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5 Boroughs of Flavor: New York's Best Dishes

Local Feature
#0820
By: Elizabeth Winslow
5 Boroughs of Flavor: New York's Best Dishes

Close your eyes and think "New York City food." What comes to mind? There's a lot of ground to cover, from soup dumplings in Manhattan's Chinatown alleys to jerk chicken in the streets of Brooklyn's Bed-Stuy neighborhood. Whether you're planning a trip to the Big Apple or recreating its best bites at home, join us for a tour through the city's five boroughs and taste the best of what each has to offer.

Manhattan: Known around the world for five-star restaurants and cutting-edge cuisine, Manhattan is where classics including the Waldorf salad, Lobster Newburg, black-and-white cookies, and Delmonico steak were invented. Chinatown, Little Italy and Harlem are great neighborhoods for discovering global flavors brought to the city by waves of immigrants over the decades. Discover the crowd-pleasing dumplings and roasted pork buns at Nom Wah Tea Parlor, the oldest dim sum destination in the city, where hundreds line up each weekend for a taste of authentic Chinese delicacies. Can't make it in person? Whip up some Shrimp Dumplings at home for your own dim sum brunch.

Brooklyn: Home to a vibrant, hipster-fueled farm-to-table movement, Brooklyn also offers exotic Caribbean flavors brought by the many Jamaicans, Dominicans, Haitians and Puerto Ricans who call this borough home. For an indulgent breakfast inspired by the local Jewish community, check out Bagel Pub in Park Slope, and for lunch, there's always pizza, of course. Long-running feuds are fueled by debate over whether Di Fara's pizza is the best in the world, but there's no questioning the commitment of owner Domenico DeMarco. Since 1964, every pizza turned out of the restaurant's 800-degree oven is made by his hands only. If he's not there rolling dough and snipping basil, the restaurant's not open. If you won't be able to make it anytime soon, try your hand at making bagels and pizza at home.

The Bronx: With its own Little Italy on Arthur Avenue, the Bronx offers visitors some of the best ethnic food in the city, with plenty more to love in the borough's many Mexican restaurants and West African cafes. At Actalan near the Bronx Zoo, visitors enjoy cinnamon-spiked horchata, a sweet rice milk drink, alongside spicy and satisfying tacos on handmade corn tortillas. Of the many West African spots, the best is Patina African Cafe, where loyal diners slurp up bowls of Spinach Stew and Banga Palm Nut Soup. Want to bring the Bronx home? It's easy with recipes for Chicken Tacos with Avocado Salsa and coriander-scented African Chicken Peanut Stew.

Queens: This borough contains a multitude of cultures, with Georgian, Korean, Burmese, Himalayan, and Middle Eastern fare all vying for attention. But ask any New Yorker where to go for the best Indian food, and Queens will come up again and again. Jackson Heights offers everything from the weird but delectable fried samosa sandwiches at Rajbhog Sweets & Snacks to the seemingly endless vegetarian offerings at Ganesha Temple Canteen. If you want to experience these flavors sooner than later, our recipes for Roasted Curry Cauliflower and Chicken Tikka Kabobs bring them to you.

Staten Island: Often overlooked, Staten Island has some hidden gems for those willing to explore. From the Grandma Pizza at Brother's to the classic diner food at King's Arm Diner, cuisine on Staten Island runs the gamut. Perhaps the biggest surprise, though, is Bayou, an intimate spot that aims to bring serious Creole and Cajun food to New York. Crawfish Etouffee and Seafood Jambalaya make a grand appearance, with the Big Easy Pork Chop and N'awlins Chicken rounding out the offerings for carnivores. Missed the Staten Island ferry? While you might not have cozy booths or a smack-talking waitress at home, you can still recreate the diner experience with Spiced Banana Nut Pancakes.

Elizabeth Winslow is a writer, food blogger, teacher and entrepreneur in Austin, Texas. She is a regular contributor to Edible Austin and creates compelling content for brands both large and small. She has an M.A. in Literature from the University of Texas at San Antonio and teaches cooking classes with Kitchen Underground. Winslow + co

Spice Islands® spices deliver high quality, authentic flavors from all over the world so you can put the most delicious meals on your table.

 

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