Five Made-in-New York Foods You’ll Want to Bring Home With You

“Oh no, not more Godiva chocolates,” said no one ever. It’s not that anyone minds when you bring home classic treats from your trips. But every once in a while it’s fun to surprise your friends and family with something a little more unique, a little more, you know, New York-ish. So, here are five of New York City’s most beloved locally made foods, the kinds of souvenirs that will let you relish the flavours of the city long after you return. 

Jacques Torres
When French pastry chef Jacques Torres opened his Dumbo, Brooklyn shop in 2000 he was among the first artisan chocolatiers in the U.S. to make his own chocolate starting from cocoa beans. His chocolate bars, truffles, cookies, ice cream, and other confections are all made fresh from natural ingredients. Sip his hot chocolate at one of his shops and then bring one of his hot chocolate mixes home for more. There are several locations around the city, including these ones at Grand Central Station and Rockefeller Center.


Mike’s Hot Honey
The Hellboy pizza pie became a citywide favourite at Brooklyn’s Paulie Gee when the pizzeria dared to drizzle Mike’s Hot Honey over a soppressata pie. It’s an irresistible combination of spicy, sweet, salty and savoury. That’s just one use for this zesty nectar. Wildflower honey from New York and New Jersey hives is infused with chillies to create a condiment you can drizzle over everything from salads to ice cream, and pour in cocktails and on toast.

Pick a bottle at Dean and Deluca on Madison Avenue, Murray’s Cheese and Taste NY at Grand Central, and at Williams Sonoma. The 12-ounce bottle is worth checking your bag over.


SlantShack Beef Jerky
Founder Joshua Kace grew up loving jerky, and as a fresh Columbia grad he found himself experimenting with his own recipes with his underemployed friends. The results earned them a following among meat-treat fans as well as the highest rating from BestBeefJerky.org. Handcrafted using Vermont grass-fed beef, SlantShack Jerky comes in flavours like Maple Garlic, Spicy RedRub with chillies and paprika, and Dried and True with ginger, garlic, honey, and tamari. If this jerky really turns your crank, you can return to the website to order your own custom blend (while in season).

In Manhattan you can purchase the jerky at Beer Table Pantry in Grand Central and at The Shop at The Andaz (5th Avenue and 41st Street).


Bellocq Tea Blends
Founders food editor Heidi Johannsen Stewart and stylist Michael Shannon began as tea-obsessed travelers who would share their discoveries with each other. They turned their passion into a tea company that’s loved now as much for its unique, handcrafted blends as for its chic gift-quality packaging. Belloca hand-assembles whole-leaf single estate teas, blended teas, and herbal blends in a flower-filled atelier in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. You’ll find traditional flavours from every corner of the world, but you’ll also find modern twists that will turn a pot of tea into a transportive ritual. The fragrant blends will impress: Hindu Holiday, rooibos with cardamom, cassia, ginger, rose, ginger, and jasmine; The Queen’s Guard, Ceylon with rose, lavender, and cornflower petals; and Majorelle Mint, with gunpowder green tea, mint, marigold petals and natural citrus essence, just to name a few examples. Bellocq also supplies beautifully crafted tea accessories such as wire strainers, porcelain ware, filters, and most recently hand-poured candles.

Find Belloq teas at the SoHo Grand, TriBeCa Grand, and at cafes throughout the city.


Robicelli’s Cupcakes
Matt and Allison Robicelli’s whoopie pies, brownies, sticky buns and other pastry confections have loyal and obsessive following. But the couple first seduced us with their legendary cupcakes. Made with perfect sponge cake and real buttercream frosting, they come in tantalizing flavours like The Ebinger (chocolate cake, chocolate custard buttercream, chocolate fudge, and chocolate cake crumbs), Tres Leches (three milk-soaked browned butter cake, dulce de leche buttercream, caramel shards), and The Hansel (white chocolate pudding-filled gingerbread cake, cookie batter buttercream, and homemade gingerbread cookies). The flagship bakery is located in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn – and darn well worth the trek – but you can find their cupcakes at several retailers in Manhattan. And it’s true, these are not going to be easy to pack and transport home on the plane. But who says you have to? We recommend noshing them immediately upon purchase.

Pick out your cupcakes at Dean and Deluca Madison Avenue (1150 Madison Avenue); at the New York Times Cafe (620 8th Avenue at 41st Street); and at Battery Place Markets (77 Battery Place).


This article was originally published on August 11, 2015

Published Monday, December 21st 2015

Header image credit: Courtesy of Mike's Hot Honey



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