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The Meatball Shop has a few locations around NYC and since it first opened in 2010, you would wonder why it took so long for a restaurant to specialize in these delectable globes of meat. The way it works is you order your choice of beef, pork, chicken or veggie balls, then you top them off with a sauce. The meal comes with Foccacia and you can add sides like polenta, mash potatoes, broccoli, salads, etc. The restaurant features bar style seating and one of the hidden highlights is their ice cream sandwich. It is made with homemade cookies and fresh-churned cream, making it a haven for those with a sweet tooth as well.
Since 1971, Mamoun's has been the spot to go when you need true falafel and shwarma made with tender loving care. Upon entering, Mamoun's staff is sure to remind you that they are one of the oldest Middle Eastern restaurants in the city and many locals claim the falafel here to be the best. Mamoun's has few other locations in the Tri-State area, rest assured however that each one maintains the highest quality ingredients and a strict adherence to tradition.
After a fire so unceremoniously evicted this fry shop from its original space in the East Village, Pommes Frites has risen from the ashes to open again, this time in the West Village. Some say the shop offers the best frites in all five boroughs and according to some, even better than the Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg). However debated this may be, the fries here are completely authentic in the way they are made, where the potatoes are fried twice to get the perfect golden color and crispiness. Then the fun starts; here you can select from over 25 different types of sauce, and though the options may seem daunting, the mango chutney or the Mexican ketchup are local favorites and reliable picks. Diners have the choice of three sizes, regular, large and the double, which is a monster mound of tubers!
Sticky's Finger Joint has taken the humble chicken finger to a whole new level with a menu that offers a rotating selection from over 30 different flavors and styles. The General Tso, salted caramel, wasabi and Bada Bing are just a few all time favorites. Every serving is prepared to order and served with a ridiculously large selection of delicious sauces like wasabi aioli, balsamic ketchup, soy ginger and Thai peanut, and sides like hand-cut Idaho truffle fries and fried green beans. If this is your first visit then trust the guy at the counter and his suggestions, and you surely won't go wrong. With service that is as friendly as the food is delicious, Sticky's Finger Joint will soon become your go to choice for a quick, tasty snack.
This tiny Israeli restaurant serves some of the best falafel to be found in the city. Limited seating in the restaurant can be an issue, so when the weather is nice, take your food outside to the benches out front. The falafel platter is a favorite, and the sauces are sure to please. Wash it all down with some refreshing iced tea, fresh lemonade or a smoothie.
This takeout shop, located next door to Tea & Sympathy and sharing the same owners, features some of the best fish-and-chips in town. In addition to cod, the store also offers haddock and sole. A Salt & Battery also specializes in 'good old' British fast food, including mushy peas and deep-fried Mars bars. So if you are craving a real working class UK experience in Manhattan, this is definitely the place to come to. Beer is also available to go with the meal.
Burgers, shakes, sodas and pretty much all the classic fast food staples can be found at this revered burger joint in Madison Square Park. In addition to addictive burgers and shakes, the Shack offers a leafy outdoor setting for its patrons to watch the city go by. The surprise here is that they serve booze with your burger; from beer, to reds and whites available by glass and bottle, grab one and try to find a spot on the grass. What's more, they're dog-friendly and they have a few things on the menu as well for your pooch. During the spring and summer, the line outside can be inexorably long, however there are other locations around Manhattan which are only a cab ride away.
Serving a wide range of the lesser-known Indian cousin of the burrito, The Kathi Roll Company has three locations in New York City. The small eatery offers delicious rolls, with fillings made from fresh, local ingredients that are slow-cooked and marinated in aromatic Indian spices and tasty curries, then wrapped within a freshly-made Indian flat-bread, the paratha. The prices are low, service is quick and offerings are quite delicious; open till late most days, this one's a lifesavers for nocturnal party animals and graveyard shift-ers - definitely worth a visit!
Ask a New Yorker where to get the best hot dog, and chances are good the answer will be Gray's Papaya. This legendary hot dog joint serves up long, filling hot dogs heaped to your taste with delicious toppings like, carmelized onions, sauerkraut and chili. If you're wondering why Papaya is in the name, they also serve up a great selection of fruit juices, including papaya. If you're looking for a way to fill your belly quickly on the Upper West Side without emptying your wallet, head to Gray's Papaya.
The King of Falafel and Shawarma is not self-proclaimed royalty; the food stand has been the recipient of awards like the Vendy and People's Choice. The King caters to both vegans and meat lovers. The falafel, made with Freddy's mother's secret spices, is a vegan treat. If you want to grab a bite on the run, the chicken wrap and shish kebabs are for you; if a complete meal is what you want then you should definitely go for the chicken platter. This food stand really is the undisputed king of falafel and shawarma.
Home of the Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest, Nathan's Famous has been serving mouth-watering hot dogs since 1916 at its landmark location in Coney Island. What started as a nickel hot dog stand has grown to a nationwide franchise, but hot dog aficionados swear that no other hot dog can compare to the original Nathan's! Maybe it's the sea air or the old-school atmosphere; no one knows for sure, but one bite into these crunchy all-beef dogs will win over the greatest skeptic. The fries (with or without gobs of cheese or chili) are to die for!