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CULINARY EXPLORATION NEW YORK

NEW YORK

NEW YORK = THE BIG APPLE

With more than 8 million people, NYC is not only America's biggest city, but also the most diverse food culture around. Us research chefs refer to it as one of the big three, and it is an important culinary trend incubator for us to spend time in. I roamed Manhattan and Brooklyn looking for street trends, New York style pizza, rich ramen, and secret bars. Along the way I stumbled on some amazing finds and some of the countries best food. Scroll down to see my top picks for the city that never sleeps.

 

The Pig 

PIG'S PICKS

Where to eat Pizza, slurp ramen, and drink secretly in New York city.

JOE'S PIZZA

PIG SCORE: 4.0 / 4.0

WHAT: NY STYLE PIZZA

WHEN: You're in the mood for some of New York's finest.

PRICE: $

PAYMENT: Cash only

 

HOURS: 

Sun - Thur: 10am - 4am

Fri & Sat: 10am–5am

MAP IT: 

7 Carmine St.

New York, NY 10014

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Slice of Cheese 

  • Slice of Pepperoni

 

WHY: ......Ah New York, the hustle, the bustle, grabbing a slice of great pizza. Well, Joe's is THAT place, the one that captures it all and dishes it out one slice at a time. This little pizzeria has been serving Greenwich village since 1975. Don't come here expecting table service, or a place to sit, but do expect a great slice and some New York charm. Now get outta here. 

IVAN RAMAN SLURP SHOP

PIG SCORE: 3.9 / 4.0

WHAT: JAPANESE RAMEN DESIGNED BY A JEWISH CHEF.

WHEN: Your taste says Japan, but your pocket book says New York.

PRICE: $ - $$

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

HOURS: 

Sun - Thurs 12:30PM–10:00PM

Fri & Sat 12:30PM–11:00PM

MAP IT: 

25 Clinton St.

New York, NY 10002

WHAT TO ORDER: 

  • Chicken Paitan

  • Tokyo Shio Ramen

WHY: I read his book about how he went to Japan to roam, and fell in love with the small ramen shops he found along the countryside. He finally branched out on his own and against steep odds became one of Japans top ramen chefs. Now Ivan graces us with his bowls of steaming hot broth and delicious rye ramen noodles.

ATTABOY

PIG SCORE: 3.9 / 4.0

WHAT: A SECRET BAR WITHOUT A DRINK MENU

WHEN: You're looking for a bartender jedi master.

PRICE: $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash 

HOURS:

7 days 6:00pm – 4:00am

 

MAP IT: 

134 Eldridge St.

New York, NY 10002

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Gin and Spicy

  • Whiskey and sour

WHY: This little secret bar is hidden behind the M&H Tailors store front. Nestled between two buildings, these bartenders are professionals at what they do. You won't find a drink menu, but will be asked a few simple questions about your likes. A short time later they somehow deliver the cocktail of your dreams, that you didn't even know you wanted.

HOW TO GET IN: Find 134 Eldridge Street, it should say "M&H Tailors" and ring the buzzer. It doesn't hurt to stop by your church and make a prayer on the way that they might have room for you. 

PLEASE DON'T TELL

PIG SCORE: 3.9 / 4.0

WHAT: CRAZY DOGS WITH A SECRET

WHEN: You want more than just mustard with your dog. 

PRICE: $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

HOURS:

Sun - Thurs 6PM–2AM

Fri & Sat 6PM–3AM

 

MAP IT: 

113 St Marks Pl.

New York, NY 10009

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • A Specialty cocktail

  • A Secret Menu Dog

WHY: First of all the hot dogs are legit, but the secret bar is even legiter (yes, I made that word up). They have solid drinks, and a secret hot dog menu that you can only get in the back bar. 

HOW TO GET IN: Walk into Crif Dogs and find the small phone booth with the red phone. Dial #1, ONLY once. Wait for them to answer and hope they have room for you in the tiny bar. Reservations are always a good thing here.

MIZNON

PIG SCORE: 3.9 / 4.0

WHAT: ISRALIE STREET FOOD.

WHEN: You're craving some serious noshing.

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

HOURS: 

Sun & Mon 11AM–9PM

Tues - Sat 11AM–10PM

 

MAP IT: 

435 W 15th St.

New York, NY 10011

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Roasted Baby Cauliflower

  • Run Over Potato

WHY: Who knew Israeli street food could be this good, actually who knew Israeli had street food. But dang if Miznon doesn't nail it out of the park with this roasted baby cauliflower. 

WAFELS & DINGES

PIG SCORE: 3.85 / 4.0

WHAT: WAFFLES WITH ATTITUDE

WHEN: You want breakfast, but its really lunch time.

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

HOURS: 

Sun 9AM–10PM

Mon - Thurs 7:30AM–10PM

Fri 7:30AM–1AM

Sat 9AM–1AM

MAP IT: (three locations)

15 Avenue B.

New York, NY 10009

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • The Bacon & Bourbon Waffle

  • The Throwdown Waffle

WHY: Waffles are delicious, and these guys take it to a higher level. Eat breakfast at anytime of the day.

NAKAMURA

PIG SCORE: 3.7 / 4.0

WHAT: JAPANESE NOODLES

WHEN: You're looking to get your noodle on.

