The below Food merchants, restaurant and specialty stores are all must-try locations in and around Manhattan. Each of these businesses have a unique element and top of the line product(s) that your life won’t be fulfilled until you have tried!
1) Chelsea Market: Gourmet Market Mall. 75 9th Av @ 15th… A must visit!!! 20 or so different gourmet food stores. Bakeries, butchers, Italian specialty stores, ice cream, pastry, seafood and more. You can spend hours here!
2) S’Mac: Mac N Cheese. 345 E 12th @ 1st-2nd Av; All they serve in Macaroni and Cheese; Served about 15 different ways with a multitude of toppings; Done in hot skillets; So yummy. Just an incredible hangover place or for lunch with friends. It is pure fun.
3) Sable’s Smoked Fish: Smoked Fish. 1489 2nd @ 77th; Amazing Lox; Bagels; Coffee; Salmon; Lobster Salad; Salmon, sturgeon; Caviar; Bagel & Lox sandwiches to die for; Friendliest service. They also have an impossibly good array of salads including crab & lobster.
4) Casa Della Mozzarella: Cheese. 604 187th @ Arthur; Bronx; Italy in NYC; Cheese haven; Pasta; Welcome to Perfection. Simply the best fresh Mozzarella in the country; Also, amazing sliced meats & large selection.
5) DiPalo Dairy: Cheese. 200 Grand @ Mott; #1 for quality in NYC; Dirt cheap; Free nibbles. Cheese!!! Absolute MUST. Fresh Mozz; Incredible ricotta; Parmigiano; Pastas; Olive Oil; The Jesus of Cheese.
6) Mamoun’s Falafel: Middle East. 119 MacDougal @ Minetta; The best damn falafel in the city; Known as a late-night haunt; Perfect for lunch or walking with on the street; Tasty beyond belief. Wildly popular.
7) Luke’s Lobster: Lobster Rolls. Multiple locations: 93 E 7th @ 1st Av; 242 E 81st @ 2nd Av; 26 S William @ Beaver; 426 Amsterdam @ 80th; Expanding empire due to the fact they have the BEST lobster rolls on earth. Delicious in every way. Also have shrimp or crab rolls and soups.
8) Pomme Frites: French Fries. 128 MacDougal @ W 3rd; Several dozen different varieties of Belgian style fries; Lots of different dipping sauces; They even have Quebec’s Poutine. Must-try spot in East Village.
9) Lioni’s: Sandwiches. 7803 15th Av @ 79th; Bensonhurst, Brooklyn; Literally hundreds of different types of massively stacked subs and heros to choose from; Freshest Mozz used in sandwiches from Lioni’s.
10) Calabria Pork Store: Butcher. 2338 Arthur Av @ 187th; Bronx; Endless selection of sausages and salamis; Fresh Mozz & various Italian goods. Swine heaven.
11) Kalustyan’s: Spices. 123 Lex @ 28th; Best place in NYC for middle eastern & Indian spices. Huge selection. Of Breads; Coffees & Teas; Dried fruits; Massive variety. Naan. Rice. Mind-boggling choices.
12) Zabar’s: Major Gourmet Market. 2245 Broadway @ 80th; #1 rated Gourmet Market; The Standard; Lox, cheese, meats, breads; Cookware dept; Cheese Counter amazing;
13) Ippudo: Ramen Soup. 65 4th Ave @ 9-10th St; Home of perfect ramen noodles done many ways; Noodle heaven; Best not to venture from this menu item; Long waits as it is extremely popular; Inexpensive goodness; 2,717 reviews on Yelp – most I’ve ever seen and 90% are 4 or 5 stars;
14) Il Laboratorio del Gelato: Ice Cream. 95 Orchard @ Broome; #1 in City for Ice Cream. MUST try. Awesome. Fantastic, imaginative flavors and simply freshest ingredients.
15) Eataly: Major Gourmet Market. 200 5th Ave @ 23rd; Everything Italian; Pastas, Coffees, Meats, Cheese, prepared foods. Also several sit-down cafes and places to eat. Mario Batali inspired.
16) Borgatti’s Ravioli: Italian. 632 E 187th @ Belmont; Bronx; #1 rated fresh pasta & filled pasta. Mouthwatering Ravioli- cheese, meat, combos. Jewel; Best ever in genre;
17) Myers of Keswick: English Foods. 634 Hudson @ Horatio-Jane; British gourmet store. Teas; Bangers; Cheeses; Finally, a British/ UK specialty store; Anglophile heaven.
18) Sahadi: Mid Eastern. 187 Atlantic Av @ Clinton – Court; Brooklyn; Hugely rated, dirt cheap. Has everything. Mid- eastern gold mine; Bazaar like scene; Goodies hidden everywhere. Prepared foods.
19) Teitel Brothers: Italian. 2372 Arthur Av @ 186th; Bronx; Imported foods from Italy; Fabulous cheeses, Olive Oils; Sausages; Friendly staff; Solid all round.
20) Grandaisy Bakery: Bakery. 176 72nd @ Amsterdam; f/k/a Sullivan St Bakery; Italian bakery that makes perfect loaves of bread; All types of baked goods; Pizzas; Paninis.