Eats to Take You Beyond the City
Mao Mao, Burek Pizza, and Ichiran Ramen
These three special spots promise food experiences that will transport you to other places, for all those times you want to leave the city (without actually leaving).
Mao Mao - Bushwick, Brooklyn
This authentic Thai restaurant serves up spicy Thai street food in a glowing red atmosphere. The walls are covered in old school magazines and posters, a projector screens an unknown vintage Thai film, the DJ spins vinyl, and jugs of soju are on display to choose from. The menu hosts items like pickled green mango, taro crisp, fried fish cakes, and lychee beer. It truly feels like a different time and a different place.
Burek Pizza - *Ridgewood, Queens *
This tiny spot serves only one thing: burek, an Eastern European flakey, salty pastry made with filo dough. Be sure to ask for some kefir-like yogurt served in a coffee to-go cup. In many Balkan countries you can find Burek on any street corner, bakery, even gas stations. When I walked in, the woman at the counter made sure I was aware this was not a pizza place, but that they did serve the burek in a pizza box if I wanted the whole pie. I was tempted, but instead sat down for a slice next to the Croatian and Serbian grandmas chattering outside.
Ichiran - *East Williamsburg, Brooklyn *
Ichiran is a perfect spot to take yourself out on a date. The space is lined with single-compartment booths, recreating a food stall atmosphere just like in Japan. You call to a waiter with the press of a button and they lift up a bamboo curtain to serve you your food. They specialize in customizable tonkotsu ramen. Make sure you get their signature red sauce, which includes more 30 ingredients.