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

HOURS: 

Sun - Closed

Mon - Sat 11:30AM–11:30PM

 

MAP IT: 

172 Delancey St.

New York, NY 10002

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Torogara With Egg

WHY: This tiny little noodle shop is the show case of Chef Nakamura, considered a top ramen chef in Japan. 

SUNSHINE LAUNDROMAT

PIG SCORE: 3.75 / 4.0

WHAT: SECRET BAR / PINBALL EMPORIUM

WHEN: You're with the guys, have dirty laundry and a lot of extra quarters.

PRICE: $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

HOURS: 

Mon - Thurs  4PM - 2AM

Fri  4PM - 4AM

Sat  12PM - 4AM

Sun 12PM - 2AM

 

MAP IT: 

860 Manhattan Ave.

Brooklyn, NY 11222

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • One Of The Many Great Beers

  • A Frozen Pizza (yes frozen)

WHY: Is it a coin operated laundromat? A secret bar? A pinball collection? Or all of the above??

HOW TO GET IN: Walk into the laundromat, go to the back wall. Find the lone set of stacked dryers, pull it open, walk into the Pinball Wizard's dream.

TACOMBI

PIG SCORE: 3.5 / 4.0

WHAT: MEXICAN STREET TACOS

WHEN: You want Mexican in a casual setting.

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

HOURS: 

Mon - Wed 11AM–12AM

Thur - Sat 11AM–1AM

Sun 11AM–11PM

 

MAP IT: (Three locations) 

267 Elizabeth St.

New York, NY 10012

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Al Pastor taco

  • Barbacoa taco

WHY: They might not be the most authentic Mexican tacos you'll find in the city, but they are good, and has that little neighborhood taqueria feel. This is a great casual spot to grab a bite.

KATZ'S DELICATESSEN

PIG SCORE: 3.25 / 4.0

WHAT: SERIOUS PASTRAMI

WHEN: You want to fight a crowd for a piece of cured meat.

PRICE: $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

HOURS: 

Mon - Wed  8AM–10:45PM

Thurs 8AM–2:45AM

Fri 8AM–12AM

Sat Open 24 hours

Sun 12AM–10:45PM

 

MAP IT: 

205 E Houston St.

New York, NY 10002

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Katz's Pastrami Hot Sandwich

WHY: You want a little piece of the old school NYC experience. This is a mad house of cured meat, but  they somehow balance the act of being a tourist trap and being loved by locals. 

McSORLEY'S OLD ALE HOUSE

PIG SCORE: 3.3 / 4.0

WHAT: THE OLDEST BAR IN NYC

WHEN: You want a drunk history lesson.

PRICE: $ - $$

PAYMENT: Cash only

HOURS: 

Mon - Sat 11AM–1AM

Sun 1PM–1AM

 

MAP IT: 

15 E 7th St.

New York, NY 10003

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • One of each

WHY: In existence since 1854, this is the oldest bar in NYC. They painted over their windows during prohibition, and kept right on serving. If you want a craft cocktail or wine, this is not the place for you. They only serve two drinks, a light or dark ale. It may be a hole in the wall, but it is worth the trip just to say that you've peed in the same urinal as Abraham Lincoln.  

MILK BAR

PIG SCORE: 3.25 / 4.0

WHAT: SMALL DELICIOUS DAIRY BITES 

WHEN: You want something sweet and are on the go.

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

HOURS: 

Sun - Thurs 10AM–1AM

Fri & Sat 9AM–1AM

 

MAP IT: (multiple locations)

246 Mott St.

New York, NY 10012

WHAT TO ORDER: 

  • Cereal milk soft serve

  • Compost cookie

 

WHY: These little shops are uniquely  NYC. Some are basically hole in the side of buildings with little metal garage doors that open up for service. Make sure to try some of their cereal milk specialties, the flavor will take you back to being a kid and slurping up the last of the milk from your bowl of cereal. 

LOMBARDI'S

PIG SCORE: 3.2 / 4.0

WHAT:  THE ORIGINAL COAL FIRED PIZZA

WHEN: You want a slice of pizza history.

PRICE: $$ 

PAYMENT: Cash only

HOURS: 

Sun - Thurs 11:30AM–11PM

Fri & Sat 11:30AM–12AM

 

MAP IT: 

32 Spring St.

New York, NY 10012

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Margherita Pizza

  • Buddy's Special Pizza

WHY: Look, I'm not going to blow you a line of smoke and say this is the best pizza in New York, it's not. But, it is the epicenter for pizza in the U.S.. Lombardi's is and was the first pizzeria in America, and has been pumping out coal fired pizza since 1905. You have a local favorite pizzeria in your hometown? Then you have Lombardi's to thank for that, and that makes this is a pizza pilgrimage for any serious pie lover.

LITTLE CUPCAKE BAKE SHOP

PIG SCORE: 3.2 / 4.0

WHAT: SMALL BATCH PATRIES

WHEN: You need a serious chocolate fix.

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

HOURS: 

Mon - Thurs 7:30AM–11PM

Fri 7:30AM–12AM

Sat 8AM–12AM

Sun 8AM–11PM

 

MAP IT: (multiple locations)

30 Prince St.

New York, NY 1001

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Brooklyn Blackout

  • Red Velvet

WHY: They try to source locally, and are often mentioned as the best cupcake or chocolate cake in the country. They don't use preservatives, so you need to eat  them that day, but let me tell you, this really wont be a problem, they're that good.

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