clock menu more-arrow no yes
Minetta Tavern’s cote de boeuf
Nick Solares

NYC’s 26 Most Iconic Meat Dishes

From the humble pastrami sandwich and hot dogs to dry-aged meat feasts

View as Map
Minetta Tavern’s cote de boeuf
| Photo by Nick Solares

New York City masters meat. There’s of course the classic steakhouse, a genre endemic to NYC, as well as Uzbek skewers, humble pastrami on rye, and barbecue aplenty. These are the original menu items that diners keep ordering time and time again, and the dishes that have been copied endlessly in New York and across the rest of the country. Take a look at the dishes that best define New York's vast, jus-splashed meat landscape.

Note: This is an updated version of a map originally published in 2015.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Chopped cheese at Harlem Taste (Hajji’s)

Copy Link
2135 1st Avenue
New York, NY 10029
(646) 682-7488

Somewhere between a Philly cheesesteak and a patty melt, there’s the chopped cheese, a sandwich that originates from bodegas in Harlem and the Bronx. A hero is stuffed with griddled ground beef, melted onions, and melted American cheese, plus lettuce and tomatoes. It’s a simple, affordable, and very satisfying meal that one particular bodega is responsible for: Hajji’s, which now goes by the name Harlem Taste. Former employee Carlos Soto invented the chopped cheese — also sometimes called chop cheese — here in the ’90s.

Robert Sietsema

2. “Recession special” at Gray's Papaya

Copy Link
2090 Broadway
New York, NY 10023
(212) 799-0243
Visit Website

Gray’s Papaya doles out one of NYC’s best-known franks. The dependable and crisp-skinned hot dogs are a part of the Upper West Side restaurant’s renowned “recession special”: two hot dogs plus a papaya drink or soda, for $6.45. The Midtown outpost offers it for an even cooler $4.45.

Nick Solares

3. Beef rib at Mighty Quinn's BBQ

Copy Link
1492 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10075
(646) 484-5691
Visit Website

Pitmaster Hugh Mangum’s Mighty Quinn’s has become known for the “Texalina style” — a fusion of the barbecue traditions found in Texas and the Carolinas — served at each location of the chain. The style is apparent in the show-stopping brontosaurus rib. Vaguely reminiscent of the Flinstones, the long slab of tender meat is rubbed with spices and smoked for 12 hours until it falls off the bone. Along with the brisket, it’s a defining menu item at Mighty Quinn’s.

4. Charcuterie at Bar Boulud

Copy Link
1900 Broadway
New York, NY 10023
(212) 595-0303
Visit Website

Bar Boulud offers a wide selection of cured meats and pâtés from master charcutier Gilles Verot and his protégés. Standouts include the country pâté with foie, the head cheese, and the beef cheek terrine. This is the place to taste classic French charcuterie in New York City.

Photo: Bar Boulud

5. Combo over rice at the Halal Guys

Copy Link
West 53rd Street &, 7th Ave
New York, NY 10019
(347) 527-1505
Visit Website

The Halal Guys began as a Midtown West food cart that spawned brick-and-mortar locations and international franchising plans. The original cart is still there, and at first glance, looks pretty indistinguishable from the ubiquitous kebab-grilling carts around — save for the long lines that queue up at all hours. The combo platter means not having to choose between chicken and lamb gyro, both of which are heaped over rice, piled with fresh toppings and pita, and doused in white sauce and hot sauce. It’s a reliably delicious meal that’s cheap, filling, and satisfying.

6. Mutton chop at Keens Steakhouse

Copy Link
72 W 36th St
New York, NY 10018
(212) 947-3636
Visit Website

This gamey, gargantuan piece of meat is just one of the many reasons to love iconic Midtown steakhouse Keens. Although mutton was certainly served at this restaurant many moons ago, Keens now uses meat that is not technically "mature" enough to classify as mutton. It's actually a 26-ounce saddle of lamb with a liberal amount of fat that's roasted and served with an escarole salad and jus.

