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Despaña  – A Taste of Spain in Soho – New York City

Despaña – A Taste of Spain in Soho – New York City

DESTINATIONS, FOOD + WINE, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES

Being of Spanish decent, I’m always looking for places that serve traditional Spanish meals from Spain. I came across Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Café in SoHo, which has everything you need to transport yourself to Spain. The store is part cafe and part market, with a dining section in the back that serves all types of tapas.  The shop specializes in Spanish food and ingredients and imports, and has a wine shop, Vinas y Mas, right next door.

The Despaña Brand Foods was established in 1971 as the first manufacturer of Spanish-style chorizos based in New York serving the Tri-State region. Their chorizo factory and original small retail store front remains located in Jackson Heights, Queens, with the corporate headquarters and warehouse facility for distribution located in Woodside, Queens. The company’s original focus was in the specialty food division, and in the late 80s began gradually incorporating a wide line of imported specialty foods to service restaurant and gourmet retail market accounts. Despaña Brand Foods continues to be a family-run operation that has earned a very strong presence as a recognized leading importer of authentic, high quality, brand name food products exclusively from Spain.

The company opened in 2006 the first, and is still currently the only, NYC specialty food boutique offering authentic products from Spain.

 

Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Café - Soho
Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Café – Soho

 

When I entered the store, the first thing that caught my eye was the legs of ham hanging from the wall displayed in stands and all types of selections of different hams and cheeses on the counters.

 

Spanish Leg of Ham on its stand - Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Café Soho - New York City
Spanish Leg of Ham on its stand – Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Cafe Soho – New York City
Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Café indoors - New York City
Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Café indoors – New York City
Despaña ham stands - New York City
Despaña ham stands – New York City

 

At the cheese counter you can taste and select from a variety of 50 or more specialty cheeses and at their dry-cured meats section you can order hand sliced Iberico ham, Serrano ham, and taste among other pantry items and meats, some of the favorites being Despaña Brand cooking chorizos, christorra and morcillas.

 

Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Café Cheese Counter in Soho
Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Café Cheese Counter in Soho
Selection of Cheeses at Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Café Soho (Image: Despaña
Selection of Cheeses at Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Café Soho (Image: Despaña)
Samples of chorizos at Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Café Soho
Samples of chorizos at Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Café Soho
Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Café Soho - selections of chorizos and ham
Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Café Soho – selections of chorizos and hams
Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Café Soho store counters
Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Café Soho store counters

 

The store has shelves stocked up of all types of products from Spain like olive oils, vinegar, paella rice, sauces & condiments, honey, rice, sweets, seafood preserves, vegetable preserves, and fruit preserves.

 

Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Café Soho Shelves of Food Products
Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Café Soho Shelves of Food Products

 

Several of the counters have products out on display allowing the customers to try out some samples before they purchase. Everything is presented clearly, and labelled with descriptions.  I found myself noshing on the samples that were on the counters, looking at the many offerings of canned fish in Spanish olive oil, and thinking of what tapas I wanted to eat.

 

Customers sampling some of the tasting products at Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Café Soho
Customers sampling some of the tasting products at Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Café Soho
Sample Tastings of Olives, Vinegar, Olive Oil at Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Café Soho
Sample Tastings of Olives, Vinegar, Olive Oil at Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Café Soho

 

As I walked toward the back of the store, customers were lined up ordering traditional Spanish tapas, like bocadillos (Spanish type of sandwich), tortillas (Spanish omelette, made with eggs and potatoes), and Flan (my personal favorite) for dessert.  They are all made fresh daily.  The “Chorizo Picante” is their most popular bocadillo, which consists of chorizo picante, Mahon cheese (a cow’s milk cheese from the island of Menorca), spicy Guindilla peppers, and alioli on ciabatta bread.

 

Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Café Soho- Spanish bocadillos, tortilla omelette, salads
Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Café Soho- Spanish bocadillos, tortilla omelette, salads
Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Café Soho Flagship Store - New York City
Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Café Soho Flagship Store – New York City

 

Next to the counter they have a dining area with tables allowing you to sit and enjoy your meal with a nice glass of wine or Spanish beer.

 

Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Café Soho- Dining Area
Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Café Soho- Dining Area
Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Café Soho dining area with customers enjoying their meals
Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Café Soho dining area with customers enjoying their meals

 

The store manager was nice enough to prepare me a special sampler plate of cured meats and fine cheeses with all types of hams (jamones) and cheeses (quesos).  The Manchego cheese has always been one of my favorite cheeses.  The older the cheese the better it tastes.  I also got to sample a slice of tortilla.   I sat down at one of the tables and devoured my sampler plate.  It was delicious!

