What’s not to love about summer? Of course, there’s the beach and the sun, and more importantly, all of the season’s fruits and vegetables. Summer is practically synonymous with grilled corn, lobster rolls, citrusy ceviches and soft shell crab and the city’s filled with great ways to seize the last few weeks of summer.
Red Hook Lobster Pound – Lobster roll
Address: 284 Van Brunt St., nr. Verona St. (Brooklyn)
Phone: (646) 326-7650
It’s hard to imagine that just a few years ago lobster rolls weren’t easy to come by in New York. Lucky for us, there’s plenty of places serving terrific renditions of this choice seafood sandwich. Our favorite is made by the Red Hook Lobster Pound, which uses fresh-caught lobster, literally right off the boat. And it happens to be a bargain at $15, compared to some of the other rolls in the city. They add a bit of diced celery, spices and your choice of either mayo or butter, but with lobster meat this succulent, you don’t really even need condiments. If you can’t make it out to Brooklyn, the Red Hook Lobster Pound also sells their rolls at various markets and events around the city.
Tortilleria Nixtamal – Fish tacos
Address: 104-05 47th Ave (Queens)
Phone: (718) 699-2434
This Queens temple of masa is famous for its tamales, but the fish tacos are just as outstanding, especially in the summertime. This beloved Mexican eatery makes its fish tacos Baja-style, fried to a golden brown and topped with diced vegetables and fresh cilantro. The best part just might be the corn tortillas they’re wrapped in, made in-house from freshly ground masa.
Yerba Buena Perry – Watermelon and avocado fries
Address: 1 Perry St. nr. Greenwich Avenue
Phone: (212) 620-0808
Chef Julian Medina has a way with bright, light Latin flavors, perfect for summer eats. The menu features several refreshing ceviches and cocktails, but we love the clever simplicity of the crispy watermelon, hearts of palm and avocado fries served with homemade mate ketchup.
Bark Hot Dogs – Beans and frank dog
Address: 474 Bergen St., nr. Flatbush Ave. (Brooklyn)
Phone: (718) 789-1939
Hot dogs go hand in hand with summer cookouts, but Bark’s aren’t your average backyard, grilled franks. The dogs at this Park Slope shop are made from a superior blend of pork shoulder, shank, and beef shoulder, which is basted in smoked lard and butter. All of Bark’s hot dogs are marvelously juicy, but we’re particularly partial to the dog topped with smoky baked beans studded with pork.
Sigmund Pretzel Shop – Jalapeno cheddar and gruyere paprika pretzels
Address: 29 Avenue B nr. Third Street
Phone Number: (646) 410-0333
Warm, soft pretzels are New York’s most ubiquitous street snack. But the ones from this East Village shop remind us how they became so popular in the first place. Pastry chef and Bouley alumni, Lina Kulchinsky, makes yeasty, chewy pretzels that can hold their own among the best breads in town. She bakes nearly a dozen sweet and savory varieties, including Jalapeno cheddar and Gruyère paprika pretzels. And don’t forget to try one of the many unique dipping sauces, like the beet-horseradish mayonnaise.
Café Habana – Grilled corn
Address: 17 Prince St. nr. Elizabeth St.
Phone: (212) 625-2001
We look forward to corn on the cob every summer and it doesn’t get much
better than the corn served at this cozy, yet bustling Cuban spot in
Soho. Cafe Habana chars its sweet corn on the grill and slathers it in
creamy, tangy cotija cheese, followed by a sprinkle of chili powder and
splash of lime
Tamarind Tribeca – Sea bass
Address: 99 Hudson St., btwn. Leonard & Franklin Sts.
Phone: (212) 775-9000
This outpost is new to Tribeca, but the original Tamarind is well known for its exquisite pan-Indian cooking. During the summer months, it doesn’t get much better or more flavorful than the tandoori sea bass. The filet is bathed in yogurt, so it comes out of the tandoor oven plenty moist, then topped with a cool, but lively dressing with yogurt, dill, peppercorns and lime zest.
Peppa’s – Jerk chicken
Address: 738 Flatbush Ave. bet. Clarkson and Parkside Aves. (Brooklyn)
Phone: (347) 712-9341
If you can’t make it down to the Caribbean (or out of the city) this summer, at least savor some island flavors with Peppa’s jerk chicken. The chicken at this Brooklyn spot is tender, juicy and invigorated with allspice, pepper and cinnamon. It’s a tiny spot, so plan to take your chicken to-go, perhaps a picnic in Prospect Park, which is just a stones throw away.
Maya – Ceviche
Address: 1191 1st. Ave., Between 64th & 65th streets
Phone: (212) 585-1818
There’s nothing better in the sweltering summer than an edible cocktail — silky, cool and refreshingly tart. Richard Sandoval demonstrates his mastery of un-cooked fish at Maya with a mahi-mahi ceviche in a tomato-citrus broth as well as yellowfin tuna mingled with orange and cucumber.
Choptank – Soft shell crab sandwich
Address: 308-310 Bleecker St., nr. Grove Street
Phone: (212) 675-2009
This West Village newcomer brings Chesapeake-style seafood dishes to Manhattan. The jumbo-sized Maryland crab cakes are top-notch and the soft shell crab sandwich is even better. Sadly, soft shell crabs are seasonal, so take advantage of this tasty sandwich before it disappears til next year. The soft shell crabs are coated in a crispy, golden batter, tucked into a roll and topped with chipotle mayonnaise and pickled onions.