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A plate of Insa’s blood sausage
Insa’s blood sausage

25 Dishes for Offal Lovers Around NYC

Where to find standout organ and variety meats

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Insa’s blood sausage

Eating organs and other variety meats has long been a bubbling-under fad in New York City. There are several reasons. Whether it be a pig, goat, lamb, cow, or chicken, consuming the entire animal — and not just eating the muscle tissue and throwing the rest away — is good environmental stewardship. British chef Fergus Henderson and others have celebrated “nose-to-tail eating,” and garnered followers here. Many culinary traditions, including those of China, Nigeria, Argentina, Pakistan, and Italy prominently feature offal. And finally, many diners simply develop idiosyncratic affections for liver, sweetbreads, and skin (all organs), or cow foot and tendon (variety meats and tissue, but not organs).

Here is a catalog of restaurants serving offal, with the organs or variety meats designated in boldface for easy browsing.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Ebe Ye Yie

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In most of the world, cow foot is used in soups. Such as this one from Ghana found in the University Heights section of the Bronx, where several restaurants from the West African country are located. In this soup, cow foot is the star of the show, with all its textures showcased in a sparkling and slightly gluey broth.

Cow foot soup
Cow foot soup

Tacos El Chavo

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This modest Mexican grocery in the Bronx’s hilly University Heights offers a brief list of tacos among other deli fare and juices. The pig tripe taco is particularly good, squirted with a bit of crema, and it illustrates an important idea regarding tripe — two different organs are both identified as mammalian tripe, the small intestine and the stomach lining. “Tripe” in taquerias usually refers to the intestinal variety.

Tripe taco
Tripe taco

Alley 41

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Slicked with thick red chile oil, ox tongue and tripe are a Sichuan appetizing classic. At hipster Sichuan restaurant Alley 41 in Flushing, a ramped-up version of the dish a little spicier than usual and decorated with crushed peanuts is presented, in a space that seems like a concrete bunker in outer space.

Cow tongue and tripe
Cow tongue and tripe

Oh! Calamares

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Peruvian restaurants are almost always good for finding at least one organ meat: the cow heart kebabs known as anticuchos, which are often sold as street food back on home turf. At Oh! Calamares in Kearny, New Jersey, anticuchos are served on a sizzling platter with potatoes and boiled Peruvian corn. They’re flame-grilled and thus taste a bit smoky, and also pleasantly rubbery, considering they’re one of the body’s strongest muscles.

Anticuchos
Anticuchos
Anticuchos Peruvian Kearny, NJ beef heart

El Sabroso

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This ancient loading dock café is one of the few still operating in the Garment Center; once they were a prominent feature of the neighborhood. El Sabroso specializes in Ecuadorian fare, and guatita is one of its best dishes, a turmeric-laced stew of potatoes and honeycomb cow tripe. Spoon on the housemade hot sauce called “aji.”

Guatita
Guatita

Taqueria Sinaloense

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Nothing beats the gluey and chewy texture of cow foot, and its ghostly white color. At the city’s only restaurant hailing from Mexico’s western state of Sinaloa, this variety meat is cubed and deployed on a bean-slathered tostada and then heaped with shredded lettuce and dried cheese, making a very mellow treat. Squirt on the chipotle salsa.

Cow foot tostada
Cow foot tostada

Bundu Khan

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While most offal recipes concentrate on just one or two organs, some throw everything into the mix except the kitchen sink. One example is a dish named kat-a-kat, found within the Pakistani canon. It puts goat or lamb kidney, heart, brain, liver, and testicles into a stir fry with a gingery yogurt gravy. The advantage for first-time organ eaters is that distinguishing between the ingredients is difficult, so if one of the above makes you squeamish — just plow ahead!

Kat-a-kat
Kat-a-kat

Myers of Keswick

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This British country grocery store is also a bakery that concentrates on savory pies, the most famous of which is steak-and-kidney pie. The pie shell is perfect in its rich flakiness, the filling flavored with black pepper and brown gravy. The cubes of steak and pork kidney are the same size, with the organ being a little more rubbery than the meat. As a gateway to enjoying kidneys, this pie is unsurpassed.

Steak and kidney pie
Steak and kidney pie

Auntie Guan's Kitchen 108

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The cuisine of Dongbei (once known as Manchuria) offers some of China’s most delicate organ and variety meat presentations. One found at Auntie Guan’s on the northern border of Greenwich Village is pig skin aspic: swatches of pale skin mired in a collagen-rich jelly, sided with a vinegar and soy dipping sauce. This dish reminds us that skin is indeed an organ.

Pig skin jelly
Pig skin jelly

The Bari

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Bone marrow is an organ, too, an essential part of the lymphatic system that generates blood cells. Split the bone, roast it, and scoop out the marrow with a marrow spoon or knife and spread it on bread for a real treat. At newcomer The Bari, the bovine bone marrow is further heaped with homemade kimchi, and toasts are provided.

