New York City has always been an exciting place for food. Not only does the Big Apple have a range of flavors and aromas all of its own, it is also home to some of the most daring and creative chefs in the world.
Whether you’re a native or just passing through, there are seven New York City restaurants you have to visit — as they all redefined cuisine forever.
1. Jekyll and Hyde Club
Located on 7th Avenue, Jekyll and Hyde Club is themed on classic horror stories. The dining room is filled with spooky decor and characters such as Frankenstein’s monster, Tobias the Werewolf and Dreadmina the Vampire provide table-side entertainment.
The atmosphere here is one of fun, but that doesn’t detract from the quality of food on offer. There are more than 60 dishes on the menu, the most popular of which is the Create-Your-Own Monster Burger. Make sure you check out The Mummy, which is a themed sirloin steak wrapped in “bandages” of fresh cheese.
• 91 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014
2. Shopsins NYC
Shopsins on Essex Street offers what might just be the most original style of service in New York City. Parties of more than four are simply not allowed in the restaurant, and no two people on the same table are ever allowed to order the same dish. However, there are 900 to choose from, so that’s rarely a problem. Among the most popular dishes on offer at Shopsins are “Slutty Cakes” and the “High School Sandwich.” There are also more than 50 different types of soup on the menu.
• 120 Essex St, New York, NY 10002
Takashi on Hudson Street definitely isn’t for the faint-hearted. This Korean eatery is all about shock and awe — as well as giving diners new culinary experiences. One of the most outrageous dishes on the menu is a cream of stomach, testicles and brains, which is served inside a toothpaste tube. Other gastronomic extravagances include achilles tendon and self-served cow tongue. If you’re out and about in the West Village and looking for something exotic, this is the place to go.
• 456 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014
4. The Black Ant
If you’re into Mexican food, you’ll find some alternative dishes on the menu at The Black Ant that will provide you with a completely different perspective on this universally loved cuisine. Located on 2nd Avenue, this stylish eatery offers a window into what could be the future of human food. The Black Ant has a literal meaning, as this place specializes in insect-based dishes — the most popular of which are Grasshopper-Crusted Shrimp and Black Ant Guacamole.
• 60 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003
5. Dirt Candy
Vegetarians often find it difficult to find meat-free alternatives to classic American dishes. If you’re one of those people, Dirt Candy on Allen Street could be the place for you. The whole ethos here is one of embracing the power of vegetables.
The service is laid-back and super friendly, and the stylish surroundings do the great food on offer justice. But the real star of the show here is the cuisine. Among the most popular dishes on the menu are Kale Matzo Ball Soup, the Broccoli Dog and Cauliflower Curry.
• 86 Allen St, New York, NY 10002
6. Camaje Bistro
Camaje Bistro on MacDougal Street is the purveyor of fine foods, classic ambience and live music throughout the year. However, twice a month, this stylish eatery is blanketed in darkness — or at least the diners are. Guests are blindfolded as they’re served a contemporary and innovative taster menu.
The menu isn’t actually revealed until all the diners have finished, so there’s always a flood of excitement towards the end of the evening. The house speciality is Bouillabaisse, which is a seafood broth containing shrimp, mussels and sea bass.
• 85 Macdougal St, New York, NY 10012
7. Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare
Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare offers a stunning 20-course taster meal that showcases the skill and creativity of Head Chef Cesar Ramirez. The overriding theme is seafood — most of which is served Omakase-style. The food is best described as Japanese made with French techniques, an approach defined by the sheer craft involved in every dish.
Exactly what’s on the menu is always a surprise, as the Omakase approach means “I’ll leave it up to you.” The dishes available when you visit will depend on what the chefs are working on at that moment.
• 431 W 37th St, New York, NY 10018
With so many wonderful, cutting-edge restaurants to choose from, being a gastronomic adventurer in New York will never be a problem.