Best stores for kitchen gadgets

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Broadway Panhandler
A family business founded in 1939, Broadway Panhandler stocks hard-core products for professional chefs, but there's also plenty on hand for the gourmet dabbler. The shop's personality really lies in the fun and innovative kitchen accessories it offers for any level of enthusiast to enjoy. Check out the Edward Salad Hands ($20)—bamboo tossers that look like fingers—or the Onion Goggles ($20), which provide extreme protection while slicing the tear-inducing vegetables. The store also offers the ongoing series Demonstrations and Conversations, which includes demos, tastings and interviews with popular chefs in the area. 65 E 8th St between Broadway and Mercer Sts (866-266-5927, broadwaypanhandler.com)

Sur La Table
For how well-known Sur La Table has become in the gourmet world, it's somewhat surprising that there are only two locations in the entire state of New York—thankfully, we have one in Soho. Look for an extensive knife collection ($100--240), Bundt pans (starting at $15) and colorful cupcake foils (starting at $10). Make sure to head over for the end-of-season clearance sales, where items can be found at up to 75 percent off. And a purchase of $50 or more any time of year will get you a subscription to Bon Appetit. Sadly, the Soho spot doesn't offer in-store cooking lessons, but it occasionally has events with popular cooks like Rachael Ray and Emeril Lagasse. 75 Spring St at Crosby St (212-966-3375, surlatable.com)

The Kitchen Clique
Husband-and-wife team Martin and Faigie Sprecher opened up shop in 2001, when "the masses were beginning to attempt mimicking restaurant-style food in their own homes," they say. The couple describes their customers as more like family, and you'll often see people mingling and chatting in the aisles. Like in a true family, anything goes, meaning you don't have to buy items in a set—even if that's how they're originally packaged. Because the area is predominantly Jewish, the Sprechers sell hard-to-find ethnic items such as oval challah pans ($9). Prices are always low, but they're often lower (by about 50 percent) during the holidays when the store throws closeout sales featuring big-name brands like Vera Wang. Other bonuses include the free gift wrapping and custom gift baskets. 3009 Ave L at Nostrand Ave, Flatlands, Brooklyn (718-253-3909, kitchenclique.com)

The Brooklyn Kitchen
Created by two amateur chefs looking for career changes, the Brooklyn Kitchen brings some pioneering ideas to the table in addition to typical kitchen wares. Become a part of the Foodie Book Club potluck dinner that meets every eight weeks, or attend a cooking class like its popular One Pot Meals. Check out the in-store vintage collection that features brands like Dansk, Catherineholm and more. November will mark the opening of an additional location a few blocks away. This new spot will include the Brooklyn Kitchen Labs (two fully equipped teaching kitchens where all the cooking classes will be held) as well as a full-service custom butcher shop run by Tom Mylan and Brent Young (formerly of Marlow & Daughters). 616 Lorimer St at Skillman Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn * 100 Frost St at Brooklyn Queens Expwy, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-389-2982, thebrooklynkitchen.com)

Williams-Sonoma
Our list wouldn't be complete without a respectful nod to Williams-Sonoma. The store, which now has 250 locations nationwide, first opened in 1956 selling imported French cookware. Over the years the stock has expanded, and you can now expect high-end items with a rustic flair like the Ruffoni copper collection of pots and pans (starts at $170), artisan cutting boards (from $29) and the old-fashioned Imperia Pasta Machine ($70). Wackier items like the Goldtouch Sandwich Cookie Cake Pan ($29.95), which makes your cake look like a cookie, and a giant cupcake mold ($36) are brand exclusives. Various locations throughout the city; visit williams-sonoma.com

Crate and Barrel
Shopping for a kitchen table? Crate and Barrel's got lots of options (from $299), plus everything you'll need to get dinner on top of it. Look for helpers like a Mario Batali silicone-handle grip for pots ($5) and an old-school honey dipper ($3), as well as more substantial items like a professional Krups espresso-coffee maker ($300), serving plates, juice glasses and more. The Crate and Barrel executives smartly place the smaller gadgets near the cash registers to tempt you with impulse buys right before reaching the end of the shopping experience. Various locations throughout the city; visit crateandbarrel.com

A Cook's Companion
This small shop may be your new best friend thanks to its massive selection of cookware, including some of the best names like Emile Henry, Wstof and Zyliss. Pick up a Nespresso CitiZ Espresso Machine ($279) or some Mason Cash stoneware and bakeware ($5--$60). Or just shop the seasonal goodies at the front of the store. 197 Atlantic Ave at Court St, Brooklyn Heights (718-852-6901, acookscompanion.com)

Tarzian West for Houseware
The attraction of Tarzian West (besides the curb appeal of brightly colored bowls and pot holders in the window) is the collection of artistic, handy pieces that make perfect gifts. There are more than 20,000 items to choose from, so leaving the small store empty-handed is rare. Retro is the name of their game, with cute polka-dot-patterned dish towels available and '50s clocks displayed on the walls. Throughout October, bring in any old teakettle to recycle and get a new Chantal one at 20 percent off, with proceeds going to a local charity. 197 Seventh Ave at 2nd St, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-788-4213)

Whisk
This kitschy kitchen store takes a quirkier approach than most: As a tribute to the late Julia Child, the store began selling screenprinted tote bags ($18) and aprons ($15), and there was even a birthday party thrown in honor of the beloved chef on August 15. Make sure to check out the stocked library of cookbooks near the back—they've got lots of options for vegetarians! 231 Bedford Ave at North 4th St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-218-7230, whisknyc.com)

Macy's the Cellar
Here you can stock up on quality tabletop pieces at easy-on-the-wallet prices. As the name suggests, the shop is in the basement and offers a wide selection of dinnerware, flatware, serveware and drinkware from classy designers like Calvin Klein, Lauren Ralph Lauren, Wedgewood and Martha Stewart. Most items are bargains, priced at less than $150, but you can save even more by using the frequently circulated newspaper coupons and by stopping in during Macy's semiannual sales, which offer huge deals. 151 W 34th St between Broadway and Seventh Ave (212-695-4400, macys.com)

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