Broadway Panhandler

Broadway Panhandler


Neighborhood: East Village
Type of Place: Housewares Gift Shops

With interest in everything culinary at an all time high and everybody including your neighbor’s cousin alleging their status as self-proclaimed foodies, it’s no surprise that places like Broadway Panhandler are thriving. Since 1976, this attractive Soho store has provided both professional and amateur chefs with everything they could want to make even the most unheard of recipes, including all the kitchen gear and gadgets you need to pull them off.

If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a gorgeous Dutch oven casserole, a fancy European-styled sauté pan, or just a fantastic set of professional knives, then head downtown. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the thousand of items in stock. Check out cookware by Optio, Cuisinart, and Le Creuset, plus myriad blenders, coffeemakers and urns, white ware, table linens, and more cookie cutters than you’ve ever seen in one place.

Baking enthusiasts will find everything they seek and then some, including a variety of spring-form pans, icing colors, pastry bags, specialty cupcake liners, and anything you might need to add a little color to your finished creations. If you’re throwing a children’s party, there’s also a great selection of party supplies, such as candles and other decorations to dress up your presentation or party table.

Besides the obvious cooking implements, Broadway Panhandler keeps things interesting, even for those of us who still burn toast. With lots of novelty items peppered throughout the huge store you won’t find yourself bored, even if you’re tagging along with someone who takes an hour to decide which pan to buy. For instance, you’ll love the store’s selection of printed aprons and towels with 1950s-inspired images and phrases, priced from $27.95 to $9.95, respectively. Big kids will be inspired by the colorfully printed glassware, especially the Marvel Comics glasses, which are priced from $8.95. If that’s not enough, trying to guess what type of precision cutting or other equally useful task you can perform with any number of incredible gadgets will definitely occupy your imagination. If all else fails, try the clearance rack in the middle of the store; it’s jammed with low-priced wares that are nothing if not practical.

Our all-time favorite finds border the pricier end of the scale, but all seem worth the investment in terms of their quality, such as the Crystal Home Soda Maker ($179.98), a gorgeous copper fondue set ($104.95), and the Dalla Piazza Oil Flask and Pipette ($27.95). In all, you might leave with a little more than you bargained for, considering the treasures at hand: spice grinders, decanters, infusers, French presses, mandolin slicers, and more food storage containers than you can shake a stick at, including our favorite, the spring-clasp cucumber saver, $5.95.

Kids won’t feel left out of the action either, as there are lots of things here that will start them whining. They’ll spy character lunch boxes and thermal containers, novelty ice cube trays (also great for creating gelatin shapes), fun cake molds, the ever popular “Mr. and Mrs. Food Face Plate,” $13.95, kid-sized kitchen tools, aprons, and chef hats, and much more.

While there, don’t pass up the chance to speak with the friendly and knowledgeable Broadway Panhandler employees, many of whom have worked at positions in the food industry and are eager to offer their assistance. The store also hosts regular demonstrations of its products on site, including taste tests of foods prepared with specific items. Sign up for e-mails to receive regular updates about in-store demos, sales, and special events.   - Joann Jovinelly

Broadway Panhandler
65 E. Eighth Street
New York, NY 10003
(212) 966-3434