Later this year, we’ll pen our Best of NYC issue, our annual love letter to what’s great in this town. When that paper hits the streets, you’ll find our picks for the very best this city has to offer when it comes to dozens of cuisines, restaurants, dishes and drinks. Until then, you can get a taste of our contenders as we count down, in no particular order, our 100 favorite dishes from around the boroughs, a list of laudable eats worth tracking down right now.
No. 93: Peanut noodles from Shu Jiao Fu Zhou Cuisine
This canteen at 118 Eldridge in the Fu Zhou section of Chinatown has absolutely zero ambiance, even when compared with its relatively sparse neighbors. We’re happy to sacrifice mood lighting, though, for this spot’s versions of Fujian favorites, including beef noodle soup, pork-stuffed dumplings, and fish balls so popular with neighbors, they stop by to buy them in frozen bulk. The dish we return for again and again, though, is also one of the simplest: the platter of peanut noodles (or, if you’re going off of the eatery’s misspelled menu, wheat noodle with peanut butter sause). Long, stretchy, flat noodles come in a thick, sticky peanut-based coat spiked with soy sauce, which adds a clear savory note to the sweet, earthy base and keeps it from becoming cloying. Speckled with just a few scallions and lightly redolent of the oil they’re sauteed in when you place your order at the counter, they’re served up on a styrofoam plate. Best of all: this rib-sticking item will set you back exactly $2. And if you’re really hungry, you can add an order of a dozen dumplings for just $3 more.
No. 100: Carnitas from Taqueria Lower East Side
No. 99: Steamed mussels from Tartine
No. 98: Cookie Monster ice cream from Malu
No. 97: Havana salad from Coppelia
No. 96: Clay Pot Catfish from Falansai
No. 95: Khao Soi Kaa Kai from Uncle Boons
No. 94: Salted caramel “impossible” flan from ABC Cocina