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Jan 30, 2014 11:35 AM

Must-visit Food destinations?

Meeting up with c oliver and her husband next week in NYC. We're looking for spots, not necessarily restaurants that we shouldn't miss and might not be on our radars. Any food-related bookstores, gadget shops, markets, etc., that you think we should seek out?

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  1. Hmmm.... not sure if these are "shouldn't miss", but here are a few places I enjoy browsing.

    Broadway Panhandler, 8th st just west of Broadway
    Strand Books (12th st and Broadway) has lots of new and used cookbooks

    Upper West Side:
    Zabar's (80th st and Broadway) upstairs for a great selection of kitchen items

    Kam Man market on Canal St

    4 Replies
    1. re: iluvcookies

      Our friend's apt is at CPW and 101st so we try to never miss Zabar's

      Is that market you mention the one that has prepared food on the right, meat and fish on the left, frozen in the middle and seating in the back? If so, it's quite an amazing place :)

      1. re: c oliver

        The one you are thinking of is Deluxe--that has entrances on both Mott and Elizabeth sts, just north of Hester. That is a great place for a cheap lunch. Kam Man is on Canal st bet Mulberry and Mott.
        There is also New York Mart, a little further up on Mott, closer to Grand, on the east side of the street. This site has a little history--before it was New York Mart, it was the site of Genco's, the Corleone family olive oil business in "The Godfather". See this very cool link:

        1. re: c oliver

          Welcome to the City, c oliver and pikawicca! If you're going to Chinatown to go shopping, I'd skip Deluxe. That place has gotten just too nuts. I do more of my shopping at Hong Kong Supermarket or New York Mart which also has decent Chinese roast meat as well as a selection of cookware, mostly tabletop burners and clay pots.

          Xi'an Famous Foods also has a new location near your friend (Broadway and 102nd) so you might want to stop by for liang pi noodles or spicy and tingly beef noodle soup while you're in town. If you decide to visit my neck of the woods -- I live up the street from Kitchen Arts & Letters -- Lucy's Whey just opened a cheese shop that you might like. Schaller & Weber, the German wurst and cheesemonger, is also worth a visit.

          1. re: JungMann

            I mostly just walk through Deluxe the window shop but I did buy some baby octopus there a few years ago. Any recs from you are treasured :)

            Xi'an's new UWS location is definitely a must-do. I've read so much about it.

            Bob and I are going to be there from the 5th to the 16th but pika's only going to be with us for 3 of those days :( If you're interested in meeting (Lucy's Whey and S&W sound super) up, my email's in my profile.

            Glad she started this thread and I know that it will be fun and useful for other CHs. Thanks.

      2. Kitchen Arts and Letters is a terrific bookshop on Lexington Ave. between 93rd and 94th St.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Elisa515

          Really amazing store and helpful staff

        2. Some of the best food markets include:

          Chelsea Market - south end of the Chelsea/near the Meatpacking District,
          Essex Street Market - Lower East Side
          Despana - Soho/Nolita
          Union Sq Greenmarket - Union Square, M/W/F/Sat ONLY
          Kalustyan's - Murray Hill
          Murray's Cheese - West Village and also in Grand Central Terminal
          Russ & Daughters - LES
          Di Palo - Little Italy
          Eataly - Flatron

          For Eataly try to visit on a weekday. Mornings are best. The layout has a lot of bottlenecks so please be aware of locals who are just trying to get some grocery shopping done. :) Thanks.

          Chelsea Market can be nuts too on the weekend, especially around lunch. BYO bag if shopping at Manhattan Fruit Exchange. And use the facilities elsewhere--there's about one restroom for 100 people.

          Note also: Kalustyan's offers a 5% discount if your purchase is $10.00-$49.99 and you pay cash. They bump it up to a 10% discount if your purchase is $50.00 or over and you pay cash. Good if you're planning to stock up on some spices.

          You can also check who is at the Union Sq Greenmarket using this link:

          Also, for a unique NY experience, I highly recommend RGR's self guided Lower East Side Gustatory tour but sub in Pickle Guys for Guss' Pickles and note that Economy Candy's address is incorrect:

          Don't do this tour on a Saturday as some places may be closed.

          Also note that Smorgasburg has moved indoors for the winter:

          1. JB Prince on e31st sells professional kitchen equiptment, gadgets, pans, etc

            1. I have a soft spot for Japanese kitchen supplies -the elegance suffusing the utility (which I suppose defines most good kitchen stuff, OK) really attracts me.

              There are two places in Manhattan:
    , in Tribeca; it has the widest selection, although the vibe is a little formal for me,


              MTC Kitchen
    , in Midtown around the corner from my office; a little mellower, and also filled with beautiful things.

              (Please post a picture of c oliver eating something, so we'll recognise your charming host.)

              12 Replies
              1. re: Phil Ogelos

                I think Ms. Pikawicca is going to cost us some money by posing this question :)

                1. re: c oliver

                  Nobody ever claimed this town was cheap!

                  1. re: Phil Ogelos

                    I'm like a kid in a candy store in NYC and environs!

                  2. re: c oliver

                    I've been saving. So many great-sounding places!

                    1. re: pikawicca

                      p, The Strand was the bookstore I'd been to not KA&L. Any tips for navigating either or both?

                      And we have to leave room in the suitcases for a couple of dozen bagels which I then wrap and freeze!

                      1. re: c oliver

                        Last month I brought home 12 everyseed bagels from Essabagel for my son. My suitcase still reeks. Febreeze will be brought to bear this weekend.

                        1. re: c oliver

                          How about a cheap tote bag or duffel instead? Something collapsible... And ziplock bags?

                          1. re: kathryn

                            Yeah, I carry on the bagels. We get ours from Absolute cause it's closest to our friends' apt. And, of course, eat a couple walking back!

                          2. re: c oliver

                            Kitchen arts and letters is much much smaller and more organized- the Strand has new and used books, can be more of a hide and seek situation. Both are great resources, just very different.

                            1. re: c oliver

                              Kitchen Arts and Letters is in one room--nice sized one, but nothing like the Strand. There are current and out-of-print books. Have a wonderful time browsing and talking with the staff.

                              They'll ship stuff to you if that's an issue.

                              1. re: c oliver

                                The Strand is really meant to be browsed and wandered. That's how you have the serendipitous stumble upon, that title you didn't know you wanted to read, until you did.

                                1. re: Skippy1414

                                  I was hoping you'd post! I'd forgotten your screen name. I'll email. Sorry about that.