When it comes to food, New York City is hands down one of the best cities in America to do it. Being such a diverse melting pot, you can find cuisines from all over the globe throughout each of the city’s five boroughs. However, NYC doesn’t just offer a plethora of different types of food, but an abundance of extremely talented chefs as well. I mean it when I say I rarely have a bad meal in New York.
I’m currently counting down the days until I can fly back home and enjoy some of the best food NYC has to offer. I am knee-deep in my holiday diet (a.k.a. I can eat whatever I want from Thanksgiving until New Years – it’s the best diet ever) and before my New Year’s Resolution to lose weight takes away all my fat girl joy, there are five Asian foods in NYC I have to get my hands on before my holiday diet comes to an end.
*Disclaimer: I am not a professional food blogger by any means, but I love to eat and I’d like to think I have pretty good taste. Does that count?*
My family has a long-standing tradition of going out for sushi every time I come home for the holidays. All-you-can-eat sushi, to be exact, ’cause I come from a family of big eaters. Our go-to place is River in Bayside, Queens. I’m well aware that there are probably better sushi places in NYC but you can’t go wrong with River. For 30 dollars, you can get all the tempura, sashimi, teriyaki, miso soup, yaki udon, specialty sushi rolls, and green tea ice cream your stomach can fit. The food is delicious and it definitely gives you the best bang for your buck. Other notable places to find quality sushi in NYC, though not all-you-can-eat style, are Sushi Nakazawa or Cagen if you’re looking for something upscale, and Sushi Yasaka or Katsuei if you’re more budget-conscious.
2. Bubble Tea
I have a serious bubble tea addiction. Maybe it’s the caffeine or maybe it’s the sugar, but I am constantly feening for some. When in NYC, CoCo and ViVi are my top places to get my fix. CoCo’s bubble tea is standard, tried, and true; in fact, when I envision the perfect bubble tea, CoCo is what comes to mind. Then there’s ViVi, whose charming decor is enough to warrant a visit to any of its various New York locations. Both places offer an assortment of different flavors as well as toppings, but at ViVi, you can decorate your bubble tea with a swirl of cotton candy on top that’s just as wonderful to look at as it is to taste. It is quite literally eye candy.
3. Dim Sum
Walking through the streets of Chinatown or downtown Flushing (what I deem Chinatown 2.0), you can find great dim sum just about anywhere. From dumplings to pork buns to chicken feet to sesame balls, you can find quality dim sum options at the majority of restaurants in these two neighborhoods. Some of the most popular dim sum restaurants include Jade Asian, Asian Jewels Seafood, and Dong Yi Feng in Flushing, and Jing Fong and Nom Wah Tea Parlor in Chinatown.
Okay, so Baohaus is everything. Baohaus is celebrity chef Eddie Huang’s restaurant, located in the East Village. Here you can find the traditional pork belly bao, called the Chairman Bao, as well as a variety of more eclectic baos, like the Dumpling Bao or Uncle Jesse Bao. Also, the Sweet Bao Fries are a must. This place is so good I’m not even going to include other restaurant suggestions for baos. Just go to Baohaus – you won’t be disappointed.
What better way to warm up this winter than with a hot bowl of pho? For some reason, I was never a big fan of noodle soups. That all changed, however, when I finally tried pho for the first time last year at Pho Bang in Chinatown. So much flavor, so filling, and so cheap! What had I been missing out on all this time?! I’m pretty stuck on Pho Bang and their beef pho right now, but in the future, I need to venture out to Saiguette and Sao Mai to try their pho, both of which have rave reviews from New Yorkers and non-New Yorkers alike.
For those of you who live in or frequent NYC, what are your must-have Asian eats?
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