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favorite cookware store?

where's you're favorite place to shop for your tools? Williams-Sonoma? Macy's? small speciality stores (my favorite Japanese knife shop is the Tokyo Fish Market in Berkeley!). Do you go to certain places for certain things? Just curious, because, i do SO much shopping online... but cookware I really like to pick up and feel and talk to someone about.

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  1. "Cookin'" in SF she always knows how to put down your meal of choice ("whattaya wanta cook THAT for? nobody makes that anymore") and then steer you to the exact right utensil/dish.


    8 Replies
    1. re: hill food

      LOVE THAT SHOP! you're right - it's always worth a trip

      1. re: rmarisco

        Hey, rmarisco:

        You want a laugh? Read the Yelp reviews of Cookin' sometime. What a hoot.


        1. re: kaleokahu

          hey kaleokahu - thanks for that link idea, all the good and the bad comments fit TO A 'T'! so mahalo for that. it never occurred to me to look in on other's experiences.

          yeah she's a raging crank but if you go in with some oddball request like "I'm trying to make 'oeufs ala neige' (sp?)" and after the customary scoffing she'll go digging through the piles and find EXACTLY what you need. yeah you will need to wash before using but I'd do that with anything.

          I say the world could use more of this.

      2. re: hill food

        Never heard of it. Where is it please?

        1. re: c oliver

          On Divisadero between Oak and Page.

          1. re: kaleokahu

            yup - West side of the street kind of across from the car wash and Phuket Thai, near where Country Cheese used to be.

            1. re: hill food

              Thanks, hf. I've noticed it a gazillion times driving home to Noe Valley but never noticed the name.

      3. I kind of like online shopping even for cookware. For real stores, I suppose I like a local kitchen supply store. I go in there whenever I am in the area. Next to that, probably Bed Bath and Beyond. I have been to Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table a few times and bought items from there, but I don't got there that often.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          FORGOT BB&B! I can only go in there quickly - the potpourri they have by the doors gags me. I have to run in, grab whatever i'm looking for, and make a dash for the registers! But, they do have a lot of stuff! just not the kind of store i can wander in.

          Our local cookware store went out of business - i have to go to the city now to shop for cookware. I suspect they couldn't compete with WS. Our town just isn't big enough to support a high end retailer like that (how many knives can you really sell in a day? gotta pay the rent somehow...) Really loved them though..

          1. re: rmarisco

            <the potpourri they have by the doors gags me>

            Sometime, they do have those, don't they? And they can be very strong. Most of the time, I actually do not see them.

            My local BB&B is just so close to HomeGoods and TJMaxx and other stores that I can stop by all of them in one sitting, which is nice. Come to think of it, I have not bought that many things from BB&B, but I do walk around there more often than other kitchen stores.

            <Our town just isn't big enough to support a high end retailer like that >

            It is tough to compete with Sur La Table and Williams Sonoma too.

            1. re: rmarisco

              After years of throwing away expired/unused BB&B coupons, I just found out that the store near me, anyways, will still accept 'em. So, just last week, I used 4 coupons, all expired, and saved a bundle. Plus, had to special order something and ran into a glitch on line (the on-line order wanted to charge shipping, too). I called the 800 number, placed the order, the operator honored the coupon plus added free shipping. I'm becoming a BB&B fan. Just a thought.

              1. re: pine time

                BBB has a new policy, with the advent of mobile/printed coupons. They won't honor those after the expiration date. Coupons that arrive via snail mail or newspaper are, as always, good forever.

                Our store had a grace period, but they're now being sticklers about it. YMMV.

                1. re: DuffyH

                  Yep, that's my current experience also.

          2. There is a store in Fredericksburg called Die K├╝chenladen that I love to poke around in. I miss what W-S and SLT used to be, but they still have some neat stuff. Online I like Bridge, Fantes, and Prince, but Dehillerin seems to have more of the things I dream about.

            1 Reply
            1. re: tim irvine

              i knew of none of these online retailers! I know what i'm doing this morning!!!

            2. I buy knives, food mill, ladles, etc, at a local restaurant supply house. Next favorite is Tj Maxx for All Clad and Calphalon.

              1. Hi, rmarisco: "...cookware I really like to pick up and feel and talk to someone about."

                Ain't that the truth?

                IMO, there are only two truly great cookware stores in the Western world: Fantes in Philadelphia and E. Dehillerin in Paris.

