9 Incredibly Unusual NYC Restaurants!

By | March 25, 2015

If you wine and dine clients on a regular basis in New York City, one of the more challenging things can be to find new and unusual places to eat!

Of course there are the old standby steakhouses and sushi joints but sometimes we may want to wow a client or a prospect with something that they may never have tried before.

There’s a certain amount of risk attached to venturing off of the tried and true but the potential upside is most definitely there.

Given some of the dishes described below, however, these particular restaurants should only be attempted with people who you believe will be up to the experience (Note: I don’t think that would include me)!

Courtesy of Untapped Cities

1. Live Octopus at Sik Gaek

Photo via Yelp by Wing L.

Korean restaurant Sik Gaek has two locations, one in Woodside and one in Flushing. The real delicacy is the live octopus. Yes, it’s served to you squirming. People describe it as “chewy,” “slimy,” but also for some, their “favorite dish.” Make sure to call in advance if you want to order it, as it’s not always available.

2. Grasshopper Tacos at Toloache

Image via Yahoo Travel

Elsewhere around the world, eating insects isn’t that weird. With so many tasty accoutrements in the grasshopper tacos at Taloache, you won’t even notice the flavor, except for the crunchiness. The equally insecty cricket tacos were once offered at Antojeria La Popular but that spot has now closed.

3. Chicken Gizzards at the Golden Mall, Flushing

At the Golden Mall, besides the original location of Xi-An Famous Foods, you can get a variety of side dishes to go. In fact, you could make a whole list on its own of the unique delicacies to be found in this small underground food court, which include whole deck heads, spicy pig ears, chicken feet, duck neck, and our favorite, chicken gizzards. You can get the pulled noodles with classics like ox-tail, tripe, intestine, and cattle tendon.

4. Fois Gras Ice Cream at Oddfellows

Oddfellows, purveyors of homemade ice cream hailing from Williamsburg, are rather creative with their flavors. Their most famous may have been the Fois Gras flavor, served in a glass cup and limited to one scoop per guest.

5. Kangaroo Meat at Burke & Willis

The Kangaroo “‘Roo” Burger at Burke & Willis. Photo via Manhattan With a Twist

Upper West Side restaurant Burke & Willis offers up a $19 kangaroo loin small plate that comes with sweet potato, bok choy, pomegranate reduction. They also have a kangaroo burger, called the ‘Roo burger, served Australian style with a sunny side up egg. When you’re done, check out the speakeasy they have hidden upstairs.

6. Moose Meat at PlaceInvaders Supper Club

It might have been a one-time deal but we’re actually got to experience moose pot pie with the supper club PlaceInvaders, who got the meat off Craigslist in Maine (you can’t get moose from a restaurant or store, as it’s illegal to sell), and had it shipped to New York City. Our verdict: pretty tasty.

7. Lamb Brains at Haandi

There’s nothing quite like seeing the word “brain” on a menu. Haandi on 28th Street and Lexington in Murray Hill has a curried lamb brain.

8. Pig Head at Fatty ‘Cue, Williamsburg, Gorbals, Various Places in Chinatown

Image via The New Yorker

Several New York City restaurant have whole or half pig heads served to you on a platter. We’re of the opinion that pig head itself is not that weird, but we appreciate the high-end displays.

9. Guinea Pigs at Urabamba

Untapped Cities reader Moment New York added guinea pigs to our list, served at Queens restaurant Urabamba in Jackson Heights and other South American restaurants in the city. Guinea pig in general has been increasing in popularity, often sourced from Peru, and considered an environmentally friendly alternative to cattle.


Michael Haltman, President of Hallmark Abstract Service, New York.

HAS is a provider of title insurance in New York State for residential and commercial real estate transactions.

And, for anyone either buying a property or refinancing, remember that although your attorney will likely recommend a title insurance provider you always have the right to choose your own (click here to learn more)!

If you have any questions you can reach Michael by email at mhaltman@hallmarkabstractllc.com.

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