To outsiders, New York's food scene can seem an impenetrable thicket of restaurants, gourmet delis and ethnic shops specializing in cuisines from every far-flung corner.
With so many options, it's easy to feel overwhelmed when trying to suss out the best spots for strudel, sausage or shark fin.
Which makes Susan Meisel and Nathalie Sann's Gourmet Shops of New York (Rizzoli, 2007, $39.95) a blessing. Organized by neighborhood and richly illustrated with lush photographs, the book introduces the reader to the best foodie shops and the people behind them.
Particularly handy are the book's indexes, which sort the shops by neighborhood, borough and type of food.
— BY J.M. HIRSCH, ASSOCIATED PRESS