5 Best Octopus Dishes In New York City

August 25, 2014 6:00 AM

For some, octopus might be an acquired taste, but, at its best, it’s a chewy, meaty treat. The restaurants below serve our five favorite versions of octopus in New York City. Belly up to a table, and dig in. By Jessica Allen.

More: 5 Best Restaurants For Empanadas In NYC

(credit: Garrett Ziegler)

(credit: Garrett Ziegler)


1431 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10028
(212) 650-0850

Beyoglu specializes in mezes of the Mediterranean, with an emphasis on Turkey. These small dishes of various salads and meats are served all at once, with oodles of plump pita. The vegetarian option boasts what we believe to be the city’s best take on spinach. But we digress. Let’s talk about the octopus salad, aka the Ahtapot Salatasi, in which the octopus is both char-grilled and marinated in lemon, vinegar, and olive oil.

Convivium Osteria

68 Fifth Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(718) 857-8133

Arguably one of the most romantic, transporting restaurants in all of Brooklyn, Convivium Osteria looks like a medieval taverna on the inside. It features the kind of warm light that makes everyone look good. The food too, including the yum-tastic pulpo asado con judiones de la granja. First, the baby octopus meets the grill, then it’s introduced into a salad of tomatoes, creamy white beans, and small pieces of celery and red onions, and then it’s gently bathed in olive oil.

Santos Anne

366 Union Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 486-6979

Santos Anne lets you jump on the kale bandwagon while offering you tasty chunks of octopus and calamari, both seared. The kale caesar at this French-Mexican (yes, really) restaurant in Brooklyn combines chorizo, chopped kale and romaine, and wild plums with two fruits of the sea. It’s refreshing and healthy (thanks to the greens) and satisfying (thanks to the octopus) and slightly spicy (thanks to the horseradish-esque dressing). For a truly delightful evening, sit outside in the restaurant’s garden.

(credit: Garrett Ziegler)

(credit: Garrett Ziegler)

Torrisi Italian Specialties

250 Mulberry Street
New York, NY 10012
(212) 254-3000

Bad news first: Torrisi Italian Specialties doesn’t always have octopus. Its menu changes frequently, depending on market availability and seasonality. The good news: when octopus does appear, it’s some of the best in the city. Pictured is octopus with shisito peppers, tomatoes, and pizza spice, the chewy octopus almost, but not quite, mimicking chewy crust of pizza. Recently on the prix fixe menu was octopus with crispy olives and potatoes.

(credit: Garrett Ziegler)

(credit: Garrett Ziegler)

Zenon Taverna

34-10 31st Avenue
New York, NY 11106
(718) 956-0133

Zenon Taverna is the kind of place where the regulars will walk up to a table of newcomers and coo over their baby, or recommend a dish, or just say hello. In other words, this Greek and Cypriot restaurant is all about community. It’s all about the seafood too, including a grilled octopus salad lightly dressed with vinegar and lemon. Also must-eat is the seafood salad, a lively mix of calamari, shrimp, octopus, crab, dill, and celery that comes with the massive Cypriot meze meal (pictured).

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