The Most Offal Lunches Midtown has to offer…


While I was in London a few weeks ago, I got to eat at the Mecca of Offal, Fergus Henderson’s St. John’s Restaurant.  Pork fat, pig’s head, bone marrow, and ox heart were the highlights, and you can read all about my meal, complete with photos at Serious Eats.  With Fergus in NYC this week, promoting his new book “Beyond Nose to Tail“, and that truly decadent meal still fresh in my mind, I thought this might be the perfect opportunity for a list of the Best in Midtown Lunch entrails, organs and animal bits that don’t often get used.

Best Oxtails, tripe, sweetbreads and more- after the jump…

Here is my list of the best in Midtown Lunch Offal:

  • Oxtails @ Margon.  (46th btw. 6+7th).  It’s not organs, but it’s not exactly leg of lamb either.  If you love equal parts meat and marrow, oxtails is your dish- and while there are good versions at most of the Latin food places in Midtown (one is picture above), Margon is the best.
  • Thinly Sliced Beef Tendon @ Szechuan Gourmet(39th btw. 5+6th).  When it comes to entrails and organs, few do it better than the Chinese, and in Midtown nobody does it like Szechuan Gourmet. The menu is packed with goodies, from ox tongue, tripe, and intestines, to fish heads and pork belly.  But the undisputed king is the spicy beef tendon.

  • Cabeza Taco @ Tehuitzingo (10th Ave. btw. 47+48th)  Sure, you can get regular beef, chicken and, carnitas,  but make sure to sample the beef head taco as well (pictured above on the far right).  Not into beef meat that’s been stewed out of a cow’s head?   Try the oreja (pig’s ear), suadero (beef belly), or tripe tacos instead.
  • Kare Kare @ Bayan Cafe(45th St. nr 3rd Ave.)  Filipinos make some awesome offal stews, and Kare Kare is the gold standard.  Bayan Cafe’s version has oxtail and tripe, stewed with vegetables in a Filipino peanut sauce.
  • Chopped Liver Sandwich @ Sarge’s(3rd Ave. btw. 36+37th)  Chopped liver is like a gateway offal, but I’m going to include it anyway- because it’s still liver!  Chopped liver was probably the first bit of organs I ever learned to love.  It happened at Sammy’s Roumanian- but that’s not in Midtown,  so we’ve got to settle for Sarge’s Chopped Liver Sandwich.  Not a bad replacement!

I also feel the need to mention these dishes.  They don’t fall into the Midtown Lunch category (too expensive, and most are only available for dinner), but they’re all in Midtown- and totally worth mentioning…

  • Fritto Misto alla Lucchese @ Insieme (7th Ave. @ 51st)  There is no better easier way to enjoy organs than fried, and these are done perfectly.  The “Sampler Platter” of offal, you get sweetbreads, liver and veal tongue.
  • The “Limited Menu” @ Yakitori Totto (55th btw. B’way & 8th).  For weird chicken parts that have been skewered and grilled, Yakitori Totto is the place to be.  Unfortunately for us Midtown Lunch’ers, yakitori is an after work thing, and the soft bone, heart, and gizzard on a stick are all not available until after 5:30 pm (when the restaurant opens).

  • Sweetbread Tacos @ Toloache (50th btw. B’way+8th)  I’ll be the first to argue that you shouldn’t need to pay a lot of money for great, authentic Mexican food- but when it’s this fun, inventive and delicious, it’s hard to complain.  The little chunks of veal glands are carmelized and topped with corn and pasilla salsa.
  • Sauteed Chicken Gizzards w/ Garlic Sprout @ Sake Bar Hagi (49th btw. 6+7th).  This Izakaya would be my favorite Midtown Lunch spot, if it was only open for lunch.  Like Yakitori Totto, izakayas are after work spots- so Sake Bar Hagi doesn’t open until 5:30pm either.  Small price to pay for the best gizzards I’ve ever had.  (Disclaimer: They are also the only gizzards I’ve ever had.)

Got your favorites?  Feel free to post them as comments below…


  • this post has completely dampened my appetite. thank you.

  • Nose to tail eating is morally the way to go!!

    Next weekend im going Deer Stalking in Wales.

    The traditional breakfast after ‘taking’ (Oooo’err) an early morning stag is it’s liver,it’s testicles,kidneys fried off with wild garlic served on campfire toast.

    And its Fucking lovely.

    Mind you, I laughed when Bambi’s Mum got shot.Thanks Walt!!!

  • Szechwan Gourmet….the best Chinese food in Midtown. You gotta profile them one day. The lunch special definitely fits the Midtown Lunch budget. Double Cooked Porked Belly w/ Chili Leeks and Crispy Chicken in Garlic sauce rock…

  • the only way to eat chopped liver is on matzah!

  • I love the smell of frying testicles in the morning… it smells like victory… or maybe venison… I forget…

  • Roasted Ox shins served with toast tips…scoop out the marrow…………apply to toast. It’s better than foie gras.

  • Hagis made with lungs,heart,tongue ‘Glands’ ,barley served with taters n neeps and a whisky/cream sauce.

    All blood puddings(Lancashire Black pudding made with still warm pigs blood and back fat)

    Irish Drisheen, aka White pudding made with Ewe’s blood.

    I need a lay down.Im in cholesterol heaven.

  • Augh, my stomach should not read ML right before lunch…

    BTW, I am on a culinary quest. Anyone know where I can get pork cheek/jowl? First I want it uncooked (so I can cook it… not eat it raw), but if anyone has ideas on where I can go eat it- Peacock Alley had a fantastic rendition at this tasting event I went to, but it’s not on their menu. Thanks in advance!!

  • Ay mijito, lo mas sabrosito son tacos de tuétano con poquito repollo y limon.

    For ya’ll gringos that’s sinfully tasty bone marrow tacos. I used to pop the greasy bastards out of my mom’s strews and wrap them up in a corn tortilla. So Good!!

  • Wise man say: One must respect the animal before one can consume the animal. Respect means eating all its parts, so nothing gets wasted, not even the duck tongue.

    Hagi is a favorite; creamy grilled liver at $1.5 a pop; the poor man’s foie gras.

  • Not in Midtown, but Convivium Osteria in Brooklyn has the most wonderful organic chicken livers with pancetta, onions and a balsamic vinegar reduction. It’s so so good, I can barely tell you!
    Every last drop was cleaned off the plate!

  • Those bastards over at Bayan now charge $1 extra when you order Kare Kare!

    I gotta go to Szechuan Gourmet again soon.

  • Midtown King! I have always been a lover of oxtails however, this was by far the most offal (awful) of your Midtown lunch ideas. I almost couldl not read it. Actually I had to stop somewhere before you got to the chopped liver. Which now that you have included it with all the rest of that stuff, I probably will never be able to eat it again!!!!

  • To quote Tom Berringer

  • for anybody in los angeles the taco stand in the middle of grand central market has very fine cabeza tacos. just thought i should let you know. everybody loves to get some head!

  • Yakitori Torys is now open for lunch with a limited menu but it’s mmm good.

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