Whatever you call a savory topped flatbread—lahmacun, khachapuri, manakeesh, or simply “pizza”—you’ll find every piece of the pie in New York. Here are our favorite global slices, and where the city does them best.
Coca, Spain: A cross between a pizza and a tart, coca(pictured) is a staple of Catalonia, Valencia, and the Balearic Islands. Try it here with blue cheese and roasted onions. La Vara 268 Clinton St., Brooklyn. $$
Lahmacun, Turkey: The ultimate Turkish street food: supple and charred from a brief stint in a kebab oven, with a spicy, tomatoey schmear of ground lamb. Ali Baba212 E. 34th St. $$
Rotisserie Chicken: The seductive aroma of spit-roasted chicken has three food capitals in a spin. On Manhattan’s Upper East Side, at the new Rôtisserie Georgette, the juicy poulet rôti is matched with sublimely crunchy potatoes and flame-kissed leeks. Heirloom chickens and game birds are the specialty at Le Coq Rico(pictured), in Paris’s boho Abbesses quarter. And in London, two young chefs have turned a 2006 Ford Transit van into the roving rotisserie Spit & Roast, whose free-range Suffolk chickens are now a cult sensation.
Plug into the scene at one of these stylish spots.
Borkonyha Wine Kitchen, Budapest: A fashionable bistro dedicated to Hungary’s woefully underrated wines. Late nights draw well-heeled locals for sautéed duck liver and freshwater trout with dill. 3 Sas Utca.$$$
Paraje Arevalo, Buenos Aires: On the still-boho side of Palermo Hollywood, this storefront bistro attracts a chic clientele with brilliantly flavored blackboard specials influenced by the chefs’ stints at renowned European restaurants Mugaritz and the Fat Duck. 1502 Arevalo.$$$$
Octopus Bar, Atlanta(pictured): In an unmarked room behind an East Atlanta pho house, kitchen workers and industry minions meet after work to lick their wounds and shoot Fernet. To eat, there’s high-minded Asian cooking, like monkfish-liver torchon and freshwater-eel congee. 560 Gresham Ave. S.E.$$
East Side King, Austin, TX: James Beard Award–winning chef Paul Qui is behind this graffitied food trailer (one of two) that sets up in the backyard of East Side hot spot Liberty Bar and serves till 1:30 a.m. Get the piping-hot beet home fries with Kewpie mayo and sweet deep-fried chicken thighs. 1618 1/2 E. Sixth St.$$
Bar Velodromo, Barcelona: The sprawling Art Deco interior of this 1933 landmark is as inviting in the madrugada (late at night) as it is during the day. Why wait for breakfast to order huevos estrellados (eggs over fries)? $$
Tatsu Ramen, Los Angeles: A stylish strip-mall noodle bar in Little Osaka that serves a rich and savory tonkotsu ramen as well as a vegan-friendly version (this is L.A., after all). 2123 Sawtelle Blvd.$$
La Sandwicherie, Miami Beach: Swing by this teeny SoBe sandwich shop late enough, and you’ll see chefs such as José Mendin (of the ragingly popular PubBelly) scarfing down post-shift saucisson-and-Camembert baguettes. $
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Appeared as “95 Places to Eat Like a Local: After Hours” in T+L Magazine
Chicago: Hearty rib-eye sukiyaki and shoyu ramen from Cocoro are go-to orders for the staff at the Peninsula, seven blocks away. 668 N. Wells St.$$
Hoi An, Vietnam: The bell desk at the Nam Haiswears by the pork-and-pâté bánh mì from beloved Hoi An stallkeeper Phuong, who recently opened a brick-and-mortar shop. 2 Phan Chau Trinh St.; no phone. $
Mexico City: Around the corner from the Four Seasons Hotel México, D.F., Tacos de Fabiruchis fills fresh-made tortillas with chorizo in salsa verde or home-style chicharrón prensado (pressed and shredded pork rinds). Calle Burdeos; no phone. $
Mumbai: Just behind the landmark Taj Mahal Palace is the equally iconic Bademiya, where Mumbaikars have come since 1942 for their late-night smoky, spicy kebab fix. Tulloch Rd.; 91-22/2284-8038. $
Appeared as “95 Places to Eat Like a Local: Staff Meals” in T+L Magazine
Shanghai: Wei Xiang Zhai (pictured) Join a communal table and order ma jiang mian, thick wheat noodles covered in a peanut-sesame sauce and spiked with chili oil. 14 Yandang Lu; 86-21/5383-9032. $
Hong Kong: Kau Kee Beef brisket on noodles (flat, egg, or vermicelli) in a clear, flavor-packed broth is the ultimate Cantonese comfort food. Taste it at this tried-and-true spot. 21 Gough St., Central; 852/2850-5967. $
Flour Bakery, Boston: Call ahead to reserve your sticky bun—these caramel-smothered, pecan-studded brioche rolls are among the best you’ll ever have. No wonder they sell out in mere hours.
Charly’s Bakery, Cape Town: Where to find Cape Town’s premier buttercream-frosted everythings? Behind a pastel-pink-and-white façade resembling a giant layer cake, of course. Our preferred pairing: the “wicked” chocolate cake, topped with a layer of dark ganache. 38 Canterbury St.
Gion Kinana, Kyoto, Japan: With a taste akin to peanut butter, kinako, or roasted soybean flour, is as quintessentially Japanese as matcha. It’s the signature ingredient at this tiny ice cream shop, inside a traditional wooden merchant’s house in the Gion geisha district. 570-119 Gion-machi Minami-gawa.
Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlor, Dania Beach, FL: Alongside an endless array of vintage kitsch (turn-of-the-20th-century license plates; displays of retro candy) are 45-plus flavors of south Florida’s favorite ice cream, handmade daily for 58 years. 128 S. Federal Hwy.$$
Fountain Coffee Room, Beverly Hills: The luncheonette at the Beverly Hills Hotel has served local starlets and studio heads since 1949. While the banana-leaf wallpaper remains, there are nods to today’s tastes: cold-pressed juices and a decadent caramel pumpkin pie named for Mary J. Blige. 9641 Sunset Blvd.$$$
Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar, Melbourne: Melbourne’s reputation as a coffee capital began here, where the city’s first-ever espresso was made in 1954. The look is pretty much unchanged, as is our order: a short black. 66 Bourke St.; 61-3/9662-1885. $