With the pandemic hitting the NYC restaurant industry especially hard, the holidays are a great time to support your favorite local businesses. So many restaurants, bakeries, and food/drink businesses based in New York offer national shipping on their products, which means you can send your loved ones a taste of the city no matter where they are. From virtual cheese classes at Murray’s to pierogi samplers from Veselka to Bread’s Bakery’s famous chocolate babka to sake made right here in Brooklyn, there’s a little something for everyone. Ahead, we’ve rounded up our favorite options for shopping local and spreading some delicious cheer this year.
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Courtesy of Murray’s Cheese
Murray’s may be a national name these days, but even the younger generation of New Yorkers remembers when it was just the original Bleecker Street shop. For the special dairy-loving person in your life, Murray’s offers a myriad of gifts, from the $95 Greatest Hits collection to the Cheese Board of the Month Club. Another fun (and very 2020) idea is a gift card for a virtual class.
Courtesy of Katz’s Deli
This 132-year-old Lower East Side staple is a great gift idea for your pastrami-loving family member or anyone who loved the movie When Harry Met Sally (you know, that scene). The best all-around gift would be the $150 Taste of New York package, which comes with pastrami, corned beef, hard salami, seedless rye bread, sour pickles, Katz’s frankfurters and buns, mustard, sauerkraut, and classic New York bagels. Another idea is the Classic Subscription Package, which sends your loved one a sampling of hand-carved meats and deli specialties each month. Prices range from $450 for three months to $1,050 for a full year.
Russ & Daughters
Just a few blocks from Katz’s, this fourth-generation “appetizing” (foods that go with bagels!) store has been in business since 1914. Make somebody’s holiday morning extra special by sending them the $179 New York Brunch. It comes with New York’s finest Nova, all-natural cream cheese, hand-rolled bagels, chocolate babka, and Private Blend coffee with a Russ & Daughters mug.
Photo courtesy of Zucker’s
Zucker’s Bagels and Smoked Fish
This relative newcomer–they opened their first shop in Tribeca in 2006–has brought the New York tradition of bagels and smoked fish to a younger generation. One thing we love about Zucker’s is how they partner with other local purveyors (the lox comes from Acme Smoked Fish, the pickles from Guss’ Pickles). Their $99 Holiday Bagel Brunch for 6 comes with six bagels (all hand-rolled and kettle-boiled), three cream cheeses, Nova lox, a shaker of Zucker’s famous everything seasoning, six holiday cookies (your choice of Christmas or Hannukah), and a bagel cutting knife.
Photo courtesy of Veselka
There’s something super comforting about a warm plate of pierogies, and East Village institution Veselka is now shipping them nationwide. The 66-year-old Ukrainian restaurant offers two dozen for $79, which allows you to choose your own (meat, potato, cheese, arugula and goat cheese, short rib, or saurkraut and mushroom). The $129 Complete Ukrainian Dinner for 4-6 is another nice option, as it comes with a choice of pierogies, a choice of soup (Ukrainian borscht, vegetarian borscht, chicken noodle soup, matzoh ball soup, or mushroom barley soup), and a choice of main course (beef stroganoff, veal goulash or bigos).
Courtesy of Feltman’s
Feltman’s of Coney Island
Help your loved one get through this especially difficult winter by recreating a summer BBQ. And what better way to do that than with the original Coney Island hot dog? Feltman’s not only has historic roots, but they do a lot of fundraising work for veterans and 9/11 charities. Their $54.99 Holiday Hot Dog Bundle comes with a pack of Feltman’s original casing hot dogs, a pack of Feltman’s original skinless hot dogs, two packs of Martin’s long potato rolls (because can you eat a hot dog on anything else?), a deli-style mustard, and one Feltman’s knit beanie. For Black Friday, from November 20th – 29th, Feltman’s is offering 20% off all online orders; just use the promo code FRIDAY at checkout.
Sure, eating oysters is delicious, but it’s also fun to receive them as a gift and learn how to shuck ’em. The Bronx’s historic Fulton Fish Market ships their mollusks nationally by the dozen. As they note on their website, “Pacific oysters tend to be sweeter and smaller in size, while Atlantic oysters are known for their salinity.” For your more kitchen-averse recipients, there are also shucked options available.
Courtesy of Doughnuttery
You may have seen these delectable mini doughnuts at markets around New York, and this year, you can give someone the gift of making their own. Doughnuttery’s $29.99 DIY Doughnut Kit comes with one pound 0f doughnut mix, four Doughnuttery doughnut sugars, a doughnut depositor, and an instruction guide.
Courtesy of Fat Witch Bakery
Fat Witch Bakery
Speaking of miniature sweets, Fat Witch Bakery, which got its start in the ’90s at Chelsea Market, is now shipping its individually wrapped brownies nationwide. The $33.50 Tin of Big Witch Favs makes a great gift; it comes with 2 original brownies, 2 caramel, 2 walnut, 1 blonde, and 1 double chocolate.
Courtesy of Seed + Mill Halva
Seed + Mill Halva
A more recent Chelsea Market success, Seed + Mill brought halva–“a flaky, sweet, melt in your mouth, textural sensation” made of sesame seeds–into the mainstream. In addition to making over 30 flavors of halva, they also sell organic tahini and a range of sesame spices. The $45 Halva Trio makes a unique gift and comes with pistachio, sea salt dark chocolate, and raspberry varieties.
