5 New Cuisines to Try Next Time You’re in NYC

Tired of pizza, bagels, and deli food? As delicious and reliable as these staples are, sometimes we want something new. Have no fear, for New York City has at least one option for virtually any style of cuisine on this Earth. Here are five to try next time you find yourself hungry in the Big Apple.


Tandir Express NYC Uzbek Food: Tandir Express NYCTandir Express

Once situated on the legendary Silk Road, the country of Uzbekistan is a fascinating mix of cultures, primarily Middle Eastern, East Asian, and Russian. Its food, in turn, reflects that. Hand-pulled noodles and fall-apart lamb make up the country's Lagman stew. No meal is complete without Non, the name for the local flatbread, baked in an oven called a Tandyr in a process typical of West Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Manti are a kind of meat dumpling similar to a Russian Vareniki or Pierogi.

Uzbekistan's greatest contribution to the culinary world, however, may very well be the ubiquitous Plov, a dish where lamb or beef, typically seasoned with cumin, is slow cooked in a giant wok with rice for hours. Julienned carrots, whole heads of garlic, and spicy peppers are added as well. The end product is a delectably moist mixture of fall-apart lamb and uber savory rice.

Typically served at weddings, you don't have to wait to be a brides-maid at an Uzbek wedding to dig in. Visit Tandir Express on 18th Ave in Kensington (don't miss the kebabs here either), or Turkish Express on Avenue H in Midwood. If you want to take a day trip to the country's capitol, head down to Brighton Beach and visit Tashkent Supermarket, where an endless buffet of Uzbek delicacies awaits you.


Turkish: Taci's Beyti Turkish Food: Taci's BeytiTaci's Beyti

About 2,500 miles West of Uzbekistan is another Turkic speaking country with a to die for cuisine. It would be a mistake to lump the food of Turkey in with "Mediterranean" or "Middle Eastern" food. After all, it was the Turks themselves who invented the method of cooking sliced meat on a vertical spit, a method now used throughout the near East, North Africa, Greece, and even Mexico.

Of all the vertically oriented meats, however, Doner Kebab may be the very best. Its juiciness is unmatched, its charred exterior yet tender center unparalleled. And Turkish food only starts there. It is a cuisine built upon grilled meats, and Iskander Kebab is no exception: To make this delicacy, Doner Kebab is layered over pita bread, then topped with tomato sauce and yogurt. It's an odd combination, but the result is heavenly.

Tired of meat? Turkish food offers a never ending array of Meze: eggplant salad, Tarator (Garlic and Walnut sauce), and Cacik (a yogurt sauce similar to Tzatziki) are just a few of the dips you can fill the corners with. And for dessert, if you're ready to consume a day's worth of calories in one sitting, help yourself to Kunefe—shredded filo dough soaked in honey or syrup and layered with melted cheese. Hungry yet? Go find any of these dishes at Taci's Beyti on Coney Island Ave. in Midwood, or Opera Café and Lounge in Sheepshead Bay. For a quicker meal, visit Aksaray Turkish Restaurant, also in Midwood.


Akwaaba Restaurant Akwaaba Restauranteatingintranslation.com

It is amazing how delicious a cuisine based off of a few simple ingredients like cassava, tomatoes, peppers, and goat meat can be. The food of Ghana is exhibit no. 1, as is all the food of West Africa, for that matter. While a grace period may be necessary for a Westerner to adapt to the flavor palette of Ghanaian food, once they do, a door is opened unto astounding deliciousness.

Whole fried fish slathered in Shito (Ghanaian pepper sauce) with a side of Kenkey (fermented corn dumplings, boiled in corn husks) is a good starting point. Or perhaps try Pepper soup (exactly what you think). Better yet, why not go all out and order the Peanut Soup (stew meat cooked in a spicy peanut butter broth)?

If all that sounds just a bit too adventurous then you would be forgiven if you simply ordered the Joloff rice. The West African staple is typically served at parties; rice is cooked in a pepper tomato sauce until it turns an inviting orange hue, often served with chicken. B Place on Nostrand Ave. in Flatbush and Akwaaba Restaurant on Parkside Ave., also in Flatbush, are excellent options.


Georgian Food: Tone Cafe Georgian Food: Tone CafeGrub Street

When you stumble upon the cuisine of the Caucasus country of Georgia, it may feel is as if you've discovered the menu of some medieval feast, lost long ago to the ages. Pomegranates, walnuts, sour plums, coriander, tarragon, and a litany of other herbs and spices are just a few of the ingredients found in most Georgian dishes.

