Food & Drink

NYC's 12 best grown-up versions of the greatest food you ate as a kid

Published On 03/09/2014 Published On 03/09/2014
Cookies NYC
All Photos: Khushbu Shah
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1. Empire Diner 210 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011 (Chelsea)

Empire Diner in Chelsea brings in all walks of life, at all hours. Check out the burger or more innovative apps to start.

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2. Puddin' by Clio 102 Saint Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009 (East Village)

If you thought you'd never again taste creamy delicious homemade pudding like you used to have as a kid, then we have good news. It's Puddin' by Clio.

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3. The Nugget Spot 230 E 14th St, New York, NY 10003 (East Village)

An entire restaurant based on the simple concept of the chicken nugget? You betcha. Stop by and enjoy their laid-back atmosphere and some beer (or wine) or grab your nuggets to go!

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4. The Queens Kickshaw 4017 Broadway, Astoria, NY 11103 (Queens)

This Astoria cafe primarily focuses on vegetarian eats, but carnivores will love it just the same. Best for lunch or brunch, standout comfort food menu items include a variety of grilled cheeses, avocado toast, and quiche. Just as popular as the food options are The Queen's coffee and beer offerings, so you can easily pop in for a drink to go.

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5. Alder 157 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003 (East Village)

Alder is Wylie Dufresne's pub-inspired resto that's funneling his classic taste-bud-bending creations into a more accessible, slightly less-conceptual bar food-inspired menu in a woodsily modern East Village dwelling.

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6. Telepan Local 329 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013 (Tribeca)

This swank, American-fare Tribeca joint is doling out delicious cocktails, perfectly-portioned entrees, and fresh, innovative desserts.

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7. David Burke Bloomingdale's 1000 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10022 (Midtown)

Food and fashion, typically adversaries, come together at David Burke Bloomingdale's. The result: nom nom nom. Spanning the entirety of 59th Street, restaurateur David Burke opened this bar/cafe in 2005, satisfying shoppers hungry to pop their belts... not just buy one. Menu items include lobster dumplings, big pretzel paninis, pastrami salmon, and the Warm Country Apple Cappuccino (apple cider / brandy / foamed milk). Martini Week Specials: from 5:30p to 8:30p, get a Grey Goose "Not Your Mothers Cosmo" or a Bombay Sapphire "Truffled Gin Gem" with Vermouth for $10 (Note: bar only).

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8. Parm 248 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012 (Nolita)

This Italian-American restaurant from the Torrisi crew serves rich but simple veal, chicken, and eggplant parm, in sandwich or platter form. Parm's menu reads like a "best of" list of red sauce classics, featuring clams casino, mozzarella sticks, penne pomodoro, and of course, giant meatballs. The Nolita spot is small and cozy with a long bar in front and small tables in the back, but take-out is available if you'd rather eat your sauce-drenched hero in the privacy of your own living room...or cubicle.

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9. Dominique Ansel Bakery 189 Spring St, New York, NY 10012 (Soho)

Master pastry chef Dominique Ansel’s eponymous SoHo bakeshop is best known as the birthplace of the Cronut, a croissant-doughnut mash-up that attracts lines of tourists every morning. There’s a limit of two Cronuts per customer, but luckily the hybrid pastry isn’t all Ansel has in store. The shop sells bite-size fruit tarts, rich chocolate cookies, and Ansel’s other signature sweet, the kouign amann.

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10. Brooklyn Bowl 61 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Brooklyn Bowl's a 16-lane strikers' paradise that combines the sleek amenities of Lucky Strike with the anti-sleek Williamsburgery of The Gutter. Blue Ribbon's famous fried chicken is on the menu and live bands replace the top 40 hits you're used to jamming out to under the disco ball of your hometown lanes.

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11. Boulton & Watt 5 Ave A, New York, NY 10009 (Alphabet City)

The dining room at Boulton & Watt is heavily reminiscent of the Industrial Revolution -- but with far more beer and oysters. The Alphabet City gastropub is littered with rusted gears and pulleys, all tastefully arranged around tall windows and communal wooden tables. The contemporary menu offers a creative take on bar food with snacks like "Brats in a Blanket" and duck confit queso fondito, plus unconventional pickle varieties (pineapple with habanero, mint, and basil, for one). Updates on age-old classics round out the cocktail menu, as do pickle-back shots.