2nd Avenue Deli, New York

House-made pastrami and corned beef at the 2nd Avenue Deli
House-made pastrami and corned beef at the 2nd Avenue Deli © James and Karla Murray

Abe Lebewohl founded the 2nd Avenue Deli in 1954 on a corner of the East Village. In 1996 this beloved neighbourhood figure was murdered (the crime remains unsolved), but his family kept the certified Kosher deli going; today there are two locations (Midtown and the Upper East Side) run by Abe’s nephews, Josh and Jeremy Lebewohl. Regulars make a beeline for gigantic sandwiches stacked with house-made pastrami and corned beef, chopped liver, the famous chicken soup and babka. It’s also one of the only places to still enjoy p’tcha (jellied calves’ feet), but interested parties should call in advance to confirm availability. Rima Suqi 2ndavedeli.com

Aziz Delicatesse, Beirut

Like much of this city, Aziz Delicatesse is a survivor. Founded in 1955 and still a family business, it has withstood wars, financial crises and last year’s explosion at the port, remaining a destination for those looking to stock their pantries with Italian aged balsamic vinegars, French mustards, Spanish tunas and the more obscure Asian sauces and speciality noodles – perhaps leaving with a home-made pastry or cake in the process. Aziz also has one of the largest wine cellars in the country, stocking 100,000 bottles of wine and bubbly. RS azizdelicatesse.com

Barney Greengrass, New York

Smoked and cured fish and meat at Barney Greengrass
Smoked and cured fish and meat at Barney Greengrass

The faithful have flocked to Barney Greengrass’s Upper West Side storefront for decades, drawn by its smoked and cured fishes and meats in an old-school interior with etched mirrors. Established in 1908, the business is now run by Barney’s grandson Gary, who suggests first-timers try his favourite sandwich: a mix of smoked whitefish and salmon with vegetable cream cheese and white onion on a toasted bialy. RS barneygreengrass.com

Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery, Santa Monica

An Italian granny, a skate punk and a gallery owner walk into a deli. Not the opener of a joke, but an average day at Bay Cities, the Santa Monica landmark that’s the home of super-sandwiches such as The Godmother (spicy salami, prosciutto, mortadella, capicola and provolone) and a meatball sub that will spoil you for any other, all served on pillowy Italian bread (they keep bins of it at the checkout counters, so you can grab extra on your way out). You will also find Italian delicacies, in particular cheeses, not readily available elsewhere in LA. Maria Shollenbarger baycitiesitaliandeli.com

Beachwood Bakery, Devon

Loaves, biscuits and cinnamon buns served up in Chagford
Loaves, biscuits and cinnamon buns served up in Chagford

Californian expat Julia Cotts started as a market-stallholder in the village of Chagford in Devon. With help of funding from the local community she opened this jewel of a bakery, named after her neighbourhood in LA, just before the first lockdown. Try her renowned “Village Loaf”, an organic sourdough. Other favourites include spiced vegetable samosa, pastries, cakes, cinnamon buns, focaccias and freshly made soups. Her delicious coffee hails from Crediton coffee roasters, a local company. Her aim is to use as much local produce as possible and the long queues waiting patiently outside her door speak volumes. Fiona Golfar beachwoodbakery.com

Beppe e i Suoi Formaggi, Rome

According to food writer Rachel Roddy, this cosy store in the Ghetto district is the city’s foremost deli. The owner, Beppe Giovale, is from a family that have been making formaggi between their base in Val di Susa in Piedmont and summer pasture in Col du Petit Mont-Cenis in the French Alps since the 1600s. From their sheep, goats and rare-breed cows, they produce dozens of spectacular cheeses including primosale, ricotta and il barà, and you can also find top quality cured meats, wine and pasta. Ajesh Patalay beppeeisuoiformaggi.it

Bottega Fratelli Ciapponi, Morbegno, Italy

The cheeses at Ciapponi are aged in cellars underneath the shop
The cheeses at Ciapponi are aged in cellars underneath the shop

