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Kitchen Soundtracks: The Favorite Music of New York’s Best Chefs

The Doobie Brothers make shucking fava beans tolerable. Blaring Taylor Swift’s “Cruel Summer” while scrubbing a deep fryer will lead to increased cleanliness. Drake’s “Nothing Was The Same” leads to better-looking cavatelli. These are the restaurant tr…

The Doobie Brothers make shucking fava beans tolerable. Blaring Taylor Swift's “Cruel Summer” while scrubbing a deep fryer will lead to increased cleanliness. Drake's “Nothing Was The Same” leads to better-looking cavatelli. These are the restaurant truths that will remain with me, forever.

While you don’t need a collection of black clogs to verify that music makes all aspects of food more enjoyable, restaurant kitchens tend to be dialed in on the interplay of music and food. With that in mind—and in hopes of creating the ultimate kitchen playlist—we asked a few of our favorite New York City chefs what they’re listening to before and after service.

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7 NYC Spots That Out-of-Town Guests Will Actually Like

Everyone knows the feeling of opening that text from a friend, family member, or acquaintance they haven’t spoken to in years: “Hey! I’m going to be in [insert your town or city] next week! Where should I go / what should I do???”

For some, receiving …

Everyone knows the feeling of opening that text from a friend, family member, or acquaintance they haven't spoken to in years: “Hey! I'm going to be in [insert your town or city] next week! Where should I go / what should I do???”

For some, receiving this kind of message is exciting—giving them an excuse to put on their metaphorical tour guide hat, scroll through the long list of places they have starred on Google or Apple Maps, and recommend a string of their favorite places. For others, it can be overwhelming, causing them to panic and momentarily forget their go-to spots, as if they've never left their apartment before.

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Inside Coney Island’s Hot Dog Wars

The setting was Coney Island in the early 1900s. The characters were inventive, shrewd, cutthroat, and aggressive. The story was meaty and juicy, with glitzy and glamorous celebrities influencing the plot. No, this is not a pitch for an HBO prestige dr…

The setting was Coney Island in the early 1900s. The characters were inventive, shrewd, cutthroat, and aggressive. The story was meaty and juicy, with glitzy and glamorous celebrities influencing the plot. No, this is not a pitch for an HBO prestige drama or Oscar-nominated biopic. Rather, it was the real-life scene of the (hot) dog fight that took place between Charles Feltman and Nathan Handwerker, two names that might not immediately resonate, but whose influence in the world of hot dogs is legendary.

Whether you top it with a meat chili as is done in New York’s North Country—Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, St. Lawrence, Jefferson, and Lewis Counties—or smother it in nuclear reactive green relish, yellow mustard, chopped onions, and a dill pickle spear as you might find in Chicago, there’s something satisfying about the simple pleasure of eating a hot dog. Of course, not all franks are created equally: There are countless variations, from all-beef kosher, to cased, uncased, cured, and uncured. Take pea and soy protein and extrude it into a casing, and you have a sausage. Put that same creation on a bun, and voila, it becomes a hot dog—albeit not the one that ignited the fiery encounter between Feltman and Handwerker on Coney Island’s boardwalk.

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The Sparkling Jewish History of Dr. Brown’s Soda

When June Hersh, author of the recent book Iconic New York City Jewish Food, walks into a Jewish deli, her “biggest decision is not rye bread with seeds or without seeds or Russian dressing or mustard,” she says. “[My] biggest decision is Cream Soda or…

When June Hersh, author of the recent book Iconic New York City Jewish Food, walks into a Jewish deli, her “biggest decision is not rye bread with seeds or without seeds or Russian dressing or mustard,” she says. “[My] biggest decision is Cream Soda or Black Cherry.”

That she doesn’t need to specify the brand is a testament to the enduring staying power of one in particular: Dr. Brown’s, the kosher soda whose celery “Cel-Ray” flavor was nicknamed “Jewish champagne” by columnist Walter Winchell in the 1930s. Today, Dr. Brown’s sells five flavors—the aforementioned Black Cherry, Cream Soda, and Cel-Ray, as well as the less commonly sold Root Beer and Ginger Ale—mostly alongside cured meat sandwiches and knishes at Jewish delis. Each can or bottle is adorned with a black-and-white sketch of a New York City landmark: the Central Park Carousel, the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge.

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The 52 Best Coffee Shops in NYC, According to Our Staff, Contributors & Community

I’ll be the first to admit that trying to decide anything—where to eat, where to shop, where to drink—in New York City is a difficult task because, well, there are just so many options. Choosing the best coffee shop, needless to say, is another one of …

I’ll be the first to admit that trying to decide anything—where to eat, where to shop, where to drink—in New York City is a difficult task because, well, there are just so many options. Choosing the best coffee shop, needless to say, is another one of those near-impossible endeavors, especially since there’s at least one (sometimes three) on any given block. Where’s the best brew, and where are the best pastries? Which places are great for a quick pit-stop, and which have the best seating for an afternoon of computer work?

