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Food + Drink

9 NYC Food Trends to Try Now

The city that never sleeps might as well be the city that always eats. If the number of restaurants in New York City is any indication, it’s obvious that food is a major part of the culture. New dishes and eateries are popping up continuously, but don’t worry, we have the lowdown on the NYC food trends you need to get onboard with—before everyone else does. Just don’t forget your fat pants.

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Unique pastas

Spaghetti and meatballs is a classic—but not exactly the most creative course. Now, restaurants are showing off their artistic style, starting with Brooklyn’s Lilia (order the ruffled “malfadini,” their twist on mafaldine pasta). Allora Ristorante in Midtown Manhattan’s Bernic Hotel quickly followed suit with the Maccheroni alla Mugnaia (Miller’s Wife Pasta). The family-style dish consists of a 24- to 30-foot single strand that serves up to four people. It’s so big in fact, that the restaurant only makes six of them daily. It’s prepared in a meat sauce with slow-cooked pork and beef, served on a giant cutting board with meatballs, and finished with shredded Parmigiano and pepperoncini.

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Liquid nitrogen cocktails

Boozy science experiments are making a comeback. The Heisenberg at The TUCK Room in the Seaport District actually took a cue from its LA location when they put liquid nitrogen cocktails on the menu. There are two different spirit infusions showcased each night, each of which are so intricate that it takes half an hour to prepare. But trust us, it’s worth the wait for these insta-worthy drinks.

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Photo courtesy of YO! Sushi

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Contemporary Japanese fusion

Can’t decide between sushi or Mexican food? Usually known for its kaiten sushi (read: fish on a conveyor belt), Flatiron district’s YO! is the new Japanese hotspot in town. While Asian fusion isn’t obscure in NYC, the eatery’s Tempora Nori Tacos are anything but typical. Options like Tuna Nori, Salmon Nori and Avocado Nori all involve sushi-grade fish, sriracha majo and yuzu salsa.

RELATED: 12 Most Romantic Restaurants in NYC

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Kid’s menus for adults

If Black Tap’s epic milkshakes didn’t keep you in a sugar coma last year, have no fear, blast-from-the-past treats are here to stay. Instead of enduring four-hour lines, the Burnt Honey Ice Cream Adult Milkshake at Gristmill in Park Slope, Brooklyn is made-to-order in just five minutes. With housemade burnt honey ice cream, cognac and banane du bresil, this spiked dessert offers the best of both worlds for the older set.

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Photos courtesy of River Coyote

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High-end coffee service

It’s not news that hipster-chic independent coffee shops are booming in NYC (sorry, Starbucks!). For something different in your next cup of joe, head to River Coyote on the Lower East Side. The cafe serves a Slow Bar Pour Over with micro-lot coffee beans from Brooklyn roaster Nobletree, which sources beans from its farms in Brazil. It takes at least five minutes for a cup of coffee, and it’s required that customers sit at the bar for this Sunday brunch service. So don’t expect your average grab-and-go Monday morning order.

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Photo by Andrew Quinzi

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Ube ice cream

Traditionally, yams might be a staple dinner item… but purple yams? That’s for dessert. At 2nd City in the West Village, they serve Ube (purple yam) ice cream, and f.o.b. in Carroll Gardens does, too, in Halo Halo style. The Filipino after-dinner sweet has shaved ice as a base, and is topped with ube ice cream, red bean, jackfruit, tapioca, coconut jelly and flan. They even serve Ube ice cream on top of a waffle during brunch.

RELATED: The USA's Best Veggie Centric Restaurants

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Out-of-this-world chef collabs

With so many dining options in New York, sometimes it’s hard to pick one place. Fortunately, restaurants like Otto’s Tacos teamed up with Harry & Ida’s sandwich shop to create a limited-time pastrami taco. Other eateries, like Jewish staple Kossar’s and Ice & Vice combined forces to make a Black & White cookie ice cream sandwich. The list of delicious collabs go on and on… but if you don’t get there fast, the specialty items are usually gone after a week or so.

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Raclette

Say cheese! In Times Square, things get pretty flashy, but melty cheese might be the highlight of the over-populated, buzzy area. The DIY stations at Aprés in the Knickerbocker Hotel offers a raclette Swiss-style grill at the table. In the East Village, the restaurant fittingly named Raclette is known for tableside service where cheese is melted right on to the customer’s plate from the massive cheese-wheel.

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Vegan ice cream

You may think vegan and ice cream don’t go together, but boy would you be wrong. When by CHLOE. opened its Sweets Shop, vegans and sugar fiends alike flocked to Bleecker St. And it’s not the only place serving dairy-free flavors. At OddFellows Ice Cream Co. in Williamsburg and East Village, you should try the Thai Iced Tea and Chocolate Chunk. Additionally, OddFellows supplies the NoLita restaurant Seamore's with rotating options like Miso Peanut Butter and Tangerine.

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