Entering Ciapponi is like walking onto a Baz Luhrmann set. It has been there since 1883 and the original 19th-century signage is all present and correct; the shelves groan with cheeses, all aged in the cellars beneath the shop. Morbegno lies in the Valtellina Valley east of Lake Como and is celebrated for bitto, an aged Alpine cheese made from cow’s (sometimes goat’s) milk. There are cured meats, handmade pasta, polenta, dolcis, and Valtellin wines and grappas to tempt you too. Emiko Davies ciapponi.com

Butterfield Market, New York

Chicken pot pie at Butterfield Market
Chicken pot pie at Butterfield Market

In business on the Upper East Side for over a century, this market and deli has expanded during Covid-19 to an airy new spot on Madison Avenue with even more room for cases full of delicious prepared foods: jumbo lump-crab cakes, hearty chicken pot pie, traditional Jewish “appetising” and sides galore. Loyal customers head here for the iced French cruller doughnuts (they sell out by noon), fruit tarts and soufflés, as well as freshly baked pizzas. Organic pressed juices, a frozen-yoghurt station and a coffee bar worthy of Italy round this out. Christina Ohly Evans butterfieldnyc.com

Call Your Mother, Washington

“All about the bagel sandwich…”: Call Your Mother
“All about the bagel sandwich…”: Call Your Mother © Tim Casey

Set in a hot-pink former flower shop in Washington’s Georgetown neighbourhood, Call Your Mother is all about the bagel sandwich. Bestsellers include The Gleneagle – a za’atar-dusted bagel with lashings of candied salmon cream cheese and shallots – and The Sun City: a pastrami, egg, cheese and spicy-honey breakfast sandwich that can command an hour-long wait. Sandwiches on rye and challah, traditional black-and-white cookies and babka muffins round out this carb-lovers’ dream. COE callyourmotherdeli.com

Canter’s, Los Angeles

Fans of Canter’s include Barack Obama and the Red Hot Chili Peppers
Fans of Canter’s include Barack Obama and the Red Hot Chili Peppers © Greg Zabilski

Legion are the Angelenos who’ve rocked up here at 2am after a show on the Sunset Strip to monster some corned beef or pastrami on rye – “Open 24 hours” is just one of Canter’s many lovable attributes. A sit-down restaurant with a vast takeaway and deli counter, it has been a feature of LA’s Fairfax District since 1948. It’s a perennial favourite with celebrities past and present, from Mel Brooks to the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Barack Obama, who blew through in 2014 for a little kaffeeklatsch. The decor hews wonderfully true to the space’s midcentury heritage: vinyl banquettes, Sputnik lights and neon signage abound. MS cantersdeli.com

Casa del Parmigiano, Venice

Cured meat served up by the Rialto bridge in Venice
Cured meat served up by the Rialto bridge in Venice

The food writer Skye McAlpine, who grew up in Venice, describes this tiny establishment in the heart of the Rialto market as “one of [her] favourite shops in the world”. The selection of cheeses is exquisite – think wheels of saffron-scented pecorino studded with black peppercorns, smoked ricotta and snowy-white fresh mascarpone layered with mild soft gorgonzola. Beyond the cheeses, there’s all kinds of prosciutto, salami and cured meat, fresh pasta (especially good are the truffle Plin), dried pasta and a colourful array of jarred goodies. The queues of Venetians waiting to be served stretch across the square. FG casadelparmigiano.ve.it

Clarke’s, Notting Hill, London 

Sally Clarke at her Notting Hill shop
Sally Clarke at her Notting Hill shop © Andrew Crowley

Sally Clarke’s inspiration came from her friend and mentor Alice Waters of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, whose farm-to-table philosophy she introduced to London. Her Notting Hill restaurant has just reopened after lockdown, but it will continue to offer a home-delivery service of the restaurant menu on a Friday and Saturday, and it’s business as usual again at her two bustling west London Sally Clarke shops. Her chicken, leek and mushroom pies are legendary and prepared from freshly roasted chickens every morning. There are also freshly baked breads, viennoiserie – think spring rhubarb or blood-orange Danish with pistachios – as well as a fabulous selection of Neal’s Yard cheeses and Clarke’s signature oatmeal biscuits. FG sallyclarke.com

