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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

Blueberry pancakes at Clinton St Baking
Photograph: Courtesy Michael Harlan Turkell
By Christina Izzo and Alyson Penn |

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. They’re dishes like Mom used to make, but professionally done (sorry, Ma)—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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Best comfort food dishes in NYC

The Bao
Photograph: Courtesy The Bao
Restaurants, Chinese

Soup dumplings at the Bao

East Village

Xiaolongbao, Shanghai’s steaming, soup-filled dumplings, are a comfort-food hybrid, and the version at this East Village spot—with a delicate, nearly translucent wrapper that doesn’t burst under the weight of its porky filling—guarantees that both swine and steaming broth will make the journey from chopstick to mouth.

Chowder at Greenpoint Fish and Lobster Co
Photograph: Vicky Wasik
Restaurants, Seafood

Fish chowder at Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co


At their north-Brooklyn seafoodery, Vincent Milburn and Adam Geringer-Dunn dial down their New England–style chowder bowl with a buttery broth that’s far less of a belly bomber than most creamy takes. Loaded with fresh clams—a few of which are kept in their fish-stock–scooping shells—the soul-warming soup bobs with chunks of gold potatoes and a shower of parsley to freshen things up. 

Classic Smoked Meat Sandwich
Photograph: Virginia Rollison
Restaurants, Delis

Smoked-meat sandwich at Mile End

Boerum Hill
4 out of 5 stars

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

Classic apple pie from Bubby's
Photograph: Courtesy Raydene Salinas
Restaurants, American

Slice of pie at Bubby’s


Just walking through the doors of Bubby’s Tribeca location will whisk away cold-weather blues with its homey, country-cottage décor. But a slice of pie will seal the deal. Sample wedges of an all-American apple pie made with local fruit in a butter-and-lard double crust, or a peanut-butter–chocolate treat with creamy peanut-butter mousse, a layer of chocolate and a house-made graham-cracker crust.

Kale & Wild Mushroom Paella at Gato
Restaurants, Mediterranean

Paella at Gato


Kale might not seem much of a comfort food at first glance, but celebutoque Bobby Flay wisely pairs the sautéed leaves with something more delectable: socarrat, that Spanish phenomenon when rice gets crusty while toasting on the bottom of a paella pan. Those scraped, crunchy kernels of Calasparra grains get extra earthiness from fried artichokes and wild mushrooms, with the yolky porn of a soft-cooked egg holding it all together.

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