“As a general rule, everything is good” at Mercado Little Spain, Times critic Pete Wells declares this week in his column, which is not a review but rather a ranking of his favorite dishes at the Hudson Yards Spanish food hall.
First on the list is cochinillo, or a three-week-old Ibérico piglets grilled over an open fire. “Like Peking duck, the meat is dark, sweet with melted fat and served under a crunchy rectangle of skin,” Wells writes. The rest of the list, below, includes churros and chocolate, tortilla, a pineapple with rum, and hazelnut soft serve.
Wells is decidedly a fan of Mercado Little Spain, though he finds that he prefers wandering the kiosks and bars to sitting down for a meal at one of the three full-service restaurants — the “least rewarding places to spend time” at the food hall. “You can see the action outside, and when things get slow you can start to wish you were out there, moving freely,” he writes.
But other than that, Wells concludes that Mercado Little Spain — which mega-chef Jose Andres opened in the West Side development complex in March — “offers more delicious things to eat per square foot than anywhere else in New York.” Here’s what he likes most:
- Cochinillo at Leña
- Tarta de queso at Granja, Pasteles and Spanish Diner
- Liquid olive at Bar Celona and La Barra
- Piña borracha at Leña, Spanish Diner and Frutas y Verduras
- Churros y chocolate at Churros and Spanish Diner
- Gambas al estilo de El Bulli at Mar
- Huevas de mujol at Mar
- Ensalada naranja at La Barra
- Chistorra con patatas fritas at La Barra
- Pomelo en texturas at La Barra
- Lacón con patatas at Tortillas de Patatas y Lacón con Patatas
- Pan de cristal con tomate at Spanish Diner, La Barra, Frutas y Verduras, and Leña
- Pomada at Bar Celona, Spanish Diner, Mar and Leña
- Cardenal at Pasteles
- Empanada de cerdo at Bocatas y Empanadas
- Paella Valenciana at Paella al Plato
- Gazpacho at Leña, Spanish Diner, La Barra, and Frutas y Verduras
- Tortilla de patatas at Tortillas de Patatas y Lacón con Patatas
- Xuixo at Granja, Pasteles, and Spanish Diner
- Hazelnut soft serve at Helados