Best Specialty Markets Shopping List

Whether you’re hitting up the big-box gourmet stores on your weekly run or hunting and gathering at some of the city’s epicurean-friendly gems, here’s how to get the most out of your grocery shopping.
We visited five national gourmet-market chains on a single Saturday, equipped with the kind of shopping list you might find on the grocery app of the most accomplished home chef’s iPhone. Which specialty market offers the best deals? And how much will you pay for items as precious as a wheel of runny French Epoisses cheese or sausage-making supplies? Here’s what we found. (And check out some of our favorite finds in the photo gallery below.)

» For organic bananas, go to: Fresh Thyme or Earth Fare, 69 cents per pound

» For intestine tubing for sausage-making, go to: Whole Foods, $6.99

» For fresh oysters, go to: Earth Fare, 89 cents each

» For French Epoisses cheese, go to: Fresh Market or Whole Foods, $19.99 per box

» For organic string cheese, go to: Trader Joe’s, $3.99 for a bag of nine

» For gluten-free lasagna noodles, go to: Whole Foods, $3.39 per box

» For cheesecloth, go to: Fresh Thyme, $2.89 for 2 square yards

» For local honey, go to: Fresh Market, $6.49 for 16 ounces

» For pickled okra, go to: Fresh Thyme, $3.19 for 12 ounces

» For spring-roll wrappers, go to: Whole Foods, $2.69 for 12 ounces

» For self-serve nut butters, go to: Fresh Thyme, $2.69-$9.99 per pound

» For sushi, go to: Trader Joe’s, $3.49 prepackaged

» For a salad bar, go to: Fresh Thyme or Earth Fare, $6.99 per pound