The newest long line, Instagram-friendly treat in New York is a fish-shaped ice cream cone filled with soft serve at new Chinatown shop Taiyaki NYC. It opened earlier this month and already sports crazy lines for its big-mouthed fish cone. The ice cream shop’s social media game has been strong. Taiyaki is a cute traditional Japanese treat that’s usually filled with red bean paste, and it’s been served in New York in for years. Otafuku in the East Village, for example, has been open since 2000. But from the start, Taiyaki NYC had a hashtag for their offering, caught on with media, and named themselves after the treat itself — making it particularly difficult to find other restaurants that serve taiyaki in New York.
The new ice cream shop does do something differently than the traditional fish-shaped cake, which has been around long before Instagram. Its version of the fish cake has a large mouth, created with a special griddle. The soft serve that fills the cake cone has a Japanese bent too, with flavors like matcha and black sesame and additions like red bean and mochi. They cost $7.
Still, even then, it’s not a new photogenic food. Taiyaki ice cream cones been spotted all across the U.S. Goes to show, an accessible location and a big push on social media can pay off in the form of lines and natural social media marketing — at least for a little while. A place in Flushing called Ice and Pan making the same big-mouthed, soft-serve filled taiyaki opened in July. According to reviews, it had lines initially too, but a month later, the hype seemed to die down. Will Taiyaki NYC’s more convenient location to tourists keep the hype going? Is it actually good and worth the wait? If you stop by, let us know.