There are up to 33 different global cuisines in Manhattan, according to research by Thrillist, which is pretty indicative of the range of cultures and traditions that have made the Big Apple what it is today. From spicy Algerian lamb tagine delights to Brazilian rodizio, there is something for even the most adventurous palate – which is just another reason to visit the city. If you are in or around the Times Square area, know that this piece of paradise is home to some of the U.S.’s most renowned restaurants. Not only does Times Square offer a plethora of different culinary traditions; it is also a creator of the latest foodie trends.
Veganism for Life
With stars like Miley Cyrus, Beyoncé, and Millie Bobby Brown hailing the virtues of vegan and plant-based foods, it is no wonder that many of Times Square’s most popular restaurants are upping the percentage of vegan foods on the menu. R Lounge, for instance, boasting a 4.5 TripAdvisor rating, is riding high on the vegan train, with dishes like their famous Kale Wild Mushroom Ravioli, graced with fresh peas, roasted tomato, pine nuts and a smooth-as-sin red pepper sauce. Another popular dish is the Baby Arugula Salad, served with refreshing watermelon, tomatoes, olives, feta cheese, faro, and hibiscus vinaigrette. As stated by Forbes’ Food & Drink writer, Janet Forgrieve, veganism is increasingly becoming part of the mainstream, with millennials embracing this lifestyle for animals, the planet, and better health and well-being.
Filipinos make up the second-largest Asian population in the United States. Dishes like chicken-pork adobo (cooked in vinegar, soy and garlic), pansit (fine noodles sauteed with chicken and vegetables) and lumpia (deep-fried rolls) are popular fare in NYC and beyond. Just 0.3 miles ( a seven-minute walk) from the heart of Times Square, you will find Jollibee – a famed Filipino fast-food establishment serving Filipino versions of popular American delights. From juicy burgers to deep friend chicken and (of course) steamed white rice, the unique ratios of salty and sweet cannot be missed. A must-order dish at Jollibee is the Pinoy spaghetti, made with sausage and bearing a sauce that verges on sweet!
Sous Vide Tenderness
Sous vide cooking at home and when dining out is big among diners who demand that their meat be tender, juicy, and ultra-tasty. The technique, which essentially involves cooking food at a low temperature for various hours to ‘seal’ its juices within, is taking over many of New York’s fine dining restaurants. To try the technique at its finest, it is worth the 1.3-mile walk (via Broadway from Times Square) to Sous Vide Kitchen: A Virtual Food Hall, where you can order a host of amazing dishes on a touchscreen, thus avoiding long queues and frustration!
Spanish Chef Ángel León, whose three-Michelin-starred restaurant Aponiente (in southern Spain) was hailed ‘One of the Top Restaurants in Europe’ by The Wall Street Journal, is credited with having sparked a trend that is alive and kicking in Times Square: the penchant for seaweed! The Chef has discovered many new types of edible seawood and created dishes with dazzling ingredients like edible plankton. In the U.S., sea vegetables are hailed for their high vitamin and antioxidant content. Thus, it is not surprising to see seaweed dishes popping up in restaurants along Times Square. For a fine exponent of this trend, visited Esca and order the Golden Spotted Bass with Spanish Seaweed Salt – the earthy, green, umami flavor of this ingredient will send your tastebuds into overdrive!
Travel-hungry millennials are increasingly turning to cuisine as a means of savoring the world. Times Square is a compact nucleus of a wide variety of cuisines. If Chinese appeals, head to Dim Sum Palace. For Cuban, it’s got to be Havana Central and for Japanese, head to Sake Bar Hagi. Indeed, Japanese food has long been revered in the U.S., but it is predicted to be bigger than ever, with the Tokyo Olympics coming up in 2020.
New York is a melting pot and Times Square (which many would say is its heart and soul) reflects this passion for global flavors faithfully. From easy Filipino fast food to fine dining with a dash of seaweed magic, the bevvy of dishes makes it easy for visitors to feel like global citizens while getting to know the City that doesn’t sleep. One last tip: fine dining is back in a big way, so the next time a meal out appeals, don your fanciest outfit and revel in the glamour that abounds!