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Best Octopus in Manhattan?

Best place to get octopus in Manhattan?

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  1. I love me some octopus - rubirosa's octopus appetizer is really really exceptional - mache, almonds, tomatoes and chopped giarinerra. one time i had it the octopus was cooked just a hair past perfection, but its been my favorite octopus dish of the last year, for sure.

    i have also really enjoyed two brooklyn octopi - roberta's with black garlic, watermelon, and sea beans (may not have watermelon in non-summer versions) and thistle hill tavern's version with a deconstructed romesco sauce (more tomatoes and almonds, like rubirosa's) is also pretty great.

    i may be a bad judge since i love pretty much all octopus so long as they arent cooked into toughness (which is why i never get the popularity of sushi octopus, if i wanted to chew a piece of rubber id rather not pay 5 bucks to do it) but these are some of my faves.

    235 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

    1. Marea has a two great octopi dishes. One app and one pasta and both are delicious.

      240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

      1 Reply
      1. re: melpy

        2nd Marea. Both dishes are delicious.

      2. I'm admittedly inexperienced with octopus--it's not something I usually order--but I can attest to the deliciousness of Babbo's octopus appetizer. It's awesome.

        110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

        1 Reply
        1. re: crsin

          The ones that I had were 'WAY OVER-CHARRED', but the kitchen simply did not care and released the dish anyways!! No wonder Michelin removed their star!!

        2. Babbo
          La Mar (ceviche)

          See also:

          110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

          128 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

          402 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036

          38 8th Avenue, New York, NY 10003

          La Mar
          11 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010

          2 Replies
          1. re: kathryn

            Good call on Pylos, I haven't been there in a long time but I remember the octopus. I should go back soon.

            1. re: kathryn

              To add onto my previous post: the octopus "carpaccio" at Txikito.

            2. Always liked the braised octopus dish at Hearth.

              Nowadays, my go to octopus dish is the one at Riverpark. Baby octopus with clams and chorizo.


              403 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10009

              450 E 29th St, New York, NY 10016

              1. I like greek style at Kellari and Avra.

                John Dory

                141 East 48th Street, New York, NY 10017

                Kellari Taverna
                19 W. 44th Street, New York, NY 10036

                The John Dory Oyster Bar
                1196 Broadway, New York, NY 10001

                1 Reply
                1. re: thegforceny

                  Enthusiastiac second for Avra's version.

                2. Big fan of the one at Craft.

                  43 E. 19th St., New York, NY 10003

                  1. Had fab octopus appetizer at Caffe Falai. Perfectly charred on the outside and about the most tender inside I have ever had. Massive portion, too, like most of their dishes.

                    Caffe Falai
                    265 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

                    1. the octopus at 15 East is amazing

                      15 East
                      15 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: foodwhisperer

                        Yes! Even without the incredible sushi, one could go there just for the octopus appetizer and leave happy.

                      2. The new octopus prep at Lincoln is great - grilled octopus, crispy potatoes, and tapenade. I liked it even better than the previous braised version.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: fm1963

                          John Dory is the best I've had in Manhattan. Amazing. Il Buco is #2.

                          1. re: GyroBall

                            I did have a really excellent special once at Il Buco that was a spicy tomato-based pasta with octopus. Apart from 15 East, that's probably the most memorable octopus dish I've had in town. When they do it grilled as an app, its still good, but nothing like that pasta.

                        2. Periyali has a delicious version and bar stuzzi also has a good appetizer version!

                          2 Replies
                            1. re: keving

                              Second Periyali.

                              Periyali is NOT closed.

                              One of my favorite Greek restaurants. Delicious and consistent. Not a scene or trendy.

                              Just went recently and had their grilled octopus, etc. It remains the best I've had outside of Astoria.

                              I don't care for Pylos grilled octopus with the balsamic syrup. That said, its been awhile since I've been to Pylos so maybe it's different now.