Bone marrow
Bone marrow

Cheburechnaya

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Named after meat-stuffed turnovers called chebureki, this kosher Uzbek restaurant specializes in kebabs, and several involve organs. Due to their high fat content, the lamb or veal sweetbreads (in this case, the thymus gland) are especially good at absorbing the smell of the smoking charcoal over which they’re cooked, and are also bargain priced at this BYOB spot in Rego Park.

Sweetbread kebabs
Sweetbread kebabs

Ugly Kitchen

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Pork ruffle is actually the mesentery of the pig, an undulant shelf of flesh that keeps the intestines in place. At Filipino bar Ugly Kitchen, the pork ruffle is served as a deep-fried snack, presented with a tart soy dipping sauce, and the variety meat tastes more fleshy than fatty, but is very, very rich, indeed. 

Pork ruffle
Pork ruffle

Fiaschetteria Pistoia

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Perhaps the most common of all organ meats is the chicken liver, a small globular filter organ colored a deep reddish brown that melts perfectly into a pate or mousse. It constitutes a signature dish in both Jewish and Tuscan cuisine. At this Italian restaurant, coarsely pureed and herbed chicken livers are served with toast and olive oil to make do-it-yourself crostini, and there’s nothing better to pair it with than a glass of chianti.

Chicken liver crostini
Chicken liver crostini

Souk & Sandwich

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If tired of the usual chicken liver crostini, check out this sawdat djaj sandwich. Wrapped in a big pita like a flattened burrito, it contains full chicken livers sauteed and flavored with lemon, then garnished with parsley, pickles, and the fiery garlic sauce called toum. Every bite is a tart delight. 

Chicken liver in a pita
Chicken liver in a pita

Tomiño Taberna Gallega

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Honeycomb (cow stomach) tripe is joined by chickpeas and chorizo in this classic Galician soup called callos from the northwest of Spain. With limited swatches of the organ, you might just appreciate them more, at this splendid tapas bar in Little Italy.

Callos
Callos

Flaming Kitchen

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You can’t do better, organ-wise, than visiting a Sichuan restaurant. In addition to entrée hot pots and stir fries, the menus often offer apps rife with offal, usually slicked with chile oil and dotted with cracked Sichuan peppercorns, making them hot and tingly. At Flaming Kitchen, the slippery and translucent beef tendon is so prepared, and constitutes one of the menu’s standout dishes.

Sliced beef tendon with spicy pepper sauce
Sliced beef tendon with spicy pepper sauce

Ping’s

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Like their northern and western Chinese counterparts, Cantonese restaurants mount menus rich in offal. One dish seen occasionally in Manhattan’s Chinatown is duck tongues. Braised in thick soy sauce at Ping’s, they come out plump and tasty, though each also contains cartilage that must be discreetly spit out.

Duck tongues
Duck tongues

Nothing in Central America quite illustrates the concept of nose-to-tail eating as well as Guatemalan revolcado. It starts out with a pig head from which pieces like cheek and ear are carefully removed and used, followed by “pig entrails” that usually include kidney, liver, and intestines. The taste of the organs is strong, but sent in a mellow direction by curry powder. 

Revolcado
Revolcado

Victoria Deli

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Nearly every Latin American country has its own version of tripe soup, not only filling and delicious, but sometimes thought to be a hangover remedy. The cow tripe soup pancita is available most weekends and sometimes during the week at Victoria Deli, a grocery store turned into a taqueria while also remaining a classic Mexican bodega.

Pancita
Pancita

Singh's Roti Shop & Bar

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Did you know blood is a tissue? It figures as a thickener in many cuisines, including Thai, Italian, and Filipino. Beloved in Argentina and France, pig blood sausage (called “black pudding”) is also a part of an English breakfast, and a similar sausage, only thicker, is standard fare in Guyana. At Singh’s, it sits coiled on the steam table, and you can buy it by the pound.

Blood pudding
Blood pudding

Loamy, loamy beef or pork blood sausage! Usually mixed with grains such as rice, the blood gives deep color and subtle flavor, sometimes rendering the link crumbly inside. In Korean cuisine, the blood sausage is called soondae, and at Gowanus’ Insa, it’s served with perilla salt and sprinkled with scallions. And remember that blood sausage contains another organ, too: the sausage casing is intestine.

Soondae
Soondae

Georgian Dream

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If you like your organs diverse, and concealed in a stew under a blanket of sauce, the Georgian standard kuchmachi might be your thing. Found at this wonderful Bay Ridge restaurant decorated like a Caucasus village, with a breezy backyard, the dish is a catalog of chicken heart, liver, kidneys, spleen, and lungs.

