Top Five Specialty Food Shops
Whether you’re an investment banker pressed for time, an NYU student too lazy to actually venture around the corner, or an out of towner simply overwhelmed by New York’s vast multitude of cuisine, I’m sure you can share the following experience: You walk into the deli across the street, the one you’ve been going to every day since you started working/going to college /living with your girlfriend’s Mom, and are greeted with a familiar smile and confident assertion of the order you haven’t yet placed.
“Turkey on rye?” Pedro the Deli Guy will ask, “Toasted? Yellow mustard?”
If you can share my experience, if the counter staff at your local sandwich shop is beginning to think your name is “Cheeseburger, please,” it’s time to put down that BLT (extra bacon, hold the mayo) and check out some more exciting options.
1. Australian Homemade
Australia: Hot accents and delicious ice cream? What more could a girl want? There aren’t enough tasty adjectives to describe the consistency of a scoop of Australian Homemade. All of the ice cream is made on the premises, and placed in carefully regulated coolers that keep the ice cream rich and smooth. If you’re looking to take some home, they also sell pre-packaged pints. With all natural ingredients and flavors like Crunchy Macadamia with Caramel, you’ll want to stock your freezer up ‘till next summer.
115 St. Marks Place
2. Rice to Riches
Rocky Road, French Toast, Cheesecake, Oh My! Just three of the twenty or so flavors offered at this specialty rice pudding shop, Rice to Riches is a sweet tooth’s dream. Decorated in uber modern décor and serving snappy, colorful bowls and utensils, this East Village dessert shop promises to please all the senses.
Rice to Riches
37 Spring Street
3. Mandler’s: The Original Sausage and Co.
With eleven different types of sausage, twelve different toppings, and sides like zucchini fries and hash brown rollers, Mandler’s Sauage and Co. manages to cater to meat lovers, vegetarians, those keeping Kosher, and even the rare adventurer interested in trying his or her first meat Fondu. If sausage isn’t a particular favorite of yours, go for the t-shirts, all of which bear the company’s slogan, “Ours is 9 ½ inches.”
Mandler’s: The Original Sausage and Co.
26 East 17th St
4. Peanut Butter and Co.
The first time I heard about a cafe that only served dishes made with peanut butter, I was sure I was being lied to. Well, that friendship ended long ago, but fortunately the café does exist, and it’s located on a quiet corner of Sullivan Street in Greenwich Village. Peanut Butter and Co manages to stretch its signature ingredient to delicious limits, offering plates like The Elvis (a grilled peanut butter sandwich stuffed with honey and bananas), Grilled Chicken with Spicy Peanut Butter and Pineapple Jam, and even a Peanut Butter BLT. If you’re looking for straight up PB, the jars come in six different flavors, my favorite being the White Chocolate Wonderful. The Dark Chocolate Dreams is good too. And let’s not forget Cinnamon Raisin Swirl, either.
Peanut Butter and Co.
240 Sullivan St
5. Hummus Place
Hummus Place offers a quiet, comfortable atmosphere with outdoor tables and a menu consisting of five items, three being the Mediterranean chickpea dish it derives its name from. The hummus is fresh and creamy, served in portions large enough to share. Ask for whole wheat pita, served warm on the side, and you’ve got yourself a meal that’s nutritious and delicious!
109 St. Marks Place