 

Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Café sampler selection of cured meats and fine cheeses made especially for me
Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Café sampler selection of cured meats and fine cheeses made especially for me
A slice of tortilla (potato omelette) at Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Café
A slice of tortilla (potato omelette) at Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Café

 

Most people don’t realize that carving jamón (ham) is an art , which takes practice and patience. It’s not as easy as most of us think.  At Despaña, they offer private carving classes with their Master Carver.  The 1.5 hour class is held after hours and includes a brief history about jamón with a full hour of hands on carving instructions. An entire bone in Serrano Jamón (Ibérico or Bellota are available at additional cost), Jamonera (Ham Stand), Recipe Booklet, and Jamón Carry Bag.

 

Jamon Carving Class at Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Café (Image: Despaña)
Jamon Carving Class at Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Café (Image: Despaña)

 

In 2011, Despaña Vinos Y Mas wine shop opened right next door, it features hundreds upon hundreds of Spanish wines and liquors. You can buy a bottle there, bring it into the taperia/grocery, and they’ll uncork for you. The workers are very helpful in picking a wine, and will make recommendations based on what you like.  They have wine tastings every Thursday and Saturday and they also give cheese samples from the other part of the store.  You can go to the wine store, get a bottle and enjoy it at the “cafe”, since there is no cork fee and the price per bottle is exceptionally low.

 

Despaña Vinos Y Mas Shop in Soho
Despaña Vinos Y Mas Shop in Soho
Despaña Vinos Y Mas Shop in Soho
Despaña Vinos Y Mas Shop in Soho

 

Entertaining at home or the office? No worries, they offer a list of catering platter options of meats and cheese specialties as well as office lunch platters of their famous bocadillos, salads, and more for you to choose from.

 

Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Cafe Party Catering Platters of Hams and Cheeses (Image: Despaña)
Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Cafe Party Catering Platters of Hams and Cheeses (Image: Despaña)

 

They also offer an after-hour event menu making the entire store available to customers for parties for a fee, where you can host birthday parties, small gatherings, book signings, and holiday events.  The after hour event menu consists of a buffet table of meats and cheese platters, four pass-around appetizers, staff included, and you select whatever wine and beer to be served for the evening.

At Despaña you’ll find tons of authentic Spanish products that are hard to find outside of specialty stores such as this one.

 

Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Cafe Gift Baskets
Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Cafe Gift Baskets

 

Give the gift of Spanish flavor to your friends and family this holiday season with a perfect gift basket of delicious assortments of some of the finest products from Spain. They offer pre-assembled gift baskets that you can view on their online brochure, but they would be happy to customize a gift basket for you with any products from the Fine Foods shop and Vinos y Mas. They can also ship your gift basket through UPS (United States only), and hand-deliver the baskets within Manhattan.

 

Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Cafe Passion for Paella Gift Basket
Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Cafe Passion for Paella Gift Basket

 

Spaniards know how to live the good life. I highly recommend visiting Despaña for a taste of Spain and also if you are entertaining. This is a great place to pick up some goodies for you and your friends.   If you live in NJ, you can travel to Despaña Princeton store for a piece of Spain in NJ.

 

Despaña Soho (Fine Foods & Tapas Cafe) 408 Broome Street, New York, NY 10013
Phone: 212.219.5050
info@despananyc.com

New Store Hours:  

Mon-Thu  10am – 7pm
Fri     10am – 9pm
Sat   11am- 9pm
Sun  11am-6pm

 

Disclosure:  I was a guest of Despaña Soho but all opinions are my own.  

About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder and Senior Editor of Carmen's Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Our travels allows her the opportunity to pursuit her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.

4 Comments

  1. Renata
    November 23, 2015 at 10:18 am
    Reply

    Yum-Yum :-). I love Spanish ham and tapas!

    • Carmen
      November 23, 2015 at 11:21 am

      I’m a huge fan of Spanish tapas as well. This place is a gem. They offer all types of products for you to cook at home, or you can try some of their delicious tapas in the cafe.

  2. Travelblogger Lisa
    November 29, 2015 at 12:58 pm
    Reply

    The Food looks so so good! I’m hungry now 🙂

    Lisa – Joy Della Vita Travelblog

    • Carmen
      November 29, 2015 at 7:37 pm

      The food was very good. I felt like I was back in Spain.

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