While we recognize that this list represents just a small sample of the beloved coffee shops across all five boroughs, these 52 options—hand-picked by our staff, contributors, and community—provide a great starting point.

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The Prized Uzbeki Dumplings I’d Bike Across the Country For

Every summer in New York, I bike to Beach 92nd Street in Far Rockaway and rush to lock up my bike in front of a large wood sign with bright primary letters spelling out “Uma’s.” Inside, under a bright tin ceiling, my eyes devour the Uzbeki specials on …

Every summer in New York, I bike to Beach 92nd Street in Far Rockaway and rush to lock up my bike in front of a large wood sign with bright primary letters spelling out “Uma’s.” Inside, under a bright tin ceiling, my eyes devour the Uzbeki specials on the board and follow each dish bustling out of the kitchen, my veggie-loving and meat-loving sides tug-of-warring over my order.

But the veggie-loving side of me wins every time. A round blue-rimmed plate clatters onto my table bearing the sweet, savory fruits of Uma’s labor: squash manti. These little purses of steamed dough from heaven, their edges gathered around sweet, tender cubes of squash, drizzled with oil and sprinkled with onions, are worth biking 20 treacherous miles over bumpy foot bridges and bike lane-less Brooklyn boulevards.

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How I Turned My One-Bedroom Apartment into an Indoor Garden

After seeing what magic could sprout from sticking scallions in a cup of water (hint: more scallions), I caught the growing bug. Hard.

This is not particularly new—I do have upwards of 20 houseplants and even had a brief stint as an exotic plant caret…

After seeing what magic could sprout from sticking scallions in a cup of water (hint: more scallions), I caught the growing bug. Hard.

This is not particularly new—I do have upwards of 20 houseplants and even had a brief stint as an exotic plant caretaker where I sung tended to boutique succulents all day. It’s just that, well, I’ve never birthed a plant from seed before.

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13 Hidden-Gem Restaurants & Bars in NYC’s Midtown Neighborhood

We’ve partnered with Hilton to share our favorite hidden-gem food spots, from a lively cocktail bar to a top-notch slice of pizza, in New York City’s Midtown. With 54 locations around the city, Hilton makes the perfect home base for exploring all the B…

We've partnered with Hilton to share our favorite hidden-gem food spots, from a lively cocktail bar to a top-notch slice of pizza, in New York City's Midtown. With 54 locations around the city, Hilton makes the perfect home base for exploring all the Big Apple has to offer. For super-comfy accommodations right in the heart of the Midtown, book a room at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Times Square West or the Conrad New York Midtown.


If you're a local New Yorker, you probably know that Midtown—aka the bustling middle stretch of Manhattan where you'll find Times Square and lots of high rises—doesn't exactly have a reputation for being a neighborhood with the most exciting food in the city.

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November Book Events with Michael Ruhlman and Elaine Sciolino

This Friday, I’ll be in conversation with award-winning writer Michael Ruhlman at Archestratus books in Brooklyn on November 1st, from 6:30 to 8:30 to celebrate the release of his new book, From Scratch. Michael’s opus to home cooking extols the virtues of mastering basic cooking techniques, which means doable recipes for the perfect roast chicken, as well as traditional cassoulet, the ultimate BLT (with home-cured…

This Friday, I’ll be in conversation with award-winning writer Michael Ruhlman at Archestratus books in Brooklyn on November 1st, from 6:30 to 8:30 to celebrate the release of his new book, From Scratch.

Michael’s opus to home cooking extols the virtues of mastering basic cooking techniques, which means doable recipes for the perfect roast chicken, as well as traditional cassoulet, the ultimate BLT (with home-cured bacon, for those who want to give that a go), Thai curries, and chocolate profiteroles. There will be time for a Q+A with Michael, whose opinions and observations are always interesting, and sure to provoke some lively discussion. (I promised him that I would pepper him with challenging questions about everything from authenticity, to making crème anglaise with cream.) For more info about the event, and to sign up, visit the Archestratus bookstore website.

On November 12, Join me in a chat at the Chelsea Market in New York with Paris resident Elaine Sciolino to celebrate her new book, The Seine: The River That Made Paris, which follows the famed river’s path, which intersects, organizes, and defines the city of Paris.

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Last Call Book Event in New York City & Book Giveaway

On Wednesday, October 30th, I’ll be in conversation with Brad Thomas Parsons for his brand new book, Last Call: Bartenders and Their Final Drink and the Wisdom and Rituals of Closing Time. Brad is the James Beard award-winning author of Bitter and Amaro, and we’ll be talking about his spirited writing, cocktail culture, as well as taking questions. And yes…there will be Negronis* for all!…

On Wednesday, October 30th, I’ll be in conversation with Brad Thomas Parsons for his brand new book, Last Call: Bartenders and Their Final Drink and the Wisdom and Rituals of Closing Time. Brad is the James Beard award-winning author of Bitter and Amaro, and we’ll be talking about his spirited writing, cocktail culture, as well as taking questions. And yes…there will be Negronis* for all!

Continue Reading Last Call Book Event in New York City & Book Giveaway...