It’s not hard to find delicious food in New York; however, for those seeking to go beyond the guidebook and enjoy a truly atypical meal, you’ll want a little guidance.

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Check out my top picks — I’m a local — for truly quirky and cool NYC restaurants, from unusual themed eateries to atypical multi-course menus to interactive dining concepts and beyond.

With locations in Brooklyn and Harlem, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que offers generous helpings of barbeque favorites like pulled pork, ribs, and wings alongside classic sides like mac & cheese and potato salad.

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

Photo courtesy of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que.

Craving some alone time in such a bustling city? Ichiran feels you and has you covered. Sit at one of Ichiran’s “Ramen Focus Booths” and fill out an order form to enjoy their delicious ramen with minimal distractions from servers or your fellow diners.


Photo via Ichiran

Within the Himalayan art-focused Rubin Museum visit Cafe Serai to try the momos, which put a New York twist — a la Reuben sandwich — on traditional Tibetan dumplings.

Cafe Serai

Reuben Rubin Momo via Ben Hider

Molly’s Cupcakes lets you be a kid again by eating homemade small-batch cupcakes that you can eat on swings while playing board games.

Molly’s Cupcakes

Gotta love the creative and colorfully-named creations at Big Gay Ice Cream — like the “Salty Pimp,” where vanilla soft serve is coated in a hard chocolate shell and bits of dulce de leche burst into your mouth.

Big Gay Ice Cream

Within the Le Soleil Hotel in Herald Square, Trademark Taste & Grind offers offbeat bites in one of the best Instagram spots in NYC! Think Burrata & Knots, vegetarian Roasted Cauliflower Steak and their own creation, the Doffle.

Trademark Taste & Grind

via Trademark Taste & Grind

Alice’s Tea Cup is one of the most unique restaurants in New York City, with locations in both the Upper East Side and Upper West Side. The eatery’s concept is based around Alice in Wonderland, and is one of the best places in NYC for a themed brunch or afternoon tea.

Alice’s Tea Cup

Photo via Alice’s Tea Cup.

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