Top 10 Most Unusual Dishes In New York City

pizza_doce_1900 | ©clayme josé orlando/Flickr
pizza_doce_1900 | ©clayme josé orlando/Flickr
Photo of Taylor Haacke
28 November 2016

New York City is a true foodie’s paradise. It’s the twists on timeless favorites that really sets this city apart from the rest. Here are 10 of our favorite unusual dishes in NYC.

Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream Sandwich | © Kirinohana/Flickr

Chorizo Caramel Swirl

Oddfellows Ice Cream Co. is your classic, old-school ice cream shop with a twist. The chorizo caramel swirl is just one of the flavors. The flavors range from classic and expected, like sprinkles or s’mores, to the crazy, like the chorizo caramel swirl and burnt honey rosemary. The flavors change every day, but the chorizo caramel swirl is a favorite. This pork sausage-flavored ice cream is perfectly sweet and savory, and it’s made with real chorizo. Like all of the Oddfellow ice creams, it’s creamy and custardy with unexpectedly subtle flavors. If you’re unsure about committing to one flavor, they offer generous sample tastings, so you can cover all the bases.

Mac & Cheese | ©James Whatley/Flickr

Masala Mac and Cheese

Restaurant, American
Map View
Cheese | © Jules Morgan/Flickr
Mac and cheese plus Indian flavors is a match made in heaven. S’MAC is basically heaven because it’s a restaurant dedicated entirely to mac and cheese. It has tons of different variations, like Buffalo, Cajun, and Masala varieties. Each delicious type of mac and cheese comes in a few playful sizes — nosh, major much, mongo, and party. The Masala mac and cheese is by far the most exotic with a blend of warm Indian spices mixed with the comforting cheesy goodness. It’s all the best comfort foods wrapped into one delicious bundle.

Burrata Soft Serve

Bakery, Dessert, $$$
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That’s right, you can now get cheese in your ice cream. Dominique Asel, the mastermind behind cookie shots and cronuts, sells a delightful burrata soft serve with a gold balsamic caramel and decorated with tiny green basil leaves. These bright cones are like summer in a cone with the citrusy flavors and subtle hints of buffalo milk mixed with a traditional vanilla. There’s even a hidden confit strawberry at the bottom of the chocolate-lined cone. This soft serve is a must-try.

Salted Caramel Chicken Fingers

Restaurant, American, Contemporary
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Only in New York could you find a restaurant dedicated only to chicken fingers, and Sticky’s Finger Joint is that place. Plus, they have salted caramel chicken fingers. These babies are brined in buttermilk, coated in crunchy and salty crushed pretzel bits, deep-fried and smothered in salted caramel. If all that isn’t enough, they’re garnished with pretzel sticks and pretzel glitter. Yep. Pretzel glitter. They’re as good, or maybe even way, way better, than they sound. They’re the perfect blend of salty, sweet, and crunchy.

Golden Opulence Sundae

Restaurant, American, Dessert, Ice Cream, $$$
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Have you ever wondered what a $1,000 ice cream sundae tastes like? Wonder no more. Serendipity 3 serves a Golden Opulence Sundae that must be ordered 48 hours in advance and comes with the ultimate V.I.P. experience, complete with special seats, next to a cozy fireplace. The sundae is complete with pictures of the first bite and a gift bag. The sundae features Tahitian vanilla ice cream, a 23-carat golden flower, gold-covered almonds, Parisian fruit candies, and Venezuelan cocoa all topped with dessert caviar. All this is served in a crystal goblet and eaten with a golden spoon of course. The best part is that in breaking apart the golden flower, you get golden fingers.

Chapulines Taco

Restaurant, Mexican, $$$
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Toloache Restaurant, New York.
Dark wood and beautiful decor adorn Toloache Restaurant’s interior | © Toloache Restaurant
Chapulines tacos are a traditional Mexican dish made of tiny toasted grasshoppers. Even though these tacos, which are covered in onions, cilantro, jalapeño, and salsa verde, may look freaky, their crunchy, salty taste is perfectly wonderful. Toloache is a different but also classic Mexican food joint. They have three kinds of guacamole, a side of avocado fries, and a quesadilla with manchego cheese and a black truffle crema.

Lox Rice Bowl

Restaurant, Japanese, Asian, Vegetarian, $$$
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Although it’s not a classic combination, Jewish-Japanese fusion should be more popular. Shalom Japan’s menu is full of interesting combinations like teriyaki duck wings, matzoh ball ramen with foie gras dumplings, and the lox rice bowl. This rice bowl pairs the smoked salmon that usually tops a bagel with avocado, cucumber, spicy mayo and, of course, rice. It’s like a Jewish sushi roll in a bowl. The lox pairs well with the Japanese-like pickled cucumbers.

Mapo Tofu Chili Cheese Fries

Pub, Restaurant, Chinese, Asian, Fusion, $$$
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Mapo tofu chili cheese fries are exactly what they sound like. They’re also as delicious as they sound. King Noodle is the classic Southeast Asian restaurant with the pub twist. It’s a fun variation on Canadian poutine and combines Mapo tofu with fried potato slivers that are thinly cut and cooked with Sichuan peppercorns. The Mapo adds just the right amount of liquid and is very fresh and spicy. Plus, the cheese on top is an added bonus.

Chocolate Chunk Pizza

Dessert Shop, Dessert, $$$
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That’s right, chocolate chunk pizza, which is perfect for chocolate and pizza lovers alike. This pizza, which is made by Max Brenner, is a must-try. It has melted milk and white chocolate chunks with two choices of toppings — either hazelnut bits, bananas, peanut butter, or roasted marshmallows. You can’t go wrong with any topping choice, or any chocolatey item on the menu.

Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata

Restaurant, American, $$$
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Norma’s, located inside Le Parker Meridian Hotel, is a classic fancy Sunday brunch joint in Midtown West that’s packed on the weekends. Their Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata is a decadent treat that is either $100 or $1000. This succulent egg dish has one ounce or 10 ounces of fancy Sevruga Caviar.

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