices. If you need a special type of olive oil or balsamic vinegar, they have it. They have a special brand of dried imported pasta called Spinosi, which is absolutely wonderful. It is made with 8-10 eggs per kilo, so it is extremely rich and flavorful. They have a lot of prepared foods, also, along with a great variety of cheeses, all at great prices. You can go just to DiPalo's and get everything you need. If you are curious about Eataly, go for it. It's worth a stop for comparison purposes. Good luck and report back on what you bought.