Summer Guide 2024: Food & Drink

| 14 May 2024 | 02:00

Albert’s Bar

140 East 41st Street


The latest venture—and eighth overall—from Irish émigré Ruairi Curtin’s Sleeping Giant NY group, Albert’s Bar almost singlehandedly makes the Grand Central Station area into a destination to seek out and savor, regardless of whether you have a train to catch. Occupying 6,500 square feet and evoking the feel the 1950s, when Midtown east’s nightlife was genuinely bustling, Albert’s does everything you a modern bar and restaurant to do: abundant drinks (including some non-alcoholic), inventive, high-quality cocktails and just the right selection of food that no one will go hungry, whether they just need to nosh or feel more ravenous. Pick Hit: Golden Boy Chicken Sandwich– Crispy Thigh, Golden Boy Glaze, Red Onion, Horseradish Slaw on Poppy Seed Brioche is stunning.


Hummus Kitchen

1613 2nd Avenue


Summer often means eating on the hoof but with the 2023 demise of the long-time 3rd Avenue hot dog noble, Papaya King, the question is: where should one go for similarly easy-to-eat eats on the Upper East Side? One answer is Hummus Kitchen, a much-loved Kosher Israeli spot in Yorkville. All the “mediterranean” favorites are here: falafel, hummus, schwarma, kebabs, shakshuka, salmon, sometimes with a fusion-y twist like offering some dishes as tacos rather than pita, wrap or rice (all of which are also available). Lunch box combos and even picnic baskets are available for people on the way to somewhere else. Additional Hummus Kitchen locations are in Hell’s Kitchen, 768 9th Ave, and the Financial District, 1 Dutch Street.

Uncle Lou

73 Mulberry Street


It’s impossible to have a bad time in Chinatown but having a great time and a great meal can be a little tricky for outsiders. Enter long-time resident and businessman, Louis Wong, who as the self-styled and generous “Uncle Lou” has created the Cantonese Chinese restaurant of many people’s dreams. The menu is deliriously immense, including numerous Dim Sum, Beef, Chicken, Duck, Pork, Seafood Pan-Fried Noodle selections. As for Uncle Lou’s Fried Rice, one wonders what the renowned YouTube fried rice critic “Uncle Roger” would think; perhaps a collaboration can someday be arranged. Uncle Lou gets busy but walking the surrounding streets or hanging in nearby Columbus Park is such a pleasure, few people will mind the wait.


5 Napkin Burger

630 9th Avenue


A combination burger joint and beer and cocktail bar, 5 Napkin satisfies on both sides of the gustatory spectrum. Drinkers will appreciate the chance to imbibe while teetotalers and kids can enjoy a creative, mostly burger-based menu. The exceptions are notable as well, such as the Hell’s Kitchen Egg Sandwich, the Baja Burrito (Chorizo & Egg Scramble, Guacamole, Spicy Slaw, Black Bean Salsa, Queso Bravo) and Buttermilk Pancake Breakfast on the everyday brunch (until 4 PM) menu. A happy variety of burgers, chicken sandwiches, salads and shakes are available at all times. An Upper West Side location at 2315 Broadway offers largely the same menu with the addition of a Japanese menu including sushi, sake and soups, for the last of which one might need another napkin.


L’industrie Pizzeria

104 Christopher Street


Opened October 2023, this West Village branch of Massimo Laveglia’s hugely popular slice joint on South 2nd Street in Williamsburg is just as great as the original. It’s also become just as beloved, thus the often-long lines but it’s summer, enjoy it, put away your phone and people watch! Or order a whole pie ahead of time. Their signature L’Industrie Pie features prosciutto di parma and burrata. The Tartuffo Pie, mozzarella, braised cremini mushrooms, ricotta and truffle oil. The New Yorker Pie, tomato sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, sausage and ricotta. Be careful ordering online, however, as their website warns: PLEASE DOUBLE CHECK YOUR ORDER LOCATION. NO REFUNDS for incorrectly placed orders. In person (i.e. you can’t order these ahead) check out their sandwiches and gelato too.