Alo Ceballos/GC Images
Andrea Romano
November 08, 2017

No one has a more discerning palate than Anthony Bourdain.

While Bourdain spends most of his time in "Parts Unknown" tasting practically every flavor under the sun, you have to wonder what he eats when he’s having a regular old meal close to home.

And in fact, Bourdain has racked up quite a laundry list of favorite places in his hometown of New York City.

“When I’m away a long time, no matter how delicious the food, there are certain things that are unique to New York that I have to have right away,” he told Variety

“The first thing I get when I’m back in New York is a pastrami sandwich. Pastrami Queen is a really good pastrami sandwich — if not the best, among the very best. Just a good, nice mix of fat and lean. It’s the real deal, served warm on fresh, soft rye bread with the right kind of mustard. Good pickles. And they deliver — very happy with that. I get a cream soda. It’s a quintessential New York meal for me.”

Pastrami and a cream soda that is delivered? Sign all of us New Yorkers up.

Bourdain went on to list a few of his other faves to stop at while he’s home in the Big Apple. One thing he mentioned craving, especially while traveling internationally, was a hamburger. 

“No matter how hard [international restaurants] try, they can’t seem to get it right,” he said in the interview. He listed three great places for a burger that any New Yorker can agree with: Shake Shack, Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien, and Porter House.

Naturally, Bourdain mentioned a few places to get good Chinese and Japanese fare as well.

“If I’m meeting friends, chances are they are chefs, and they don’t want a fancy dining experience...Torishin is very, very good yakitori, as is Yakitori Totto. Those are two places regularly on my cycle of places to visit. Mission Chinese is delicious — a good mix of eccentric, mixed-bag Chinese, faux Chinese, and whatever else they feel like doing that day. I love it — always very tasty and good,” he said.

As for breakfast time, he mentioned gravitating toward the classic bagel or bialy, like any New Yorker. And “regular coffee.”

“I don’t like hipster, artisan coffee. I make Chock Full o’ Nuts out of these huge cans. I make it on a Mr. Coffee. I pour it for myself in the cardboard cup because cardboard gives me that bodega taste that I’ve come to value. With a good hit of heavy cream in there. And that tastes like New York to me,” he said.

As for a meal on the go, which is probably in high demand for Bourdain, he goes to — where else? — a hot dog stand.

“I’ll get a dirty-water hot dog now and again, if I’m in the mood. That always makes me happy,” he said.

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