The Must-Try Delivery Dishes from AAPI-Owned Restaurants in NYC

Let these regional cuisines guide your taste buds (and takeout choices).

Noreetuh
Noreetuh | Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist
Noreetuh | Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist

May ushers in Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, a time to honor the many historical and cultural contributions of this diverse group. It’s a bittersweet time for AAPI communities across the United States. Asian American small businesses have been hit hard because of the COVID-19 pandemic, due to both economic-related losses and rising xenophobia.

In New York City, where the AAPI food scene continues to grow and evolve in brilliant ways, Asian Americans are also dealing with a rise in hate crimes. In 2021, according to the NYPD, incidents targeting Asians rose by 361 percent, and 74 percent of AAPI women, in particular, have reported racism or discrimination in the wake of last spring’s Atlanta shootings. Despite these hardships, there have been many exciting moments to celebrate—from the triumphant reopening of Chinatown dim sum institution Jing Fong to the surge of exceptional Vietnamese cooking now available across the boroughs.

There’s no better time to support your favorite AAPI restaurants. NYC is home to a stunning breadth of options, ranging from regional Indian to provincial Chinese cuisines, many available for pickup or delivery via Grubhub. While there’s far more than this list can capture, diners looking to try dishes crafted by AAPI-owned restaurants around the city can use it as a starting point to experience the diverse and delicious food this community has to offer.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Platter at Sin Kee

Flushing
Chef Richard Chan is no stranger to the Flushing food scene—his now-closed Yummy Tummy Bistro and Rolls Rice were both local favorites. Chan’s latest venture is a stand tucked inside the bustling Queen’s Crossing food court, where he puts a modern twist on the hawker fare of his native Singapore. Though there are nods to other Asian street foods on the menu (for example, Taiwanese gua bao and a Thai green papaya salad), the must-try dishes are Chan’s rendition of Singaporean classics, like chai tow kueh (stir-fried radish cake) and the country’s national dish, Hainanese chicken rice. Here, the skin-on bird is slow poached and doused in broth before it’s served over fragrant, oil-slicked rice with marinated chicken gizzards and spicy pickles.
How to try it: Order via Grubhub

Saag Paneer at Adda

Long Island City
As a follow-up to their now-shuttered Greenwich Village restaurant, Rahi, owner Roni Mazumdar and Executive Chef Chintan Pandya brought Indian home cooking to Long Island City. Meaning “a place where people hang out,” Adda showcases Pandya’s ingredient-focused take on biryanis, curries, and other traditional fare. His saag paneer is a perfect example of what the canteen has to offer—a creamy pile of wilted seasonal greens and soft cubes of housemade cheese that not only calls for a bowl of rice, but buttery naan for sopping it all up.
How to try it: Order via Grubhub

Kopitiam
Kopitiam

Nasi Lemak at Kopitiam

Lower East Side
Though its name translates to “coffee shop” in Hokkien, there’s so much more than drinks at Kyo Pang’s all-day Malaysian cafe. Building upon her family’s food traditions—Pang’s maternal family specialized in sweets, while her dad owned multiple restaurants in Penang—the James Beard-nominated chef offers classic Nyonya dishes, including a range of sweet and savory breakfast fare. The Bek Kopi (Penang white coffee sweetened with condensed milk) is indeed a Kopitiam essential, along with the Nasi Lemak, a comforting bowl of coconut rice topped with crispy fried anchovies, sliced cucumber, peanuts, and a hard-boiled egg.
How to try it: Order via Grubhub

Noreetuh
Noreetuh | Photo by Cole Saladino for Thrillist

Musubi at Noreetuh

East Village
It’s all about modern Hawaiian fare at this East Village spot, where Chef Chung Chow merges the foods of his Honolulu childhood with the French techniques he learned at California’s Le Cordon Bleu. He spent years honing his skills at Per Se and Lincoln Ristorante before opening Noreetuh, where you’ll find his takes on garlic shrimp, loco moco, and other Hawaiian classics. Not to be missed are the numerous musubi variations. Chow goes beyond the typical Spam—don’t worry, it’s still available for purists—with a dozen iterations showcasing seafood (spicy salmon, Japanese scallop), meat (galbi, pork jowl), and vegetables (shiitake mushroom). Each flavor can be ordered on its own or you can create a musubi sampler with any four varieties cut into shareable, bite-sized pieces.
How to try it: Order via Grubhub

Em Vietnamese Kitchen (Brooklyn, NY)
Em Vietnamese Kitchen (Brooklyn, NY)

