17 Things to Eat and Drink in NYC This August
So many things to eat, so little time. And if you’re like us, you definitely get food FOMO when you discover that the limited-edition cookie from a 92-year-old bakery or the next-level brunch burger you saw on Instagram has already come and gone. But don’t sweat it (save that for the gym, post–food coma)—we’ve mapped out the best things you should be eating this August.
CHOCOLATE CHIP BLACK-AND-WHITE COOKIE AND EXTRA-LARGE EVERYTHING RUGELACH AT ZARO’S FAMILY BAKERY
The iconic fourth-generation bakery has put fresh spins on two beloved baked goods—breaking news at an institution that rarely adds new permanent menu items. Fun fact: Zaro’s sells more than 250,000 black-and-white cookies a year, and now there’s an even more decadent version made from a combo of cake and cookie batters, filled with milk chocolate chips and dipped in the signature dual icing. Zaro’s rugelach (meaning “little twists” in Yiddish) is made with a traditional cream cheese–based dough and sweet fillings like chocolate or raspberry. But the new extra-large everything rugelach goes the savory route, filled with cream cheese and spiced with a generous portion of everything seasoning.
“Say Yes to Sardines!” at Aldea
Michelin-rated Aldea turns ten this year, and chef George Mendes is rolling out a celebratory tasting menu that kicks off this month with a spread inspired by the famous Sardine Festival held every summer in Lisbon. If you’ve never had strong feelings about the humble fish, these elevated bites will change your mind: marinated Portuguese sardines on brioche toast with black garlic and smoked trout caviar; sardinha no pao (whole grilled sardines with olive oil and lemon, served with a mini Portuguese roll); and seared sardines on heirloom tomato and watermelon salad. Each dish is paired with a Portuguese beer, special cocktail or wine for $18—and they’re available at the bar only for the month of August.
Shell Shack at Clinton Hall FiDi
Known for its tall-as-a-skyscraper whipped creamed waffles, the FiDi outpost of the popular gastropub is keeping things simple with its latest offering: a pop-up serving lobster and crab rolls. The Shell Shack will feature a variety of rolls, including the “Maine” (lobster, Old Bay mayo, celery, red onion and chives), the “Maryland” (jumbo lump crab) and the “California” (lobster, lemon aioli, bacon and avocado).
HOG-ust at OTTO Enoteca e Pizzeria
All month, Otto executive chef and butcher Gaetano Arnone will serve a special “Hog-ust” menu featuring dishes such as porchetta di testa and a roasted pork loin stuffed with truffles and sausage. The chef will also roast a large Tuscan porchetta and slice it to order in front of guests in the restaurant’s enoteca.
Passion Fruit Mille Crêpes Cake at Lady M
The luxury layered cake boutique is heading to the tropics for the month of August with a special offering at all of its locations. Inspired by lilikoi (passion fruit) butter, a popular sweet spread in Hawaii, the cake features at least 20 layers of handmade crêpes paired with passion fruit pastry cream and topped with a beautiful passion fruit glaze complete with the edible seeds. (Oprah picked it as one of her favorite cakes, so definitely try it this month.)
Sicilian Specialties at Morandi
You don’t need to shell out for a plane ticket to visit Sicily this summer—just head to Keith McNally’s Morandi for its new rotating regional menu program. From August 19 to 31, the spotlight is on the incredible food and wine island off the tip of Italy. Savor Sicilian carpaccio di pesce spada (thinly sliced swordfish with black olives, green beans, pickled red onions and lemon dressing) and traditional tonno e caponata (grilled tuna steak with roasted eggplant, tomato, celery, capers, raisins and lemon) by Milan-born chef Gabriele Carpentieri. Dishes are paired with grillo, a crisp white wine made with grapes that grow exclusively in Sicily.
Oysters for a Cause at Quality Italian
On Tuesday, August 13, modern steakhouse Quality Italian will host a cocktail hour benefiting the Billion Oyster Project, a nonprofit that aims to restore the New York Harbor while providing educational programs to local kids. The meal includes a raw bar with East and West Coast oysters, plus some more elaborate preparations of the namesake bivalve (like a spicy polenta-fried oyster and an uni-baked oyster). There’s also an open bar highlighting Italian-inspired drinks and spirits. All oyster shells at the event will be collected and returned to the harbor—the first step in a process that actually cleans the water and eventually even protects against storm surges.
Breakfast Pizzas at Oath Pizza
The Nantucket-born pizza brand (known for its avocado oil–seared crust and all-natural, humanely raised ingredients) is launching breakfast service for the first time this month. The menu features items like a BEC and an egg-and-cheese breakfast pizza, featuring free-range eggs, mozzarella and scallions, with the option of adding Applegate smoked bacon or Italian sausage.
