New York has its share of Michelin-starred restaurants to which foodies from all over the globe flock to. We also have our fair share of small, unassuming food spots that might not garner as much international fame and in fact prefer a low-key status. Here, the food shines above anything else, much to the approval of locals.
We have put together a list of three secret tips that will lead you hidden establishments you would not have stumbled across in any travel guide. Add these three local hot spots to your next trip for an authentic NYC experience, and enjoy a delicious meal in the company of the everyday people, who give this city its driving soul:
In the mood for a taste of the Dominican Republic? Your first treasure hunt leads you to Acuario Cafe, which serves Dominican food in Manhattan's Garment District at 306 W 37th Street. Look for the delivery entrance next to the sewing shop to find your way in. Walk down the long hallway toward the freight elevator, next to which you will find the little restaurant. Favorites here include the stewed goat served with rice and beans, yucca (a root vegetable) with garlicky onions, or roasted pork served with rice and sweet plantains. The authentic Dominican flavors stand out without breaking the bank at this food counter where the Dominican Republic meets NYC’s equally vibrant foodie community.
Hidden behind a large, unmarked red iron door at 68 Jay Street in DUMBO, Brooklyn, you’ll find the tiny Patisserie Burrow. It’s hard to miss, once you find the classic NY-style deli next door. Once inside, follow the sweet scent of freshly baked goods down the hall, towards the Japanese bakery best known for its playful, handcrafted and arty desserts. Croissants are baked fresh every morning, next to perfect sponge cakes which come out of the oven just in time for the early afternoon rush. The creative chef behind Burrow, Ayako Kurokawa, is never short on creative ideas: New recipes bursting with flavor constantly find their way onto the changing menu.
You have probably heard of those NYC restaurants hidden behind bodegas, a Latin-styled deli. Well, 5 de Mayo Food Market is one of those! The weekend-only taqueria is located at 81-06 Roosevelt Ave in Jackson Heights, Queens. A quick walk through the colorful fruit & vegetable stands, past the spices and the Cinco de Mayo décor, leaves you at a butcher’s counter where a few seats await diners in the know. Here, tacos filled with crispy or slow-cooked meats are dished up in fresh corn tortillas with crunchy & aromatic toppings. Bienvenidos a México!