While you’re at Citi Field for this week’s MLB All-Star events, there will be no shortage of foodie favorites and quality eats. And yes, you can eat really well inside Citi Field – or you can try one of the many great restaurants located close by. By Jessica Allen.
Fresh from its recent appearance on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” Rincon Criollo hasn’t let television go to its head. It still offers huge helpings of Cuban favorites like arroz con pollo (chicken with rice) and ropa vieja (a traditional dish with beef in tomatoes sauce, rice, and beans that Guy couldn’t stop eating). Guy also really liked the family vibe, with recipes handed down from generation to generation. We do too.
An all-too-common knock against New York is that it lacks authentic Mexican restaurants. The folks behind Tortilleria Nixtamal not only seek to provide tasty, true dishes (with recipes created from what the staff makes at home), but they also seek to do it using pure corn products, with no additives or preservatives. They also use locally sourced meat, produce, and fish. Let the haters hate—that leaves more tacos, pozole, and tamales for us.
Pine Restaurant & Bar of Queens
Perhaps the most famous Mets-related hangout in the borough, the Pine Restaurant & Bar is attached to a Holiday Inn. Yes, really. It’s also where you can see such legends as Mookie Wilson and Bill Buckner shake hands and kick back amidst lots and lots of blue-and-orange paraphernalia. The food ranges from hearty favorites like a kobe hot dog platter or veal parmigiana hero to more elegant fare like farfalle rustica (grilled chicken, broccoli, and roasted peppers over pasta tossed in olive oil).
Biang! is a bit of a walk from/to Citi Field, but it’s worth it. Consider this: there’s an exclamation point built into its very name! Run by the same folks as local chainlet Xi’an Famous Foods, Biang! is named for the sound noodles make as they’re slapped against a table or counter prior to cooking. Like its sister restaurants, this one specializes in foods from northwest China, including spicy and tingly squid skewers, mung bean jelly, and the aforementioned noodles.
Hahm Ji Bach
Still further afield is Hahm Ji Bach, the only Korean restaurant on this list, and the only restaurant on this list recommended by the Michelin Guide for three years running. Here, you can feast on Korean BBQ, hot pot, or one of the many chef’s specialties, including bok jim (steamed Blowfish with assorted vegetables in thick spicy sauce) or gochoo pajeon (traditional Korean pancake with finely chopped hot pepper and scallion). This place is especially well-suited for groups.