HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Are you making a specialty food? Share your adventure

Do You Buy Food Online?

Jamesthebutler Feb 19, 2013 06:27 PM

Have you found a site that you really like? What do you typically buy? Staples to make a meal or specialty items?

I'm looking for a great site to buy fresh vegetables, protein, and other good food from top quality producers and total transparency.

  1. YAYME Jan 10, 2014 03:23 PM

    Yep, I go to igourmet.com for cheeses and specialty items.
    kalustyan's for spices I can't get around here.
    And once I went to d'artagnan for exotic meats.
    Also I really love The grand cellar for booze.

    Also I go to the mother of all online shopping sites Amazon.com for dehyrated corn to turn into 'corn powder'

    1. jpr54_1 Jan 10, 2014 03:12 PM

      I have purchased from several online sources-
      no problems with meat, cheese, spices,tea, and beans.

      my only with ordering is the price of shipping

      1. p
        Phoebe Feb 22, 2013 09:19 AM

        I live in area where quality/specialty food products are sometimes hard to find and have to rely on mailorder frequently. Forget about veggies. Costs for shipping $$$ and quality of product suffer. Here are the tried and trues I use:

        dartagnan.com Duck, wild boar, sausages etc Top quality
        & great customer service. Currently have FREE s&h in Feb for $100 or more orders.

        igourmet.com I've ordered mostly cheese, but they have
        everything. Great customer service.

        murrayscheese.com Quality cheeses and charcuterie

        pennmac.com Cheese, deli meats, spices, sauces, a little bit of everything.

        penzeys.com Spices

        amazon.com Everything

        sees.com Chocolates and other candies. Delicious!!!

        1. HillJ Feb 22, 2013 05:45 AM

          In winter citrus fruits from FL is def. better and cheaper shipped to me than the grocery stores offerings. So I buy all sorts of oranges and grapefruits.
          But other items I buy in bulk and after the first order work out an annual buy discount for the year. That would include products like dried apricots, vanilla beans, spices, cheese, nuts, chocolate, baking essentials, specialty jarred foods.
          Specialty items I'm only going to need once or twice a year I try to source locally. Usually NOT paying s/h makes the item a better buy locally.
          I have never bought meats or fresh vegetables online. Like others responding here, in that case I like to see what I'm buying. I still find shopping at a farmer's market, local farmer, ethnic market and box store like Costco work out better over online purchases.

          Unless your local access to food is poor or you just don't have the time to shop, I consider online food shopping as either the only way to get my hands on a very special purchase, or because doing so is a better value than local.

          1. grampart Feb 22, 2013 04:49 AM

            Cheese, cured meats, oil, vinegar from iGourmet. Fresh meat, dried mushrooms from MarxFoods. Produce? Never have.

            1. m
              mpjmph Feb 22, 2013 04:18 AM

              I've been thinking about it... I'm planning to go back to school in the fall, and it's looking increasingly like I'm going to move to a more urban area than I'm used to and end up getting rid of my car. The apartment I'm eyeing is very close to a meat/produce market, so I'll be good for fresh foods. The apartment is a little too far from any store that would be reasonable for staples and non-perishables (not going to buy flour at 7-11!), but it is within the grocery delivery area for the closest supermarket. I will happily order things online pay a few extra dollars for a monthly delivery of staples. I'm also looking at products available through amazon.

              1. h
                Harters Feb 22, 2013 03:50 AM

                I buy most of my meat online The butchery is fine - a problem I've found with some other online meat suppliers. The farm on which the animals are raised does supply direct but I buy through a local company which can also supply a wide range of organic products (although I've not really used them much for this)

                1. Bacardi1 Feb 20, 2013 12:49 PM

                  Produce? No. Meat & seafood? Yes. Just off the top of my head, here are some of my favorites:

                  Have purchased seasoned steamed Blue-Claw Crabs from these folks. Good quality, packaging, shipping. Delicious.


