Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to eat roasted guinea pig in Flushing, Queens. Oh, is that not how the Statue of Liberty poem goes? If you’ve exhausted your Seamless queue and Yelp recommendations, that means it’s time to venture outside of your comfort zone. Take a look at our list of the weirdest, craziest, most insane dishes in New York City, and gird your stomach. It’s going to be a mouthwatering ride.
Monthly Special @ Mimi Cheng’s Dumplings
Their standard pork and veggie dumplings are little pockets of heaven, but it’s the announcement of a new special on the first of every month that breaks out the lines of East Villagers. The choices of Cubano (pictured) or cheeseburger could easily be a gimmick, but the carefully crafted recipes are standouts in their own right. A chicken parm dumpling, stuffed with organic chicken and mozzarella and dipped in tomato sauce, is so wrong it’s entirely right.
Add: 179 Second Avenue (between 11th and 12th Streets)
Trotter Pancakes @ Cozinha Latina
Of all the euphemistic terms for foods that would make a 6-year-old diner throw a tantrum – sweetbreads ain’t so sweet, kid – none is more adorable than trotter, as in what a pig trots on, as in pig feet. This new Brazilian-Latin American restaurant serves up those little footsies in a pancake, with ancho pepper BBQ sauce and aioli to help you forget what you’re eating.
Add: 37 Greenpoint Avenue, Brooklyn
Radish Spaghetti @ Dirt Candy
Chef Amanda Cohen’s whole M.O. is to prove that vegetables can be the star of the meal, not relegated to side status. This dish is a strong opening statement for the prosecution, with rainbow-bright colors and innovative use of radish in all its forms (including, cheekily, horseradish flavoring).
Add: 86 Allen Street (between Grand and Broome Streets)
Onion Carpaccio @ Atera
Any one of the eighteen dishes on Atera’s tasting menu is a gorgeous little miracle, with painstakingly arranged blossoms or sublime rings of vegetables. Pretty enough to be a painting is the onion carpaccio, a wispy suggestion of onion that resembles a hot-air balloon in flight on your plate. This level of artistry is what you’re paying for—it’s why you come to New York!
Add: 77 Worth Street (between Church Street and Broadway)
Chorizo Ice Cream @ Oddfellows
Leave it to the masterminds at Oddfellows to concoct a pork sausage-flavored ice cream. The chorizo-caramel combo brings you the best of both sweet and savory worlds, and is made with real sausage. So don’t be shy, give your tastebuds a run for their money.
Add: 175 Kent Avenue, Brooklyn
Burrata Soft Serve @ Dominique Ansel Kitchen
Just when you thought we’d found a way to put cheese on everything, Dominique Ansel, the magical genius behind the cronut, introduced cheese-flavored ice cream. It’s not just EZ Cheese in a cone, of course. DA is tres sophistique. This ‘scream is burrata, as in, the cheese your mouth waters for at every single Italian restaurant.
Add: 137 Seventh Avenue South (between Charles and West 10th streets)
Masala Mac and Cheese @ S’MAC
No, there is nothing more delightful than a restaurant dedicated to mac and cheese. Except maybe the playful portion sizes – nosh, major munch, mongo, and party! – and the ingenious variations, like Buffalo, Cajun, and Parisienne. The most boundary-pushing is the Masala variation, which blends warm Indian spices with all that gooey, cheesy goodness.
Add: 345 East 12th Street (between First and Second avenues)