You didn't think I was going to neglect Mexican, did you? Hell, no! The mountain-dwelling south Pueblans who constitute some of our most adept taqueria owners have plenty of surprises for you from their state cuisine and that of Guerrero to the west. One fiery Pueblan favorite is tinga, a thick stew of chicken and chipotle peppers that's a frequent special at grocery-turned-café Tulcingo Del Valle (665 Tenth Avenue, 212-262-5510), or go for the mole poblano enchiladas or the flaming-hot soup called chilate de pollo.

For a version of tinga slightly more restrained but still mega-delicious, zoom into La Superior (295 Berry Street, Brooklyn, 718-388-5988), Williamsburg's favorite Mexican restaurant. Once again, ask for it hot.

We've saved the hottest for last—Thai food. Somehow, those tiny pickled bird chilies pack more heat into a small space than even Scotch bonnets. At Chao Thai (85-03 Whitney Avenue, Queens, 718-424-4999)—a Siamese café every bit as good as Sripraphai—the jungle curry is as spicy as Brick Lane's phaal. Bring a carload of friends, and eat it with plenty of rice.

The Texan hot dog at New York Hotdog & Coffee—jalapeños on the frank, but not in the java.
Rufus Harvey
The Texan hot dog at New York Hotdog & Coffee—jalapeños on the frank, but not in the java.

Location Info


Sapthagiri Indian Restaurant

804 Newark Ave.
Jersey City, NJ 07306

Category: Restaurant > Indian

Region: Jersey City

Brick Lane Curry House

306-308 E. Sixth St.
New York, NY 10009

Category: Restaurant > Indian

Region: East Village

Northeast Taste Chinese Food

43-18 Main St.
Flushing, NY 11355

Category: Restaurant > Chinese

Region: Flushing

Crif Dogs

113 St. Marks Place
New York, NY 10009

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: East Village

Kom Tang Soot Bul House

32 W. 32nd St.
New York, NY 10001

Category: Restaurant > Korean

Region: Chelsea

Book Chang Dong

152-22 Northern Blvd.
Flushing, NY 11354

Category: Restaurant > Korean

Region: Flushing

Tulcingo Del Valle Grocery

665 10th Ave.
New York, NY 10036

Category: Restaurant > Mexican

Region: West 40s

La Superior

295 Berry St.
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Category: Restaurant > Mexican

Region: Williamsburg

Chao Thai

85-03 Whitney Ave.
Flushing, NY 11373

Category: Restaurant > Thai

Region: Elmhurst

There are plenty more spicy cuisines we've neglected, including Jamaican, Peruvian, West African, Malaysian, and Canadian (just kidding!). We'll save those for next spring.

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