Cookbook, Los Angeles

Fresh Californian produce at Cookbook
Fresh Californian produce at Cookbook

This little sun-drenched shop in Echo Park doesn’t try to do a million things, but on any given day you may find perfect tomatoes, local honey, salad leaves from a nearby farm – and regulars claim that it sells the best chicken pot pie in LA. On top of simple scrubbed wooden tables sit little vases stuffed with fresh herbs, and big ceramic bowls are filled with creamy viola aubergines, ripe Californian avocados, peaches and melons, and tiny chillies. Don’t miss the long strands of fresh farm sausages. And don’t leave without sampling the newly baked cookies. FG cookbookla.com

The Courtyard Dairy, Yorkshire

Part of the “vast” selection at the award-winning Yorkshire cheesemonger
Part of the “vast” selection at the award-winning Yorkshire cheesemonger

A stone barn in the Yorkshire Dales is the perfect setting for this renowned cheese shop, café and museum. Its cool atmosphere is ideal for ageing cheeses, and there is a vast selection, from soft and smelly to a cheese wedding cake. Run by Andy and Kathy Swinscoe, The Courtyard Dairy is the winner of numerous awards, including the Best New Cheese Retailer, Cheesemonger of the Year and runner-up for Yorkshire Food Destination of the Year. FG thecourtyarddairy.co.uk

Culina, Singapore

Culina: “nirvana for jet-setting expat gastronomes”
Culina: “nirvana for jet-setting expat gastronomes”

Owned by hospitality maven Christina Ong (she of COMO Hotels renown), Culina is where you come when you absolutely must have violet-fig confiture from Alain Milliat in Lyon, or free-range eggs from New Zealand, or anchovies and octopus from a family-owned purveyor on the Bay of Biscay in northern Spain, or tender organic Angus from Australia’s Margaret River. Not so much about the local, then, but utter nirvana for jet-setting expat gastronomes. There’s a sleek, absurdly comprehensive wine cellar – arguably the city’s strongest on fine French producers – and an even sleeker bistro. MS culina.com.sg 

El Colmado, Bristol

Croquettes, padrón peppers and cured meats at El Colmado
Croquettes, padrón peppers and cured meats at El Colmado

This joyful Spanish deli and tapas bar is bursting with brilliant produce. Here you will find everything you would want to create the most delicious Spanish feast. Croquettes that you can take home and fry to a crisp sit alongside plates of cured meats, Manchego, broad beans, chorizo, padrón peppers and salted almonds. And for breakfast there is the churro mix and chocolate milk. FG elcolmadobristol.co.uk

Farmshop, Santa Monica

The historic Brentwood Country Mart is home to Farmshop, a California-inspired market, bakery and restaurant that highlights the best of artisanal, edible everything. Cheese lovers will delight in Central Coast Creamery’s Goat Gouda, as well as cheddar-style Barely Buzzed rubbed with lavender and espresso beans, while prepared foods including vegetable quiches, hearty soups and gluten-free financiers have earned Farmshop a dedicated fan base. This being LA, shelves are lined with organic oat milk, Saffron Latte Wellness Powder and Turmeric Spice Blend Mylk by Goldyn Glow – and you’ll feel better by just visiting. COE farmshopca.com/santa-monica

Formaggio Kitchen, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Imported cheese and local meats at Formaggio Kitchen
Imported cheese and local meats at Formaggio Kitchen © Michael Piazza

The much-loved shop that keeps Cantabrigians in imported cheese –some aged in the on-site cellar – hams, condiments and breads recently expanded its range. Go for staples such as country pâté, celeriac rémoulade, house-made boudin blanc, meats from nearby farms, and fresh, wild-caught fish. Leah Bhabha formaggiokitchen.com

Gene’s Sausage Shop & Delicatessen, Chicago

Forty varieties of sausage at Gene’s
Forty varieties of sausage at Gene’s © Redux/Eyevine

Gene’s is a cured-meat lover’s Mecca. Founded 49 years ago by brothers John and Gene Luszcz (and currently run by Gene’s daughter Yolanda and son Derek), Gene’s has three European smokehouses and makes 40 varieties of sausage, from freshly butchered pork and beef, in natural casings with no preservatives. There are also 12 types of fresh bratwurst that change seasonally, eight hams, 25 home-made sliced deli meats and, it is said, the best chicken soup in Chicago. And that’s just on the ground floor – the first and second are stocked with goods imported primarily from Europe, and there’s a rooftop garden offering grilled sausages, beers and wines by the glass. RS genessausage.com

