Choice Eats Highlights the Best of New York’s Diverse Cuisine (Though it Could Use Some More Midtown Flavor)


Last night, I ate about a 40 course meal in just under three hours. It was at the gut-busting event known as Choice Eats. This year the festivities went down in Basketball City in BFE Manhattan (that weird neighborhood between the Lower East Side, Chinatown, and the Seaport). The far-out location did not stop the crowds nor the food vendors from bringing lots of tasty offerings. And although there was a glut of barbecue and sandwiches (no complaints here), I couldn’t help notice the true diversity of cuisines. Not since the Vendy Awards have I been to a food event that represented so much of the world.


From Buka’s spicy Nigerian goat and tripe soup


to Greek coffee steak with halloumi poutine from Ovelia


to a range of Georgian dishes from Oda House, including an incredible chicken stew and khachapuri (cheese bread). We need all three to open locations in Midtown stat!


Midtown could have been more represented, but both Tabata and Larb Ubol made respectable showings with a rich, black sesame and ground pork ramen


and spicy larb, sour sausage, and papaya salad, respectively. Luke’s Lobster and Red Hook Lobster Pound both had predictably long lines and neither had a lobster roll for giveaway.


The Flatiron also showed off their potential lunches in the form of authentic (and delicious) South Asian fare from Bhatti and Banana Leaf.


But some of the most tasty options at last night’s event were far from even the out-of-bounds lines. I had an amazing coffee and stout braised short rib with pickled pear from Black Tree in the Lower East Side,


a mind-blowing smoky broccoli hot dog (seriously!) with broccoli sauerkraut from Dirt Candy in the East Village,


and just about the best S’mores ice cream in existence from Ample Hills Creamery in Brooklyn.

If only we had more representatives from Midtown at the event, we could show the world how amazing our food is. We’ve got the best Szechuan, Korean, falafel, ramen, and food carts in Manhattan. But then that would just be 40 more things for me to eat.


  • How well did lines move? I’m wondering because that top pic makes it look like a shit show.

    • User has not uploaded an avatar

      It was epically crowded and the lines were crazy long. The VIP entrance (which is $20 more than GA) is totally worth it in my opinion because you get a full hour of eating and drinking with absolutely no lines. By the time the crowds showed up, I had moved on to drinks and desserts.

  • BFE? What’s that stand for? It looks like that area is usually called two bridges

    • User has not uploaded an avatar

      You should google BFE. It’s not fit for family-friendly printing, but it means out in the middle of nowhere. I think of Two Bridges as being between the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge and this was just north of the Manhattan bridge.

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