                  Have been buying smoked meat & poultry products from Burgers for decades now - long before the internet. Quality product; customer service is exemplary.


                  Use Crawfords for specialty Czech sausages.


                  Purchase very frequently from D'Artagnans. Pate, turkey, sausages, pheasant, Guinea Fowl, ducks, etc. Excellent quality, fast shipping, prompt customer service.


                  I also frequently buy cheeses online - particularly ones I have difficulty finding locally. "igourmet" is a favorite:


                  And I've enjoyed caviar several times from "The Gourmet Food Store":


                  1. m
                    Maximilien Feb 20, 2013 12:24 PM


                    I'm lucky to live in a city with tons of good stores, and if I do not find it in the store, then I do not need it.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Maximilien
                      mrbigshotno.1 Feb 22, 2013 03:59 AM

                      You are very lucky! 3/4 of the year I live in a state pretty much void of these things.

                    2. Perilagu Khan Feb 20, 2013 09:23 AM

                      Spices and peppers at myspicesage.com.

                      Specialty pastas from pastacheese.com.

                      Hot sauces from Hot Shots Distributing.

                      1. j
                        John Francis Feb 20, 2013 06:21 AM

                        No. I want to see what I buy before I buy it.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: John Francis
                          John Francis Feb 22, 2013 12:06 AM

                          Actually, I've ordered a few herbs and spices from Penzey's since they closed their store in my city. I guess I don't think of that as "food."

                        2. Chemicalkinetics Feb 19, 2013 10:06 PM

                          <I'm looking for a great site to buy fresh vegetables, protein, and other good food from top quality producers and total transparency.>

                          For fresh vegetables or proteins, my answer is a no. First, I don't see how shipping vegetables or meats to my residence is the freshest route. Second, I like to inspect my vegetables and meats before buying. Recently, I started a survey, in which I have stated that I like to look at my produces before I make up my mind about my meal. In other words, the produces dictate my cooking.


                          I do buy special candies and stuffs online -- those British candies and drinks.

                          1. s
                            sedimental Feb 19, 2013 09:03 PM

                            All the time. I buy from a variety of specialty sites - and I purchase a lot at amazon, they have the Prime program with free shipping. Really great deals when you know you need certain items all the time. I buy everything from healthy crackers to 00 flour from Italy, to specialty roasted coffee, to rose water.
                            Saves a ton of time and money.

                            1. jw615 Feb 19, 2013 08:25 PM

                              I can't imagine I would buy produce or protein online - I'm super picky about these things and like to look at the exact veggies or piece of meat that I'm going to buy.

                              DH tried to pick us up steaks at the store a couple of weeks ago when I was sick. I tried to describe my method for picking the best ones, but afterwards, we decided that I'm the only one who buys steaks in this family anymore.

                              I live in a decent sized city, so I can get most of what I need as long as I'm willing to visit multiple stores. I do buy a few things online, but mostly specialty products that are hard to find because of my multiple food allergies - I could do without them, but it's a nice treat.

                              1. s
                                sandylc Feb 19, 2013 07:38 PM

                                Cacao Barry Extra Brute.

                                1. s
                                  seattle_lee Feb 19, 2013 07:38 PM

                                  I never buy fresh food online (or even cheese), but I've bought tons of mustard, hot sauce, olive oil, dried beans*, capers, tea, etc. Oh, and tons and tons of wine.

                                  *Rancho Gordo. There is no substitute.

                                  1. hotoynoodle Feb 19, 2013 07:03 PM

                                    i've bought coconut oil from amazon and meats from us wellness, but have since found a local farmer who will sell me grass-fed beef much more cheaply.

                                    i can't see the point in buying produce on-line -- rather than fresh and in-season.

                                    1. MidwesternerTT Feb 19, 2013 06:44 PM

                                      Specialty items - vanilla beans, dried cherries, specialty chocolates.

                                      I use the online sites from my local grocery stores to check price / availability, but then shop in person to select fresh veggies, meat, etc.

                                      Show Hidden Posts