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Old 01-26-2019, 05:33 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessemh431 View Post
1. Chicago: To me Chicago has the best variety with the best quality. They may not have all the individual ethnic foods of NYC or LA, but for the major ones that most people eat regularly, they're readily available, excellent quality, and often very affordable.
I think a lot of people would be surprised on what you can get in Chicago in terms of ethnic foods. The food that Chicago is known for is an small part of the reality. And the reality is that you can get just about any cuisine in the world in Chicago - even more obscure ones like Garifuna cuisine (from Belize), Uzbek, Kyrgyz, Mongolian (not the "Mongolian" food that you can get elsewhere which is not actually Mongolian food), NE Chinese, Lithuanian, Serbian, Somalian, Burmese, Yemeni, Afghani, etc etc etc. A lot of it is a hell of a lot more authentic than most people would expect too. Unfortunately, the people who cover the food scene from outside of the city every once in awhile either focus on pizza, hot dogs, and italian beef or the fine/trendy dining which is just a small fraction of the wealth of different foods you can find all over the city. I think in terms of this NYC is kind of in a class of its own, but while I lived in Chicago or when I'm visiting, there's hardly a time where I can't find some type of food. Usually if I can't, it's a really regional thing that's not common pretty much anywhere in the US to find. There's always at least one or two places that do it. It just doesn't get enough credit like it should for this type of cuisine.

Last edited by marothisu; 01-26-2019 at 05:43 PM..
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Old 01-26-2019, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Erie, PA
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Detroit
Chicago
Montreal
New Orleans
Boston
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Old 01-26-2019, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Downtown & Brooklyn!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidphilly View Post
gladly (quality ethnic) food has been spreading pretty rapidly all over the country


One thing I am personally excited is that the quality of Mexican and Asian food has really made huge strides on the EC; that said Mexican in CA or TX is likely better overall and more commonly good and available there You could probably say the same for Italian food as you can get really good Italian food in most of the country yet the NE (maybe Chicago) will have it more common and commonly good




But the level (rise in quality) of Mexican in Philly as an example in even the last ten years has been phenomenal from where we came from; which for me is great news for my belly (maybe not belt size)


I have a lot co workers in the area from Europe and they now love the Mexican as a choice even here believing it can be so much better then in Europe even in Philly




We are really at a great place though as the availability and quality of good ethnic foods has been rising almost everywhere


The US has become a great place to eat in almost any major city for many varieties, the food world continues to become smaller year after year and the starker differences of the old top US cities and the next set is getting smaller every year


to me a win for all who enjoy food
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessemh431 View Post
2. Philly: Excellent at just about everything. Does everything basically the same as NYC, but the Mexican food is better.

3. NYC: Excellent at everything except Mexican. You cant hunt down some Mexican places that are amazing, but they take some effort to find. And often everything is more expensive because it's NYC. Variety can't be beat, but Mexican food is one of my favorites
Philly’s amazing and abundant Mexican food really surprised me. I wasn’t expecting it to be so common and so high quality. Mainly in South Philly.

When I lived right over the river in NJ, this was my life. South Philly is my favorite part of Philly and I have explored pretty extensively eating at various Mexican spots. I remember heading to South Philly many times in the mood for Italian, but often ending up at a Mexican spot more often than not. The Italian Market seems to be turning into the Mexican Market. My one issue is that on a night out in Philly, late night tacos are not very easy to find, which is such a shame because tacos and other antojitos are perfect late night food IMO. Philly also lacks with taco/antojito trucks. It always tastes better on the street IMO.

Jessemh, I think your statement for #3 works better if you replace NYC with just Manhattan. I’ve always felt that way about Manhattan, but the Mexican food in Queens and Brooklyn (especially Queens) is easier to find and often way cheaper too. And usually more authentic, since often times Manhattan places tend to be different to justify the high prices and often seem more Americanized. Not saying that authentic Mexican food isn’t available to find in Manhattan, just that it’s way easier to find in Queens. Check out Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, and Corona. Walk underneath and/or near the 7 train. Countless cheap, delicious Mexican places. Not only is Roosevelt Ave lined with taco trucks that stay open all night, but there are plenty of eat-in Mexican restaurants too. Actually I have plans to go out in Queens tonight so I’m making myself hungry because I know where I’ll be at 4am lol.
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Old 01-26-2019, 05:51 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
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^ I find the Middle Eastern food in NYC is not bad, but not that great. I know a few good places mainly in Queens and Brooklyn, but overall not that amazing and definitely overhyped if you know real Middle Eastern food. There's a Lebanese place in Manhattan I've had that's literally the worst Lebanese food I've ever had - even a place I know in Iowa does it much better, yet this place in Manhattan was pretty well rated. It's unbelievable how it would be well rated. The fact that people actually think Halal Guys is good, authentic middle eastern food tells me everything I need to know about peoples' standards here.

