Eating in NYC Must-try specialty restaurants in New York City
New York City is the capital of the world. This statement, which might seem presumptuous, is truer than ever when it comes to the culinary scene. Many of the city’s best restaurants are located in the heart of Manhattan, and several of them stand out for specializing in a certain type of food or dish. We’re talking about delicacies far beyond burgers and falafel. One example is Shuko, an ambitious Japanese restaurant headed by Nick Kim and Jimmy Lau that stands out not only for its food, but also for its addictive ritual of serving nigiri between each dish.
Very few chefs have managed to elevate authentic Mexican cuisine above fast food, but Daniela Soto-Innes and Enrique Olvera have done just that. They’ve accomplished it through sophistication and fusion, with dishes inspired by the traditions of Mexico City and seasoned with revolutionary flavours and ingredients; for example, slow-cooked duck carnitas with orange and Coca-Cola. The foundation of their food is the corn of their tortillas—a product to which they pay the utmost attention—and their motto is that at a Mexican restaurant, you have to get your hands dirty. Enough with those tacos that are served already rolled up!
Just like Cosme did with Mexican food, Victor's Cafe has managed to make Cuban cuisine something worth talking about. In this case it’s much less formal and more edgy, with a tropical atmosphere that’s highly Instagrammable. It catches the eye first and then seduces the palate, through recipes that modernize the Caribbean island’s dishes without sacrificing a single shred of authenticity. The star of the menu? “Ponle Rope a la Vaca,” a reinterpretation of the legendary ropa vieja.
One of New York City’s best-kept culinary secrets can be found below the vaulted concourse of Grand Central Terminal, which has more platforms than any other train station in the world. It’s called Almanak, and it’s an oasis of peace and authenticity that has won over locals and tourists alike with one simple concept: preparing salads, main courses and snacks with local products. It does this in a Nordic-looking space in which wood dominates, with no room for superfluous details.
TUCK SHOP NY
Is it possible for any Anglo-Saxon cuisine other than American to succeed in New York City? At Tuck Shop it is. They’ve done it with Australian recipes, among which the meat pie reigns supreme; it’s been their star dish ever since they opened. In fact, many New Yorkers have even come to prefer it to burgers. In addition to the classic version, the restaurant has varied its ingredients and added other flavors like mac n’ cheese and Thai chicken curry.
PETER LUGER STEAK HOUSE
Crossing over to Brooklyn only makes sense—at least in terms of food—if you’re doing it to try the steaks prepared at this interesting eatery. Its old-fashioned appearance, reverence for meat and masterful choices of cuts and origins have made this a global point of reference for carnivores. And for good reason; since 1887, it’s been demonstrating that porterhouse steak (also known as T-bone) is the most delicious dish on the face of the earth... or at least in New York City.
The quintessential dessert of the Big Apple has its own temple: Junior's Cheesecake. It isn’t necessarily the place where this sweet treat was invented, but it’s certainly the one that has managed to bring out the best in it. It’s a sin not to order it at any of the restaurant’s locations in Manhattan. That said, try to go between normal mealtimes in order to avoid the crowds.
It’s somewhat surprising that a refined French bistro like this one has become famous for its avocado toast with poached eggs. This simple recipe has won over NYC’s youngest and healthiest diners, giving this place a second spring centered on brunch. Aside from this creation, its menu features other Gallic delights like bouillabaisse. It’s the perfect place to fuel up for a fun day in the city topped off with a Broadway show.
One of the most deceptive clichés of Italian cuisine is spaghetti with meatballs. This culinary invention was actually created in the US, combining two cultures in a hearty dish to keep you full all day. But beyond their place atop pasta, meatballs have become one of the city’s essential eats thanks to Meatball Shop, an ideal place to take a break from sightseeing.