10 Things in New York City the Phoenix Food Scene Will Never Have

Categories: Top Lists

Holly Northrop (Village Voice)
Fresh cut mango sold on the streets of NYC.

Fresh Mango on the Street
This is the city of ultimate convenience. There's plenty of food for passersby in New York to snag on the street: bagels and coffee in the morning, hot dogs and roasted nuts in the afternoon, and skewers of grilled meats for a snack anytime. There also are food vendors in the subway with candy bars and homemade churros. But the most unique of these offerings is perfectly ripe mango cut up at a little table right on the street to grab on the go. This is infinitely better than the fruit salad in the grocery store. The fresh-cut pieces are usually packaged in convenient plastic containers, and there's chili sauce on hand in case you're craving a savory kick.

More than One South African Restaurant
This can be said about cuisine from every corner of the Earth. New York City has at least five restaurants that specialize specifically in South African cuisine, featuring dishes like kappse vis parcel (deep-fried hake fish and calamari) and ribbetjies (char-grilled pork ribs with spinach, truffle-coconut polenta, and rooibos-chocolate glaze). Other hard-to-find global flavors available in NY include Serbian, Danish, and Barbadian. You name it, you can probably find it -- something that definitely can't be said about Phoenix.

Location Info


Short Leash Dogs

, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

La Tolteca

1205 E. Van Buren, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Cowboy Ciao Wine Bar & Grill

7133 E. Stetson Drive, Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

St. Francis

111 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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In New York City, one can basically find a restaurant that serves any food from all over the Earth. No one else on Earth, except for maybe London can compare to New York City. Not only that, one can get most any food they want anytime they want.

Phoenix is a huge city, but does not have near the total global diversity New York City has.


@JohnQ.Public Of course there are negatives, but this list was about positives in the NYC food scene. Thank you for your comments, though, as you made some great points (particularly #1). But one issue is definitely moot: over-priced food in bodegas. They're more like convenience stores, where ice cream is often $6 a pint.

And, while I can't judge this objectively, I don't think anything in this list can be called "incessant whining." As a food writer, of course I indulge in perusing menus for hours (even when I'm not planning to eat), hunting for restaurants I've overlooked, and prolonging the decision-making process to daydream about the possibilities. I had the exact same habit in downtown Phoenix only I already knew all of my options and had to drive 10–20 minutes to pick up the food. So, whining aside, NYC still wins that one by a long shot.

Since I'm already remarking on your personal comments (and since you apparently care way too much about my personal life), you might care to know I order food maybe twice/month. I freely admit that I hardly cook for myself, but hey, I bake from scratch all the time. Plus, I'm an aerial acrobat, so I'm pretty sure I can be lazy whenever the hell I want.


@dominiquechatterjee I am so sorry.  I didn't realize that you were an aerial acrobat.  Now that I know, I realize that your judgment is beyond reproach and I understand that I had no business questioning you in the first place.  Please, feel free to denigrate my town all you want, as an aerial acrobat you're opinion is indeed correct - New York is awesome*infinity and Phoenix is the shit you scrape from your shoe.  I'm deleting my original post because, being that you're an aerial acrobat, I obviously had no business posting it in the first place.  Please accept my most humblest apologies.


 @JohnQ.Public Wow, someone really loves jumping to extremes, huh? Denigrate Phoenix? I pointed out several of my favorite restaurants there and have written many positive things in the past about others. The point was never to say that Phoenix has nothing of culinary note, just that by comparison to other cities, like NYC, the food scene is very small. That gives Phoenix lots of opportunity to expand and be experimental, so it's not entirely a bad thing. But it is true.

And of course being an aerial acrobat is relevant when you call me lazy (which you did, deleted or not). To the rest of the conversation, that obviously means nothing. But you're the one making it personal, so sure, I'll toss out some facts about me to counter your random insults that have zero basis.

You know, I've enjoyed some of your comments on Chow Bella in the past, which is why I originally replied, but there's no reason to take this discussion beyond the topic at hand. I'm not insulting you, or Phoenix, or anything else. Your petulant responses say much more about you than they do about me.

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