Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Mar 19, 2007 11:41 PM

"Rare" ethnic restaurants?

I'm from NYC, but now in Chicago. Lately, have taken up a semihobby of trying as many different nationalities of ethnic restaurants as I can find. It's fun to explore and compare/contrast.

I'm coming home for a week or two, and know there's no place better than NYC to add to my "list". Any suggestions for places a bit different than Chinese or Mexican?

The following are those I HAVE tried, or seen in Chicago, so NOT looking for in NYC (in addition to the "obvious", like Spanish, Thai, etc):

Americas: Costa Rican, Guatemalan, Ecuadorean, Peruvian, Argentinean, Brazilian

Africa: Moroccan, Ethiopian, Nigerian/Ghanaian

Europe: Hungarian, Romanian, Swedish, Cypriot, Czech/Bohemian, Portuguese, Polish

Former Soviet: Russian, Armenian, Lithuanian, Uzbek, Ukrainian

Asian/Middle Eastern: Afghan, Burmese, Filipino, Lebanese, Malaysian, Israeli, Turkish, Persian, Nepali, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, Korean

So, any recommendations of Algerian or Laotian or Martian cuisine?

Thanks in advance!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. go to and there is a handy list all set for you!!

    in NYC try the Dominican food.

    1. Taim Tov on 47th Street is authentic "Former Soviet." Very good pilaf dishes especially.

      1 Reply
      1. re: NAtiveNewYorker

        i second taim tov, get their bread...they make their own and its really great (get the entire loaf as it tastes fresher)

        the plov and kebabs are a must as well

      2. Only one place in the city for Martian food, but I wouldn't recommend it.

        1. Elvie's Turo Turo is great Philipino food. It's in the east village. There's also Crystals, but I haven't been to it.

          2 Replies
          1. re: mms

            elvie's is very casual ("turo" means point so the name of the restauran is point-point in reference to the buffet), krystal's is a decent sitdown restaurant in the east village, but better filpino food is to be had in woodside (Ihawan stands out). With that said, Grill 21 is quite good actually, if you're in manhattan.

            1. re: bigjeff

              just wondering if you've tried cendrillon in soho, and how that compares?

          2. Also - if you have the money, Wallse is incredible Austrian good. It's in the West Village. I've been doing an A-Z food tour of NYC (of ethnic cuisines) and a good place to start making your list is by checking the Village Voice or NYTimes list of available cuisines.