NYC boasts one of best food and drink cultures in the world. You can find just about any ethnic cuisine or inventive dish here. But peppered through the New York’s countless restaurants, bars, and cafés are menu items that make even the most adventurous and seasoned foodies do a double take. For the next time you feel like stepping outside your dining comfort zone, here’s a selection of unique food and drink in NYC.
Compost Cookie® at Milk Bar, 220 8th Ave
Award-winning pastry chef Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar now has locations in Toronto, Las Vegas, and Washington D.C., but the bakery got its start as the dessert outpost of David Chang’s Momofuku in NYC. Among Tosi’s collection of inventive treats, it was the Compost Cookie® that elevated her to gold star status. Packed with salty and sweet goodness, the cookie is made from pretzels, potato chips, coffee, oats, graham cracker, butterscotch, and chocolate chips. Not close enough to Chelsea? Milk Bar has additional locations throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Uncle Willie’s Frozen Coffee at Skinny Dennis, 112 Metropolitan Ave
Walk into Skinny Dennis shortly after opening (12 p.m. daily), and you’ll see early birds saddled up to the bar nursing a frothy mixture from a classic blue “Anthora” Greek coffee cup. Touted as a honky-tonk saloon, Skinny Dennis proudly displays a Willie Nelson portrait painted on black velvet over its liquor collection. Fittingly, the drink is called Uncle Willie’s Frozen Coffee and consists of milk, sugar, bourbon, coffee liqueur brandy, and Oslo coffee topped off with more bourbon. Cool and dangerously tasty, this unique drink is dispensed out of a daiquiri machine that was purchased by Co-owner Bill Mack for $9,000. A wise investment we must say.
Broccoli Dog at Dirt Candy, 86 Allen St
Not all novelty food has to be bad for you – case in point, the broccoli dog at Dirt Candy, a vegetarian restaurant in the East Village. Chef Amanda Cohen is a master when it comes to cooking with vegetables. Inventive and packed with flavor, her broccoli dog is two grilled and smoked broccoli stalks between a homemade bun and topped with broccoli kraut and mustard barbecue sauce. The combination of smoky, herbed flavors is so delicious that even the most steadfast of carnivores will finish this meal feeling completely satisfied.
Chorizo Caramel Swirl at OddFellows Ice Cream Co, 175 Kent Ave, and 75 East 4th St
New York City is home to many artisanal ice cream shops offering mind-blowingly original flavors. Leading the pack is OddFellows Ice Cream Co. With locations in Williamsburg and the East Village, OddFellows serves a menu of small batch flavors made daily. The most buzzed about, unusual offering so far has to be the chorizo-caramel swirl. Made with spicy chorizo and a caramel sauce concocted from the sausage’s oil, it’s a decadent pairing of savory and sweet.
The Axel Von Fersen Cocktail at Le Boudoir, 135 Atlantic Ave
Do a Google search of unique cocktails to sample in NYC, and the Axel Von Fersen at Le Boudoir, the Marie Antoinette-inspired lounge in Brooklyn will be at the top of the page. Invented by the Le Boudoir’s head mixologist Franky Marshall, the curiously named beverage is made with bourbon, applejack, sesame, curry, and black caraway. You’ll feel like royalty sipping this glamorous, savory drink served in a silver-plated goblet.
Unicorn Latte at The End, 522 Metropolitan Ave
Since we’re talking about unique food and drink in NYC, I might mention – a cultural obsession with unicorns is happening right now. Associate your snack or beverage product with these fantastical creatures and people are going to love it. Just ask the folks at The End, a tiny café in Williamsburg that is causing a buzz thanks to its Unicorn Latte. The drink’s magical, or ‘healing’ properties result from a combination of healthy ingredients – ginger, lemon, coconut milk, honey, and live blue-green algae, which turns it this amazing blue color. Top it off with colored sprinkles or flower petals, and you’ll be flying over rainbows.
Unique food and drink in NYC is everywhere. Know of any others? Leave a comment and add to our list!
Also, eat around the world in these NYC restaurants, and New York-inspired cocktails and where to find them. Plus, the MOST epic sundae you’ll ever see in NYC or anywhere!