Honestly and I'm not joking, but in Chicago I had a higher percentage chance of picking a random restaurant and having it taste good than NYC. NYC has a ton of food, and it does a lot of food pretty well, but there's a lot of pretty bad stuff out there too that I've had.
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Old 01-26-2019, 06:58 PM
 
1,638 posts, read 474,921 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by That_One_Guy View Post
Philly’s amazing and abundant Mexican food really surprised me. I wasn’t expecting it to be so common and so high quality. Mainly in South Philly.

When I lived right over the river in NJ, this was my life. South Philly is my favorite part of Philly and I have explored pretty extensively eating at various Mexican spots. I remember heading to South Philly many times in the mood for Italian, but often ending up at a Mexican spot more often than not. The Italian Market seems to be turning into the Mexican Market. My one issue is that on a night out in Philly, late night tacos are not very easy to find, which is such a shame because tacos and other antojitos are perfect late night food IMO. Philly also lacks with taco/antojito trucks. It always tastes better on the street IMO.

Jessemh, I think your statement for #3 works better if you replace NYC with just Manhattan. I’ve always felt that way about Manhattan, but the Mexican food in Queens and Brooklyn (especially Queens) is easier to find and often way cheaper too. And usually more authentic, since often times Manhattan places tend to be different to justify the high prices and often seem more Americanized. Not saying that authentic Mexican food isn’t available to find in Manhattan, just that it’s way easier to find in Queens. Check out Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, and Corona. Walk underneath and/or near the 7 train. Countless cheap, delicious Mexican places. Not only is Roosevelt Ave lined with taco trucks that stay open all night, but there are plenty of eat-in Mexican restaurants too. Actually I have plans to go out in Queens tonight so I’m making myself hungry because I know where I’ll be at 4am lol.
There are actually a lot of authentic Mexican restaurants in Manhattan, and I find them to be comparatively priced and authentic as the outer borough ones. But upper Manhattan has a large Mexican population anyway.

Manhattan also has haute Mexican which is more expensive but still authebtic. People in Mexico eat fancy stuff too, it's not like everything there is hole in the walls.
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Old 01-26-2019, 07:02 PM
 
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Mexican food is becoming more and more mainstream these days and it is pretty easy to find good Mexican food. It's not the 90s anymore.

The one downside is that there is not as much variety, yet. The menus tend to be repetitive but not always. Mostly antojitos, albeit done very well.
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Old 01-26-2019, 07:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessemh431 View Post
1. Chicago: To me Chicago has the best variety with the best quality. They may not have all the individual ethnic foods of NYC or LA, but for the major ones that most people eat regularly, they're readily available, excellent quality, and often very affordable.

2. Philly: Excellent at just about everything. Does everything basically the same as NYC, but the Mexican food is better.

3. NYC: Excellent at everything except Mexican. You cant hunt down some Mexican places that are amazing, but they take some effort to find. And often everything is more expensive because it's NYC. Variety can't be beat, but Mexican food is one of my favorites.

4. LA: Because Mexican food. It does everything pretty well, but just can't match the Northeast for Italian and bagels.

5. New Orleans: Nowhere does Cajun food like this. While my top 4 have the variety, New Orleans may lack it a little bit compared to them, but the uniqueness of the flavors and style in New Orleans is something like nowhere else on Earth. Places can try, but they're just not the same.

