Fast Food International

Exploring fast food from around the world in NYC.

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A Homey Take on Japanese at Ootoya, Now in Times Square and the Flatiron

Sure, you can have sushi or ramen at Ootoya, the large Japanese chain that recently sprouted its second US branch between Bryant Park and Times Square, but that would be missing the point. New York already has more than its share of single-minded specialists and Ootoya excels at less common teishoku, set meals with miso soup, rice, pickles, and egg custard, plus dish-specific sides, all presented in eye-pleasing ceramic and lacquerware. More

Fast Food International: Jinya Ramen Bar

The shiny new midtown branch of Ipuddo may be garnering the most recent ramen attention, but it's not the only Japanese import worth talking about. In fact, there are a lot of similarities between the two. Both serve Hakata-style ramen characterized by pork-based tonkotsu broth and thin firm noodles. Also like Ipuddo, you'll get the shouted welcome upon entrance. Unlike Ipuddo, you probably won't have to wait in line for the privilege. More

Fast Food International: Caffe Bene

The concept of this premiere U.S. outpost of a Korean chain isn't unfamiliar: the emphasis on coffee drinks and customers parked with laptops feels Starbucks-y; the pick-your-own pastries in the front wouldn't be out of place in Au Bon Pain; and the refrigerated case of salads, sandwiches and wraps is reminiscent of Pret a Manger. The Korean influence is not particularly obvious. More

Fast Food International: Amorino, French Gelato Chain Comes to the US

In a city already teeming with chilly treats—both homegrown and from abroad—you might wonder if we really need a new interloper. Maybe we do. Amorino, a Parisian import that opened in early June, is the latest gelato chain to make an appearance in NYC. It strikes a balance between the purist seriousness of Grom and Timi's unabashed kookiness (don't forget those sundaes with faces). More

Fast Food International: BBQ Chicken

When South Korean 'BBQ Chicken' came to NYC in 2007, it took a familiar path and set up on the international fast food row of St. Marks Place, and Chelsea; the chain followed this typical trajectory and eventually shuttered both Manhattan locations. Now, there are two remaining branches walking distance from each other in Flushing, a logical location, and one that makes no sense geographically in Sheepshead Bay. More

Fast Food International: Eat & Go

Situated in a small greenhouse-like structure in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, it's not immediately obvious that overgrown kiosk is anything more than a standard café. It's not until the word Istanbul and the charmingly awkward slogan "Superior Food by Dessertist" comes into view that the stand's foreign origin becomes apparent. More

Fast Food International: Saravanaa Bhavan

One of the many brightly lit Indian restaurants lining Lexington Avenue's "Curry Hill," vegetarian Saravanaa Bhahan (also listed as Saravanaas and Saravana by the company) isn't instantly recognizable as a chain. And being a franchise certainly doesn't repel crowds; on any given evening there will be a wait for seating. More

Fast Food International: Ajisen Noodle

Country of Origin: Japan Locations Worldwide: Over 120 in Australia , Canada, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the US NYC Locations: One in Manhattan's Chinatown and one in Flushing's Most people don't... More

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