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Murray's Cheese mac and cheese
Photograph: Murray's Cheese

The best comfort food dishes in NYC

New York's best comfort food dishes include fried chicken, macaroni and cheese and slurp-ready soup dumplings

By Bao Ong and Time Out contributors

When it’s cold, dark and all you want is a little taste of home, there’s nothing more belly-warming than the best comfort food dishes in NYC. Maybe it's dishes you grew up eating or an order from one of the city's best restaurants. One thing is for sure: New York offers plenty of dishes that offer us plenty of nostalgia. We’re talking about some of the city’s best chocolate chip cookies, best soup dumplings and the best fried chicken in NYC. Take a bite out of the tastiest comfort food dishes in New York City.

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Comfort food with riverfront views

Jacob's Pickles at Time Out Market New York
Photograph: Courtesy Nitzan Rubin

Time Out Market New York

Restaurants Food court DUMBO

We really like eating around the city, and we're guessing you do, too. So lucky for all of us, we've packed all our favorite restaurants under one roof at the Time Out Market New York. You'll have no problem finding comfort food here. The DUMBO location in Empire Stores has fried chicken from Jacob’s Pickles, Japanese comfort food from Bessou, the city's best pancakes for brunch at Clinton Street Baking Co. and more amazing eateriesall cherry-picked by us. Post Election Day, we also offered at Salty Thyme Margarita ($10) that transports you to the beach. So, chow down over two floors with views of the East River, Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan skyline. 

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Best comfort food dishes in NYC

Momo Crave
Photograph: Deanna Ting

1. Momos at Momo Crave

Restaurants Nepalese Woodside

This Nepalese restaurant in Woodside serves some of the best momos in an area where you can find plenty of options for the juicy Himayalan dumplings. At Momo Crave, there isn't dumpling we'd pass on: the crispy, deep-fried momos laced with aromatic garlic, ginger and a tangy spicy sauce or the plump jhol momos swimming in a fragrant chutney-like soup.



Breads Bakery
Photograph: Courtesy Brian Kennedy

2. Chocolate babka at Breads Bakery

Restaurants Bakeries Union Square

If you get one of warm, chocolate-webbed loaves fresh out of the oven at this Union Square bakery (our favorite of their multiple locations), you’re in for sweet-tooth nirvana. The bread is doughy yet flaky, and the chocolate is mixed with Nutella to create a rich, yet not-too-sweet filling. 

Ho Foods
Photograph: Courtesy Ho Foods/Dan Ahn

3. Beef noodle soup at Ho Foods

Restaurants Taiwanese East Village

Your bowl of perfectly al-dente noodles sits in a bowl of broth that took hours to cook, but you’d slurp all the noodles between bites of the tender beef within minutes if you could. Our advice is to savor every bit while you also snack on the other small dishes of delicate tofu and hearty bowl of minced pork over rice.

Root & Bone
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

4. Fried chicken at Root & Bone

Restaurants Soul and southern American East Village

Top Chef alums Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth brine Pennsylvania Dutch country chicken in sweet tea spiked with paprika and cayenne for 24 hours, giving it a distinct sweetness amplified by the dusting of dehydrated lemon powder the bird gets when it’s pulled golden and crunchy from the pressure cooker. A drizzle of Tabasco honey happily keeps that salty-sweet tug-of-war going.

Photograph: Teddy Wolff

5. Pasta at Misi

Restaurants Italian Williamsburg

It may be difficult to score a table at Missy Robbins's Misi, but once you're in, you'll want to devour every pasta on the menu. Riding the cacio e pepe train that has thundered through almost every Italian eatery in the city, this one is one of the best with perfectly al dente noodles in a velvety pool of cheese and pepper. We could go on and on about the handmade pasta, but we'd rather be stuffing ourselves silly with the most comforting of carbs.


7. Burger at J.G. Melon’s

Restaurants Hamburgers Lenox Hill

The cheeseburger at this kitschy Upper East Side haunt is a bite of a bygone era, simple griddled on a flattop and medium-rare juicy. The thick, eight-ounce burger arrives open-faced, peeking beneath a layer of melted American cheese on a pillow-soft, lightly toasted bun, with sliced tomato, crisp lettuce, red onion and dill-pickle chips on the side. Don’t bypass the bacon—the deep-fried tangle adds delicious textural contrast to the coarsely packed patty.

Classic Smoked Meat Sandwich
Photograph: Virginia Rollison

8. Smoked-meat sandwich at Mile End

4 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Delis Boerum Hill

Compared with old guard like Katz’s and Second Avenue, the Montreal-inspired smoked-meat sammie may be “hipster pastrami” to some but the tender, peppery dry-cured brisket, served with whole-seed mustard on artisan rye, is no less satisfying than its Jewish-deli ancestors.

Mac and cheese
Photograph: Murray's Cheese

9. Mac and cheese at Murray’s Cheese Bar

Restaurants American West Village

Murray’s Cheese Bar, an offshoot of the esteemed cheese shop a few doors down, knows its stuff when it comes to any cheese-filled dish. You can't go wrong with thethe iconic grilled cheese sandwich but we love the gooey mac and cheese.

Photography: Time Out / Ali Garber

10. Cookies at Levain Bakery

Restaurants Bakeries Upper West Side

At Levain Bakery the cookies are so huge, they might as well be your breakfast or lunch. These massive mounds are at times a bit underdone in the middle, making them a boon to cookie-dough lovers. Don’t miss the lush, brownielike double-chocolate number.

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