Tucked inside the basement of a beautiful brick building in Manhattan’s East Village, a cookbook store offers a wonderland of culinary gems.
Inside Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks, row upon row of weathered spines welcome readers and eaters. Amid the antiquarian cookbooks, there’s food art, enameled pitchers, vintage teacups, and food paraphernalia from across the decades, offering fodder for the foodie imagination. On one wall, a quote from Carlos Ruiz Zafón reminds perusers a bit about the store’s purpose: “Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens.”
Titles on barbecue, cakes, and Chinese food mingle with Clam Shack Cookery and a book all about cooking with rhubarb. For those looking for regional fare, there’s even a collection of spiral-bound community cookbooks. If something isn’t available, Slotnick’s sleuthing skills are likely to turn it up. Before opening her shop, she worked as a book scout known for tracking down out-of-print cookbooks.
Out back, a small patio with colorful chairs and tables invite the reader to cozy up. And those looking to sally forth on their literary adventures will find Slotnick’s list of local independent bookstores chock full of fun for an afternoon of letters.
Know Before You Go
Hours vary week to week. The store's website gets updated with the week's hours so check first before visiting.