Best Gourmet Grocer/Food Hall
The Readers Choice nominees for Best Gourmet Grocer/Food Hall include one that started out with a small store in Texas and today, has more than 270 stores in North America and the United Kingdom. An Ohio-based nominee is family-owned and operated that is recognized for its great food and service. Two nominees are New York institutions offering gourmet foods from around the world. Last, but not least, there's an opulent Food Hall in London that is known worldwide for the sheer volume and selection of its international goods all presented in breathtaking displays.
Dean & DeLuca
Dorothy Lane Market
Harrods Food Hall
Best Online Gourmet Food
The Readers' Choice nominees for the Best Online Gourmet Food include a New York institution with a staff that travel the world in search of great artisan-produced foods. A Seattle-based nominee was launched by a group of passionate food-lovers committed to the best artisan-produced, sustainable foods while another nominee is a family-owned operation that originated from three generations of cheese importers. A Michigan-based nominee is a collection of local businesses, each with its own food specialty. Finally, the Philadelphia-based nominee celebrates the European roots of its two founders with a wide array of gourmet meats, cheeses, oils, and other goods from around the world.
Dean & DeLuca
Di Bruno Brothers
Zingerman's Mail Order
Best Caviar Retailer
The Readers' Choice nominees for Best Caviar Retailer include award-winning brands from Europe and the United States with each offering the highest of quality. Several offer some of the finest Russian caviar to be found, while one is a proponent of sustainably harvested roe with its own tank-farming system.
Caviar House & Prunier
Tsar Nicoulai Caviar
Best Bread Bakery
The Readers' Choice nominees for Best Bread Bakery include companies that have been producing bread for decades. One opened more than 70 years ago and is now an institution in Paris, while another was launched in Belgium before expanding around the world. A Los Angeles-based nominee has developed more than 100 varieties of award-winning breads. The Philadelphia-based nominee features artisanal breads and the baked goods of the Ann Arbor-based nominee are known throughout the Midwest.
La Brea Bakery
Le Pain Quotidien
Best Cheese Shop
The Readers' Choice nominees are among the most respected shops in the world. These cheese shops, offer a full range of both international and domestic artisanal cheeses. They are the destinations for serious cheese lovers and chefs who are in search of the best.
Neal's Yard Dairy
le pain quotidien
Filed under: Dining
When Alain Coumont opened Le Pain Quotidien in his native Belgium in 1990, little did he know then what his artisanal bakery would eventually spawn. Coumont, a highly regarded chef at one of Brussels' most prestigious restaurants, just wasn't able to source bread worthy of his clientele and so started making it himself.
The concept was a huge success from day one. By 1993, there were 16 different locations in Europe. And by 1997, Coumont had opened his first store in New York City. Fast forward to 2009, and you'll find a company, still privately owned, with more than 114 locations around the world. This year, new locations have opened or will open in the Middle East, the United States, Europe and Russia.
Le Pain Quotidien is a French phrase that means "the daily bread." Indeed, Le Pain Quotidien bread is made fresh daily, just as it was in the very beginning. Its whole wheat sourdough breads, called pain au levain, are naturally fermented. Organic stone-ground flour, salt, and water is kneaded and shaped by hand and then baked in a hearth under the watchful eye of artisan bakers.
Le Pain Quotidien restaurants are known for their communal tables, made from reclaimed wood, in which customers sit side-by-side. There, they dine on simple fare from soups and salads to tartines and homemade pastries and breads. The company uses organic ingredients whenever possible.
Each location offers a range of homemade baked goods, from buttery croissants, organic brioche and challah to baguettes, all of which are baked fresh at each location daily. Baked goods are also available for purchase at the counter, including whole and half loaves of wheat, rye, spelt, five-grain and walnut bread.
Vote now for what you believe is the best of breed in Gourmet Foods. Readers' Choice Awards for Food will be announced on November 30th.