Sour Cherry Matcha Kouign Amann at High Street on Hudson
The classic yeasted French pastry from Brittany means “butter cake” in Breton—and if that isn’t enough of a reason to get you to try it, here’s something extra: Throughout August, the baking wizards at High Street on Hudson are serving a Japan-inspired riff on the layered, caramelized sugar–topped treat with matcha and sour cherry. Be sure to come back later in the month for the debut of a saffron kouign amann filled with apricot jam.
All the Pizza at Artichoke Basille’s Pizza
Ever feel like you’re a bottomless pit when it comes to pizza? Put that theory to the test on August 17, when Artichoke hosts its annual pizza-eating contest at Park Slope Fifth Avenue’sSummer Stroll multi-block party. At 6 p.m., competitive pizza eaters will take to the stage to chow down as fast as they can on Artichoke’s larger-than-life slices. You can sign up for a chance to enter here—but be forewarned that the defending champ downed a whopping 14 slices in ten minutes. (Alternately, you can just grab a reasonable slice or two of the signature artichoke, crab or vodka pies before settling in to watch the action.)
Celebrity Chef Tacos and Ceviche at GITANO Garden of Love
This summer, Soho hot spot Gitano has tapped five international celebrity chefs to create a ceviche and taco inspired by their shared love of Mexico and the Yucatán. The month of August features sea urchin ceviche and prawn tacos from chef Jose Luis Hinostroza of Arca Tulum. He’ll be joined by chef Mads Refslund, cofounder of Copenhagen’s Noma and a pioneer of New Nordic cuisine, who adds a green coconut ceviche and farmed duck egg to the menu.
Indonesian Brunch at Wayan
Cedric Vongerichten’s Wayan in Nolita is now serving a tropical Indonesian brunch on the weekends that’s sure to put your ol’ avocado toast to shame. The menu features sate (the Indonesian spelling of satay) bowls over coconut rice and Indonesian-inspired brunch fare like chicken wings and eggs balado, crispy pandan French toast and more. We’re especially excited about Vongerichten’s two new burgers: a shrimp burger with green chili, Gruyère and Thai basil, and a chicken burger with sambal oelek chili paste and calamansi pickles.
Sushi on Jones Sundae at Sushi on Jones
No, it’s not a sushi cone—it’s actual ice cream. In honor of turning three, Sushi on Jones is collaborating with LES ice-cream shop Soft Swerve to create an exclusive sundae, available until the end of the month. The sundae is decked out with Soft Swerve’s signature black sesame soft serve, chewy mochi, a sea salt caramel drizzle and crispy rice topping. Get it at Sushi on Jones (as an end to a delicious omakase, perhaps) or at Soft Swerve.
Pork Burger at L’Artusi
One of NYC’s most lauded Italian restaurants has its own riff on a brunch burger, and it’s extra in all the best ways. Executive chef Joe Vigorito and his L’Artusi team partnered with Murray’s Cheese to create a pork burger, available throughout the summer exclusively on Sundays. And to up the ante, only 20 are available on a first come, first served basis. The extra-special special contains Pat LaFrieda pork, Brooklyn Cured bresaola, aged Gouda, homemade pimenton aioli and pepper mostarda, and is served on a Martin’s potato roll with L’Artusi’s signature crispy potatoes.
S’mores French Toast at Kirsh Bakery & Kitchen
The Upper West Side’s Kirsh Bakery is serving up everyone’s favorite campfire treat in the form of French toast (for a limited time only, of course). It’s made with Kirsh Bakery’s milk bread French toast, drizzled with milk chocolate sauce and topped with marshmallow fluff that is torched to a golden brown. It’s finished off with a sprinkle of crushed graham cracker crumbs.
Mole Dumplings at Mimi Cheng’s
Traditional Mexican moles meet dumplings in this month’s collab between Mimi Cheng’s and chef Gabriela Cámara. Inspired by some of Hannah and Marian Cheng’s favorite flavors from Mexico City and Oaxaca (areas known for red and green moles), the pan-fried dumplings feature seasoned organic chicken combined with flavorful green beans for a slight crunch and rice to help marry all the ingredients. They’re topped with ancho chili–seasoned pepitas and served with a green mole dipping sauce.
Lime in de Coconut Sundae at Klein’s
For a refreshing, citrusy break from the August heat, pop into The Hoxton Williamsburg’s all-day restaurant. Executive pastry chef Celina Rella created the zingy dessert using creamy homemade coconut sorbet, which gets decorated with crunchy coconut lime clusters and topped with fresh lime zest. It’s vegan, gluten-free and available at Klein’s through August.