New Yorkers are serious about food, but they’re currently crazy about ramen. Few other food items would inspire multi-hour lines in the cold. Yet the prospect of hot bowls of flavorful broth garners such strong desires that intrepid diners are more than willing to do so — as long as it’s good. Ippudo (65 Fourth Avenue; 212-388-0088), one of the first Japanese noodle spots on the scene in NYC, still attracts three-hour wait times on a Wednesday night. The bowls here are rich, deeply satisfying, and utterly delicious. It’s hailed as the best of the best.
The secret, however, is that the star of the show isn’t even what the place is known for. The hirata buns ($9) are the best thing on the menu. Freshly steamed rice flour rolls are warm and pillowy. One order comes with two, filled with juicy pork belly slathered in a tangy and slightly spicy special sauce. Each one is layered with iceberg lettuce and mayonnaise, which lends a bit of cream and a nice crisp crunch. If you don’t do pork, the chicken ($9) and vegetable ($8) are also top-notch.
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The Village Voice is counting down to our Best of New York City issue in October. We’re combing the city every day, one dish at a time, to guide you to the most delicious food in NYC. These are our 100 Favorite Dishes for 2015, in no particular order, save for the top 10.
Here’s our countdown up to now:
#93: Almayass’s Mante