Thanks to Punxsutawney Phil and his deliberate decision to see his shadow, New Yorkers should expect an additional six weeks of winter this year. While the cold weather might not seem appealing, an extended hibernation season has its benefits—namely, a good excuse to continue indulging in classic comfort foods.To help you enjoy, here are our favorite spots for funky comfort food in Manhattan.
Fried chicken. Need we say more? Sticky’s Finger Joint kicks this classic comfort food up a notch with their crazy creations like the Bada Bing—breaded chicken fingers stuffed with mozzarella cheese and topped with marinara sauce. For an elevated chicken experience, we recommend the salted caramel pretzel dish—it’s sweet, crunchy, salty and sticky; in short, everything you could want and need in a comfort food.
Sticky’s Finger Joint: 484 3rd Ave., 646-490-5856
Sarita’s Mac n’ Cheese, fondly known as S’MAC, is your one-stop-shop to gooey-carb heaven. Specializing in mac and cheese, the menu at this vibrant and homey restaurant doesn’t consist of your typical Kraft-quality cheese. Sarita’s specialty macs include flavors such as buffalo chicken, cheeseburger and Mediterranean. Excuse us if we’re a bit cheesy, but we recommend the nosh-sized Masala with Indian spices.
S’MAC: 157 E. 33rd St., 212-683-3900
Chocolate fiends, rejoice! When you open your mind to all the Max Brenner world of chocolate has to offer, you no longer need to settle for a candy bar or an ice cream.Dive face-first into standout menu items including banana hazelnut crepes, dark chocolate crepe pasta and a peanut butter turtle “choctail.” Our favorite comfort dish during the winter months? The chocolate chunks pizza with all the works— melted milk and white chocolate chunks, roasted marshmallows, bananas, peanut butter and crunchy hazelnut bits.
Max Brenner: 841 Broadway, 646-467-8803
Montreal, our northern neighbor, has, unsurprisingly discovered the essence of savory comfort food: fried potatoes and smoked meat. This dish is the undeniable mainstay of Mile End delicatessen, a funky deli that is high on the priority list for lovers of Montreal-style treats. Go for the smoked meat poutine to warm up even the coldest winter day. The dish of French fries, cheese curds and chicken gravy (Mile End adds cured and smoked beef brisket on top) is not to be missed.
Mile End Deli, 53 Bond St.
For those who would rather drink their comfort treats than eat them, Black Tap is the go-to spot for crazy shakes. While Black Tap offers a bevy of single-flavor shakes, it’s unique shakes definitely take the cake. Flavors range from cotton candy to cookie, but our favorite is the sour-power shake with a vanilla-frosted rim, sour gummies and whipped cream and Nerds topping is the one that’s not to be missed.
Black Tap: 136 W. 55th Street, 212-315-4356