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May 1, 2014 02:19 PM

Where should I buy food 'souvenirs' in NYC?


I have 24 hours to buy as many delicious items to take back to San Diego as possible, where should I go and what should I buy?

I used to live in Park Slope and trained at the FCI but that was 4 yrs ago so my knowledge is out of date. I will be heading to Park Slope for definite, and am staying by Central Park, so the whole of Manhattan is a possibility.

My list so far: Dominique Ansel, Jacques Torres, Levain bakery cookies, Chelsea Market, pickles from Brklyn Larder and bagels.

What am I missing and where would you shop? Thanks for your help....


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  1. I sometimes bring a jar of NYC honey back to family (I pick it up at Andrew's Honey in the Union Square Greenmarket). Actually the Greenmarket is a good place to buy a lot of NYC food souvenirs (jams, pickles, wine, cider, sometimes beer or horseradish although I don't think either of those things are currently available).

    I'd probably also go to Russ & Daughters if you have time.

    2 Replies
    1. re: katzimmer

      Thanks! I haven't been to Russ & Daughters but have heard about it so I will check it out.....

      1. re: foodiefavorite

        Russ and Daughters bears of one the many faces of the godhead (and now I hear they have a cafe next door!)

    2. Be careful how you pack the levain cookies and anything from dominique ansel
      I would skip jaques torres unless you're buying the wicked hot chocolate mix to make at home, visit kee's for great chocolates.

      - breads bakery near union square for a chocolate babka

      - ees a bagel or pick a bagel for bagels
      - i always stop for nuts from the hot nuts street vendors, people either love them or hate them though.
      This thread has more ideas too:

      1 Reply
      1. re: Ttrockwood

        thx. I love the chocolate cheerios at Torres but Kees is also great.

        I don't have a favorite bagel place so those names are much appreciated

      2. It is also to helpful know if you will have a cooler and/or if you plan to be checking a bag.

        What is your tolerance for bringing home liquids in checked luggage?

        Be careful with honey, jams, jellies, etc. when going through the TSA security check. Also be careful with strongly scented bagels. Both carry on and checked...

        Here is a list of items that I posted in another thread, with the most perishable items removed. The babka will probably keep for a little bit, like the black and white cookies, but not for too long. Bagels will probably not last longer than the day of the flight. If you do bring them, put them into a ziploc bag, try to remove all the air, and freeze immediately upon arrival. And don't get the stinkier ones!

        - Green's babka (sold at Zabar's and at 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

        - Buttercrunch from Roni-Sue's

        - Salsa from the Brooklyn Salsa Company

        - 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 as well as the black truffle (!) ones

        - Handmade candy bars from Liddabit

        - 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 on what days. I like Fridays.

        - William J. Greenberg Black and White cookies

        - A bottle of Fox's U-Bet with instructions on how to make an egg cream

        - 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

        - Breuckelen Distilling Company's gin, Fire Island Beer Company or Brooklyn Brewery beer, or some local NY State or Long Island wines

        - Kings County Distillery bourbon

        - I think some of the vendors at the Brooklyn Flea & Smorgasburg have items that are prepackaged

        - A copy of Edible Manhattan, Brooklyn, and/or Queens

        You might also find some cool stuff at Madison Square Eats, which opens tomorrow:

        4 Replies
        1. re: kathryn

're the best, thanks so much! I picked up Eileen's cheesecake too for old times sake! Definitely going to have to check a bag now and totally fine with taking liquids.....

          Food in San Diego is very average so I need to take as much back as possible!

          1. re: foodiefavorite

            Just to build on Kathryn's excellent suggestions, I'd say definitely black-and-white cookies (you can get a value box at Fairway, and they'll keep for several days) and if we're extending this to liquor, then Brooklyn-based Greenhook Ginsmiths sells one of the finest gins anywhere for about $32 per bottle (available at most wine shops). And yes, the Jacques Torres spicy hot chocolate is nuts.

            1. re: JeffOverley

              Greenhook gin is one of the finest examples of gin I've tasted. Very balanced.

            2. re: foodiefavorite

              Since you're going to San Diego, have you ever eaten at that "New York-style" Chinese restaurant in the Gaslamp district?