In the same way we celebrate holidays we have no direct tie to (such as Day of the Dead, St. Patrick’s Day or Oktoberfest) because the food and drink is just so good, that’s the tack we tend to take with the New York Marathon. We may have zero intention of logging 26 miles (frankly, since it falls on Sunday, November 6th, there’s a high probability we won’t even get off our couch!), but we still feel propelled to eat in solidarity with the runners; padding our bodies with an extra helping of carbs. So whether you’re precisely like us (or, you know, actually plan to participate in the cross-borough sprint) you’ll appreciate this showcase of the city’s top starch purveyors, from High Street on Hudson (known for their beautiful breads) to Brooklyn’s LaRina Pastificio & Vino.
High Street on Hudson: Even without head baker Alex Bois at the helm, this Philadelphia offshoot retains an incredibly exciting bread program; housemade Bagels cradle beet-cured salmon and fried capers in the morning, Roasted Potato Bread is pressed into the “Best Grilled Cheese Ever” at lunch, and “Daily Breads and Spreads” are available at dinner; think cornmeal and molasses-based anadama, or German, whole-grain vollkornbrot, paired with apple butter, celery root puree or charred rutabaga hummus.
637 Hudson St, (917) 388-3944
LaRina Pastificio & Vino : From the owners behind Brooklyn’s Aita and The Mayflower, the newly opened LaRina is wholly devoted to pasta. Not only do they sell hand-crafted reginette, tagliatelle and smoked spaghetti by the pound, but they offer prix fixe tastings of 3-5 noodle creations, such as Curried Torchiette tossed with potatoes and shrimp, Black Ink Bucatini slicked with melted cantabrico anchovies, and Lemon Gigli mounded with pecorino and duck ragu.
387 Myrtle Ave, (718) 852-0001
Pommes Frites: This beloved Belgian french fry purveyor is back in business after the East Village gas fire explosion last year; serving up grease-dotted cones of twice-cooked potatoes to inebriated 20-somethings (or potentially, ready-to-rock marathon runners), sauced with everything from bordeaux, fig and sage mayo to Irish curry to sambal olek; a hot chili paste.
128 Macdougal St, (212) 674-1234
Drunken Dumpling: If you’re really throwing caution to the wind, carb-wise, abandon standard-sized soup dumplings and go for the Instagram-breaking XL Xiao Long Bao; a single, steamer-filling wrapper stuffed with crab, scallop, shrimp and an entire servings worth of chicken and vegetable broth, meant for sucking up through a straw.
137 1st Avenue, (212) 982-8882
Vinnie’s: Before social media’s slate of upstart food photographers lost their minds over massively proportioned dumplings, they fell hard for the crazy concoctions at Vinnie’s; namely, Pizza in a Pizza Box (crafted entirely out of cheese, sauce and dough) and Pizza-Topped-Pizza; a round pie adorned with a series of tiny slices.
239 Flatbush Ave, (718) 636-9787
Mad. Sq. Eats: Why blow your daily carb allotment all in one place? At the al fresco food market, Mad. Sq. Eats, you can graze your way through a roster of single mindedly, starch-focused vendors; such as Paella Shack by Barraca (which sells crunchy-bottomed rice mélanges, and Spanish-style croquettes), Mr. Bing (specializing in giant, Chinese street crepes, folded around Peking duck and crispy crackers) and Jicama California Street Food, which is not as virtuous as one would think; considering their signature Salty and Sweet Pulled Pork Slider, sandwiched between a duo of maple donuts.
General William Jenkins Worth Monument, (212) 529-9262