7. Pork larb at Thai Diva Cuisine

Copy Link
Read Review |
45-53 46th St
Woodside, NY 11377
(929) 208-0282
Visit Website

This compact Sunnyside restaurant focuses on the Isan region of Thailand, resulting in ultra-spicy fare of which the pork larb is a standout. It’s unusual to find a pork version, and Thai Diva’s is seared to be extra-crunchy. Served with cucumbers, sticky rice, and crunchy fried pig skin, the herbed and spiced ground pork meat salad is full of different textures and tart flavors to mix and match for a full meal.

Robert Sietsema

8. The Shackburger at Shake Shack

Copy Link
11 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10010
(212) 889-6600
Visit Website

The secret to the Shackburger's ever-lasting popularity is the patty, which has big beef flavor and just a hint of funkiness. It proudly packs more of a meaty wallop than In-N-Out’s burger, and might very well be New York’s favorite hamburger.

9. Butcher’s feast at Cote

Copy Link
Read Review |
16 W 22nd St
New York, NY 10010
(212) 401-7986
Visit Website

Cote melds Korean barbecue and American steakhouse experiences and flavors in one inspired, modern package. The butcher’s feast is the best move at this Michelin-starred spot, where several cuts of USDA Prime and American Waygu beef, banchan, two types of salad, savory egg souffle, a duo of stews served with rice, and soft serve for dessert all comes for $54 per person.

10. Lamb barbacoa at Cosme

Copy Link
Read Review |
35 E 21st St
New York, NY 10010
(212) 913-9659
Visit Website

There are a lot of buzzed-about dishes at Enrique Olvera’s acclaimed Mexican Flatiron restaurant, where the kitchen is helmed by Daniela Soto-Innes. The duck carnitas and husk meringue with corn mousse get the lion’s share of the attention, but the sleeper hit here is a meaty large-format lamb barbacoa. The brunch item is served family-style with shishito peppers, thinly sliced avocado, onions, and multiple salsas to be folded into DIY tacos. It’s not cheap, at $69 (nor is the rest of the increasingly pricier menu) but it’s a juicy, funk-filled, delight that feeds up to four.

Daniel Krieger

11. Bo ssäm at Momofuku Ssäm Bar

Copy Link
207 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003
(212) 254-3500
Visit Website

This is one of the dishes that kicked off the large-format feast trend, and it’s still one of the most epic feasts available in New York City. The $250 bo ssäm at David Chang’s Momofuku Ssäm Bar is a whole roasted pork butt with banchan, rice, lettuce, and oysters, for six to 10 people. Accept no imitations.

Momofuku [Official Photo]

12. Côte de boeuf for two at Minetta Tavern

Copy Link
113 Macdougal St
New York, NY 10012
(212) 475-3850
Visit Website

The côte de boeuf at Keith McNally’s Village steakhouse has endured as one of the most popular splurge dishes in this city. Now priced at $152, it’s an elegantly arranged heap of funky dry-aged beef slices that are crowned with roasted marrow bones. McNally has given New York a lot of amazing steaks over the last 30 years, but this one beats the rest, hands-down.

13. Meat plate at Veselka

Copy Link
144 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003
(212) 228-9682
Visit Website

East Village diner icon Veselka has been dishing up reliable Ukrainian fare since 1954. Besides the popular pierogies, Veselka is home to one of NYC’s best deals: the meat plate. Just $17 affords a hearty spread complete with those pierogis, meatloaf, borscht, and mushroom gravy-smothered stuffed cabbage. It’s delightful whatever the hour — Veselka is open all 24 — though it’s particularly satisfying at 4 a.m. after a long night out.

Photo by Ryan Sutton

14. Bone marrow with oxtail marmalade at Blue Ribbon Brasserie

Copy Link
97 Sullivan St
New York, NY 10012
(212) 274-0404
Visit Website

Eric and Bruce Bromberg’s signature dish at Blue Ribbon pairs rich, gooey bone marrow with a mixture of salty braised oxtail, vegetables, and herbs. The Village bistro is the Bromberg’s first in a now-empire of over a dozen places in NYC that paved the way for chef-driven, late-night restaurants. Eating the bone marrow here after midnight is a uniquely New York experience.