While many have no doubt discovered the ubiquitous Khachapuri (boats of cheese filled, perfectly chewy bread with an occasional egg nestled in the melting cheese), there is so much more to Georgian food, as undeniably delicious as Khachapuri is. Shkmeruli is chicken, slow roasted then simmered in a garlic and cream sauce. It's as good as it sounds. You might wash it down with a Tarragon soda.

Or you can try Chakapuli, a stew wherein lamb is cooked slowly with cherry plums, tarragon, coriander, and white wine. Many of these dishes are often served with Tkemali, a sweet and sour plum sauce, not too dissimilar in its usage to ketchup.

Finally, if you want something sweet afterward, try Churchkhela. Walnuts are threaded along a string, then grape or pomegranate juice is dripped down the thread until solidified. The end product is a chewy stick of earthy flavor. Taste of Georgia on Kings Highway is a great option to find these dishes as is Tone Café in Brighton Beach on Neptune Ave.


Haitian Food: Bebe Fritay Haitian Food: Bebe FritayBebe Fritay

Haitian food, the forgotten cousin in the Caribbean pantheon. What happens when Caribbean ingredients meet West African and French cooking techniques? Lovely things, apparently. Griot, essentially Haiti's national dish, is goat meat, marinated, roasted, and then fried to create something that's simple but delicious. The dish is typically served with rice and beans; however this writer prefers it with a side of Patate (Caribbean sweet potato) and with Sos Pwa (black beans cooked down into a stew) poured over all of it.

Pikliz (a Haitian slaw made of cabbage and scotch bonnets, among other things) is a constant condiment. Djon Djon is rice, simmered in a black mushroom broth until it takes on the hue of the mushroom itself, typically served on Sundays. Finally, make a special point of ordering Legume. Eggplant, squash, and carrots, along with thyme and a handful of other spices, are cooked down into a Ratatouille-esque stew (here, France rears its head) typically served with fried plantains. Bebe Fritay has several locations throughout Brooklyn and Lakay Venus is a great option in Prospect Lefferts Gardens.


Jen's Roti Shop Jen's Roti ShopUber Eats

You would be hard pressed to find a New Yorker who hasn't had Jamaican food at least a few times in their lives, but fewer are as well versed in the wonders of its close cousin, Trini (Trinidadian) cuisine. When scores of Indian (and to a lesser degree, Chinese) indentured servants were brought to Trinidad in the mid 1800's, their respective cuisines mixed with the already established African fare in a beautiful way. Chana (curried chickpeas), Dahl (stewed Lentils), and Aloo (curried potatoes) are all traditional Indian staples which are ever present in Trini food. Doubles are small, round, naan-esque discs of perfectly chewy flatbread filled with Chana and oftentimes curried shrimp. Don't order them without pepper and tamarind sauce! Get yourself some home-made Sorrell (Hibiscus flower punch) with that as well.

Roti is, again, a flatbread filled with any curry of your choice—such as goat, chicken, shrimp—then eaten like a burrito (or not, if your curry has bones). Roti can also be eaten on the side as Buss-up shot. No order of roti is complete, however, without stewed pumpkin, aloo, and calaloo (like a Caribbean stewed spinach) thrown in as well. The Chinese influence becomes apparent when you stumble upon any of the Trini- Chinese dishes, most famous of all is Chow Mein: vegetables and noodles stir fried with chicken or shrimp. If you go to a Trini spot on a Sunday you might have a chance to try curry crab and dumplings. When you're finished, order a slice of Rum Cake or Pone (a super moist cake made from cassava).

It's difficult to find or even imagine food more delicious than that of the island of Trinidad, and Jen's Roti Shop on Flatbush in Brooklyn makes it as well as anybody in NYC. Suzi's Roti Parlour on Church Ave. is another great option and Bake and Things is very solid as well with several locations throughout Brooklyn.

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Distillery tours went on hiatus in 2020, but there are high hopes for 2021. While bourbon leaps immediately to mind when thoughts turn to distillery tours, interest in other spirits and how they're made is increasing. Here are a few of the best tours to thrill tequila lovers.

Tequila Herradura

Ride in style on the Herradura Express, a distillery sponsored train ride that runs from Guadalajara to the town of Amatitán for a distillery tour and tastings, followed by lunch featuring live entertainment. The train then takes visitors back to Guadalajara by evening. Herradura is housed in the last tequila-producing Hacienda in the world, Hacienda San Jose del Refugio. Casa Herradura will be closed for visits and tours until Mexican health officials declare the coronavirus emergency over.

