Kitchen Arts & Letters. One of my favorite spaces in NYC, if you haven't heard me gush about them before let me tell you how great this shop is now. Chock full of cookbooks, food memoirs, wine books, recipe files, vintage, out of print and even food-related greeting cards this is the source for culinary literature in New York. The staff is always willing to help you find that obscure book or recipe you've been thinking about or just to chat about things you've made from a cookbook. Superb for the food loving New Yorker but also any serious culinary bibliophile as they take phone orders. They have gift certificates available in any amount (How about $20.12 for a fun late Christmas/New Years gift?) and they never expire or lose value- the ultimate gift for the cookery book enthusiast.
Call to order: 212-876-5550.
Omnivore Books. While Kitchen Arts and Letters is my mecca in New York, I also love Omnivore Books in San Francisco. I haven't been to the store yet, but will be visiting in February on a west coast trip. Celia Sack holds tons of great events every month- I'm always sad not to be in attendance. She is my go-to for signed copies of new releases from authors I love with no New York events lined up. I cherish the Chez Panisse 40th Anniversary book I ordered this summer from her-- signed, to me, by Alice Waters herself. If you're not lucky enough to live near the shop sign up for her newsletter and keep an eye out for events then call to order signed copies. Omnivore also carries many vintage titles. I made sure to ask Celia if the gift certificate could be used for her Cookbook Club and that answer is no but if you are still looking for a slightly more personal gift idea than a gift certificate this is it. The Cookbook Club will send your recipient a signed cookbook four times a year, hand picked by Celia.
Call to order: 415-282-4712.
Pot + Pantry. Pot + Pantry will be another stop on my SF tour. This little shop is full of vintage and unique kitchen and home goods. Donna Suh Wageman is the shop owner. She posts a number of things in the online shop but has lots more in the store than online. She comes up with really amazing items and I regularly lose a bit of time looking over the items online. I had my eye on these impossibly chic glass bowls with gold trim over the summer and am still kicking myself over the fact that I waited too long and someone else scooped them up. I can't wait to visit the shop.
Call to order: 415-206-1134.
Fishs Eddy. Okay so after yesterday's written worship of all Fishs Eddy products you are probably hankering to get some of their goods into your kitchen! If you are, tell someone to score you a gift certificate for the shop for the holidays. This should only be gifted to someone in the area or who visits a lot because their gift cards may only be used in the store. Stop in here to pick one up, or call to have it sent to your giftees if you are not in the area.
Call to order: 877-347-4733.
Book Larder. Book Larder is the new kid on the block when it comes to cookbook shops. It has me wanting to plan a trip to Seattle just to spend the week there. It is a dynamic place with classes, book signings, and demos in addition to also selling culinary books. I have no doubt it will be a runaway success. Like Kitchen Arts & Letters and Omnivore Books, they do not sell online but you can call to order books- but its a really great idea for Seattle locals so they can attend the shop events.
Email info[at]booklarder[dot]com or call or order 206-397-4271.
The Cookbook Store (Toronto). This is the Canadian contingent of North American cookbook shops. Alison Fryer's shop has events and vintage books, as well. Browse her collection online and email or call with your order. Like Kitchen Arts & Letters, their gift certificates come in any denomination. When ordering from the US be mindful that the shop's prices are in Canadaian dollars (and so too will be your gift recipient's gift certificate). Check out the prices online to gauge a good amount to gift.
Call to order 800-268-6018.
GiltTaste. Throughout the 12 days so far I've mentioned GiltTaste a few times. It's growing on me more and more everyday. Especially after making my first purchase this past month, I am impressed with their offerings and their delivery style. There are lots of uniquely curated foods and kitchen wares on GiltTaste and now books, too. It is an epicurean's haven for certain. These gift cards are electronic and can be used on any Gilt Groupe site, not just for GiltTaste. So if you have one friend left on the list who loves food, fashion and exclusivity- this is the gift, get it now!
Log in with your Gilt account or sign-up and order online here.
The Strand. Oh The Strand. I've spent a lot of time in this NYC landmark used bookstore. They have a deliciously stocked culinary section and even carry quirky kitchen knickknacks. They sell their books online, but be wary, for occasionally items listed online will not be available if they were purchased just before you ordered since their online stock is also what is on the shelves. There are plenty of unique editions, can't miss deals and even signed copies that run the full gamut of books at The Strand. They will mail your gift card free of charge and offer a variety of designs to suit your giftees personality.
Rabelais Books. During my little jaunt to Maine last year I was fortunate enough to have time to stop by Rabelais Books. They will be closing in January for their move to a new , larger location to reopen in April. As they said it will be "bigger and better!"They have plenty of culinary books to offer- lots of vintage American food books, too. A nice option for your New England friends and family or those who summer in Maine.
Call to order 207-774-1055
Bowery Kitchen. I also didn't confirm with Bowery Kitchen in Chelsea Market that they offer gift certificates, but again, I don't see why they wouldn't. I strongly encourage you to gift this one to your favorites in NYC because a cook can always find something they need (whether or not they knew it) at Bowery Kitchen! Plus any excuse to be in Chelsea Market is a good one.
Call to inquire/order 212-242-7360
Just looking at this list makes me happy and excited. I could spend plenty of time in all of these shops. I hope they will bring a bright smile and a tinge of thrill to your gift recipients.