Before you let Amazon take the fun out of holiday gift-giving, consider a visit to the historic Essex Street Market on the Lower East Side. Collude with curators and makers face-to-face on the perfect present for the friends, family, lovers, and fussy clients in your life. Below are just 9 of our top suggestions for unique items, but there’s much more in store at 120 Essex Street.
Pain D’Avignon, Bread by the Bundle
Turns out, the best thing since sliced bread is actually hand-baked, high-quality loaves. Impress your guests or bring the ultimate party favor with special-order breads from Pain D’Avignon. Airy pull-apart rolls, heavenly sourdough, and perfectly crisp baguettes are just a few of the choices. Visit Pain D’Avignon’s shop at Essex Street Market to place your holiday orders!
Price: $3.30 – $8.00
Where to buy: In-person at Pain D’Avignon’s stall, 120 Essex Street.
Saxelby Cheesemongers, Cheese-of-the-Month Club
Wouldn’t it be nice if your friends and family remembered your carefully selected gifts year-round? Send them gift that literally keeps on giving with a cheese-of-the-month club! Select from 3-, 6-, or 12-month packages and the cheese lovers in your life will receive carefully crafted queso from American cheesemakers. Note, there is a chocolate and cheese option for the truly food savvy amongst your crew.
Price: $135 and higher
Where to buy: saxelbycheese.com
Formaggio Essex, Holiday Gift Baskets
Shop manager Andrew Clark must be a mind-reader, because his holiday gift baskets compile everything we love about food into one beautifully-presented present. Skip the typical catalog order for clients and far-away family, and have Andrew peruse his collection of truly special products for a unique gift collection. Possibilities include lavender-scented honey, heritage beans, small-batch chocolate, world salt sampler, and more.
Price: varies depending on products
Where to buy: In-person at Formaggio’s stall, 120 Essex Street, or formaggiokitchen.com/new-york
I.M. Pastry Studio, Custom Cakes and More
What does Ellen DeGeneres, Mariah Carey, and Michelle Obama all have in common? They’re the names of I.M. Pastry Studio’s delicious cake and cupcake flavors! Master baker Tiffany Washington names her sweets after women she admires, and you can pay tribute to the amazing women (and men!) in your life by ordering custom-baked cakes, cookies, cupcakes, and more. Nothing says, “you’re amazing” like chocolate buttercream, amiright?
Price: $2.50 – $4.50 per cupcake; $35 – $75 for whole cakes
Where to buy: In-person at I.M. Pastry Studio’s stall, 120 Essex Street, or impastrystudio.com for custom orders
Essex Olive & Spice, Oil and Vinegar Gift Boxes
They say great things come in threes, and this holiday season Essex Olive & Spice is offering custom 3-pack gifts of specialty olive oil and vinegar. Select from over 20 unique infused extra virgin olive oils and vinegars in wow-factor flavors like white truffle mushroom, blood orange, and habanero pepper. Perfect for all your palate-forward friends.
Price: $25.99 for custom three-packs; $8.99 and up for individual bottles
Where to buy: In-person at Essex Olive & Spice’s stall
Porto Rico Importing Co., Coffee Bean Samplers
We all know someone who can’t start the day without their daily caffeinated cup. Make their winter merry and bright with a holiday coffee sampler from Porto Rico Importing Co., one of New York’s oldest coffee roasters. You can trust their bean blends to be perfectly balanced, ensuring a smooth and satisfying brew every time. Choose from 8 or 4 sampler packs, with free shipping in NYC on orders over $50.
Price: $24.99 and up for sampler packs
Where to buy: portorico.com or in-person for individual bean bags at Porto Rico’s stall, 120 Essex Street
Boubouki, Cakes to Order
Everyone loves homemade cakes around the holidays, but now is no time for the novice baker to start experimenting (save it for your New Year’s resolution!). Put your sweets in trusted hands at Boubouki, where owner Rona Economou will whip up one of her famous carrot, pear or chocolate cakes for you to plate and present to those who have been nice this year.
Price: upon request
Where to buy: In-person at Boubouki’s stall, 120 Essex Street
La Tiendita, Gifts for Good
It’s easy to get caught up in the more materialistic side of gift-giving, but you can do good and check off your holiday list by shopping at La Tiendita, the stall run by the Lower East Side Girls Club. All their aprons, potholders, bags, and baked goods are made by the young women of LES Girls Club, and your purchases go directly toward funding after-school programs in crafts, music, science, and technology. Plus, everything is adorable! Spend $40 or more and receive one of their silkscreen ‘bodega’ bags to support this nonprofit and the environment.
Price: $2 and up
Where to buy: In-person at La Tiendita’s stall, 120 Essex Street
Nordic Preserves, Fish & Wildlife Company, Nordic Cookies and Candy
Word on the street is that Santa Claus is a big fan of traditional Nordic cookies and candies this time of year. Our go-to supplier is always Nordic Preserves, who stocks up on these items especially for the holidays. They also carry caviar (!) for those fancy-pants who want to kick off the New Year right. And if you sneak a few cookies for yourself, we imagine Santa would approve.
Price: $6 and up
Where to buy: In-person at Nordic Preserves’s stall, 120 Essex Street
DEC 7 2017 ∙ 9 GIFTS FOR THE POLISHED PALATE FROM ESSEX STREET MARKET
Holiday Shopping Season – we have your solution! Looking for that one-of-a-kind item that reflects all things Lower East Side? Well then look no further than our Con Artist Collective Holiday Shop, temporarily installed inside of our LES Visitor Center lobby at 54 Orchard Street. Con Artist Collective is a longstanding, 24/7, shared production and gallery space for artists with over 700 creatives coming in and out of their doors at any given time. Swing by our Lobby Holiday Pop-Up Shop to pick up a specially designed button, pin, postcard or framed piece. Most items available are under $30. Shop now through January 2nd on weekdays from 10AM–6PM.
DEC 5 2017 ∙ CON ARTIST COLLECTIVE X LES PARTNERSHIP HOLIDAY SHOP