Goldhahn & Sampson, Berlin 

Coffee and cookbooks are served up alongside deli items at Goldhahn & Sampson
Coffee and cookbooks are served up alongside deli items at Goldhahn & Sampson

This north-east Berlin neighbourhood store heaves with pastas, pickles, preserves, tinned fish and bottled sauces (Hellmann’s mayonnaise and Colman’s mustard are both also welcome). There are Caribbean spices, cheese made from Jersey cow milk, Arctic seasalt, bottles of sake and habanero chilli paste from Belize. It’s serious about arabica coffee too and, complete with a Chesterfield armchair, has a well-curated cookbook shop. There’s a second store across the city in Charlottenburg. Tim Auld goldhahnundsampson.de

Gozde Sarkuteri, Istanbul

In the middle of the Kadikoy market on the Asian side of Istanbul, this is a must-visit for cheese, charcuterie, cured meats such as pastirma (dried cured beef) and home-made mezes, as well as around 40 types of olive. Standout specialities are freshly prepared dolmas and charred eggplant salad. FG gozdesarkuteri.com.tr

Indigo Delicatessen, Mumbai

For Mumbaikars craving thin-crust pizzas and a frothy cappuccino to eat in, Indigo is the spot. But it’s just as much a destination for stocking up the larder, with a great choice of meats, cheese, wines, coffees, teas, pastas, sauces, tropical fruit pies and made-to-order cookies. LB indigodeli.com

Italo, Vauxhall, London

Rare delicacies pack the shelves at Italo in Vauxhall
Rare delicacies pack the shelves at Italo in Vauxhall

Located in a leafy square, this cornershop deli was opened in 2008 by Luigi di Lieto (scion of the family who ran the Di Lieto bakery in Stockwell for 20 years), Charlie Boxer and Frank Boxer (son and grandson of food writer Arabella Boxer). They pride themselves on sourcing rarer items such as Kouttone panettone, Grenada chocolate and Myatt’s Field honey, as well as on their highly readable community newsletters that combine food updates with resident notices. Perfect if you want to enrol in hula-hoop or steel-pan workshops. AP italodeli.co.uk

KG Winters General Stores, Margate

Fresh local produce at KG Winters
Fresh local produce at KG Winters © Dani Sapphire Woolley @ Push Design Store

A short stroll from Turner Contemporary and the seafront, this store brims with local-supplier produce: Barnsole Vineyard in Kent provides wine; fruit and vegetables come from Walmestone Growers (among others); the meat is reared at Goldstone Butchers near Canterbury; and fresh bread is delivered daily by Whitstable artisan bakery Grain & Hearth. There are also takeaway rice boxes, Japanese cooking ingredients and home-made sriracha next to IPAs from the local Northdown Brewery. Charlene Prempeh kgwinters.co.uk

La Fromagerie, Marylebone, London 

La Fromagerie is famous for its selection of cheeses
La Fromagerie is famous for its selection of cheeses

Patricia Michelson’s café and store is all about cheeses and cured meats. On market days there’s an irresistible grilled-cheese sandwich stand outside to lure you in, where you can choose from the best European cheeses, not forgetting the oozing truffled Brie at Christmas. You’ll also find delights such as candied fruit, puntarelle, blood oranges, Volpaia vinegar and mustard fruits from Mantua to go into a bollito misto. It’s chaos but it’s worth it. FG lafromagerie.co.uk

La Garriga, Madrid

There’s no shortage of excellent ham in Madrid, but the salty, gamey slices on offer at La Garriga are some of the best in town. Keep it simple with a bocadillo (sandwich) of jamón Serrano or jamón Ibérico de Bellota, a special variety made from free- range, acorn-fed pigs. The hanging pork legs on display may inspire you to pick up a few extra rashers to go. LB lagarriga.com

Le Zingam, Paris

Fresh from the farm to the centre of Paris at Le Zingam
Fresh from the farm to the centre of Paris at Le Zingam © John Brunton

