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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Top 5 "Top" Lists

Okay, I'm going to get a little meta on you right now. We've all seen them, they plaster the internet: the "top" lists. Top 5 Regrets People Have On Their Death Beds, Top 5 Movies of the Summer, Top 5 Things You Didn't Know About Your Left Hand, etc. Sometimes they're awesome, and sometimes they're downright derivative. And when it comes to the food category, there are pretty much endless lists that could consume your afternoon.

I read pretty much all of these lists when I find them because a) I spend too much time on the Internet, and b) it's kind of, at least tangentially, related to my job. So I'm going to do some curating for you. Here are the top 5 "top" lists in the New York food category. There are plenty of other great ones, but these contain particularly good recommendations or are unique in some way.

1. Epicurious' Favorite NY Restaurants of City's Top Food Bloggers
If you're willing to get a little fancy with your eats (and just a little, I promise), then this list is perfect. The editors/founders of the most renowned food websites (Serious Eats, Grub Street, etc) share their most favorite, bestest top choice restaurant in the city... and these people know their food. There's a point where deferring to the experts is not only acceptable but also necessary, and New York's gastronomical landscape is one such situation. Bourbon cream puffs, and crostini, and skewered chicken skin... oh my!


2. Eater's New York City's 15 Best Drunk Foods
Even if you don't drink, you know this type of food: late-night, impulsive, usually greasy, delicious. Eater's list is particularly comprehensive. You've got your standards (a P.J. Clark's cheeseburger, a cheesy slice of Joe's pizza), your New York stand-bys (tacos from Dos Toros, hot dogs from Gray's Papaya), and your downright bizarre picks (the Ouzi at Mustache). I'll admit that I haven't tried the last one, but this list has me wanting to go out for drinks tonight just so I can try this dish as it was meant to be eaten.


3. New York Magazine's 25 Best Food Trucks in New York
I had a hard time with a lot of the food truck lists I've seen. So many of them were Manhattan-only (no El Rey Del Taco in Astoria?!) or savory-only (no Big Gay Ice Cream Truck?!), but this one does a good job of hitting on all the important food trucks. You can tell this is a good list because even though it's a couple years old, it's still as relevant as ever. I haven't tried every single one of these trucks, but most of the ones I haven't tried myself, I've heard great things about. Plus the list comes with handy little pictures!


4. Real Cheap Eats' $5 or Less List
It doesn't have to be all about Michelin stars to get great food in New York. I'm a huge supporter of Real Cheap Eats: a curated, ever-changing list with food blogger contributors from all over the city. No ads, no mess, just a great list with reviews, organized by type of food or borough. I especially love their under $5 list because it reminds us even more that New York doesn't always have to be crazy expensive, but it should be crazy tasty.


5. NYC 10 Best's Southern, Soul Food, and Cajun Restaurants
This one might seem weirdly specific, but Southern cooking can be difficult to come by in New York. It's shocking how many NYC chefs have destroyed a fried chicken dish in my presence. It's enough to make a girl give up on finding a good piece of cornbread anywhere in the five boroughs. Another oldie but goodie, this list delivers. Amy Ruth's, Blue Smoke, and Dinosaur BBQ, among others... the names alone make my mouth water, and each has something different to offer the soul food seeker. This list does a great job of explaining the differences and making menu recommendations.

Interested in taking a peek at our "top" lists? Each tour serves as a top list for the relevant neighborhood and lets you take a peek at all of them at once. Start with the Original Greenwich Village tour, or check out our newest tour: the Nolita/NoHo tour. We've got some of the tasting stops listed on the tour pages, but for the full list (and the full experience), you've really got to walk the walk!

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