15. Pastrami sandwich at Katz's Delicatessen

Copy Link
205 E Houston St
New York, NY 10002
(800) 446-8364
Visit Website

Katz's serves New York's favorite pastrami sandwich. It's not a sloppy pile of beef, and as Robert Sietsema noted, "the flavor is richer and emphatically smokier" than other popular versions served around town. It's a dish that New Yorkers have craved and relished for over 100 years. In 2017, the Jewish deli opened a second location for the first time, in Downtown Brooklyn's DeKalb Market.

16. Big-tray chicken at Spicy Village

Copy Link
68 Forsyth St B
New York, NY 10002
(212) 625-8299
Visit Website

Wendy Lian’s big-tray chicken is a cult obsession for those who know it. The huge pot is filled with a teeming, aromatic stew of chicken braised with potatoes, chiles, chile oil, Sichuan peppercorns, and cilantro. Despite the restaurant’s name, it’s not terribly spicy. Do be sure to add in the chewy and tender hand-pulled noodles.

Eater Video

17. Roast pork over rice at Great N.Y. Noodletown

Copy Link
28 Bowery
New York, NY 10013
(212) 349-0923

There are plenty of places in Manhattan's Chinatown to score mounds of succulent roasted meats over rice for very little cash. But Great N.Y. Noodletown stands out because of its ultra-late-night hours, open nightly until 4 a.m. The roasted suckling pig over rice does not disappoint, especially at that hour.

18. Peking duck at Peking Duck House

Copy Link
28 Mott St # A
New York, NY 10013
(212) 227-1810
Visit Website

Big, festive group dinners are a hit at Peking Duck House, thanks to its BYOB policy and best-when-shared namesake main attraction. It’s all about a large-format, very hands-on experience at this top Chinatown spot: whole ducks with spectacularly crispy skins are sliced tableside. The roast fowl comes with matchstick-sized cucumber sticks, fresh scallions, and hoisin sauce to wrap in thin pancakes and devour.

19. Porterhouse at Peter Luger

Copy Link
178 Broadway
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 387-7400
Visit Website

Many meat lovers in the New York area believe that Peter Luger's porterhouse is the greatest steak ever served by man or machine. The beef hits the table in a pool of hot butter and blood, with the filet and sirloin pre-sliced. The beef has a prominent char on the exterior, and if ordered rare or medium-rare, each piece has a perfectly rosy interior. Although many, many restaurants across the city now serve similar porterhouse steaks, Luger remains one of the best places in New York to eat dry-aged beef.

20. Roast brisket with gravy at David's Brisket House

Copy Link
533 Nostrand Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11216
(718) 789-1155
Visit Website

A long-running Jewish deli with an unusual lineage, David’s Brisket House began as a kosher sandwich spot until the ’70s, when Muslim ownership took over and began serving halal meat. The menu is still the same, though, including the area’s best roast brisket sandwich. Served on rye or a club roll with a cup of gravy for dipping, the beef has a fatty caramelized edge offset by the half-sour pickles served alongside.

Robert Sietsema

21. Skewers at Nargis Bar & Grill

Copy Link
155 5th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(718) 640-7000
Visit Website

Charcoal-grilled skewers are the calling card at Uzbek Park Slope restaurant Nargis Bar & Grill. Whether it’s veal liver, lamb leg, chicken heart, or any of the other meaty varieties, Nargis nails the kebab. “Skirt steak bursts with concentrated beefiness. Lamb chuck exhibits a restrained funk, a marked tenderness, and beguiling sweetness. The heat transforms chicken hearts into springy, snappy saltiness, with little sinew or offally tang. And chicken wings stun with their technicality; the gentle cooking renders out all the schmaltzy fats, leaving the skin with a blackened crispness whose texture recalls phyllo and whose complex aromas evoke porcini,” Eater critic Ryan Sutton writes in his review.

