End of Freeman Alley off Rivington (bet. Bowery and Chrystie)
New York, NY 10002
This very popular LES hipster hang, tucked behind a trendy men’s clothing shop, serves up rustic American specialties (with an emphasis on sustainability and local products) and off-the-hook cocktails. The lodge-like space also offers what is generally regarded as the best hot artichoke dip ($10) in the city. Paired with grilled crisp French bread (or endive leaves for gluten-free folks), it is well balanced, creamy and loaded with artichokes. Note—no reservations for parties under six. Take the time to enjoy the signature Freemans cocktail (rye, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, orange bitters) at the bar.
Artichoke Basille’s Pizza & Brewery
328 E 14th St (between 1st and 2nd Aves)
New York, NY 10003
What’s better than artichoke dip? Artichoke dip on a pizza. This four-year-old destination serves up highly addictive slices of creamy, gooey goodness featuring artichoke hearts, spinach, a wine-based cream sauce and mozzarella to East Village devotees. Lines get long (even at midnight), but with the opportunity for creative pies (and beer) awaiting, relax and watch as the pizza masters throw huge chunks of cheese and other hearty ingredients (crab pizza is also a must-have) atop the pies before shoving them in the ovens. Two new locations serve Chelsea and Greenwich Village. Artichoke slices $4.50, whole pies $30 (but they’re huge).
1448 Second Ave (between 75th and 76th)
New York, NY 10021
You’re there for the customizable burgers, naturally. But the recently expanded menu at this relaxed Upper East Side haunt includes chefy takes on comfort classics like Korean BBQ short rib tacos ($9) Kobe beef pigs in a blanket ($7) and warm, creamy spinach and artichoke dip served with corn chips ($10). The dip here avoids the gloppiness and chunkiness found at some spots, meaning you’d better buy enough for the whole table. House cocktails like Down For the Count (Montecristo Rum, ginger syrup, lemon juice, Orchard Hard Cider) should cut the dip’s rich texture nicely.
Related: New York’s Best Burgers
Bounce Sporting Club NY
55 W 21st St (between 5th and 6th Aves)
New York, NY 10011
The newest extension of the house party/sports bar brand doesn’t skimp on big screen TVs (there are 30) or its bar menus. Rising far above chicken wings and fried mozzarella sticks, you’ll find charred fish tacos, duck sliders and more. The blue crab and artichoke dip, served with garlic toast ($16), is a grand slam appetizer. Served bubbling hot in a personal iron skillet, Bounce blends perfect-sized lumps of blue crab, artichoke hearts and creamed spinach with gruyere and grana padano cheeses, and tops the whole thing with house-made garlic sourdough crouton crumbs.
Related: City Happy Hours With Free Food
5 Napkin Burger
3501 36th St (at 35th Ave.)
Astoria, NY 11106
A New York-based chainlet that started in Hell’s Kitchen, this Astoria outpost is perfectly situated among the Kaufman Astoria movie theaters, the Museum of the Moving Image, and Studio Square Beer Garden. Swing in for a large, juicy (hence the name) signature 5 Napkin Burger or lamb kofta burger, but start with the pork taquitos and hot spinach and artichoke dip ($10). Slathered in seared gruyere cheese and parmesan, it arrives in a small ramekin surrounded by French bread crostini slices and endive spears. Note: the appetizer seems to be prepared and served at its prime when this restaurant is not overly busy.