                Honorable Mentions (this can be attitude more than inventory): The Peppercorn in Boulder, CO; Bridge Kitchenware (now in NJ), City Kitchens in Seattle (R.I.P.).

                Just my opinion and experience.


                12 Replies
                1. re: kaleokahu

                  is Dehillerin the one that's near the Bourse?

                  if it is I LIKED the basement.

                  1. re: hill food

                    I was in Paris this summer and made a special trip to E. Dehillerin. As I was talking to one of the gentlemen there, I mentioned that I worked for a well-known US competitor, which he found quite amusingand regaled me with stories his interactions with founder. But, they did give me a professional discount and a bench-scraper with their address. 18 rue Coquilliere. 75001 Paris. And I agree, the basement was amazing!


                    1. re: missybean

                      any size/shape bain-marie or ramekin you could want!

                      1. re: hill food

                        And that impulse-buy 800L stockpot.

                        1. re: hill food

                          I spent way too much time trying to convert euros to dollars, and figuring out how prices compared to how much things cost after my discount. Almost ended up with Staub crepe pan but I was too close to my luggage weight limit. It would not have been a good deal if I had to pay a surcharge.

                          I ended up with several tasting spoons, small knives, snail plates, and those wooden T's used to spread crepe batter. I haven't used any of it yet but I smile every time I open a drawer or cabinet.

                          What about all the copper?

                          1. re: missybean

                            Hi, Missy:

                            I would have filled a container. A substantial discount on one duck press would have made up for the luggage penalty.

                            Can I come with you next time?


                    2. re: kaleokahu

                      sounds like it's worth the trip to philly!

                      1. re: kaleokahu

                        Have you been to Mora on rue MontMartre about a block away from E. DeHillerin? I find them much better organized, cleaner, and based on the items I was looking at, better priced. Selection wise it leans more towards baking but they do have a fantastic selection of cookware as well.

                        I do miss City Kitchens quite a bit. Always found something I had to have.

                        1. re: DiggyK

                          No, I haven't been to Mora, but I once owned a Mora copper stockpot that was a full FIVE millimeters thick. I've never again (or before) seen such thickness. I could never determine whether it was purveyed by Mora in Paris or made by Mora in Sweden. Do you know?

                          1. re: kaleokahu

                            I didn't notice any self-branded cookware at Mora so sorry, can't help you there. The copper cookware I saw on display was mostly modern Mauviel, tinned and stainless, m150 and M250. Broad selection and excellent prices though compared to the US.

                        2. re: kaleokahu

                          I second the mention of Peppercorn in Boulder, CO. A fun store to explore, but doesn't really compete with good kitchen supply stores in most cities.

                          1. re: kaleokahu

                            Much to my dismay, I live about an hour and a half outside of Philly and have never been to Fantes. I knew of it, I've checked out their online store, keep saying I'm going to take a ride into the city to check it out - but I've somehow just never got around to making it there.

                          2. I do a lot online, and then I also like going to a local restaurant supply store. TJMaxx/HomeGoods is hit or miss but I've gotten some nice things.

                            There's also a store in Fort Collins, CO called The Cupboard that's fun. It sells a lot of the same stuff as Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table but it's just more fun to shop through a locally owned store.

                            1. Love Granada Gourmet in Ormond Beach Fl. Like a miniature WS.

                              1. Nothing local beats SLT, which is a full hour away, for selection. I seldom buy there, but their in stock selection of cookware cannot be beat. They stock most of the brands on their website, making it a great place to handle and compare pan to pan.

                                For purchasing, I usually rely on Amazon. They seldom let me down, and my Prime membership is paid-for many times over each year.

                                1. I would be hard pressed to have just one or two favorites. In the US, I like Fantes and CutleryandMore.com for online shopping. I love the Amish store, Lehmans - so many cool items there. In Paris, my favorite store was in St. Germaine-en-Laye; a small mom and pop store that had wonderful cookware and gadgets. I also like CulinaryCookware.com for the Matfer Bourgeat selection.

                                  1. Der Kuchen Laden in Fredericksburg, Texas is an amazing place. They have evenything, and a stock of hand crafted wooden tools and serving pieces. Competitive prices, and great service.


                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Coachheights

                                      Their site just seems to link to cooking.com for shopping.