Gary He

22. Smoked meats at Hometown Bar-B-Que

Copy Link
454 Van Brunt St
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(347) 294-4644
Visit Website

Head to this popular Red Hook destination from pitmaster Billy Durney, arguably home to the very best barbecue in NYC, for excellent smoked meat across the board. The mix of traditional and unexpected cuts and types of meat are all deftly spiced and smoked, from lamb belly to Korean pork ribs to beef ribs. But the brisket is the biggest winner: Creekstone Farms beef, sporting incredible texture and pepper-packed, sweet char.

Nick Solares

23. Lamb haneeth at Yemen Cafe

Copy Link
7130 5th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11209
(718) 745-3000
Visit Website

Besides the marag, an exceptional, tangy lamb broth served with entrees before the main event, the lamb haneeth is the must-try at Yemen Cafe, proven by its appearance on seemingly every table. The tender meat is stewed for many hours in salta, a mild tomato-based vegetable stew that doesn’t obscure the meat’s musky flavor. Eat it on its own, or tuck hunks of lamb into pieces of the freshly baked rounds of puffy, crispy edged bread which are plunked on tables as soon as supply begins to dwindle. There’s another location on Atlantic Avenue in Cobble Hill.

24. Hot beef at Brennan & Carr

Copy Link
3432 Nostrand Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11229
(718) 769-1254
Visit Website

The signature dish at this beloved Gravesend institution is a roast beef-filled Kaiser bun that's liberally doused in a thin, salty liquid known as "the broth." Many customers choose to get this sandwich double dipped, while others order this same sandwich with cheese whiz. Both modifications certainly require a knife and fork.

25. Spleen sandwich at Joe's of Avenue U

Copy Link
287 Avenue U
Brooklyn, NY 11223
(718) 449-9285
Visit Website

The vastedda (also known as pane ca meusa) sandwich features a dollop of snowy ricotta, firmer grated Caciocavallo cheese, and slices of cow spleen that have been boiled and then crisped in lard. It tastes something like rubbery liver, and inside a vastedda cloaked in cheese, the organ comes alive. The sandwich is fantastic, and it doesn’t take more than one to satisfy. For the offal-adverse, a version of the vastedda featuring chickpea fritters instead of spleen is also available; ask for a panelle special. It’s almost as good.

Photo: Joe's

26. Hot dog at Nathan's Famous

Copy Link
1310 Surf Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11224
(718) 946-2202
Visit Website

Feltman's is credited with introducing the hot dog into the American food ecosystem. But Nathan's is the place that serves New York's favorite frank, now and forever. Although Nathan's slowly evolved into a boring fast food chain for more than 100 years, the original Coney Island location still serves a damn fine snappy grilled hot dog on a toasted bun.

Loading comments...

1. Chopped cheese at Harlem Taste (Hajji’s)

2135 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10029
Robert Sietsema

Somewhere between a Philly cheesesteak and a patty melt, there’s the chopped cheese, a sandwich that originates from bodegas in Harlem and the Bronx. A hero is stuffed with griddled ground beef, melted onions, and melted American cheese, plus lettuce and tomatoes. It’s a simple, affordable, and very satisfying meal that one particular bodega is responsible for: Hajji’s, which now goes by the name Harlem Taste. Former employee Carlos Soto invented the chopped cheese — also sometimes called chop cheese — here in the ’90s.

2135 1st Avenue
New York, NY 10029

2. “Recession special” at Gray's Papaya

2090 Broadway, New York, NY 10023
Nick Solares

Gray’s Papaya doles out one of NYC’s best-known franks. The dependable and crisp-skinned hot dogs are a part of the Upper West Side restaurant’s renowned “recession special”: two hot dogs plus a papaya drink or soda, for $6.45. The Midtown outpost offers it for an even cooler $4.45.