You can call these Sex and the City-made-famous cupcakes cliche, but they sure are delicious. The $65 New York Dozen package–which comes with four red velvets and two each of the classics, vanilla & chocolate cake with vanilla & chocolate buttercream–is a great present for that someone sweet, as are the $65 Christmas Dozen or $65 Hanukkah Dozen if you want to go festive. But true New Yorkers also know that the banana pudding is the stuff sugary dreams are made of. Might we suggest the $70 Chocolate Hazelnut Combo Pack? It comes with three containers of the classic banana pudding and three containers of the Nutella variety.
What started as Christina Tosi’s shop in the East Village is now a national sensation, changing forever the way we think about birthday cake. For the holidays, Milk Bar is offering The Pepp Rally for $80 (which includes a six-inch peppermint bark cake and a tin of peppermint pretzel snap) and The Season’s Greets for $120 (which comes with a six-inch peppermint bark cake, a peppermint bark truffle dozen box, and a famous Milk Bar Pie). Other fun options for kids are the cookie tins or cake truffles.
Nothing says New York City like a classic black-and-white cookie (just ask Jerry Seinfeld, who famously said you need to get a bit of both the chocolate and vanilla in every bite) and William Greenberg has been known for theirs since the Upper East Side shop first opened in 1946. You can send the $59 package of 12 giant cookies or the $49 package of 18 mini cookies. There’s even a gluten-free option!
Photo by Brian Kennedy
We can’t think of anything we don’t like from Breads Bakery, but if you want to introduce your out-of-town friend or relative to this Jewish bakery and pastry shop, best to start with their famous babka. Named the city’s best by countless media outlets, it’s made “using cultured butter from France, Nutella, and Belgian dark chocolate chips.” (We know, we’re drooling, too.) Ship a three-pack for $49.95. Another option is the $79.95 six-pack that comes with three chocolate babka and three cinnamon.
Photo by Kate Previte
We’d be remiss not to include these famous half-pound cookies on our list. There’s not much to say other than that they’re incredible and worth waiting in line for. But lucky for your family and friends, they can skip the line and get them delivered right to their door. The Signature Cookie Assortment gets them all four flavors (chocolate chip walnut, dark chocolate chocolate chip, dark chocolate peanut butter chip, and oatmeal raisin). It’s $27 for four cookies, $49 for eight, and $68 for twelve.
Photo courtesy of maman
This eclectic café and bakery opened its first location in Soho in 2014, and now has nine spots, including two in Canada. Their famous cookies (as seen on “Oprah’s Favorite Things!) are available in a limited-time Holiday Gift Box for $65. You can choose your dozen cookies, which includes the classic nutty chocolate chip cookies and three new flavors created for the season featuring double chocolate peppermint crunch cookies, brown butter cranberry oatmeal cookies, and caramel chocolate hazelnut cookies. If you’re in NYC, you can pickup or order for delivery one of maman’s cookie dough to-go kits. The $30 packs make a dozen cookies and $5 of every purchase will go toward maman’s staff fund, to help staff who are unable to work at this time.
Photo courtesy of Senza Gluten
Don’t let the special gluten-free person in your life miss out on the sweetness of the holidays. Senza Gluten, which has a brick-and-mortar bakery and restaurant in the Village, ships their goodies nationwide. Holiday favorites include Pecan Snowball Mini Cookies, Chocolate Walnut Mini Chubbies, Shortbread Butter Mini Cookies, and the classic Chocolate Chip cookie.
Courtesy of Brooklyn Kura
This Industry City sake brewery is the first in New York City and one of only 15 in the country. If you’re over sending wine as a gift, consider their $65 holiday bundle. It comes with homemade Japanese sake granola, sake-kasu rice cookies, a bottle of Junmai Ginjo Namazake (Number Fourteen) and Junmai Namazake (Blue Door).
Another boozy gift idea is a bottle of Brooklyn Gin ($43.99). Founded in 2010 by two Brooklynites, the small-batch gin is crafted and distilled just a bit upstate at the Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery. Made with fresh citrus peels and hand-cracked juniper, the makers are proud to say it’s good enough to drink on its own.
Photo by Matt Weinberg, courtesy of Wolffer Estate
This Hamptons-based winery makes some of the most delightful rosé, which you can find all over town throughout the summer. But these days, we’ll drink it up all season long. With easy delivery services, you can get a bottle delivered even at the last-minute. We’re partial to the Summer in a Bottle Rosé, but the Sparkling Rosé would also make a lovely gift.
Courtesy of Threes Brewing
This Gowanus brewery is great for getting a group together in their huge backyard, but since we can’t do that this year, we can bring the fun home. For the holidays, Threes is offering gift packs (one for IPA lovers and another for lager enthusiasts), three-month beer subscriptions, and a $30 tasting kit that includes a fun virtual beer class.
Courtesy Partners Coffee
With Partners Coffee, a small-batch specialty coffee roaster based in Brooklyn, you can ship thoughtfully-sourced beans from around the world. This year, for the holidays, they’re bringing back their fan-favorite seasonal coffee blend, Miracle On North 6th Street, which has notes of familiar holiday flavors like orange, cinnamon, and malbec.
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