This épicerie du quartier opened in late 2014 on Rue du Chemin Vert with a mission to bring fresh produce direct from farmers to residents of the 11th arrondissement. The shop is a riot of produce: sheep’s cheeses from the Pyrenees, home-made gazpacho from the Ardèche, honey from Indre, oysters from Brittany, craft beers and natural wines. There’s a second store on Rue de la Fontaine au Roi, a third on Rue des Martyrs, and an organic market twice a week on Place du Père Chaillet. TA lezingam.com

Lina Stores, Soho and King’s Cross, London 

Chic Italian packaging and hand-made pasta at Lina Stores

Go for the fresh hand-made pasta: everything from vegan pici to classic tagliatelle to truffled ricotta-filled agnolotti and the traditional gnocchi. AP linastores.co.uk

Loaves & Fishes, Sagaponack, the Hamptons

Freshly baked bread on the shelves of Loaves & Fishes
Freshly baked bread on the shelves of Loaves & Fishes

Considered the best place in the Hamptons for fine foods to take away, Loaves & Fishes is famed for its grilled citrus salmon, chicken schnitzel and chunky fresh lobster salad. Savour house-made Sicilian pistachio ice cream, salted-caramel spice cake and apricot galettes by beloved proprietress Sybille van Kempen’s pastry team, and stock up on local jams and freshly baked baguettes. COE loavesandfishes.us

Macelleria Norcineria Sergio Falaschi, San Miniato, Italy

Sergio Falaschi is a fourth-generation butcher who sells his own salumi, prosciutto and sausages from his shop in historic San Miniato in the Tuscan hills. He also makes his own bottled sauces, pickles and has a nice selection of natural wines. The white-truffle sausages in autumn and early winter are the absolute best. ED sergiofalaschi.com

Manteigaria Silva, Lisbon

Lisbon’s oldest grocery store is a feast for the senses with its wide array of Serra da Estrela cheeses and dry-cured hams dangling from the rafters, as well as its signature bacalhau (sea salt-cured cod). COE manteigariasilva.pt

Manuel Tavares, Lisbon

This bustling produce and wine shop in the centre of Lisbon dates from 1860. Staff wear trademark striped red aprons and white shirts, and you can find fabulous cheeses from Alentejo and Azeitão, boar and deer chorizos, Algarve fig cake and black tea from the Azores. It is also known for its nuts and dried fruits. Don’t leave without trying the presunto (dry-cured ham) from Barrancos. FG manueltavares.com

Mascari, Venice

Dried fruit, nuts and spices at Mascari
Dried fruit, nuts and spices at Mascari © John Brunton

A hidden gem near the Rialto market, family-run Mascari has remained delightfully unchanged since it opened its doors in 1948. The windows brim with dried fruits, nuts, Italian sweets, spices and indecently large dishes of that Italian delicacy mostarda di Cremona (mustardy glacé fruits traditionally served with meat or cheese). Inside you will find jars upon jars of honey, jams and pasta sauces, and an incomparable selection of chocolate and marzipan, as well as Marmite (almost impossible to find in Italy) and Tabasco. At the back is the liquor room: floor to ceiling with bottles, all with iconic worth- buying-just-for-the-label branding, as only Italy knows quite how to do. FG imascari.com

Meat & Cheese, Aspen

For picnics and après-ski fondues: Meat & Cheese
For picnics and après-ski fondues: Meat & Cheese

Should you want to assemble a picnic for a day on the slopes or a summer hike, there is no better place than Meat & Cheese, a restaurant and farm shop on Aspen’s Restaurant Row. There’s a robust charcuterie and cheese selection, as the name would suggest. Accessorise your provisions with Colorado Mountain Honey, marinated feta and olives, and a bottle of natural wine. LB meatcheese.avalancheaspen.com

Molinari, San Francisco

Established in 1896 in San Francisco’s historically Italian North Beach neighbourhood, Molinari’s is one of the oldest delicatessens in the US. The speciality here is Molinari’s own selection of cured salumi, which are sold whole, sliced and in their famous Italian Combo sandwich. Be sure to try the Calabrese-style salami and mild coppa. Decades-aged balsamic vinegars are also on offer, as are addictive arancini. Make your decisions as you take in the schmaltzy soundtrack of Frank Sinatra and Perry Como. LB molinaridelisf.com