2090 Broadway
New York, NY 10023

3. Beef rib at Mighty Quinn's BBQ

1492 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10075

Pitmaster Hugh Mangum’s Mighty Quinn’s has become known for the “Texalina style” — a fusion of the barbecue traditions found in Texas and the Carolinas — served at each location of the chain. The style is apparent in the show-stopping brontosaurus rib. Vaguely reminiscent of the Flinstones, the long slab of tender meat is rubbed with spices and smoked for 12 hours until it falls off the bone. Along with the brisket, it’s a defining menu item at Mighty Quinn’s.

1492 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10075

4. Charcuterie at Bar Boulud

1900 Broadway, New York, NY 10023
Photo: Bar Boulud

Bar Boulud offers a wide selection of cured meats and pâtés from master charcutier Gilles Verot and his protégés. Standouts include the country pâté with foie, the head cheese, and the beef cheek terrine. This is the place to taste classic French charcuterie in New York City.

1900 Broadway
New York, NY 10023

5. Combo over rice at the Halal Guys

West 53rd Street &, 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019

The Halal Guys began as a Midtown West food cart that spawned brick-and-mortar locations and international franchising plans. The original cart is still there, and at first glance, looks pretty indistinguishable from the ubiquitous kebab-grilling carts around — save for the long lines that queue up at all hours. The combo platter means not having to choose between chicken and lamb gyro, both of which are heaped over rice, piled with fresh toppings and pita, and doused in white sauce and hot sauce. It’s a reliably delicious meal that’s cheap, filling, and satisfying.

West 53rd Street &, 7th Ave
New York, NY 10019

6. Mutton chop at Keens Steakhouse

72 W 36th St, New York, NY 10018

This gamey, gargantuan piece of meat is just one of the many reasons to love iconic Midtown steakhouse Keens. Although mutton was certainly served at this restaurant many moons ago, Keens now uses meat that is not technically "mature" enough to classify as mutton. It's actually a 26-ounce saddle of lamb with a liberal amount of fat that's roasted and served with an escarole salad and jus.

72 W 36th St
New York, NY 10018

7. Pork larb at Thai Diva Cuisine

45-53 46th St, Woodside, NY 11377
Read Review |
Robert Sietsema

This compact Sunnyside restaurant focuses on the Isan region of Thailand, resulting in ultra-spicy fare of which the pork larb is a standout. It’s unusual to find a pork version, and Thai Diva’s is seared to be extra-crunchy. Served with cucumbers, sticky rice, and crunchy fried pig skin, the herbed and spiced ground pork meat salad is full of different textures and tart flavors to mix and match for a full meal.

45-53 46th St
Woodside, NY 11377

8. The Shackburger at Shake Shack

11 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010

The secret to the Shackburger's ever-lasting popularity is the patty, which has big beef flavor and just a hint of funkiness. It proudly packs more of a meaty wallop than In-N-Out’s burger, and might very well be New York’s favorite hamburger.

11 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10010

9. Butcher’s feast at Cote

16 W 22nd St, New York, NY 10010
Read Review |

Cote melds Korean barbecue and American steakhouse experiences and flavors in one inspired, modern package. The butcher’s feast is the best move at this Michelin-starred spot, where several cuts of USDA Prime and American Waygu beef, banchan, two types of salad, savory egg souffle, a duo of stews served with rice, and soft serve for dessert all comes for $54 per person.

16 W 22nd St
New York, NY 10010

10. Lamb barbacoa at Cosme

35 E 21st St, New York, NY 10010
Read Review |
Daniel Krieger

There are a lot of buzzed-about dishes at Enrique Olvera’s acclaimed Mexican Flatiron restaurant, where the kitchen is helmed by Daniela Soto-Innes. The duck carnitas and husk meringue with corn mousse get the lion’s share of the attention, but the sleeper hit here is a meaty large-format lamb barbacoa. The brunch item is served family-style with shishito peppers, thinly sliced avocado, onions, and multiple salsas to be folded into DIY tacos. It’s not cheap, at $69 (nor is the rest of the increasingly pricier menu) but it’s a juicy, funk-filled, delight that feeds up to four.

