Favorite Dishes #75: Ippudo’s Pork Buns


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.

Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera. Follow @forkintheroadVV.

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:

#100: Laminated Blueberry Brioche at Dominique Ansel Kitchen

#99: Egg Shop’s Golden Bucket Fried Chicken

#98: Ramen Lab’s Torigara Shoyu

#97: Cannoli at Ferdinando’s

#96: Breakfast Sandwich at Dimes

#95: Banana Royal at Eddie’s Sweet Shop

#94: Fletcher’s Burnt Ends

#93: Almayass’s Mante

#92: Empellon Taqueria’s Fish Taco

#91: El Rey’s Sardine Tostada

#90: General Tso’s Pig’s Head at the Cannibal

#89: The Vegetarian at Meat Hook Sandwich Shop

#88: The 21 Club’s Creamy Chicken Hash

#87: Deep-Fried Olives at Via Carota

#86: Pougi at Loi Estiatorio

#85: Shelsky’s Hot Pastrami Sandwich

#85: Pearl & Ash’s Smoked Bread with Chicken Butter

#84: Gluten-Free Pizza at Rossopomodoro

#83: Perry St’s Chocolate Pudding With Candied Violets

#82: Whit’s End’s ‘Fuckin’ Bluefish Dip’

#81: Morgenstern’s Salt and Pepper Pine Nut Ice Cream

#80: Levain Bakery’s Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie

#79: Delmar Pizzeria’s Pizza

#78: Cafe Cluny’s Avocado Toast

#77: Brooklyn Star’s Cinnamon Bun

#76: Pork Belly Cotton Candy at Carnem