                            2. I've always enjoyed Milos for octopus...although I haven't been in a while and it is expensive. But, it has always been outstanding. Here's how they describe it: "Sushi-quality Mediterranean octopus, charcoal-broiled, served with revythada from Cerigo Island. $27.25"

                              1. Felidia has a great octopus dish.

                                1. I'm not a huge fan of octopus, but how they served it at Le Bernardin was amazing. Perfectly charred outside and tender inside with a flavor that wasn't overpowering, this was octopus that towered above anything I have had in 7 trips to Greece in the last ten years.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: Jez

                                    I agree Le Bernardin's was the best I have ever had. They boil it for 5-6 hours, then it is marinated in preserved lemons over night and then it is charred "a la plancha" and served with Green Olive and Black Garlic Emulsion, Sundried Tomato Sauce Vierge

                                    1. re: Michael K

                                      I don't know anything about cooking octopus, but how does boiling affect its natural flavor, if any?

                                      1. re: Michael K

                                        +1, the octopus at Le Bernardin is unbelievable. Photo attached.

                                    2. The octopus dish I had at Prima the other day was spectacular. http://www.foodspotting.com/reviews/2...

                                      1. Boulud Sud has a nice octopus appetizer "a la plancha." Marea's octupus app and fusilli pasta that have already been mentioned are fantastic as well. I dream about all 3 of these dishes

                                        1. I think I've tried the octopus at 80% of the below suggestions! I am a huge octopus lover. If you like it very charred and well done I would say the best is Del Anima. Second best that is super tender and super flavorful is Kyclades in Astoria. Many named are very good but those are the two best IMO.

                                          1. I second rcc. The appetizer at riverpark, with clams, is really interesting and moves away from the tomatoes+ type dressing. And once I really had the entire baby octupus on my dish, head tentacles and all . . . Very cute.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Radhish

                                              +1 on the Riverpark's Octopus with Clams appetizer.

                                            2. The Breslin has a delicious crispy octopus right now, served with red chili jam and pickled watermelon rind. I've had it twice—perfect both times.

                                                1. motorino has a great octopus starter

                                                  1. Maybe not the "best of the best" but I have really been loving the baby octopus specials they've been doing at Lil Frankies and Sauce (same dish). Great flavor and very tender. It's one of the things I refuse to share when I get it.

                                                    1. I had not been to Molyvos in many years and went with low expectations. The classic grilled octopus appetizer was superb.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: Dave Feldman

                                                        I had octopus ragu over pasta at Marea recently and it was fantastic. I also had an octopus sauce like a bolognese sauce
                                                        at Louro which was very good. The octopus at 15 East is best Japanese style octopus I've had.

                                                        1. re: foodwhisperer

                                                          Had it last night, with a little sea salt. Yummmm.

                                                      2. I will spend the rest of my life wondering how the other appetizers are at Bocca de Bacco on 9th Ave.in Hells' Kitchen. The fact is, I will ALWAYS order their octopus. It's the best I've ever had, and I've had my share. Probably had your share, too ...

                                                        1. The tandoori octopus at Junoon is amazing.

                                                          1. Best i've had in Manhattan is either Le Bernardin or Marea's version with pasta. Both are exceptional.

                                                            1. L'Artusi - charred octopus with fingerlings, olives, chili and pancetta
                                                              Dell'Anima - charred octopus with rice beans and chorizo
                                                              Marea - octopus starter and octopus bone marrow fusili
                                                              Jungsik - octopus with ssamjang
                                                              Piora - barbecued octopus

                                                              1. Octopus bolognese (strozzapreti) at Marea was the best dish we had there. (Well, along with the crudo with the caviar, omfg!)

                                                                I remember saying to my son as I tasted the octopus app at Babbo, "I could live on this!"

                                                                Jungsik octopus also stellar!! (As was everythiing there!!)

                                                                Didn't have octopus at Le Bernardin but did have the Merluza with calamari. Not very good. I think the chef had left the kitchen by that time (11 pm-ish) and had left the dishwashers in charge...

                                                                1. I have to pile on to the recommendations for 15 East, dell'anima, Babbo and Marea and add one, with a huge caveat: Pearl & Ash. The first time I tried it, it was my all-time favorite octo dish. The next two times, it was great. The last time, it was leagues below the others on this list.

                                                                  Morini's version is also nice. L'Apicio's is good, too, though I like dell'anima's better.

                                                                  And, Rubirosa is also nice, though, to me, not in the same category as those above.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: Jorel

                                                                    How'd you escape Krypton, Jor-el?

                                                                  2. I would add two:
                                                                    Frankie's Spuntino

                                                                    Both are very simply done, but delicious.