Kuchmachi
Kuchmachi

Joe's of Avenue U

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Cow spleen isn’t one of the first things that comes to mind when you think of Italian cuisine, yet it plays an important part in the menu of Sicilian snack shops, or focaccerias. These places sell small sandwiches on rolls, and one of the signatures is vastedda: cow spleen sliced thin and piled on a roll with a slice of caciocavallo cheese and schmear of ricotta. The spleen tastes almost like liver.

Vastedda
Vastedda

Seaside

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The Turks have a way with calf’s liver. They cut the organ into small cubes, dust them with flour and spices, then saute them, resulting in a mellow treat with a very liver-y flavor. Seaside is a Staten Island restaurant not far from the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, and also a stone’s throw from South Beach. Calf’s liver is available in then combo app platter, shown here, but also in a single serving.  

Calf’s liver on the appetizer platter
Calf’s liver on the appetizer platter

Palmyra

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It’s not just mammals that have organs: In the dish Bishkek salad, named after Kyrgyzstan’s capital, cod liver is used to great effect. Oily and tasting almost like calf’s liver, it is concealed under a heap of boiled and shredded eggs and rice and garnished with a few black olives. Other than a little mayo, it needs no further dressing at this pan-Central Asian restaurant in Sheepshead Bay (a neighborhood that sounds very organ-y).

Bishkek salad
Bishkek salad

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Ebe Ye Yie

Cow foot soup
Cow foot soup

In most of the world, cow foot is used in soups. Such as this one from Ghana found in the University Heights section of the Bronx, where several restaurants from the West African country are located. In this soup, cow foot is the star of the show, with all its textures showcased in a sparkling and slightly gluey broth.

Cow foot soup
Cow foot soup

Tacos El Chavo

Tripe taco
Tripe taco

This modest Mexican grocery in the Bronx’s hilly University Heights offers a brief list of tacos among other deli fare and juices. The pig tripe taco is particularly good, squirted with a bit of crema, and it illustrates an important idea regarding tripe — two different organs are both identified as mammalian tripe, the small intestine and the stomach lining. “Tripe” in taquerias usually refers to the intestinal variety.

Tripe taco
Tripe taco

Alley 41

Cow tongue and tripe
Cow tongue and tripe

Slicked with thick red chile oil, ox tongue and tripe are a Sichuan appetizing classic. At hipster Sichuan restaurant Alley 41 in Flushing, a ramped-up version of the dish a little spicier than usual and decorated with crushed peanuts is presented, in a space that seems like a concrete bunker in outer space.

Cow tongue and tripe
Cow tongue and tripe

Oh! Calamares

Anticuchos
Anticuchos
Anticuchos Peruvian Kearny, NJ beef heart

Peruvian restaurants are almost always good for finding at least one organ meat: the cow heart kebabs known as anticuchos, which are often sold as street food back on home turf. At Oh! Calamares in Kearny, New Jersey, anticuchos are served on a sizzling platter with potatoes and boiled Peruvian corn. They’re flame-grilled and thus taste a bit smoky, and also pleasantly rubbery, considering they’re one of the body’s strongest muscles.

Anticuchos
Anticuchos
Anticuchos Peruvian Kearny, NJ beef heart

El Sabroso

Guatita
Guatita

This ancient loading dock café is one of the few still operating in the Garment Center; once they were a prominent feature of the neighborhood. El Sabroso specializes in Ecuadorian fare, and guatita is one of its best dishes, a turmeric-laced stew of potatoes and honeycomb cow tripe. Spoon on the housemade hot sauce called “aji.”

Guatita
Guatita

Taqueria Sinaloense

Cow foot tostada
Cow foot tostada

Nothing beats the gluey and chewy texture of cow foot, and its ghostly white color. At the city’s only restaurant hailing from Mexico’s western state of Sinaloa, this variety meat is cubed and deployed on a bean-slathered tostada and then heaped with shredded lettuce and dried cheese, making a very mellow treat. Squirt on the chipotle salsa.

Cow foot tostada
Cow foot tostada

Bundu Khan

Kat-a-kat
Kat-a-kat

While most offal recipes concentrate on just one or two organs, some throw everything into the mix except the kitchen sink. One example is a dish named kat-a-kat, found within the Pakistani canon. It puts goat or lamb kidney, heart, brain, liver, and testicles into a stir fry with a gingery yogurt gravy. The advantage for first-time organ eaters is that distinguishing between the ingredients is difficult, so if one of the above makes you squeamish — just plow ahead!

Kat-a-kat
Kat-a-kat

Myers of Keswick

Steak and kidney pie
Steak and kidney pie

This British country grocery store is also a bakery that concentrates on savory pies, the most famous of which is steak-and-kidney pie. The pie shell is perfect in its rich flakiness, the filling flavored with black pepper and brown gravy. The cubes of steak and pork kidney are the same size, with the organ being a little more rubbery than the meat. As a gateway to enjoying kidneys, this pie is unsurpassed.

Steak and kidney pie
Steak and kidney pie

Auntie Guan's Kitchen 108