Certain foods have more nuances than others, and for this reason, specialty food stores sort through all possible variants to find a specific taste. There is more to cheese and salt that meets the eye. Different regions produce different variations of the very same product, which make them taste incredibly distinct. Here, we list the top ten specialty food stores in Lower Manhattan that will help you better identify your favorite foods.
At Murray’s, you can find almost anything that goes well with a glass of wine – cheese, meat, nuts, olives, breads, spreads, chocolate and more. Located on the west side of busy Bleecker street, come down over the weekend when there is always a street fair and live music. Enjoy one of their famous melts, take an in-house class on a specialty food or just stop by for one their delicious samples of the food pairing of the month.
Originally set up in Queens in 1971, Despaña added another location in 2006 in Soho to spread the word about their signature Spanish food. They used to serve only the food industry but have now, thankfully, opened up to the general public. Their store has an eat-in café as well as a retail shop. They serve fresh tortillas, tapas, wine, chocolate and other fine foods as well as hold weekly tastings and events.
Since 1914, generations of the Russ family have made Russ & Daughers an institution. Known for having the highest quality smoked fish and caviar, this shop and café know how to make a bagel and lox the right way – with extra cream cheese and only the freshest fish. As one of the last standing ‘appetizing shops‘, this is a must see in the historic Lower East Side.
Everything you thought you knew about Japanese food will change once you visit Sunrise Mart. The shelves of green tea snacks and variations on wasabi mayo will keep you intrigued, and the prices are hard to beat too. They also have fresh sushi, sashimi, bento boxes and soup with a few tables by the window where you can watch the rest of Soho walk by as they completely miss out on this gem of a store.
Sunrise Mart, 494 Broome Street, New York City, NY, +1 212 219 0033
It’s hard for any New Yorker not to know Amy’s Bread, but just in case you missed the memo, Amy’s knows how to do bread. The café has seating where you can enjoy one of their delicious homemade pastries with a coffee or just pass by to get a loaf of traditional hearth-baked bread with infusions like rosemary and sage. Their specials vary from month to month, and their dinner rolls are out of this world.
Amy’s Bread, 250 Bleecker Street, New York City, NY, +1 212 675 7802