It’s hard to beat the convenience of a one-stop supermarket like a Whole Foods or Fairway, where everything is under one roof. But when I have the time I like to visit independant speciality shops that stock the variety of products and flavors from you just can’t find anywhere else.
The stalls of Chelsea Market and Essex Street Market are obvious go-tos. But my hands-down favorite place to bop from shop to shop is the stretch of Bleecker Street between 6th Ave and 7th Ave.
Welcome to the flavorhood – the single best block in New York City for buying a delicious variety of ingredients for you next home-cooked meal.
You really can’t go wrong with any of the specialty shops in the area, but if you want to know my personal recs:
- Close your mouth so you dont drool all over your keyboard
- Read on
Me and carbs – we go waaaay back. So it makes perfect sense for Amy’s Bread to be our first stop in the flavorhood. As described here, Amy’s is “a beloved NYC bakery that features handmade crusty breads, morning pastries, unique sandwiches, healthy salads, decadent sweets and more. Everything made by hand, with care and the freshest quality ingredients.” Maybe you’ve seen one of their outposts but never bothered to stop in. If you haven’t yet visited one of their locations, do yourself a favor and take a short detour to find one. One bite of their crusty bread and you will thank you.
You can’t have bread without cheese, and the variety at Murray’s Cheese just can’t be beat. And don’t let the name fool you – they stock their shelves with much more than just dairy. Inside you’ll find a smorgasbord of handmade pasta, artisanal crackers, compotes, and condiments, not to mention enough cold cuts to make them a one-stop charcuterie shop. Murray’s has a couple of other locations that you can find here, but for my money and taste buds (and yes, a bit of nostalgia) nothing beats the original location on Bleecker Street.
Faicco’s Italian Market
Now it’s time for the main course. Remy Haber knows where to go – he sings the praises of Faicco’s here, “Faicco’s is first and foremost a butcher shop known for its house-made sausages, but its inventory is full of all the ingredients you’d need to fashion an authentic Italian feast, from cans of San Marzano tomatoes and imported burrata to prosciutto bread and prepared foods like arancini rice balls and baked ziti.” A true New york original, Faicco’s has been around for over a century. They opened their storefront in 1900 and moved to Bleecker street in 1940s, where they’ve been ever since.
Pro tip: If you get peckish while you shop – you can pick up a killer sandwich here to keep you going.
Oliviers & Co
No meal is complete without the fixings. For top-shelf flavored oils and some best-in-class balsamics I recommend a stop at Oliviers. They’ve got everything you need to hit your flavors out of the park. Their products also make really nice gifts (next time you’re flailing around for something other than flowers to bring on Mother’s Day, keep this in mind). They constantly update and add to their selections, so there’s always something new, and they offer a ton of gluten-free options.
About the only thing missing from our little shopping spree is fresh veggies. I tend to shop elsewhere for produce, but in a pinch there’s a Gourmet Garage conveniently located 5 minutes north on 7th Ave. There are actually tons of quality produce markets and seasonal farmers markets I can tell you about, but that my friends is a blog post for another day.