I have a spice drawer. (Big deal, you’re thinking...) Well, I also have a spice cabinet… two really. They’re so crammed with blends and spices and sauces that I have to be careful when opening them… and that doesn’t include the baking stuff – that’s in another cabinet. Then there’s the top shelf in my pantry which is lined with different mustards, sauces, pastes, etc. Now you get the picture - I love buying and receiving anything that adds flavor to food. So when I come across a shop that sells good stuff, I’m like a little kid on Christmas morning. (Only more dangerous because I have a credit card.)
I’ve lived most of my life in central New Jersey. As a foodie, trips into New York were like trips to the promised land. I’d hit Kalustyan’s for my spices, grab bread at Amy’s, cheese at Murray’s, etc. I once hoofed it over to 1st Ave. for pierogis then carried them home on the train. Now that I’m a mom, I don’t get into the city quite as often – but I don’t need to. Plenty of specialty shops have popped up right in my area and more are appearing every day. Plus, grocery stores are carrying more gourmet and ethnic foods, so long treks are no longer necessary.
I know there are plenty of NJ foodies who visit my site, so I’ve decided to put together a list of my favorites. Read through it – you might find something new. More importantly, let me know what’s missing – I love finding new shops, so please share! (I’ll find a cabinet someplace with room for more goodies!)
- Savory Spice Shop, 138 East Broad Street, Westfield
Pastries, donuts, and bagels
- The Swiss Pastry Shoppe, 1711 East Second Street, Scotch Plains (try the old-fashioned glazed – AMAZING! And at Easter, the Cheese babka has been a family tradition for years.)
- Cranford Best Bagels & Deli, 107 South Ave, Cranford (Try a breakfast sandwich, mmmm)
- Dom’s, 506 Grand Street, Hoboken (I haven’t gone in ages, but my brother and his family were regulars there until they moved 2 months ago… try the tomato pie.
- Breadsmith, 32 North Ave W, Cranford (Greek Olive Ciabatta, ‘nuf said.)
- Florence Ravioli Company, 1741 East Second Street, Scotch Plains (Homemade mozzarella
- The Summit Cheese Shop, 75 Union Place, Summit (Very knowledgeable staff; they’ll cut small pieces perfect for tasting)
- Cheese… Please!, 26 Eastman Street, Cranford
- (HINT: I buy my Parmigiano-Reggiano at the Wine Library – big, fresh chunks for $9.99/lb or less!)
- For Polish Kielbasa, Wawel Delicatessen, 571 Raritan Rd., Roselle
- For German sausages (wursts), hot dogs, Merguez sausage, breakfast sausage, steaks – Barth’s Market, 41 South Street, New Providence
- Or Wine Library for D’artagnan Chorizo and Andouille
All things Asian
- Asian Food market, 965 Route 22 W, North Plainfield
All things Indian
- Bhavani cash and Carry, 392 Route 22 West, Green Brook
South American, Jamaican –
- C-Town Supermarket, 1405 South Ave., Plainfield
What’d I miss? Leave a comment and let me know your favorite!