5 Cooling Dishes to Help You Beat the Heat


5. Hiyashi Chuka at Rai Rai Ken — This mix-it-yourself assemblage of cold ramen and other cooling ingredients is a summer godsend, with a little spicy brown mustard to perk it up. Find apples, egg, cucumber, seaweed, and red ginger in the mix. 214 East 10th Street, 212) 477-7030

So far, summer’s been a breeze, with temps hovering in the mid-70s and a brisk wind blowing off the Upper Bay. But suddenly, the temps are zooming into the upper 90s, the wind has gone bye bye, and the humidity threatens to reach 100%. Food can help — stay away from baked potatoes, hot pastrami sandwiches, and steaming pork roasts. Here are five suggestions to help you feel cooler.

4. Smashed Cucumbers in Garlic Sauce at Mission Chinese — This Sichuan standard — probably invented to quell a chile-pepper burn — features cukes along with sesame paste, fresh coriander, and vinegar and will leave your mouth feeling like it’s been laved in a cooling garlic mouthwash. 154 Orchard Street, 212-529-8800

3. Babaganoush at Yemen Cafe — Served with unlimited giant pitas made on the premises, Yemen Cafe’s baba is nothing short of wonderful, especially on a sweltering day. They know how to cool down in those desert kingdoms! (I’m referring to Bay Ridge, not Yemen.) 7130 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-745-8000

2. Italian Hero at Faicco’s Pork Store — The thin-sliced capicola (a Puglian neck-meat ham), prosciutto, and soppressata all lie cool on the tongue, and so does everything else — lettuce, homemade mozzarella, and your choice of sun-dried tomatoes, and hot or sweet peppers. The sandwich is so big, you’re going to want to share it with a friend. 260 Bleecker Street, 212-243-1974

1. Assorted Raw Oysters at Mermaid Oyster Bar — Nothing better than scintillatingly fresh oysters on ice served with mignonette and horseradish ketchup. 79 MacDougal Street, 212-260-0100