Murria, Barcelona

The exterior of this iconic modernist shop, founded in 1898, is almost as spectacular as the Catalan delicacies within. Part gallery (Ramón Casas paintings and posters line the windows), part gourmet grocery store, Murria is an institution brimming with fine cheeses from different regions of Spain, as well as wines, Iberian ham and the canned conservas – salt-cured anchovies, razor clams and cockles – that are sought after local specialities. COE murria.cat

O Divin, Paris

Selected wines and artisanal French produce at O Divin
Selected wines and artisanal French produce at O Divin © Johnn Brunton

Redha and Naoufel Zaïm – the brothers behind O Divin restaurant in the 17th arrondissement – also run two shops out east in the heart of Belleville. The épicerie sells a mouthwatering selection of artisanal foods (fennel sausages, rabbit pâté, 50 different wines, hand-made lemonade and juice and locally roasted coffee), while the primeur store next door sources its veg from the Ile de France and has an excellent choice of cheeses, dried fruits and, in season, truffles. TA odivin.fr

Paddington Alimentari, Sydney

This homey traiteur-takeaway has been doing the elevated-Italian basics masterfully for almost two decades. Owner Laraine Russo is still the one wrapping your cheese or tissue-thin coppa slices most days; the standards – panini and arancini, salumi and mixed platters, a few pre-made pastas – are all top. But the desserts are next level, and among them, the torta di ricotta deserves an honorific. MS facebook.com/paddington.alimentari

Padstow Kitchen Garden, Cornwall

When you arrive at Trerethern Farm, with its extraordinary views over the Camel Valley, you may well think you are on a film set. Navigate your way past some very characterful ducks, and on occasion the odd pig, and you enter a charming wooden shed filled with fresh produce: cavolo nero, fresh salads, peppery radishes, sausages… The produce is either grown or reared on the farm, or from other local growers. Take cash, because to pay you use an honesty box. FG padstowkitchengarden.co.uk

Panzer’s Deli, St John’s Wood, London

A picnicker’s delight at Panzer’s Deli, north London
A picnicker’s delight at Panzer’s Deli, north London

A stalwart of seven decades, London’s original Jewish deli is these days a destination for all manner of fine and rare global foods. Beyond what is indisputably the city’s best bagel (take it from this Los Angeles-raised former New Yorker), there are full charcuterie and cheese counters, natural and kosher wines, a sigh-worthy array of exotic fruit and veg, guilty-pleasure American classics (keep your scones; give me Bisquick), corn tortillas actually from Mexico and a slew of own-brand chutneys, marmalades, granolas and pestos. And excellent coffee. And sushi. And these insanely delicious tahini cookies. Just go already. MS panzers.co.uk

Peck, Milan

Milanese glamour inside and out at Peck
Milanese glamour inside and out at Peck © Giovanni Panarotto

Known simply as the “temple of Italian gastronomy”, this Milanese institution needs little introduction: meat, seafood, cheese, chocolate, pastries, pasta, gelato, wine… FG peck.it

Putnam Market, Saratoga Springs

Visitors head to this charming upstate New York town for its historic racecourse, mineral springs and performing arts amphitheatre. Along Broadway is Putnam Market, where tourists and locals alike come for lunch and a spot of dessert. Order a sandwich, like the weekly grilled cheese special or the Catharine (roast free-range turkey, Cheddar, bacon, avocado spread, sprouts and Russian dressing). Then meander to the grocery’s cheese section for a portion of the esoteric Hudson Valley Truffle Falls, a cow’s-milk variety flecked with black truffle and rubbed with white-truffle oil and garam masala. Don’t leave without some rose-lychee macarons. LB putnammarket.com

Rogacki, Berlin

Run by Dietmar Rogacki, grandson of the original owners, this Berlin institution is a sprawling emporium selling cheese, game, poultry, sausage, bread, salad… It’s all delicious, but Rogacki, which started as an eel and fish smokehouse back in the late 1920s, remains rightfully famous for the more than 70 types of fresh, smoked and live fish it sells, from classic rollmops to smoked eel and swordfish. Guy Chazan, TA rogacki.de

