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UNIQUE FOOD OF NYC - Coming from Los Angeles

hi NY chowhounders, was wondering if anyone could provide a list of funky/unique things to eat in new york... whether it be live octopus, insects, offals, etc? Am an adventurous eater and only have 3 days to play. thanks!

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    1. I think the following is unique to Manhattan (for an LA eater):
      Great Bagels- go to Ess-A-Bagel...period
      Jewish- go to Katz Deli and Diamond Dairy (noodles and cabbage!); get an egg cream in the East Village
      Coal Pizza- go to Patsy's in Harlem and/or Arturo's
      Middle Eastern- wait in line for meat and rice some evening at the famous 53rd and 6th Avenue street vendor; check this board for great falafel places
      Greek-get a gyro at Gyro II across from Penn Station (really)
      Red Sauce Italian-go to Ralphs on 9th Avenue; go to Lazzara's for great subs and pizza
      Italian deli-get an Italian sub at Faicco's on Bleeker
      Italian bakery- get great cannoli at Rocco's
      Old School Steakhouse-Sparks
      Cuban sandwich-Margon
      Eastern European-Valeska (also has familiar diner food)
      Old bars-Chumley's (the unmarked door at 86 Barrow Street) or White Horse Tavern

      Dont waste your time with:
      fancy steakhouses
      Asian fusion
      burgers
      donuts
      Mexican
      Latin

      ...you've got great versions of these in LA

      1 Reply
      1. re: NAtiveNewYorker

        I agree on the bagels. Get as much as you can get.
        For Jewish deli food, first go to Langer's in LA for pastrami so you can have a perspective when you try the ones in NYC. I happen to like the pastrami at Langers better than the ones in NYC, including Katz (so did Nora Ephron in her New Yorker piece a few years back).
        I agree on the pizza. Go to some of the old-school NY institutions.
        For Greek, you can get good gyro and souvlaki at Papa Christo's in LA, so I would focus on Greek seafood or the mid-high end places that are much better in NYC.
        For steak, I think Peter Luger or Keens will give you a better NYC experience with the ambiance, but Sparks is no slouch either.
        For eastern european, I think you should get to Greenpoint in Brooklyn.
        Not sure the old-school italian isn't available in LA. Again, I'd rather focus on the higher end Italian if you want something more unique.
        Skip Cuban in NYC, unless you go out to Corona Queens or to NJ. You can find better in Silver Lake, Atwater, or Venice.
        Old bars are always classic.
        Other reccomendations would be Egyptian in Astoria, Turkish at places like Ali Baba or Hemsin (in Sunnyside), Grand Central Oyster Bar for the classic NY feel,
        Don't bother with Japanese ramen or Korean in NYC, there are much better places in LA.

      2. yes! this is exactly what i was looking for. i didn't want to post any "best pizza/hot dog/sushi" topics and start a quarrel. thanks to you both. anything else i should try?

        1. any specifics on good asian food... chinese dumpilngs, japanese ramen, korean soups or bbq?

          1. no problem. Native newyorker was much more informative than me. You should also have the Bone Marrow at Blue Ribbon its amazing.