35 E 21st St
New York, NY 10010

11. Bo ssäm at Momofuku Ssäm Bar

207 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003
Momofuku [Official Photo]

This is one of the dishes that kicked off the large-format feast trend, and it’s still one of the most epic feasts available in New York City. The $250 bo ssäm at David Chang’s Momofuku Ssäm Bar is a whole roasted pork butt with banchan, rice, lettuce, and oysters, for six to 10 people. Accept no imitations.

207 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003

12. Côte de boeuf for two at Minetta Tavern

113 Macdougal St, New York, NY 10012

The côte de boeuf at Keith McNally’s Village steakhouse has endured as one of the most popular splurge dishes in this city. Now priced at $152, it’s an elegantly arranged heap of funky dry-aged beef slices that are crowned with roasted marrow bones. McNally has given New York a lot of amazing steaks over the last 30 years, but this one beats the rest, hands-down.

113 Macdougal St
New York, NY 10012

13. Meat plate at Veselka

144 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003
Photo by Ryan Sutton

East Village diner icon Veselka has been dishing up reliable Ukrainian fare since 1954. Besides the popular pierogies, Veselka is home to one of NYC’s best deals: the meat plate. Just $17 affords a hearty spread complete with those pierogis, meatloaf, borscht, and mushroom gravy-smothered stuffed cabbage. It’s delightful whatever the hour — Veselka is open all 24 — though it’s particularly satisfying at 4 a.m. after a long night out.

144 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003

14. Bone marrow with oxtail marmalade at Blue Ribbon Brasserie

97 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

Eric and Bruce Bromberg’s signature dish at Blue Ribbon pairs rich, gooey bone marrow with a mixture of salty braised oxtail, vegetables, and herbs. The Village bistro is the Bromberg’s first in a now-empire of over a dozen places in NYC that paved the way for chef-driven, late-night restaurants. Eating the bone marrow here after midnight is a uniquely New York experience.

97 Sullivan St
New York, NY 10012

15. Pastrami sandwich at Katz's Delicatessen

205 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

Katz's serves New York's favorite pastrami sandwich. It's not a sloppy pile of beef, and as Robert Sietsema noted, "the flavor is richer and emphatically smokier" than other popular versions served around town. It's a dish that New Yorkers have craved and relished for over 100 years. In 2017, the Jewish deli opened a second location for the first time, in Downtown Brooklyn's DeKalb Market.

205 E Houston St
New York, NY 10002

Related Maps

16. Big-tray chicken at Spicy Village

68 Forsyth St B, New York, NY 10002
Eater Video

Wendy Lian’s big-tray chicken is a cult obsession for those who know it. The huge pot is filled with a teeming, aromatic stew of chicken braised with potatoes, chiles, chile oil, Sichuan peppercorns, and cilantro. Despite the restaurant’s name, it’s not terribly spicy. Do be sure to add in the chewy and tender hand-pulled noodles.

68 Forsyth St B
New York, NY 10002

17. Roast pork over rice at Great N.Y. Noodletown

28 Bowery, New York, NY 10013

There are plenty of places in Manhattan's Chinatown to score mounds of succulent roasted meats over rice for very little cash. But Great N.Y. Noodletown stands out because of its ultra-late-night hours, open nightly until 4 a.m. The roasted suckling pig over rice does not disappoint, especially at that hour.

28 Bowery
New York, NY 10013

18. Peking duck at Peking Duck House

28 Mott St # A, New York, NY 10013

Big, festive group dinners are a hit at Peking Duck House, thanks to its BYOB policy and best-when-shared namesake main attraction. It’s all about a large-format, very hands-on experience at this top Chinatown spot: whole ducks with spectacularly crispy skins are sliced tableside. The roast fowl comes with matchstick-sized cucumber sticks, fresh scallions, and hoisin sauce to wrap in thin pancakes and devour.