                                      1. re: kaleokahu

                                        That is too bad. I have been there several times and found some unusual things: a hot pad that is about eight inches across and thirty inches long with slide-in pockets at either end, whisks like little tied birch twig brooms, every imaginable size of Mason Cash bowl (back when they were made in England), an oval ceramic baking dish with a pig snout and ears on the end, odd copper pieces (not a recurring offering as new, heavy tinned copper seems to be harder to find). The personality of the store seems like a disconnect with cooking.com. I hope this is not an indicator DKL is changing.

                                    2. I have found some absolutely wonderful things over the years at Home Goods, Marshalls & TJ Maxx - things that I had on my list of wants but just didn't want to pay WS prices for (like the Bialetti pizza blade below - bought mine at Marshalls for under $4 - at the time I bought mine, WS was selling it for $18.) I've also purchased a lot of beautiful ceramic and stoneware baking dishes and serving pieces at these stores, and I like that I can actually find stuff NOT made in China....


                                      1. I shop EVERYWHERE. From restaurant supply to BB&B to WS and SLT and also online. My kitchen is bursting at the seams (and so is a big closet in my basement) and yet there's always something else I can use. Two stores in New York that I haven't seen mentioned here - Broadway Panhandler and Korin. They both have websites as well. Oh, and I can spend hours upon hours going through the chefknivestogo website.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: sherrib

                                          I'm so glad you mentioned Broadway Panhandler. It's not the largest kitchenware store in NYC, or the least expensive, but the selection is great, the prices are reasonable, and it's an independent shop owned and staffed by friendly, knowledgeable people who really want to please their customers.

                                        2. I've worked in the housewares and table top business for about 40 years. I am retired now. I have worked in independently owned and corporate stores. Buyer, sales manager and clerk. I prefer independently owned stores. One can be more flexible with customers and filling their needs instead of someone in a distant office deciding what you are going to sell when they have never been in the store or city and does not know your customers and what their needs are.

                                          I do go to Sur La Table, I think of it as a store for serious cooks. Most often anymore I buy from Amazon. I know what I want and need and am well acquainted with most brands to know what I want.

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: Candy

                                            thanks for mentioning sur la table candy. i USED to go in there, but our "local" SLT is a bit on the small side, and I always feel claustrophobic going into that location. I've been to other SLT's and been fine, but I rarely get to other locations so never think about them. Good stuff though!

                                            1. re: rmarisco

                                              My first SLT visit was to the original in Seattle at Pike Place Market. I still love to stroll through it. Rarely buy anything cause it seems I have everything I want but it's always a great walk through.

                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                Just don't ask any of the staff about anything that isn't actually in the stores in front of them.

                                              2. re: rmarisco

                                                I sympathize. My local WS is about half the size of most, and carries a very small selection. In cookware, they've got their Thermo-Clad line, AC d5, 2 LC ovens, 1 DeBuyer MB frypan and 1 cast iron wok. That's it.

                                                I drive to a small-ish SLT that's an hour away, but crammed full of almost everything they carry. Despite it's small size, I'm usually there an hour, minimum. So much to see!

                                                1. re: DuffyH

                                                  Their Seattle store is pretty much like that. It's a long, narrow space and it's filled to the rafters. Fun to wander around, trying not to knock anything over :) I usually hit it after lunch (with wine, of course) at Matt's in the Market.

                                            2. My favorite cookware store is gone now -- the Kitchen Bazaar on Connecticut Avenue in Washington DC. Spent many a pleasurable hour there in the mid-1970s learning and yearning (and quite a few dollars, almost all worthwhile).

                                              1. I am surprised no one has mentioned Southern Season over in Chapel Hill, NC. Wonderful pots/pans, some decent cutlery, and a very good deli coutner. I also like teh emphasis on NC products (sauces, tableware).


                                                I also loved going to the restaurant supply shop in Boston's Chinatown. We bought wonderful stainless steel serving dishes that have been used over and over.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: Westy

                                                  Love that place but have not been there in 12 years.

                                                  1. re: Westy

                                                    Hi, Westy:

                                                    I was really looking forward to checking SS out. What a strange website! Do they not sell all they offer on line? The reason I ask is that It looks like they are selling only SIX cookware items on line. http://www.southernseason.com/shop/ho...

                                                    What am I missing?


                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                      Wow. That is a pretty lame site. The store has extensive Staub, Curtis Stone, and other brands. They also have a good number of knives, etc.
                                                      The deli area has a few different types of smoked fish (sable, for instance), interestesting sausages....

                                                      There is also a large Vietri display (as well as other US/European makers). great stuff. They also offer very cool cooking classes and demonstrations.