La Rojeña

Producer of Jose Cuervo, La Rojeña has a train of its own called the Jose Cuervo Express (currently on hiatus due to COVID-19) to bring visitors to the oldest distillery in the town of Tequila. Jose Cuervo offers distillery tours, tastings, and tours of the agave fields. Mundo Cuervo (Cuervo world) also has its own hotel, Solar de las Animas. Check for COVID-19 hours and restrictions before booking.

Casa Sauza

Founded in 1873, Casa Sauza offers four levels of tours including a visit to the La Perseverancia distillery, a visit to the Quinta Sauza estate, and for those willing to spend more, barrel tastings and a barbeque or a three-course meal. Casa Sauza is on hiatus until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, but should go on the distillery tour bucket list.

La Cofradia

The only tequila distillery with a hotel inside, La Cofradia offers many experiences in addition to distillery tours. Choose a hike through natural trails, biking, or horseback riding through the agave fields. Rooms made of giant tequila barrels sit among the agave plants for a unique stay. Visiting La Cofradia is sure to be a tour that thrills tequila lovers. Contact the hotel directly for information about lockdown closures.

A distillery tour offers education about tequila's history and manufacture. Bone up on your tequila terms and tips for choosing quality tequila before you go, so you'll understand what you're tasting.

We don't know how to feel about winter this year. Sure, nobody likes the cold and dreary months, but there's something special about the Holiday season that just seems to be missing. Maybe the thought of staying inside and cozying up to a nice book isn't very enticing given the last few months. The joyful winter wonderland that we usually associate with winter seems to be missing.

That's why our editors decided to take it upon themselves and spread some delight with seasonal meals, courtesy of HelloFresh. For those who don't know what HelloFresh is, it's a meal-kit delivery service with dozens of easy-to-prepare recipes to choose from. Simply select which meals you want as well as how many servings and a neatly organized cardboard box will arrive at your doorstep within the week. Nobody wants to go out in the Winter anyway, and with HelloFresh, you don't have to!

To celebrate the arrival of the coldest season, we decided to highlight some of our favorite (and heartiest) recipes from HelloFresh that are perfect for the Holiday season. Here are five wholesome and balanced meals that will warm you up in no time.

Veggie Loaded Kale & Risoni Soup

A hearty and warm soup is a Winter staple and this veggie loaded kale and risoni soup from HelloFresh absolutely hits it out of the park. All anybody wants during the colder months is to feel cozy and nurtured--just like the flavorful bowl of nutrients. Warm and creamy risoni compliments the seasonal veggies perfectly and the side of garlic bread is a sure-fire cure for any winter blues. With 22 meals to pick from each week, this one is sure to be a household favorite.

Cheesy Red Pesto Chicken Melts

Everyone is familiar with classic green pesto, but have you ever tried red pesto? Red pesto offers way more complexity and oomph than its green counterpart. It is incredibly bright with rich notes of umami, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh basil and garlic. This rendition also features hits of chargrilled capsicum for a little extra zest. You get the exact amount of each ingredient and seasoning, as well as super detailed recipe cards, that make meal prep a breeze. Spread it over a glistening chicken bread and sprinkle with cheese for delectable chicken melts.

Winter Risotto

Risotto is a great winter warmer. It's packed full of veggies so your body will light up like fire, but it's also silky, sumptuous and a real crowd pleaser. HelloFresh's Winter Risotto features a heart helping of kale that pairs perfectly with nutty Parmesan and crunchy walnuts for a robust taste. Did we mention that it also comes with fennel seeds sprinkled throughout? This unique seasoning adds a distinctive, yet delicious flavor to this classic winter staple. We know these meals are pretty hardy, which is why we love having the option to pause our subscription or cancel a week when need be.

Cheat's Italian Pork & Veggie Bolognese

A bolognese that only takes 30 minutes to make? Sign us up! This one is chock full of all the rich flavors of a classic Italian sauce. In fact, we're getting some serious Italian grandmother vibes with this recipe. Silky baby Spanish and grated carrots melt into a hearty meat sauce, offering a mouth-watering meal for anyone looking for a little zest. It's delivery quality, but much more affordable, plus you get to cook it yourself!

Smokey Mild Chorizo & Bean Chilli

Yet another clever twist on a weekday favorite! The paprika and garlic flavored cured sausage is a staple in our chopping baskets since it goes well with practically anything. Not only is Chorizo loved for its taste, but also for its ability to infuse sauces with its tantalizing flavor. This time around, HelloFresh has decided to spice up a classic bowl of bean chili with Spanish styling of a smokey mild chorizo. The end result? A mix of chorizo, red kidney beans, corn and avocado, and an irresistible flavor that everyone will love. This is just one of dozens of unique HelloFresh recipes you won't find anywhere else!