Honorable Mentions: Boston (Italian, Jewish, Latin); DC; San Diego (California burritos and fish tacos); Louisville (best food scene for the size, especially as it is relatively ignored in every way on a national scale until Derby week)

P.S. I haven't been to Miami yet, but I love Latin foods and I assume Miami will jump into my top 5 once I visit. I haven't visited Toronto yet, but considering how international it is, I'm sure it could be a contender for a top 5.
What makes Philly Mexican food better? I've had both and they're both good. NYC has a way larger Mexican population than Philly, so I have to imagine NYC has more variety. Keep in mind the food scene is changing quickly, if you haven't paid attention to something (not accusing you of this) in 10 years, then your perception would be pretty outdated.
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Old 01-26-2019, 07:25 PM
 
Location: Downtown & Brooklyn!
2,109 posts, read 1,290,087 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
^ I find the Middle Eastern food in NYC is not bad, but not that great. I know a few good places mainly in Queens and Brooklyn, but overall not that amazing and definitely overhyped if you know real Middle Eastern food. There's a Lebanese place in Manhattan I've had that's literally the worst Lebanese food I've ever had - even a place I know in Iowa does it much better, yet this place in Manhattan was pretty well rated. It's unbelievable how it would be well rated. The fact that people actually think Halal Guys is good, authentic middle eastern food tells me everything I need to know about peoples' standards here.

Honestly and I'm not joking, but in Chicago I had a higher percentage chance of picking a random restaurant and having it taste good than NYC. NYC has a ton of food, and it does a lot of food pretty well, but there's a lot of pretty bad stuff out there too that I've had.
Is that arrow pointing at me? We were talking about Mexican food, not Middle Eastern.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foamposite View Post
There are actually a lot of authentic Mexican restaurants in Manhattan, and I find them to be comparatively priced and authentic as the outer borough ones. But upper Manhattan has a large Mexican population anyway.

Manhattan also has haute Mexican which is more expensive but still authebtic. People in Mexico eat fancy stuff too, it's not like everything there is hole in the walls.
Iím not saying a place has to be a hole in the wall to be authentic, (but those + street food are my favorites). But I canít even count how many times Iíve paid way more than I should have for Mexican food in Manhattan. Even for basic stuff like tacos, itís not uncommon to find $5+ tacos in Manhattan. And my experience in Manhattan is mostly limited to Midtown and below, as I rarely go Uptown and havenít really tried the Mexican food in Upper Manhattan or The Bronx which I expect to be very good there too. I usually get Puerto Rican or Dominican food when I go up that way.

By the way I donít really ever eat anything too fancy. Iím not bougie and I donít have money like that. So when Iím talking (not just about Mexican food, but in general) Iím usually not considering high end options at all. But Iím still young in my 20s so maybe one day...
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Old 01-26-2019, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by That_One_Guy View Post
Is that arrow pointing at me? We were talking about Mexican food, not Middle Eastern.
Just talking about NYC in general and how not everything ethnic food is good even if you can find it many places. You could say that about anywhere though.
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Old 01-26-2019, 07:31 PM
 
1,638 posts, read 474,921 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by That_One_Guy View Post
Is that arrow pointing at me? We were talking about Mexican food, not Middle Eastern.
I’m not saying a place has to be a hole in the wall to be authentic, (but those + street food are my favorites). But I can’t even count how many times I’ve paid way more than I should have for Mexican food in Manhattan. Even for basic stuff like tacos, it’s not uncommon to find $5+ tacos in Manhattan. And my experience in Manhattan is mostly limited to Midtown and below, as I rarely go Uptown and haven’t really tried the Mexican food in Upper Manhattan or The Bronx which I expect to be very good there too. I usually get Puerto Rican or Dominican food when I go up that way.

By the way I don’t really ever eat anything too fancy. I’m not bougie and I don’t have money like that. So when I’m talking (not just about Mexican food, but in general) I’m usually not considering high end options at all. But I’m still young in my 20s so maybe one day...
I don't go for expensive stuff either. But when I have had Mexican food in Manhattan (lower Manhattan), it was priced pretty much the same as the outer boroughs. Maybe 25 cents more or so, but never 5 dollars per taco. I think you'd only find that at either a haute Mexican place or just some general overpriced Americanized kind of place which I think you were hinting at.

My favorite Mexican place in all of NYC is called Los Mariscos 1 in the Chelsea Market, the fish tacos are very high quality and are 3 dollars each, which is actually less than what you might pay in the outer boroughs.

I also want to reiterate (not accusing you of this) that Mexican food doesn't have to be cheap. Their food isn't worth less just because they come from a poor country. Anthony Bourdain has spoke on this before and I agree with him.
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