Need a restock on coffee beans, or perhaps that porchetta your recipe calls for? While its buildings are trending increasingly vertical, Brooklyn’s time-tested specialty food shops are keeping the borough grounded in tradition, from passed-down methods of doughnut mixing to folding ravioli by hand. Grab your Greenlight Bookstore tote and hop the G train to these neighborhood favorites.
Pumpkin, lobster—there’s a ravioli for every season at Savino’s Quality Pasta in Williamsburg. Behind a patterned-brick façade lies an emporium of fresh pasta and Italian provisions for those of us who wish we could weekend in Siena on a whim. Recently, they’ve cleared shelf space for direct-from-France pantry essentials. You’ll find Pébeyre Summer Truffle Salt not far from Vanita Sicilian-Style Peperonata and consequently elevate your morning scramble once you bring both home. Visiting Savino’s to collect groceries isn’t an errand; it’s a trip.
111 Conselyea Street, Williamsburg
Step into the front door of Staubitz, shaded by a scalloped awning off of Court Street in charismatic Cobble Hill, and onto the turn of the century sawdust sprinkled hardwood floors. The butcher has been slinging and slicing since 1917, making it the oldest—but never outdated—in the borough. If it’s not a hormone-free, steroid-free, and antibiotic-free cut of flank steak you’re craving for dinner, Staubitz Meat Market also curates a selection of imported and local charcuterie. Pair your pound of Prosciutto di Parma with a wedge of local cheese from the Hudson Valley for a board that celebrates age-old techniques and local flavor.
222 Court Street, Cobble Hill
An honest-to-goodness Kataifi beats a made-for-Instagram croissant. If your feed feels clogged with hype Viennoiserie, head to Mansoura Bakery in Midwood for an authentic reset. The Mansouras knows how to bake, and their recipes go back—way back. Starting in 1780s Syria, the family found baking success in Egypt by 1910, then Paris 50 years later. In 1961, this pastry dynasty bestowed their ancestral craft upon Brooklyn, where they’ve been ever since. Bite into a Basbousa and sink into the timeless taste of an heirloom recipe.
515 Kings Highway, Midwood
An Atlantic Avenue staple since 1948, this maze-like wonderland of coffee barrels, nut bins, and gourmet prepared foods dates to 1895, when the Sahadi family opened their first outpost in Lower Manhattan—an 1899 New York Times review dubbed the market a “wonderful shop,” and you’ll even find Sahadi-branded Halwah tins displayed at the Museum of the City of New York. Despite the success of their lucrative spice importing business and a flashy second store in Industry City, the Sahadi family has kept the Brooklyn Heights original true to form, infused with the timeless charm that’s kept it a neighborhood tradition for generations. The deli line can build, so grab a basket and hit the cheese section while you wait for your turn at fresh za’atar bread or the week’s worth of freshly-whipped hummus—and don’t forget to grab some date maamoul en route to the register.
187 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn Heights
The coffee is fresh, but the one thing this Carroll Gardens roaster does preserve is the past. Emanuel D’amico’s legacy lives on at his family’s Court Street coffee shop, located just a few blocks from its roasting facilities on Nelson. While this old world haunt delivers the light, medium and dark roast classics, you’ll find flavors from our modern lexicon, too. We’re fairly certain there weren’t pumpkin-spiced beans roasting here in 1948, but D’amico will brew whatever it takes to keep the cup full—and that’s why it’s still here to enjoy.
309 Court Street, Carroll Gardens
Recently featured as Peter Parker’s frequented coffee shop in 2021’s Spiderman: No Way Home, you may be led to believe that this donut shop is typically patron-free. That’s not just movie magic; it’s simply wrong. Peter Pan Donuts in Greenpoint has been a Brooklyn institution for over 60 years, and you should always anticipate a well-populated line. Everything is done the way it always has (and should be): by hand. On the bright side, the wait gives you time to decide between a sugar twist and a Bavarian cream.