By Veronique Deblois
With its rich diversity, the New York/New Jersey metro region abounds with exclusive specialty-food shops to satisfy even the most discerning shoppers. Here is a list of must-haves.
200 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
Daily 10:00 am – 11:00 pm
Eataly is a 50,000-square-foot Italian market with restaurants; cheese, butcher and seafood counters; bakeries; a gelato shop and much more. It’s the ultimate shopping experience where customers can grab a glass of wine from one of the restaurants, stop by the seafood counter for a dozen oysters, and pick up housemade mozzarella, pristine fish and hard-to-find produce in a quick walk around.
171 Eagle Rock Avenue Roseland, NJ 07068
Monday-Friday, 7:00 am – 8:00 pm; Saturday, 8:00 am – 8:00 pm; Sunday, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Fairchilds Market, which opened as a local grocery store in 1927, has since morphed into one of the most popular artisanal and unique country markets in the region. Fairchilds encompasses a deli that serves signature sloppy joes, the Famous Cream of Mushroom Soup by the defunct Pals Cabin and other housemade gourmet sandwiches, soups, salads and burgers. Also available are craft beers, single-vineyard hard-to-find wines, and a variety of eclectic, unique gifts.
123 Lexington Avenue New York, NY 10016
Monday-Saturday, 10:00 am – 8:00 pm; Sunday and holidays, 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Begun in 1944 as a store selling Indian spices and foods, Kalustyan’s not only is the mecca of Indian food products but also offers difficult-to-find kitchen items from Australia, England, France, Germany and Greece. The two-story Aladdin’s Cave overflows with everything from premium imported feta cheese, curry spices, chutneys and jams to exotic grains, flour and rice.
254 Bleecker Street New York, NY 10017
Monday – Saturday 8:00 am – 9:00 pm; Sunday 9:00 am – 8:00 pm
Murray’s Cheese was founded in 1940 by Murray Greenberg, who modestly sold butter, eggs and cheeses. Although Murray’s has a location in Grand Central Station and mini shops in select grocery stores, the Greenwich Village store is the flagship and is now not only the premier cheese shop in New York but also a thriving online seller of cheeses, meats and specialty foods. Murray’s offers popular classes, has a cult following with its Murray’s Melts grilled cheese sandwiches and a cheese bar serving brunch, lunch and dinner.
1 Harrison Avenue, Little Silver, NJ 07739
Open Daily 9 am – 6 pm
Started more than 100 years ago by Harold Sickles, this market grew from a small family farm selling fruits and vegetables to the booming business it is today. With its floral department, butcher shop, bread counter, gift shop and gourmet market, Sickles is a one-stop shop. Three generations of family members are involved with the business and organize cooking and gardening classes, community charity events and various food, wine and flower tours locally and internationally.
14 Monmouth Street, Red Bank, NJ 07701
Monday – Thursday 11:00 am – 6:00 pm; Friday 11:00 am – 9:00 pm; Saturday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm; Sunday 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
The Cheese Cave is a boutique shop dedicated to offering the world’s greatest cheeses along with domestic and imported charcuterie. The knowledgeable team meticulously cuts each cheese by hand to be certain of its pristine quality. The popular venue offers daily blackboard sandwich specials and, on Fridays from 5:00-8:00 pm, hosts a culinary sampling of cheeses and specialty foods at a fee of $5 per person.
2245 Broadway, New York, NY 10024
Monday-Friday, 8:00 am – 7:30 pm; Saturday, 8:00 am – 8:00 pm; Sunday, 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Founded in 1934 by Louis Zabar as a smoked-fish shop, this renowned Upper West Side institution occupies a 20,000-square-foot space offering prepared kosher foods, cooking tools, cheeses, bakery items, deli foods, meals-to-go and much more. Zabar’s sells more than 8,000 pounds of coffee each week.
Images via Zabar’s Facebook, Murray’s Cheese Facebook and Sickles Market Facebook