Shopping for a New York expat? Convincing a buddy to move here? You can't send New York attitude or that creeping feeling of paying godknowshowmuch for a studio apartment—but you can send proper pastrami. And smoked fish. And any number of the city's top cookies.
Here are nine Only in New York food businesses—traditional and new—that will take care of all the shipping for you to deliver your gifts nationwide.
You can buy the full complement of the Robicelli's baked goods, including their signature cupcakes, for delivery around New York City. But they've also just started shipping nationally (excluding the more-perishable cupcakes and whoopie pies), so you can send some of this Made in Brooklyn love all around the country. Another reason to feel good buying these sweets: owners Allison and Matt Robicelli have become nothing short of heroes in this post-Sandy New York, despite the storm's devastating effects on their own business. Order here »
It's getting harder and harder to find a good bagel in New York, but we'll always have pastrami at Katz's. Consider sending some pastrami, corned beef, or knoblewurst sausage to show how much you care, and how awesome the New York deli can be. Katz's also just started delivering within New York City, and has a military mailing program so you can, in fact, continue to send a salami to your boy (or girl!) in the Army. Order here »
A cookie at Levain isn't just a cookie: it's an event, essentially a scone-sized mound of cookie dough baked until craggly on the outside but still gooey within. These cookies eat lesser chocolate chips for breakfast, and have an almost preternatural commanding power over those who eat them. Buy these for your loved one and they'll never look at cookies the same way again. Order here »
Russ & Daughters
What Katz's is to the New York deli, Russ & Daughters is to smoked fish and Jewish appetizing. Superlative whitefish salad, herring, and lox of all kinds make for perfect Yiddishe gift baskets. Order here »
Beurre & Sel
Dorie Greenspan's cookie bakery is only a couple months old, but it's well on its way to becoming a New York institution. If Dorie's bookshelf-length list of baking books doesn't convince you, head to the Essex Street Market or La Maqueta and try a World Peace Cookie for yourself. The company just started shipping nationally, and if you have any Greenspan fans on your gift list (you probably do), these will make them squeal with joy. Order here »
La Boite à Epice
Master spice blender Lior Lev Sercarz's gorgeous spice blends don't come cheap at around $15 for a two ounce canister, but he digs up ingredients you simply can't get anywhere else and combines them with virtuosic eloquence. House-smoked cinnamon, or his savory mix of crystallized honey, star anise, ginger, and cinnamon, are perfect for seasonal baking. He also just came out with a book on blending spices, with recipes from many renowned chefs who commission special blends from him. Order here »
If you're wondering who to buy chocolate from, buy it from the chocolatier who'll sell you an A. M. Quickie. But seriously, Jacques Torres has classic and creative chocolates and cookies in every configuration you could want. It's what my grandmother gave me for the holidays when I was growing up, and if it's good enough for my grandma, it's good enough for the rest of us. Order here »
Momofuku Milk Bar
Cookies and whole cakes are the things to ship from Momofuku Milk Bar. Sure, compost cookies are a given to us New Yorkers, but a tin of a dozen salty-sweet Christina Tosi cookies are always welcome outside city borders. Order here »
Made in NYC
This isn't a single gift, but rather a gift-finding resource. Made in NYC is a directory of over 900 New York business, pointing you towards ways to shop locally. Food businesses reeling from Sandy are relying on the holiday season even more than usual to make up for lost revenue, and we can all do our part by supporting the businesses that make this city such a wonderful place to live. Read more »