The Hot List

Edible Gifts for New York City Food Lovers

Katz’s pastrami, Levain cookies, and so much more.

8 min read
11/15/2022
h&h bagels

There’s a lot to love about New York City: the bagels, the bustle, the bangers from Frank Sinatra and Jay-Z and Alicia Keys. This means there’s a lot to miss when you’re not in the Big Apple. 

Give the gift of NYC in the form of chewy bagels, hot pastrami sandwiches, buttercream-crowned cupcakes, and more through these famed merchants now doing nationwide shipping via Caviar. It beats listening to “Empire State Of Mind” on repeat.


Levain Bakery

There is no cookie like a Levain cookie: hulking in size, dense, and almost raw in the center. It’s the heavyweight champion of the New York City cookie world. Bakers Pam Weekes and Connie McDonald created this behemoth of a cookie to give them energy while they were training for a triathlon, and the rest is gooey, chocolate chip–studded history. It started with the chocolate chip walnut cookie, which you can get in a 12-pack, but you can’t go wrong with the signature assortment.

levain


Katz’s Deli

When this package lands at your door, your neighbors are definitely thinking one thing: “I’ll have what she’s having.” New York City’s oldest deli — famed for its cameo in “When Harry Met Sally,” juicy pastrami, and an endearingly no-nonsense vibe — is still a hot spot after all these years. Ordering online is a breeze: Just choose your meat combo (pastrami and Reuben or pastrami and corned beef, but always pastrami) and it comes with everything you need for fixing your sandwich at home with a certain flick on the screen.

Katz deli


Di Fara

You’d often see Domenico “Dom” De Marco snipping off fresh basil before he topped his famous pizzas, and you’ll feel like the pie-making legend is with you in the kitchen as you warm up these basil-scattered pizzas. His shop, with multiple locations across the city, slings a variety of styles: classic Neapolitan with three-cheese blend (oozy buffalo mozzarella, creamy fior di latte, and salty Parmesan), thick Sicilian covered in the same cheese blend, and a New York slice and Neapolitan hybrid crowned with all the meats (soppressata, prosciutto).

Di Fara


Magnolia Bakery

If there were a cupcake hall of fame, this charming bakery (made famous by Carrie Bradshaw on “Sex and the City”) would definitely have a special nook. It inaugurated a cupcake movement with its light-as-air buttercream frosting and rich red velvet cake. But now it’s beloved for so much more: the textbook-perfect banana pudding and towering cakes in classic flavors (silky chocolate, nostalgic confetti). That’s New York City spirit for you, the city that never sleeps and never stops reinventing itself.

magnolia


Omsom

Miss the homey Japanese cooking of Bessou or the fiery Thai flavors of Fish Cheeks? You’ll want to add Omsom starters to your cart, stat. Sisters Kim and Vanessa Pham collaborated with these chefs as well as others in New York City to create their bestselling Asian sauces for quick yet satisfying meals at home. The siblings and their team thoughtfully put together flavorful packets that have whatever you need to marinate bulgogi or glaze eggplant in yuzu and miso — all you need to do is add your protein of choice.

omsom


Baked Cravings

Good things come in cups: instant noodles, wine, and these ultra-moist cakes from baker Craig Watson. Bonus: They’re nut-free! Watson wanted to make baked goods everyone can enjoy after seeing how severe nut allergies prevented his children’s classmates from indulging at school. But his whimsical sweets are for adults too: There’s tequila-infused tiramisu cake, vodka-enlivened strawberry cake, and more cheeky creations. But you can’t check out without adding some cookies (looking at you, OG Go S’more Yourself) and “bald” (unfrosted) cupcakes.

Carbone Fine Foods

It’s nearly impossible to snag a table at this new-school red-sauce institution, which opened in the Village and now has locations in Dallas, Miami, Vegas, and Hong Kong — but you can bring that Carbone magic home with their signature sauces. Chefs Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi and their team slow-cook peak tomatoes from Italy to sweet-savory perfection for the marinara sauce; slip earthy, umami-packed mushrooms into the mushroom sauce; and even conjure that same marinara without the onions and garlic for folks with allergies. Now that’s amore.

carbone


Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream

Rain or shine, there is always a line at this old-timey-feeling ice cream parlor with contemporary flavors — think strawberry with grassy olive oil, salted malted vanilla, green tea pistachio, durian banana. Chef Nick Morgenstern churns out rich, inventive ice creams with a milky custard (no eggs!) and prime ingredients that have earned him a dedicated following. Coordinate your ice cream re-up with an upcoming celebration: Morgenstern’s also ships its stunning ice cream cakes too. 

Morgenstern's


Brodo

Bone broth changed chef Marco Canora’s life, after years working as a chef and struggling with gout and high cholesterol. He simmered down meaty bones and umami-rich ingredients (tomatoes, carrots, shiitake mushrooms) for 24 hours, which resulted in golden, brothy goodness. And once he channeled his passion into a little shop doling out cups of the stuff, he changed a lot more lives. Pour yourself a mug of his beefy broth made of 100 percent grass-fed beef, or go vegan with his seaweed-and-mushroom broth.

brodo


Nobletree Coffee

Every block in New York City has a good neighborhood coffee shop, and you can pretend you’re situated in one — sans iffy Wi-Fi — with these expertly sourced and roasted beans. This acclaimed Brooklyn roaster is a farm-to-cup operation: It partners with farms in Brazil not only to access high-quality beans but also to help create a healthy operation for the farms’ families and employees. The beans are roasted in small batches and come with instructions on how to best brew them.

Ample Hills

This cheery ice cream started off as a pushcart and now has morphed into a multi-location shop with a 15,000-square-foot factory (it’s the first in the city to pasteurize on-site, meaning super-fresh, milky, rich ice cream). That also means more room to bake butter cake for its wildly popular vanilla ice cream mixed with the St. Louis–style cake (aka Ooey Gooey Butter Cake) and housemade peppermint patties to be broken up in the fudge-swirled Peppermint Pattie.

H&H Bagels

Since 1972, this legendary bagel shop has been mixing, proofing, kettle-boiling, cold-water-bathing, and baking on burlap-covered wood boards its time-tested dough recipe, resulting in shiny rounds of chewy perfection. California can’t compete — New York

City water is a thing! Sure, you can get a dozen bagels of your choice with cream cheese, or you could go all in on Nova Scotia salmon to make your own luxurious breakfast spread (just BYO sliced red onions and capers). 

Emmy Squared

This Detroit-style pizza joint makes incredible pies, but real ones know that the burger is also a must-order. Dubbed Le Big Matt, after chef and co-owner Matt Hyland, it is an architectural feat: two beef patties glistening with American cheese, special sauce, and pickles, sandwiched in between a pretzel bun. You can get the best of both worlds by ordering the combo, which comes with four burgers and your choice of two pizzas (we’ve got our eye on the Vodka and smoked-gouda-crowned Good Paulie). 

emmy squared pizza


Partners Coffee

New Yorkers run on coffee, specifically Partners Coffee (formerly known as Toby’s Estate). This coffee roaster focuses on community in all aspects, both abroad in working directly with coffee producers to build a more sustainable supply chain and locally in partnership with domestic nonprofits like Seedco. A win-win for everyone. A word to the wise: You can order your beans based on how you brew them (filter, espresso), and there’s also instant coffee for when life flies by in a New York minute. 

partners coffee



Photo credit (featured): H&H Bagels by Hungry Boy


Author

Caviar Staff

Caviar Staff

Use the code SPOTLIGHT10 for $10 off your first order of $30 or more.