1. Parisi Bakery – With over 100 years of history, owned and operated by the Parisi family, the Parisi Bakery is an Italian bakery that has the best (and perhaps the biggest) “sandwiches” in town. They also provide bread for a wide variety of restaurants in New York City daily. If this is your first time at Parisi, my recommendation here is the famous “The Dennis” sandwich. If the attendant asks what type of bread you want, request for the “Parisi Bread”. The Dennis is a super sandwich with chicken cutlets, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, prosciutto and a special pesto sauce. In addition to “The Dennis”, two other exceptional choices are “Egg and Potato on a Hero” and the “Salami, Muenster, Lettuce, Tomato, Pickles, Mayo, Mustard, on potato bread.” Frank Sinatra used to buy bread at Parisi on Mott Street and the most interesting thing is that after his move to California, he still kept ordering Parisi bread from New York to California every week. Important notes: Cash only; lines during lunch hours are almost guaranteed and the wait time is between 10 to 20 minutes.
Address: 198 Mott Street (between Spring and Kenmare Street)
2. Saigon Vietnamese Sandwich Deli – As the name itself puts it, Saigon is a deli specializing in Banh mi, typical Vietnamese sandwich, made with chicken or pork and filled with vegetables and green leaves (usually cilantro) on a baguette bread. Introduced by the French, who at the beginning of the 20th century took baguette bread to Vietnam, Banh mi initially had only bread, butter, and ham or pâté – a typical Parisian sandwich. But over time, during the period of French Indochina’s colonization, some native ingredients from the region such as cucumbers, carrots, and daikon began to be added to the recipe until the wonder we have today. My recommendation is the Bánh mì # 1 House Special with pork. The number # 3, “Grilled Minced Pork with Sweet Glaze”, # 4 “Meatball of Pork & Water Chestnut”, and # 8 “Curry Chicken” are also delicious choices! All Saigon Vietnamese sandwiches contain cilantro, sliced cucumber, pickled daikon & carrot plus the option of additional jalapeño (but I only recommend adding if you like spicy food). Important note: Cash only.
Address: 369 Broome Street (between Mott and Elizabeth Street)
3. Taim Falafel and Smoothie Bar – The greatest differential of Taïm compared to other falafel places in New York is that here you choose the falafel flavor that you want. The choices are 1. Green (the traditional, with cilantro, parsley, and mint), 2. Harissa (with Tunisian seasoning) and 3. Olive (with Kalamata olives). Since I am a great falafel lover, my choice here could not be different. Depending on how hungry I’m, I stay among Falafel Sandwich (with pita bread), Falafel Salad or Falafel Platter. If you picked for the sandwich, you have to choose, besides falafel flavor, also the type of pita bread (whole wheat or white) and the toppings (you can ask to have all of them, just say “with everything”). Among the options are amba (sauce made from mango purée and fenugreek grains), s’rug (green sauce with cilantro, garlic, and peppers), pickles and peppers. If you picked the falafel platter, the sides are fixed: hummus, Israeli salad, cabbage salad, and tahini. The Sabich Sandwich, even without falafel in the composition, is a perfect combination of eggplant, boiled egg, hummus, parsley, tahini and Israeli salad. The Sabich is also one of my recommendations. For dessert, you have to try the most traditional dessert of Turkey, the Baklava, a sweet pastry stuffed with pistachio and walnuts. Ah, and if you’re like me, you also have to get one of their smoothies. My favorite is the “Date + Lime + Banana + Soy”.
Address: 45 Spring Street (between Mulberry and Mott Street).
4. Tuck Shop – Tuck Shop is a small chain restaurant specializing in Australian savory pies and rolls with two locations in Manhattan. The variety of pies is incredible, with choices like ground beef, lamb, bbq pork, chicken, mac-n-cheese, and vegetables. The pies are homemade – hand make and bake using natural ingredients. My favorite combo at Tuck Shop is the “Guinness Steak and Mushroom Pie” ($6) with a side of Kale Salad ($6). I still remember the very first time I ate their Kale Salad, it completely changed my perception, I never thought a salad could be so tasty. This combo is more enough for me for lunch. Their 1st street address is small, but there are a few tables to eat there. I’m completely in love with the mixture of pie crust and meat – I love the famous Brazilian “empadão” – so it’s not hard to understand why I like the Australian pies and strongly recommend Tuck Shop. On Fridays and Saturdays, the place is open until 5 AM. I recommend the Australian pies for any time of day, be at lunch or dinner, or even for a quick bite in the afternoon.
Address: 68 E 1st Street (between 1st and 2nd Avenue)
5. Bite – With one of the city’s most eclectic menus, Bite is one of the few establishments I know that manages to mix cuisines such as Mediterranean, Thai and Israeli in such a creative way. The bread and cheeses used there are all from local producers. Soups are prepared from scratch every day. The highlight, in my opinion, is the Mediterranean sandwiches and paninis, served on a delicious ciabatta bread. If you like tuna and spicy food as I do, the Mediterranean Tuna Panini with additional Swiss cheese is my absolute recommendation. Bite has 3 locations in Manhattan, but an important note about the Lafayette one is that there is no place or tables to sit and eat there, just the option to grab to go.
Address: 335 Lafayette Street (between Bleecker and Houston Street)
Did you like these tips?
Laura Peruchi is a Brazilian blogger, author, and entrepreneur. She has lived in Manhattan with her husband since 2014. Since then, she has shared on her blog varied content about the Big Apple. From travel tips, including unusual things to do, shopping tips, etiquette, restaurants, and a lot more, her blog has become a reference in Portuguese (also available in English) for anyone planning a trip to New York City.