Gone are the days of trekking through the frigid cold just for a few groceries. Sign-up for HelloFresh today and get your ingredients delivered right to your doorstep. Time to start cozying up the right way, with a delicious meal and a nice cup of hot cocoa.

Update: Our friends at HelloFresh are extending a special Black Friday offer to our readers. Follow this link to get $90 off across 4 boxes including free shipping!

Travel Tips

8 of the Best Donut Spots In the United States

Celebrate National Donut Day with our favorite treats across the country.

November 5th marks one of 2020's two National Donut Days.

Occurring in both June and November, National Donut Day allows fans of those delectable yeasty treats to embrace their sweet tooth. But like any niche food group, people often take their donuts very, very seriously, and there are countless places to get your fix.

Below, we've rounded up some of the best donut spots across the country. From coast to coast, these bakeries are sure to impress even the pickiest donut-heads.

Mr. T.'s Delicate Donut Shop – Modesto, CA

Mr. T.'s Delicate Donut Shop

If you ever find yourself in the San Francisco Bay Area, it's worth taking a short trek out east towards Modesto for some of California's best donuts. Mr. T.'s Delicate Donut Shop has remained family owned since its opening over 30 years ago, providing both tried-and-true classic donuts as well as experimental flavors and holiday specials. Even their 24-hour service doesn't diminish the line that trails out the door most mornings.

Dough — New York, NY

Dough \u2014 New York, NY

Donuts might not be the first circular, doughy treat you think of when it comes to New York City. If you've had your fair share of bagels, the Big Apple also boasts some spectacular donuts at Dough, a go-to spot for both tourists and locals alike. Here, you'll find a host of Latin American-inspired flavors that are hard to come by anywhere else; their Dulce de Leche flavor is a customer favorite, while the tangy Hibiscus donut is just as good for Instagramming as it is for eating.

Blackbird Doughnuts — Boston, MA

Blackbird Doughnuts \u2014 Boston, MA

Boston's Blackbird Doughnuts is a no-frills donut spot specializing in both brioche "raised" donuts and old-fashioned cake donuts. With a small menu of year-round donuts and a rotating cast of seasonal flavors, Blackbird keeps it simple and classic. Why mess around?

Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop — Brooklyn, NY

Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop \u2014 Brooklyn, NY

For over 60 years, Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop has been calling the quaint Brooklyn neighborhood of Greenpoint home. Since then, the bakery has remained a popular spot for both regulars and new visitors passing through the area. Here, you won't find uber-trendy decor or gimmicky recipes, just damn good donuts that prove the power of long-standing local businesses.

Pip’s Original — Portland, OR

Pip\u2019s Original \u2014 Portland, OR

In both their mobile catering van and brick-and-mortar locations, Pip's Original is a staple for small, sweet treats in Portland. They're known for their tiny donuts that come in inventive seasonal flavors like marionberry-lavender and mango ghost pepper. But even if you opt for one of the more traditional flavors, Pip's Original proves good things can come in small packages.

Round Rock Donuts — Round Rock, TX

Round Rock Donuts \u2014 Round Rock, TX

Founded in 1926, Round Rock Donuts—located just north of Austin—are impossible to miss. These donuts' distinct yellow-orange color, caused by fresh eggs in the original recipe, make them stand out among the crowd. While this classic outpost can easily churn out hundreds of dozens of donuts a day, they also offer Texas-Sized Donuts, which are just as ginormous as you'd imagine. Round Rock Donuts are not only delicious and easily recognizable, but they're a slice of Lone Star history.

The Holy Donut — Portland, ME

The Holy Donut \u2014 Portland, ME

In Maine's Portland, you might not find tiny donuts or a decked-out catering van, but you will find a slightly healthier alternative. The Holy Donut was founded on the premise of creating tasty donuts that used all-natural ingredients to make a treat you could feel good about eating. The secret ingredient is fresh, mashed Maine potatoes, which make these donuts delectably moist without sacrificing flavor.

Donut Friend — Los Angeles, CA

Donut Friend \u2014 Los Angeles, CA

As expected of a city so focused on entertainment, Los Angeles' Donut Friend puts an edgy spin on their inventive donut flavors. Their year-round menu features donut flavors with names like Green Teagan and Sara, Fudgegazi, and Bacon-182 that are sure to delight the rock music nerds. For everyone else, the delicious donuts speak for themselves.