Odd places for good food  FEB 29 2008

Ed Levine says the best gelato in NYC is being served in a tanning salon. My favorite banh mi (and perhaps the best baguette in town) can be found in the back of a jewelry store. Any other odd places to find good food?

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There are 25 reader comments

Brian D. Johnson27 29 2008 5:27PM

Best watermelon lemonade is @ t/ 10th Street Baths. Serves a mean homemade pepper vodka too.

ben30 29 2008 5:30PM

best Spanish sandwiches - DespaƱa, 408 Broome Street, between Lafayette Street and Cleveland Place

jkottke56 29 2008 5:56PM

Ben, I agree that Despana has good sandwiches, but a store that sells Spanish foods is not exactly an odd place to find sandwiches. Odd places, folks.

Oh and this isn't meant to be NYC-centric...fire away, Phoenix! (For instance.)

Benjamin10 29 2008 6:10PM

Minneapolis, a little coffeeshop/wine bar called Riverview has the best pizza I've ever tasted.

Carl28 29 2008 6:28PM

For those of you in Boston, the best sushi hands down is in a Dunkin Donuts/Italian Deli. Osaka Sushi (106 Cambridge St) doesn't have its own door but is accessible only by walking into the DD or the deli. It's an odd space as all three exist in one long narrow room.

jp01 29 2008 7:01PM

well, there's Oklahoma Joe's BBQ in kansas city, kansas ... really good bbq, happens to be in the back half of a gas station.

bartleby28 29 2008 7:28PM

Villa Mexico in Boston, on Cambridge Street across from the back of the MGH campus. Sublime burritos and tamales sold out of a convenience store attached to a gas station.

john30 29 2008 7:30PM

Also in Minneapolis, the best gyros were in a convenience store.

kim14 29 2008 8:14PM

Best hamburger I've ever had was in the back of a hardware store off Interstate 15 in Scipio, Utah (a friend who was from there clued me in to its existence)...

erica43 29 2008 9:43PM

Also in Boston, and not exactly a secret, Vinny's at Night is a great Italian restaurant that you enter through a convenience store that appears to be closed... you wait for your table right in a dimly-lit aisle of doritos, wonderbread and spam.

But my favorite convenience-store star might be boudin, a boiled, thick-skinned pork and rice sausage that you can find at a lot of gas stations in Louisiana. Yum!

antoine44 29 2008 9:44PM

burger joint, hidden behind a curtain in a corner of the lobby of parker meridien hotel. very good.

Will27 29 200810:27PM

My friend knew of a comic book store in NYC that you could go to and if you knew the secret word, you'd be admitted into a back room where a guy with numerous rotweillers would sell you very high quality drugs. Does this count?

Kent33 29 200810:33PM

Best hot dogs in the city by far are in the back of the "Shoephoria" store at 328 E 32nd Street in Murray Hill.

Becky18 29 200811:18PM

For quite a while there was a great little falafel and schwarma stand located in a jewelry store in the Loop in Chicago. Oasis Cafe apparently moved about a year ago to a (by all accounts depressing) food court nearby, but for many years was located in the back of the Jeweler's Mall on Jeweler's row (aka Wabash Ave) in the Loop. I used to pop in for hummus and falfel pretty regularly when I worked right by there. You could buy a diamond and buy a pita in the same trip...that's convenience!

Brad36 01 2008 1:36AM

Continuing the love for gas stations, the best barbecue I've found in Illinois outside of Chicago is in the back half of a Shell on the far SW side of Rockford.

cjl26 01 2008 2:26AM

Sounds like BBQ and gas stations aren't so unusual....

Abby24 01 2008 9:24AM

There's a fantastic tapas restaurant/wine bar in the back of a gas station in Miami. El Carajo was the best meal we had during those few cold days of our Orange Bowl visit. And Oklahoma Joe's in KC...absolutely.

Jared Cunha01 01 200810:01AM

Well, for those in DC, the best cheesesteak is at a Chinese restaurant. The name of the place is Yums. There are two on 14th. One on 14th and T and one on 14th and P(I think?). While not as good as the best steaks in Philly, they hold their own pretty well.

nogoatee16 01 200811:16AM

There's that lunch counter w/ borscht and blintzes on the mezzanine overlooking diamond booths on 47th St...

ian21 01 200811:21AM

i live in a town just north of toronto, and the best breakfast up here is at a diner holed away in the back of a greeting card shop that also sells elaborate hunting knives and cigarette lighters.

Stephen Chanasyk06 01 2008 1:06PM

A friend of in mine in Toronto decided to turn her jewelry gallery (she's a goldsmith) into a great cafe - her workbench is in the corner and, if lucky, you can sometimes watch her work...though I'm not sure if you would consider this an odd place or just a good business decission.

Dee19 01 2008 1:19PM

Best coffee in Minneapolis is tucked away in the coffee shop in the Sear's hardware department at Mall of America (although they also have another regular store in Linden Hills).

Jeff11 01 2008 2:11PM

I enjoy the Bann Mi at Sau Voi corporation (Lafayette and Walker); it is nicely nestled in the back of a DVD store

Catbirdseat00 03 200811:00PM

No, seriously though, that Back-of-the-jewelry/geode/etc. store Banh Mi place really is the best Banh Mi I've ever had in my life, and on top of it all, it's only, like, 2 bucks or something.

gelato55 05 200810:55AM

R. Thomas Grille in Atlanta - the location isn't that odd, but if you've been to the main dining area - it's an outdoor patio with a tarp overhead, and when it rains, it drips all over strands of extension cords that plug in decorative lighting.

Fantastic veggie burgers...and an awesome mate latte (yerba mate soy latte).

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.

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