Some of the Most Iconic Food Gifts from New York City to Buy for Loved Ones Back Home and Where You Can Find Them (2019)

Some of the Most Iconic Food Gifts from New York City to Buy for Loved Ones Back Home and Where You Can Find Them (2019)

When it comes to the essence of a place, local cuisine has always been a quintessential thing for the visitors to experience a place more deeply. When you are in a city as beautiful as New York, with all its chaos, it's imperative to have a go at the local food and if you are planning to buy souvenirs, then what could be better than to take home a food item, and give your loved ones a taste of New York. We have compiled a list of foods which are a must-try and a list of places where you could find them.

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What to Know Before Buying Any Food Gift?

Travel Friendly Packaging

You definitely need a proper food gift guide before you plan to buy food gifts for your friends from New York City(NYC). First of all, the packaging of the product should be travel-friendly. You obviously can't buy a cheesecake if you are travelling far but if you are travelling a short distance then it must be packed nicely in a box with little to no chances of getting damaged in the journey.

Long Shelf Life/ Expiry Date

Always opt for such food gifts which have good shelf life. Of course, it also depends upon the fact that where are you travelling from NYC but it would be safer to buy food gifts which takes longer to expire. Mostly, dry food gifts are the ones which can stand the test of time easily.

Also, you can ask for special tips from the shopkeepers to make sure that your food gift lasts as long as possible.

Something Authentic

While buying food gifts from NYC, consider only those that are authentic to the region. For example, if you are buying brownies and blondies then opt for local flavours which are hard to find somewhere else than NYC. This will work as one of the best food gift souvenirs for your friends when you will be coming back from NYC.

Some of the Best Food Gifts to Buy from NYC

Lakrids Licorice

You probably can’t find something more interesting than this food gift called Lakrids Licorice. The idea of coating licorice with chocolate is pretty unique and this is why you should definitely buy this gift for your loved ones on your way back from NYC.

And the best thing about this product is that it is available in so many variants and flavour that you simply can’t pick one from them.

You have got options like salty licorice, original chocolate coated licorice, coffee kieni chocolate coated licorice, sweet one and so many more. This coated licorice are made out of gluten-free rice flour and hence you won’t have to worry about anyone’s allergies too. If for some reason you couldn’t buy them from some store then you can even order them online as well.

Famous NYC Pretzel Chips

One of the most special food gifts from NYC that you can buy for your loved ones is Sigmund’s special and very famous Pretzels. They have been hand twisting their pretzels since 2009 and they offer the best and most loved pretzels that almost everyone in NYC loves.

This bakery is run by Lina Kulchinsky who prepare soft and fresh pretzels every single day. Perfect is the word for them as their pretzels are brown from outside and super soft from the inside.

And of course, their hand twisting is the thing which keeps thing different from others and authentic too. When in NYC, you just can’t afford to give the pretzels a miss. As the bakery ships only in the US, you would want to grab a bite when you are a tourist from somewhere out of the US.

Mr. Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur

Now, this is the kind of typical NYC gift that you would want to buy over and over again not only for your loved ones but one for yourself too. Mr. Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur is probably the most unique and amazing coffee liquor you would have ever tasted.

This is no less than a treasure for the coffee lovers which is made out of the blend of three different types of coffee beans. These beans are sourced from different locations and blended to create unique flavour and balance.

The black bottle itself has its appeal and potential to attract the customers towards it. It is originally crafted in Australia but you can easily find it in NYC. This coffee liquor can also be purchased through online shopping site.

Made in Manhattan Cheese

Americans are crazy about cheese and there is no doubt in the fact that they can eat cheese with anything. Because of the FDA guidelines, American cheese is made out of pasteurized milk only and this is why it is completely different from the one in Europe and other parts of the world.

Some of the prime examples of cheese you can find in NYC are Kraft, Cheez Whizz, Velveeta etc.. And this is why there are some really popular places where you can find the best cheese in NYC.

If you are planning to return to your home then make sure to buy some cheese for your family. For this you can head to Murray’s Cheese, Zabar’s, Agata & Valentina and many other places. At these places, you can find travel-friendly packaging and the best quality cheese too.

Cha Cha Matcha's Ceremonial Grade Matcha


Cha Cha Matcha has 3 different outlets in NYC alone and they are quite popular in terms of selling their authentic Matcha. If you think that you can find this kind of Matcha anywhere else then you are wrong about it.

Cha Cha Matcha’s Ceremonial Grade Matcha is a fine green powder made out of specially grown green tea leaves. This is by far the only food gift in this list which is super healthy.

Their Matcha is sourced from Uji, Japan and hence you cannot doubt their authenticity at all. Moreover, a specific process is opted to prepare this Matcha powder which not only keeps it healthy but increases the shelf life too. You can definitely visit their shop or simply buy from their website for $50.

