By: Richard Shannon
New York is a city that holds a huge attraction for tourists, thanks to its many cultural attractions, exciting nightlife and iconic tourist stops like Central Park and the Statue of Liberty. It also offers a wealth of wonderful places to eat, with these ranking amongst its most unique restaurants.
1. Black Ant
This eccentrically named restaurant is located in the East Village and is as good as its name when it comes to the menu – with black ants being available to eat! However, before you go making a mental note to avoid it, the cuisine is a lot more appealing than that makes it sound. The speciality here is Mexican food, with the Black Ant Guacamole being one of its signature dishes. Other unique delights to look out for on the menu should you be adventurous enough to give it a go include the shrimp encrusted with grasshoppers.
2. Blue Smoke’s Jazz Standard
If you are a fan of jazz music – or simply someone who believes that a few mellow tunes help aid the digestion – then Blue Smoke’s Jazz Standard is one New York eatery you cannot afford to miss. It can be found at 116 East 27th Street and is open every single day of the week. Situated in a basement, beneath another diner, it provides barbecue foods to the sound of live jazz. The artists performing are often among the finest in the world, while the likes of the Blue Smoke Burger – with grilled bacon, cheese and side of your choice – have won it awards.
3. Jekyll and Hyde Club
This has long been a favourite eccentric eatery among New York residents and tourists and is found at 91 7th Avenue. Here, your meal will be accompanied by staff dressed as characters like Dreadworthy the Butler and Professor Shroud, while spooky sound effects play in the background. You can enjoy performances such as Frankenstein’s birth (Insert 2 here), while the delights on the menu include the three-cheese Dr Jekyll pizza and create-your-own-monster burgers.
If you want a restaurant that can cater to the most catholic of dining palates, you won’t find a better one than this oddly named eatery. Located within the Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway, where the gaming speciality is the slot machines (or mobile pokies they are sometimes known on Australian sites like mobilecasinoaustralia.com.au), it gets its unusual name from the fact that the menu offers a ‘pinch’ of everything you could imagine – while this name is also a play on the Basque tapa called pinxto which is one of its many menu highlights.
They say that not being able to see heightens the other senses – including the sense of taste presumably – and that is the thinking behind this restaurant in Greenwich Village. Here, on three special occasions each month, visitors can put on blindfolds and enjoy a meal of multiple courses – such as savoury crepes with mystery fillings. The whole experience is a one-off and is perfect for a romantic date.
As this article makes clear, there is no shortage of wonderfully bizarre dining experiences you can try out in the Big Apple, should you be prepared to do a little exploring.