The Best Of New York City’s Specialty Store Scene
New York City is home to some of the country’s truly great specialty stores. And though there are more than enough unmissable new restaurants and boutiques to keep you busy while visiting, there’s nothing quite like vying for samples at Murray’s, product testing at C.O. Bigelow or getting a caviar primer at Russ & Daughters to help you shop like a local. Here are some of our favorite ways to bring the ‘I Heart NYC’ classics home.
You can count on a steady throng of black and white cookie enthusiasts (present company included) at this Upper West Side landmark, and Zabar’s is always worth the wait. Masters of both the bagel nosh and the sweets spread, their overnight ‘Don’t Be Homesick’ crate or ‘Zabar’s Is New York’ box will ensure your spot on someone’s Nice List.
MURRAY’S CHEESE SHOP
Our last visit to this Greenwich Village cheese chapel took place on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Despite the ‘let’s meet for drinks al fresco’ weather, Murray’s was packed, a testament to its inviting, adventurous appeal. This is a food lovers’ idea of a good time, with plenty of cheeses and charcuterie to sample, and plenty more specialty items to peruse. Their vast stock is available for shipping to your door.
RUSS & DAUGHTERS
A friendly staff mans impeccable displays at this ‘appetizing store’, making a trip to Russ & Daughters akin to a kind of food education. Caviar neophytes are gently steered in the right direction, and the varietals of famous whipped cream cheese – lox, horseradish, even the impossibly good plain – are the best anywhere.
This New York beauty institution showcases a preeminent edit of beloved brands, but the house line of straightforward salves and moisturizing balms is the real star. We tend to find a new favorite each time we visit.
Known for its smoked fish (as well as the last time we actually had to write a check!), Barney Greengrass is a comfortingly antique New York tradition. The paper-thin Nova, the matzo ball soup, the sour pickles – it’s a place for all those most sacred of delicatessen traditions to come together.
SAKS FIFTH AVENUE
Having occupied a city block on one of the city’s most iconic streets for nearly a century, Saks is a different kind of specialty store, and nothing beats a visit to the original. We especially love that they have introduced us to local NYC brands we wouldn’t have otherwise discovered.
Any friend of Ina Garten’s is someone we want to know, and we’re certainly glad to finally be acquainted with the Parisian-style breads and baked goods that she has raved about for years. Having grown up in the Zabar’s empire, you’d imagine that Eli Zabar’s establishments would be expressions of the highest quality ingredients. And you’d be right.
Get It To Go…
ZABAR’S MEDIUM ROAST COFFEE
NEW YORK GOODIES BOX
ZABAR’S COFFEE MUGS
LA VIE EN FROMAGE
CHEESE OF THE MONTH CLUB
MARVIS WHITENING TOOTHPASTE
LEMON SUGAR SCRUB
MY FAVORITE LIP BALM
ONE DOZEN BIALYS
KISS FROM THE SEA CAVIAR PACKAGE
KILLER CREAM CHEESE
REAL NEW YORK BAGELS
EASTERN NOVA SALMON
CLASSIC NEW YORK PICKLES
ELI ZABAR SNACKS
BOND NO. 9 SAKS FIFTH AVE. CANDLE