Classic NYC Cheesecake

One of the best food to bring from NYC is the classic cheesecake. Now, this kind of food gift is only suitable when you live only a few hours away from NYC and also the store should provide the cake in travel-friendly packaging.

Here is a little tip for you, you can simply freeze the cake which can increase its shelf life to even a week. In this way, your family can enjoy the best cheesecake whenever they want.

Some of the best places to buy cheesecake from are Eileen’s Special Cheesecake, Kiki’s, Vaniero’s etc.. But above them all, you should definitely try the one from Junior’s Cheesecake. You can find a lot of different flavours which are no less than mouth-watering.

McClure's Pickles

People looking for food gifts from NYC can buy pickles for their friends and family members. Of course, pickles have a great shelf life and you get to taste the authentic NYC flavour, too. For this, our pick is McClure’s Pickles.

Although they manufacture from Detroit you can easily find their pickles in NYC in specialty stores like Murray’s Cheese, Brooklyn Brine etc.

Of course, they have got a lot of variety to choose from like Bloody Mary Mix, Spicy Pickle, Garlic Dills etc. A standard pack of pickles is going to cost you $40 and you would not be disappointed for sure. If you are not able to find a store then you can even order from their official website too.

NYC Secret Hot Sauce

Hot sauce in New York is something that you would not want to miss. Of course, there are various options but you are going to love Chi Cho Hot Sauce, above all. Their store is located in Astoria and what makes their hot sauce different from others which is a unique blend of spicy and sweetness in it.

While other sauces make the food unbearably hot and spicy, this hot sauce rather maintains the balance and brings out the best flavour of the food.

It is gluten-free, low sodium and all nature hot sauce and when in NYC, you should definitely visit their store to buy some bottles for your loved ones on your way back home. It would be rather tricky to buy some online so you would have to visit the store itself.

Authentic Knishes

It is the time to hog in some authentic knishes from NYC and who else than Barney Greengrass would be a better option to buy some. They have been providing knishes, matzo ball soup and other such heartwarming food items from past 100 years.

Of course, you have some other stores to visit, too, like Grub Street, Yonah Schimmel’s Knish, etc.. You are going to fall in love with the potato knishes at Barney Greengrass.

You have other options for fillings, too, like Spinach and Kasha. Talking about the shelf life then you can put them in the refrigerator and they will last for 3 days. You can further increase the shelf life by freezing them. Your loved ones would be more than happy to try these amazing knishes with some mustard.

Local Brownies and Blondies


NYC is home to some really amazing and authentic bakeries and hence, the kind of food you can only get in NYC is the local brownies and blondies. They have a unique flavor which is hard to find anywhere else and you would not want to miss out on it.

Some of the best places to visit to buy brownies and blondies are Fat Witch Bakery, The Protein Bakery, Schmackary’s, etc..

If you are finding it hard to carry around the brownies then you can also buy the brownie mix from the shop too and bake them on your own. It is easier to find tin packaging options in NYC which is easy to carry around wherever you want. If it is the holiday season then you should definitely buy these food gifts on your way back home from NYC.

Best Places to Buy Food Gifts in NYC

Now that you know about the best gifts from nyc that you can bring for your loved ones in food category, you should also come to know about the places too. There are some popular and authentic places in New York to buy the best food gifts from and we have listed some of them here.

Guss's Pickles

The first one is Guss’s Pickles, here located in Brooklyn, New York. If someone in your family loved pickle then this is the place to pick the best quality pickles from. You can also order online from them as well as they have got pickles, tomatoes, peppers and more to offer.

Murray's Cheese

Located at Bleecker St. in New York City, this is the place to buy the finest and most amazing cheese in New York. The fact that cheese lasts really long makes it a perfect gift for your loved ones. And you cannot find better option than Murray’s Cheese. In fact, they have cheese of the month club, fondue kits and a lot more to offer too.


If you are planning to buy food gifts from NYC then you can visit Zabar’s for it. They are located at Broadway in New York City and they have some perfect gift basket options for your loved ones. They actually have more stock for gift-giving products than any other shop in NYC and they even provide mail order servicing too.


Veniero’s is a place located on the 11th St. in New York City. They have some amazing Italian pastries, cheesecake, biscotti, and a lot more for you. If you want to buy some of the best local cookies from NYC then you should head to this place straight. They have been making desserts from 1894 and they are surely a pro at it.

Barney Greengrass

Barney Greengrass is located at 541 Amsterdam Ave in New York and they have been working since the past 100 years. Located at the upper west side, they have some of the best breakfasts and delicatessen offerings for people here. You can buy smoked fish, matzo ball soup and other food gifts from them.

Porto Rico Importing

Planning to buy food gifts from NYC? You can visit Bleecker St. to find Porto Rico Importing out there. Anyone who loves coffee and teas would love to receive the gifts from Porto Rico Importing. They have got reasonable pricing and great varieties. And their chocolate covered coffee beans are simply amazing in taste.

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