You can’t eat out, or order takeout, every night. Your kitchen needs to be stocked for the everyday and the occasional home-cooked meal. Here’s where you can get the best…
1. Bagels at LizSue Bagels and Village Bagels. They are a little pricey, but the Brooklyn bagels at Café Oo La La taste like the old days.
2. Bread at Beldotti Bakery and Cobs. Sometimes we go in just to smell the bread baking and weep. You can also find kosher baked goods at Beldotti.
3. Cheese at Fairway Market. It has its own cheese monger, who sources from all over. And they know their stuff; just ask for a tasting and recommendations.
4. Coffee at BonJo, especially the espresso, and Lorca, for its rotating list of guest roasters (and churros. Oh, heavens, the churros).
5. Eastern European at Taste of Poland, the place people schlep to for their paczki in time for Fat Tuesday. Bukovina Ukrainian & Russian Deli is your destination for pelmeni and chebureki. Also: European Deli, Sezam Market, Warsaw Deli.
6. Halal at Stillwater Market, the only zabiha halal meat shop in Stamford. It offers Bangladeshi, Indian, Pakistani and Spanish groceries.
7. Ice Cream/Gelato at Volta Gelateria Creperia, the place for legit Italian sweetness. Pop over after a night out with friends. And TropiGlace, which makes ice cream using tropical flavors. We would make a huge mistake to forget Dairy Queen, a Stamford institution; you know spring is here when you see lines form out front.
8. Indian at Prospect Street Market, a location that stocks all the hard-to-find masala spices, biryani ingredients, rice, yogurts and produce.
9. Italian at A&S Fine Foods, Enzo’s or Fratelli Market, especially if you need to pull off a feast for the holidays.
10. Kosher at Fairway Market and Stop & Shop (Bedford Street).
11. Latino at La Marqueta. Though many of the same essentials can be found at the nearest supermarket, there is something to be said for brands that remind some of home.
12. Meats at Fusaro’s Italian Deli and LaRocca’s Country Market. Butchered, daily custom cuts—like the old days—on offer here. No shrink wrapping anywhere.
13. Produce at Sophia’s Market, where fresh, lush and varied is the norm. Also, from late June through October, go straight to the source at the Bedford Street Farmer’s Market and the Farmer’s Market at Stamford Museum.
14. Seafood at New Wave Seafood. Fresh, at wholesale prices. Plus, the lobster salad will have you singing “Yo Ho.”
15. Spirits at BevMax, Cost Less Wines & Liquors, Stamford Wine & Liquor and Warehouse Wines & Liquors, where pricing is competitive, but more importantly, the selection is broad and varied. Ask about weekend tastings.