Roscioli Salumeria con Cucina, Rome

Brothers Alessandro and Pierluigi run one of the tightest shows in town, with various other Rosciolis and Rosciolis-in-law manning the till, pouring the spumante, even making the (fantastic, heavy on the ’70s classics) playlists. The charcuterie and cheese selection – whether Italian or non-Italian – is basically unrivalled. There’s a sharp, modern wine edit, courtesy of sommelier Maurizio Paparello (he’s the one with the nearly waist-length dreadlocks); the packaged foods, from cantabrico anchovies and gourmet tunas to verdure sott’olio (vegetables marinated in olive oil) to classic Roman pasta kits (carbonara, amatriciana, cacio e pepe), are top of the class. MS shop.roscioli.com

Russ & Daughters, New York

Infinite options for chicken soup at Russ & Daughters on the Lower East Side
Infinite options for chicken soup at Russ & Daughters on the Lower East Side © James and Karla Murray

At this Lower East Side Jewish deli you’ll find every social demographic in the city waving their ticket and shouting over one another to get what they want. For everything from pickles to pastrami-cured salmon, chicken soup to chopped liver, this is the place to go. A client from London recently wanted to send her daughter, who lives in NYC, some chicken soup. She spent 30 minutes discussing all the different options with the Russ & Daughters staffer on the other end of a phone: noodles or matzo balls, kreplach or everything together? When they finished, she said, “Thank you for letting me take up so much of your time.” The woman replied, “I’m a mother, it’s what we’re here for!” FG russanddaughterscafe.com

Sahadi’s, Brooklyn

This Atlantic Avenue trader has been every New Yorker’s go-to for all things rare, beautiful and tasty from the Near East since 1948. Founded by a Lebanese family (and currently run by a woman member), it’s for you if fossicking among bins of grains, ground and whole spices, nuts and dried fruits is your idea of heaven. The olive bar stocks more than 30 varieties, and is matched by an equally prodigious olive oil selection; the bakery turns out fresh-baked Afghan and Syrian breads, honeyed sweets and a killer Turkish Delight. MS sahadis.com

Spring To Go, Notting Hill, London

Skye Gyngell’s new shop on Ledbury Road sells seasonal biodynamic flowers by Kitten Grayson, fruit and vegetables from both Heckfield Home Farm and Fern Verrow, delicious unhomogenised milk, cream, butter, yoghurt and cheese, as well as jams, cordials, pickles, breads and pastries, all made in the kitchens at her restaurant Spring. There will also be a selection of ready meals but it won’t be “restaurant-style food, rather the kind you really want to eat at home, delicious and comforting”. FG springrestaurant-shop.co.uk

Supermarket of Dreams, Holland Park, London

Groceries served with a side of cool at Supermarket of Dreams
Groceries served with a side of cool at Supermarket of Dreams © Milo Brown

One of the great successes of lockdown, this west London hotspot was the brainchild of dynamic Melbourne-born Chris D’Sylva, who also owns the Notting Hill Fish & Meat shop. “It’s like going to Pacha to buy your vegetables,” said one client, observing the queues of people dressed like clubbers who hang out around the door. The high-end offer includes sushi prepared by one of the 12 sushi chefs, and collaborations on takeaway dishes from Coombeshead, Roka, Padella and Ottolenghi. A stylish state-of-the-art refurb will open in August. FG supermarketofdreams.com

Upton Smokery, Oxfordshire

Hurst Barn Farm in Burford is a destination beloved of the Chipping Norton set, with Chris Mills’s expertly smoked game, pheasant, goose, partridge, pigeon breast  and smoked sliced venison the stuff of local legend. FG uptonsmokery.co.uk

Valvona & Crolla, Edinburgh

Valvona & Crolla: an Aladdin’s cave of produce in Edinburgh
Valvona & Crolla: an Aladdin’s cave of produce in Edinburgh © Camera Press/Laif

Scotland’s oldest delicatessen was founded in 1934 by two Italian immigrant families and is now run by the grandson of the original co-proprietor, Alfona Crolla. It’s an Aladdin’s cave of gourmet produce with salami and Parma hams dangling from the ceiling and shelves packed to the rafters with Italian and Scottish delicacies, including the family speciality, a spicy Fonteluma sausage made using a centuries-old recipe. AP valvonacrolla.co.uk

Counter culture

What’s your favourite deli or food shop? Let us know below, and we’ll publish your nominations in a forthcoming story…

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