For the fourth year in a row, I present the 100 most exciting dishes I’ve consumed during my food adventures around the five boroughs. Look for another five dishes every few days.

Eating out in NYC is exciting and mouthwatering, but if you’re not careful it’s a little too easy to develop gout, diabetes, or a simple heart attack. Yes, butter and fat are the building blocks of deliciousness, but I’m also enamored by the extraordinary flavors given to us by the earth. Yes, deep inside me is a hungry vegetarian just itching to get out.

NUMBER 100: CUCUMBER SALAD at MILE END SANDWICH

Cucumber Salad at MILE END SANDWICH

Everybody raves about this Montreal-style deli’s classic meat sandwiches. And I agree that the gutbombs are mighty tasty, but this year I was impressed by their vegetarian side offering. This cucumber salad is loaded with briney flavors of dill, red onions, and vinegar. It’s not quite a bowl of pickles, but it’s crunchy, refreshing, and pairs perfectly with a side of pastrami. Or not. Price: $3.25

MILE END SANDWICH
53 Bond Street (between Bowery and Lafayette Street),
Nolita

(212) 529-2990
mileenddeli.com

NUMBER 99: Vegetables at THE DAILY

Vegetables at THE DAILY

I’m the crazy one at bars that scans a menu for something healthy to balance out the glut of beer and scotch I’m consuming. Through the years, I’ve learned that a vegetable plate at a bar is a very bad idea. So I usually surrender to wings or quesadillas. But The Daily is a bar that actually makes a vegetable plate worth ordering. A colorful spread of impeccably fresh raw seasonal vegetables and veggie chips are served with an exciting black truffle baba ganoush. Perhaps the best crudite in the world. Price: $11

THE DAILY
210 Elizabeth Street (between Prince Street and Spring Street),
Soho

(212) 343-7011
thedaily-nyc.com

NUMBER 98: Spicy Shroom Wrap at BEYOND SUSHI

Spicy Mushroom Wrap at BEYOND SUSHI

There’s very rarely guilt involved in eating sushi, but Beyond Sushi makes sushi as healthy as possible. It’s all vegan. I was first put off by the idea, but after sampling some of their flavorful rolls with ingredients like mango, jalapeño peanut butter, and stewed okra, I was a believer. My most favorite dish is an umami bomb of three mushroom preparations (enoki, braised shiitake, and grilled portabellas) wrapped up with buckwheat noodles, spicy cashews, and pickled ginger in a rice paper wrap. The earthy shiitake teriyaki sauce its served with makes soy sauce hang its head in shame. Price: $8.50

BEYOND SUSHI
229 East 14th Street (between Third and Second Avenue),
East Village

(646) 861-2889
beyondsushinyc.com

NUMBER 97: Eastern Promise at THE BUTCHER’S DAUGHTER

Eastern Promise at THE BUTCHER'S DAUGHTER

Green juice in this city has become somewhat of a punchline. Nobody’s laughing at The Butcher’s Daughter, a health-conscious café that cold presses unique produce together to create nutritious and delicious concoctions. Number 11, the Eastern Promise, balances an exotic tartness of lemongrass, ginger, and kaffir lime leaves with the sweetness of anjou pear and cucumber. Price: $10

THE BUTCHER’S DAUGHTER
19 Kenmare Street (between Elizabeth Street and Bowery),
Nolita

(212) 219-3434
thebutchersdaughternyc.com

NUMBER 96: Avocado Smash at BLUESTONE LANE COFFEE

Avocado Smash at BLUESTONE LANE COFFEE

Not only does the new Bluestone Lane Coffee bring us much-needed Australian java, it also livens up an already perfect Balthazar Bakery multi-grain bread. They toast the thick slices until perfectly browned and crisp, topping it with an entire ripe avocado smashed into more edible bites. Tossed with lemon juice and generous red pepper flakes, this is a bold and beautiful sammy that leaves you feeling clean and fulfilled. Price: $6.50

BLUESTONE LANE COFFEE
30 Broad Street (between Exchange Place and Beaver Street),
Entrance on New Street,
Financial District
805 Third Avenue (between East 49th and East 50th Street),
Midtown East

(212) 888-8848
bluestonelaneny.com
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About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

One Response to 100 BEST ’13: Earth-centric (Numbers 100-96)

  1. Mary Lou Waltz says:

    Brian, all of these look and sound so good as described by you. These are items I would really enjoy sampling!

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