28 Mott St # A
New York, NY 10013

19. Porterhouse at Peter Luger

178 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Many meat lovers in the New York area believe that Peter Luger's porterhouse is the greatest steak ever served by man or machine. The beef hits the table in a pool of hot butter and blood, with the filet and sirloin pre-sliced. The beef has a prominent char on the exterior, and if ordered rare or medium-rare, each piece has a perfectly rosy interior. Although many, many restaurants across the city now serve similar porterhouse steaks, Luger remains one of the best places in New York to eat dry-aged beef.

178 Broadway
Brooklyn, NY 11211

20. Roast brisket with gravy at David's Brisket House

533 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216
Robert Sietsema

A long-running Jewish deli with an unusual lineage, David’s Brisket House began as a kosher sandwich spot until the ’70s, when Muslim ownership took over and began serving halal meat. The menu is still the same, though, including the area’s best roast brisket sandwich. Served on rye or a club roll with a cup of gravy for dipping, the beef has a fatty caramelized edge offset by the half-sour pickles served alongside.

533 Nostrand Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11216

21. Skewers at Nargis Bar & Grill

155 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Gary He

Charcoal-grilled skewers are the calling card at Uzbek Park Slope restaurant Nargis Bar & Grill. Whether it’s veal liver, lamb leg, chicken heart, or any of the other meaty varieties, Nargis nails the kebab. “Skirt steak bursts with concentrated beefiness. Lamb chuck exhibits a restrained funk, a marked tenderness, and beguiling sweetness. The heat transforms chicken hearts into springy, snappy saltiness, with little sinew or offally tang. And chicken wings stun with their technicality; the gentle cooking renders out all the schmaltzy fats, leaving the skin with a blackened crispness whose texture recalls phyllo and whose complex aromas evoke porcini,” Eater critic Ryan Sutton writes in his review.

155 5th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11217

22. Smoked meats at Hometown Bar-B-Que

454 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Nick Solares

Head to this popular Red Hook destination from pitmaster Billy Durney, arguably home to the very best barbecue in NYC, for excellent smoked meat across the board. The mix of traditional and unexpected cuts and types of meat are all deftly spiced and smoked, from lamb belly to Korean pork ribs to beef ribs. But the brisket is the biggest winner: Creekstone Farms beef, sporting incredible texture and pepper-packed, sweet char.

454 Van Brunt St
Brooklyn, NY 11231

23. Lamb haneeth at Yemen Cafe

7130 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11209

Besides the marag, an exceptional, tangy lamb broth served with entrees before the main event, the lamb haneeth is the must-try at Yemen Cafe, proven by its appearance on seemingly every table. The tender meat is stewed for many hours in salta, a mild tomato-based vegetable stew that doesn’t obscure the meat’s musky flavor. Eat it on its own, or tuck hunks of lamb into pieces of the freshly baked rounds of puffy, crispy edged bread which are plunked on tables as soon as supply begins to dwindle. There’s another location on Atlantic Avenue in Cobble Hill.

7130 5th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11209

24. Hot beef at Brennan & Carr

3432 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11229

The signature dish at this beloved Gravesend institution is a roast beef-filled Kaiser bun that's liberally doused in a thin, salty liquid known as "the broth." Many customers choose to get this sandwich double dipped, while others order this same sandwich with cheese whiz. Both modifications certainly require a knife and fork.

3432 Nostrand Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11229

25. Spleen sandwich at Joe's of Avenue U

287 Avenue U, Brooklyn, NY 11223
Photo: Joe's

The vastedda (also known as pane ca meusa) sandwich features a dollop of snowy ricotta, firmer grated Caciocavallo cheese, and slices of cow spleen that have been boiled and then crisped in lard. It tastes something like rubbery liver, and inside a vastedda cloaked in cheese, the organ comes alive. The sandwich is fantastic, and it doesn’t take more than one to satisfy. For the offal-adverse, a version of the vastedda featuring chickpea fritters instead of spleen is also available; ask for a panelle special. It’s almost as good.

287 Avenue U
Brooklyn, NY 11223

26. Hot dog at Nathan's Famous

1310 Surf Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11224