Taste Test: How to Cool Down a Spicy Mouth
Cold shrimp noodles
Little Tong Noodle ShopAddress and Info
The much anticipated noodle-focused restaurant by wd~50 alum Chef Simone Tong has cooled down one of its spicy dishes for summer temperatures. Slurp up the chilled banna shrimp mixian, a cold bowl of thin noodles coated in a minty coconut broth and layered with shrimp, pickled chilies, and crispy fried shallots. Available both hot and cold since the restaurant’s opening this past winter, you’ll want to stuff your face with at least one order of these cold spicy noodles before you switch to the warm version next season.
Island OysterAddress and Info
Ferry on over to Governors Island to eat at this newly opened 32,000-square-foot day-drinking destination and seafood spot helmed by the Grand Banks team. Fish tacos, burgers, and a lobster roll are all on the menu here, but be sure to slurp down some raw bar oysters on the half shell to cool down. Governors Island officially shuts down for the season on October 31, so get the seafood and city views in while you can!
Clam and parsley pizza
Franny’sAddress and Info
This may be your last chance to get the famed seafood- and herb-topped Neapolitan pie at this beloved Park Slope pizzeria. The 14-year-old joint will be packing up its pizza-cutting scissors on August 20th, and though there are allegedly plans for a revival, you know how those can go. Take your last bite of the thin crust, cream- and clam-topped pizza -- with a splattering of homemade chili oil on top for good measure -- before it’s too late.
The SpaniardAddress and Info
Even if you’ve had your fair share of lobster rolls for the season, you can’t miss this chowder-ish toast layered with creme fraiche, fresh tarragon, corn, and plenty of lobster chunks.
Taverna KycladesAddress and Info
While this Greek mainstay is open year-round, there’s nothing quite like standing on the sunny sidewalk with a glass of wine while waiting for your umbrella-shaded patio seat at the always-busy spot. The views aren’t quite Mykonos, but the whole grilled fish, zingy lemon potatoes, and a plate of chilled, ruby red beets are enough to make it feel like you’ve been momentarily transported away from the city.
Becky’s BitesAddress and Info
It was only a matter of time before someone brought artisanal Dunkaroos to Manhattan, and you’ll want to say you tried them the summer they debuted. Becky’s Bites, which is New York’s only shop dedicated to cream cheese, serves its own rendition of the childhood snack made with Teddy Grahams and funfetti cream cheese.
Picnic Basket Thrice-Fried Chicken for two
TuomeAddress and Info
Bring your summer love on a finger-food-friendly date to indulge in Chef Thomas Chen’s new picnic basket loaded with a whole, buttermilk-brined triple-fried chicken. Dip the crispy pieces in General Tso's honey sauce and herb ranch dip, and enjoy sides like summer vegetable slaw, a jalapeño and corn waffle, and curry mac & cheese topped with a spicy bread-crumb crust.
The Beach at Dream DowntownAddress and Info
A day pass to New York’s largest hotel pool will run you $65 (weekdays, 11am-5pm) but it’s a low price to pay for a blissful, call-in-sick-to-work afternoon at the pool. Millennial-up your frivolous expense with an order of avocado toast, served poolside, topped with cherry tomatoes, feta, radish, and pepitas. Chase it all down with some obligatory frosé.
Birthday cake soft serve
Tavern on the GreenAddress and Info
Upper West Side
You don’t have to do the whole tourist thing and blow your food budget at a fancy meal here -- instead, walk up to the takeout window (open weekdays, 4-8pm) and ask for a swirl of birthday cake soft serve in a waffle cone, topped with rainbow sprinkles, perfectly suited for an end-of-summer stroll through Central Park.
La Del Gato arepa
Caracas Arepa BarAddress and Info
Yes, Caracas has East Village and Williamsburg restaurants open year-round, but nothing beats biting into a dense corn cake stuffed with avocado, plantains, and crumbly cheese, chased down with a frozen sangria slushie, during a day out at Rockaway Beach.
City Island Lobster HouseAddress and Info
One hundred dollars gets you a massive pile of steamed lobster along with mussels, clams, jumbo shrimp, calamari, and more seafood all over a bed of pasta blanketed in your choice of red or white sauce, to be devoured in the iconic waterfront seafood shack that is City Island Lobster House.
Homemade ice cream sandwiches
Sugar Hill CreameryAddress and Info
Harlem’s first ice cream parlor in over three decades opened at the end of July, following the success of a Kickstarter campaign run by a neighborhood family determined to bring homemade, sweet frozen treats back to Harlem. Stop by for flavors like pistachio, coconut, and peanut butter and get them pressed between two homemade cookies for the ultimate summer treat.
The Hawaii Five-O
Mister DipsAddress and Info
Andrew Carmellini’s airstream-based ice cream and burger joint offers soft-serve creations like the Hawaii Five-O (Tahitian vanilla ice cream dipped with pineapple preserve and toasted coconut) dramatically served in skinny cake cones and topped with things like a paper tiki umbrella.
Hot Chick’n sandwich
Shake ShackAddress and Info
The incessant Instagrams by everyone you know eating Shack Stacks at airports, stadiums and yes, Madison Square Park shouldn’t deter you from one last summertime Shake Shack visit. Go for the new spicy fried chicken sandwich, topped with slaw and pickles to cut the head and served on the signature potato bun, which hits all the right notes of crispy comfort food on a hot day.
Black Seed BagelsAddress and Info
Nolita, East Village, and Financial District
Tomato season is fleeting, so get your fill of the juicy, savory fruits with three special BLTs made on Black Seed’s cult-status Montreal-style bagels. Opt for The Hometown, made with thick-cut pastrami bacon from Red Hook’s Hometown Bar-B-Que, pickled green tomato, butter lettuce, and a swipe of spicy mustard.
Something on a stick
Queens Night MarketAddress and Info
Held in Flushing Meadows Corona Park on Saturday nights throughout the summer, this internationally inspired nighttime food market brings out dozens of vendors hawking street food from across the globe. Grab a stick of chicken satay from Celebes Baka and skewered grilled squid from Gi Hin Mama Food, then use your hands to feast on arepas, latkes, paella, and more throughout the evening.
Cake Push Pops
Pop Cake ShopAddress and Info
Brooklyn’s massive new food hall, Dekalb Market Hall, is full of vendors you can enjoy long into winter (including an offshoot of Katz’s), but make a stop before the summer’s over for the layered, cake push pops, stuffed into a tube with customizable toppings like buttercream, cookie dough, potato chips, cereal, and more.
MayanokiAddress and Info
New York’s first and only sustainable sushi pop-up found a permanent home downtown this summer. While it’s open all year round, chef uses almost exclusively locally sourced, seasonal fish, so get that East Coast mackerel and swordfish while it’s still swimming into fishermen’s nets.
A Nathan’s hot dog and cheese fries
Sure, Citi Field has all the fancy food options, but save the Fuku sandwich for Lady Gaga’s big end-of-summer concert and head to Yankee Stadium for some good old-fashioned baseball food. Mets fans should book tickets for The Subway Series, which starts at Yankee Stadium August 14-15.