Bensonhurst
Wife-and-husband team Ly Nguyen and Patrick Lin shine a spotlight on Vietnamese comfort food at this cozy Bensonhurst restaurant. While the menu has plenty of familiar favorites, like Pho Bo and Cha Gio (fried spring rolls), the dish to try is Nguyen’s Hu Tieu, a rice noodle soup brimming with shrimp, fish balls, chives, quail egg, and a pork rib. Featuring a long-simmered pork-and-seafood broth, the deeply flavorful southern Vietnamese specialty—which also has Chinese and Cambodian influences—is the first thing the Nha Trang-native cooked for her now-husband. While you’re at it, add a smoothie to your order. Lin once worked as a fruit importer (he met Nguyen on a work trip to Vietnam), and his expertise is evident in the incredibly fresh drinks.
How to try it: Order via Grubhub

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When the urge to treat yourself arises, get your favorite restaurants delivered to your doorstep. Grubhub makes it quick and easy to get a delicious meal on the table—from trusted, local favorites to delectable global cuisines—all with a few taps of a button. Now that’s food for thought.

Bagnet Express at Kusina Pinoy Bistro

Woodside
On a block teeming with Filipino shops sits Kusina Pinoy Bistro, a vibrant restaurant meaning “kitchen” in Tagalog. Opened in 2019, it has become a Little Manila hotspot, known for its live music nights and rich, meaty fare. It has made its mark on Instagram with one dish in particular, the showstopping Calamares Gigantes—a piece of deep-fried squid presented on a skewer. But it’s another fried dish that we recommend for takeout: the Bagnet Express. An adaptation of bicol express, a spicy pork and coconut milk stew, this version swaps in a piece of bagnet, crispy pork belly with origins in the northwestern region of Iloco.
How to try it: Order via Grubhub

PURE Thai Cookhouse
PURE Thai Cookhouse

Ratchaburi Crab & Pork Noodle at Pure Thai Cookhouse

Hell's Kitchen
Scoring a seat at this pint-sized Hell’s Kitchen restaurant has always been a challenge, which makes takeout a smart idea. Opened in 2011 by David and Vanida Bank, Pure Thai draws inspiration from all over the Southeast Asian island, but ties them together with a single ingredient: noodles. There are also excellent wok stir-fries and rice dishes on the menu, but the options that fall under “Pure Thai Noodles” are the true standouts. Of that handful, the Ratchaburi-style dry noodle is a favorite, featuring pliant strands that are handmade daily and topped with roasted pork, generous lumps of crab meat, yu choy, and scallions.
How to try it: Order via Grubhub

Fish-Flavored Eggplant at Chuan Tian Xia

Sunset Park
Once heavily Cantonese, Sunset Park has seen an influx of regional Chinese restaurants in recent years, including the arrival of this Sichuan specialist in 2018. Chuan Tian Xia has become known for its various preparations of fish, but those pricier entrees may not be an everyday takeout kind of meal. A more affordable option? The fish-flavored eggplant, or yu xiang qie zi, a Sichuan staple that, contrary to its name, contains no actual fish. Instead, its moniker—which more accurately translates to “fish fragrant eggplant”—comes from the aromatics that are used: pickled chiles, garlic, ginger, and doubanjiang (spicy fermented bean sauce). They’re typically associated with cooking fish, hence the name. Spooned over rice, the slivers of soft eggplant are so fragrant that you won’t miss the fish at all.
How to try it: Order via Grubhub

Spicy Kimchi Tofu Stew at Cho Dang Gol

Koreatown
An institution that lies a few blocks north of Koreatown’s always-packed 32nd Street hub, Cho Dang Gol has served its beloved fresh tofu since 1997. Made fresh every morning, the bean curd weaves its way into an array of dishes, from the Grilled Tofu Ssam Platter to a tofu ice cream. It’s the stews, however, that brings both comfort and flavor, which happen to hold up wonderfully when ordered as takeout. While you should go with whatever you’re craving—there are seafood and vegetarian versions—the Kimchi and Beef Tofu Stew is a reliably delicious option.
How to try it: Order via Grubhub

NAKAMURA
NAKAMURA

Torigara at Nakamura

Lower East Side
Chef Shigetoshi Nakamura opened his first ramen-ya at 22 years old, becoming known as one of Japan’s four “ramen gods.” In 2016, after coming to the States for a partnership with noodle maker Sun Noodles, he made his solo NYC debut with this eponymous restaurant in the Lower East Side. The menu has grown since it opened, but Nakamura’s signature torigara shoyu remains a highlight whether you dine in or order out. With a light chicken broth, grilled Jidori chicken, bamboo shoots, and wavy noodles, this bowl of ramen is the definition of restorative.
How to try it: Order via Grubhub

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Patty Lee is a contributor for Thrillist.