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Think Beyond Cotton Candy with New York’s Most Unique Eats on a Stick

From carnival perennials like cotton candy and corn dogs, to flowers fashioned from mangos and sold along the beach, a multitude of summer’s preeminent foods are speared on sticks.  And in NYC, that formidable lineup even includes sugar-encased bacon courtesy of Landhaus, as well as fork-free chicken and waffles, at Cuban-cum-Mexican Cafe Habana & more…

Dominique Ansel Bakery

Dominique Ansel Bakery
189 Spring St
Soho,New York 10012
(212) 219-2773

The inimitable Dominique Ansel operates exclusively out of the box, which is why you’ve never experienced anything like his s’mores, whilst sitting around a campfire.  It starts with squares of honey-sweetened housemade marshmallow that are molded around cubes of chocolate feuilletine-coated vanilla custard and frozen overnight.  They’re propped applewood-smoked sticks, and then torched to order, forming an addictive, crème brulee-esque crust.

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Sen Sakana

Sen Sakana
28 W 44th St
Midtown West,New York 10036
(212) 221-9561

Being devoted to Nikkei cuisine (a mash-up of Peruvian and Japanese culinary traditions) means that this long-awaited eatery really doubles down on skewered foods.  Look for a lineup of robata-grilled Kushiyaki, with significant South American flair; we’re talking about Mini Tomatoes wrapped in pork belly, the black feather chicken meatballs known as Tsukune, Jalapeno Queso Cremoso (peppers stuffed with Peruvian cheese), and Japanese Sweet Potatoes slicked in aji amarillo butter.

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Llama Inn

Llama Inn
50 Withers St
Williamsburg,New York 11211
(718) 387-3434

While traditionally comprised of beef heart and other inexpensive organ meats, the Peruvian antichuchos at the ever buzzy (and totally tasty) Llama Inn run the gamut from char siu pork belly with pickled chilies, to chicken thigh with fermented soy beans and potato chips, and octopus stained with aji amarillo, and accompanied by tidbits of cabbage and quinoa.

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Hanjan

Hanjan
36 W 26th St
Flatiron District,New York 10010
(212) 206-7226

Hooni Kim offers Korean-style chicken skewers at Hanjan; his ode to traditional jamook (taverns).  Carved from La Pera’s fresh-killed, Amish-raised poultry, you can order breast, thigh and gizzard (not to mention heart, skin and oyster meat) simply grilled with salt and pepper and served with ssam-jung and scallion salad, or gussied up with spicy gochujang, soy-garlic glaze, or jalapeno gremolata.

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Café Habana

Café Habana
17 Prince St
NY 10012
(212) 625-2001

In addition to their iconic elote (skewered, caramelized corn cobs tumbled in mayo, lime juice and cotija cheese), this Cuban-Mexican cantina is known for “Roscoe on a Stick,” essentially a chicken and waffle popsicle served with a side dish of syrup.

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Landaus

Landaus
899 Bergen St
Crown Heights,New York 11238
(718) 710-5020

This longtime vendor effortlessly cut through the Smorgasburg noise by selling stubs of brown sugar and herb-roasted slab bacon on a stick, which they also happen to peddle all week round at Smorg’s brick-and-mortar spinoff, Berg’n -– talk about the ultimate bar snack.

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Turntable

Turntable
34-36 W 32nd St
Midtown West,New York 10001
(212) 594-4344

K-Town is known for fried chicken, and you won’t be disappointed at the quirky, LP-collecting, karaoke-playing fun-house, Turntable.  But “Twisters” have quickly emerged as their signature dish; think deep-fried, spiralized potato skins, mounted on a stick and smothered with spicy sauce.

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Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies

Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies
185 Van Dyke St
Brooklyn,New York 11231
(718) 858-5333

While pie is generally a fork-centric endeavor, no sitting down is required when it comes to Steve’s ingenious Swingles.  Forged from one of his justifiably famous pies (one of only two that uses actual key lime juice in the U.S.), these glorious, stick-propped pops are plunged in chocolate and frozen, creating the ultimate summertime sweet.

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