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The Holiday Gift Guide for New York City Food Lovers

Great gift ideas for every type, from New York establishments both old and new.

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Almost any New Yorker will agree that one of the best things about this city is its food. There are decades-old establishments turning out the same pastries or sausages they have for generations, but also upstart distilleries and small-scale coffee roasters appearing on every block in Brooklyn. Needless to say, these things all make great gifts. So whether you're shopping for your favorite home cook, the coffee nerd in your life, or your meat-loving brother-in-law, here are some choice options, ranging from the old classics to the newest and the hottest. And if you don't find something here, there are a lot more excellent gift ideas over on

Something Sweet

New School: Breads Bakery Babka Pie The instant classic, Breads' babka, gets an upgrade in pie form. The hit bakery just started baking a version of its chocolate-laden bread in a pie pan, rather than as a loaf, so that the bottom gets a chewy finish in the oven while the top remains flakey and perfect for pulling apart by hand. $35 at Breads Bakery, 18 East 16th Street, $49 at

Old School: Glaser's Bake Shop's Black and White Cookies The Yorkville bakery has been making these cookies (which Robert Sietsema says are some of the finest of their kind) since it opened in 1902, and they are good enough to convert even the strongest of haters. The cookie itself is plain, but not dry like so many other black and whites and the frosting is fluffier than most. $2.25 each, at Glaser's Bake Shop, 1670 1st Avenue

For the Cookbook Lover

New School: Prune by Gabrielle Hamilton Prune is, as Julia Moskin puts it, "the closest thing to the bulging loose-leaf binder, stuck in a corner of almost every restaurant kitchen, ever to be printed and bound between cloth covers." The book chronicles the recipes from the restaurant's 15 year history, with notes by Hamilton scratched over many of them with a black Sharpie. The book is best for cooks who are already comfortable in the kitchen. $45 in bookstores around the city, $27 on Amazon

Old School: The Union Square Cafe Cookbook by Danny Meyer and Michael Romano Come this time next year, Union Square Cafe will be closing up its doors in Union Square for good. But whether or not it returns, as Danny Meyer promises it will, this classic cookbook captures some of the restaurants iconic dishes, like hot garlic potato chips and stuffed squash blossoms. The recipes are straightforward, and many come with notes explaining how the dish is served at the restaurant. $19.99 at the restaurant or $13.32 on Barnes&

For the Meat Fanatic

Mile End Meat

New School: Mile End's Meat Pack A selection of sliced deli cold cuts like smoked brisket, corned beef, beef salami, smoked turkey, plus a few links of Hoyt dogs from Mile End, Brooklyn's ever-popular Montreal-style Jewish deli, can now be wrapped up and shipped out anywhere in the country. This is a great gift for the ex-New Yorker, but also for anyone who would be happy to have a box of meat arrive at their doorstep. $139, feeds 10-12 people,

Old School: Katz's Salami The deli that used to ship a salami to boys in the Army still sells whole salamis that can be shipped across the country. The beefy tube is intensely garlicy and fairly lean. It's perfect for snacking, making sandwiches, or mixing into eggs for those who want to go super old school. Hard salami $16.95 per pound, soft salami $11 per pound, available at

For the Coffee Nerd

Cafe Grumpy

New School: Cafe Grumpy's One Year Coffee Subscription Having roasted coffee in Greenpoint for the past 15 years, Cafe Grumpy is by now well-established in the Brooklyn coffee scene. All of their coffee beans are carefully sourced, mostly from Central America, and this year-long subscription will give recipients the chance to try a different one of those every month. Plus it comes with a bright orange mug, and (for what it's worth) will probably earn bonus points with any fan of the first season of Girls. $240 for one 12 ounce bag a month for a year, plus a mug. Available at

Old School: D'Amico Coffee's Brownstone Collection Long before the new wave of hip coffee roasters descended on Brooklyn, D'Amico Foods was roasting beans in Carroll Gardens. It opened in 1948, and three generations later is still family-owned, though now with an expanded roasting facility. The Brownstone Collection comes with half-pound bags of each of D'Amico's five house blends, each named after a Brooklyn neighborhood, so there's no doubt this is Brooklyn coffee through and through. $32.99, available online at

Something to Drink

Limited Edition Kings County Distillery and Brooklyn Winery Brandy: Brooklyn Winery and Kings County Distillery collaborated on this limited edition brandy, which makes it about the most Brooklyn liquor out there. The distillery took some of Brooklyn Winery's 2011 Cabernet Franc, distilled it, then aged it for two years in barrels. There are only about 250 bottles out there, but the price is not completely outrageous, given the rarity. $45 each, Kings County Distillery, 63 Flushing Avenue, Vinegar Hill

For the Home

Katz's Chocolate Egg Cream Candle: Katz's still hasn't figured out how to bottle the deli's legendary scent, nor will it ever be able to ship an egg cream the way it ships salamis, but it has managed to produce this chocolate egg cream-scented candle, which actually smells more like a vanilla egg cream. $25 at

Nathan’s Print

Food Art: Artist John Tebeau created a series of silkscreens and prints of some of the city's most iconic watering holes and dining spots. There's one for McSorley's, the Long Island Bar, The Ear Inn, and of course, the original Nathan's. $25 to $150 each at

— Devra Ferst and Marguerite Preston

Eater's 2014 Holiday Gift Guide

Katz's Delicatessen

205 East Houston Street, Manhattan, NY 10002 (212) 254-2246 Visit Website

Breads Bakery

18 East 16th Street, Manhattan, NY 10003 (212) 633-2253 Visit Website

Mile End

97A Hoyt Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217 Visit Website


54 East 1st Street, Manhattan, NY 10003 (212) 677-6221 Visit Website

Glaser's Bake Shop

1670 1st Avenue, Manhattan, NY 10128 (212) 289-2562 Visit Website

Union Square Cafe

101 East 19th Street, Manhattan, NY 10003 (212) 243-4020 Visit Website