I can't get enough of small-batch chocolate, beautiful marbled rye, obscure herby bitters, cheeses flecked with beautiful blue, international salts with exotic flavors, and spices. That's why I hit these spots up regularly.
Whatever British sweets your heart should fancy, you'll most likely find them here, from my personal favorite, Jelly Babies, to Maltesers, Cadbury Dairy Milk, Curly Wurly, Lion or Fruit Pastilles. They also sell bangers and pork pies, tea and various sundries.
Kalustyan's has been invaluable to me in providing spices and ingredients for Indian, Indonesian, Persian, and even Korean cooking. You can get a proper marmalade, chutney, lime pickle, or box of Typhoon here. I get Persian sour limes, bulgogi bbq spices, and my favorite Applewood Smoked Salt, which can make a vegetarian dish taste like the South incarnate. There's a cafe upstairs for quick South Asian noshes. Don't forget to buy some bitters for tonight's cocktails.
Cheese is king at this large, brassy bistro, where it's not too much to have gougeres, a cheese plate AND fondue. A perfect spot for a fun Sunday brunch or loud, lively dinner. The cheese cave is the place to reserve for a special dinner, and don't forget about their ubercheese picnic baskets to go. A retail shop on the side of the restaurant allows you to supplement what's in the picnic baskets or pick out a perfect gift. The servers are professionals, and the sommelier will patiently pick out a bottle or glasses from the excellent wine list with each member of your party.
With a fun selection of vintage kitchen tools and high-end new gagdets, SCRATCHbread delivered daily, classes in the beautiful sun-filled kitchen, and instructional videos online about shucking oysters and sabering champagne, Brooklyn Kitchen is an excellent local resource. The store has grown as Williamsburg has grown and matured, moving from a smaller spot and adding more tools and classes. The space is shared with The Meat Hook, the best butcher in Williamsburg.
This store is so cool -- not only is it owned by the author of the book "Salted" (so it carries awesome varieties of salt and pink Himalayan salt blocks) but it is also a purveyor of lovely flowers, unique bitters, and ravishingly delicious rare chocolates. A calm, happy haven of a space and one of my favorite West Village shops.
Beloved local Greene Grape Provisions is the corner spot that straddles grocery store, bodega and sandwich shop on groceries-deprived Fulton Street. With superrich coconut milk ice creams, delicious artisanal sandwiches, and lattes to go, Fort Greene would be much less gourmet without Greene Grape.
As soon as you walk into this gourmet deli, the scents of delicious cheese and toasted bread hit you. The sandwiches here are delicious, toasty, meaty, fontina-y affairs, and the gourmet groceries are unparalleled in this neighborhood for local flair and high taste. Black truffle sausage? Ovenly spicy bacon caramel corn? Yes, please!