Today's date is 4/20, and if you are someone who actually needs an excuse to get stoned and eat everything in sight, this fake holiday/annoying marketing opportunity is for you. If you do it right, you’ll be too high to prepare anything for yourself today, so we compiled a list of spots around town at which you can satisfy your cravings for greasy bar grub, quintessential comfort foods, and any trashy snacks.
CEREAL AT KITH TREATS:
At KITH Treats, self-proclaimed as NYC’s first ever cereal bar, you can build your own “cereal box,” choosing up to three servings from 23 cereal varieties, 25 toppings and five different kinds of milk. All the classics are there, from Apple Jacks to Special K, and once you scarf your bowls or two or eight down, you can just throw the cardboard box in the trash, avoiding all that fussy cereal clean-up. The cereal bar's conveniently located inside the entrance to the Brooklyn outpost of KITH, Ronnie Fieg’s shoe and apparel store, in case you feel like doing some stoned shopping. And if you have trouble choosing your flavors, see the Specials menu for custom cereal sets from streetwear-cum-cereal #influencers like Action Bronson’s “The Bam Bam," comprised of Frosted Flakes, Rice Krispies, Snickers, a waffle cone and almond milk.
KITH Treats is located at 233 Flatbush Avenue between 6th Avenue and Dean Street in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (347-889-6114, kithtreats.com).
CHEESE BALLS AT THE LEVEE & HOT DOGS AT RUDY'S BAR & GRILL
: The bar at Williamsburg spot The Levee is frequently graced by overflowing bowls of glorious orange cheese balls, and there is no shame in devouring them by the handful as the Good Weed Lord intended. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bowl sit empty for more than five seconds before being refilled by a bartender, so you'll never lack for snacks. Wash your seven thousand cheese balls down with The Sportsman, a Carling Black Label and a shot of Evan Williams deal that costs only $5.
The bar snacks at beloved Hell’s Kitchen dive Rudy's are a little heartier—you can match each $3 pint of house-brewed Rudy’s Blonde or Red ale with a free hot dog. Don't worry, you won’t be the first stoned patron to scarf down hot dogs here; as Donald Fagen sings “Black Cow”: “In the corner of my eye, I saw you in Rudy’s, you were very high.”
The Levee is located at 212 Berry Street at North 3rd Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-218-8787, theleveenyc.com). Rudy's Bar & Grill is located at 627 9th Avenue between 44th and 45th Streets in Hell's Kitchen (646-707-0890, rudysbarnyc.com).
MAC AND CHEESE AT BROOKLYN STAR AND THE QUEENS KICKSHAW
: Ah, mac and cheese, the quintessential comfort food. Whether it’s Kraft blue box or something fancy and gourmet, this warm, gooey, cheesy pasta dish is a panacea for all ills and basically the food embodiment of a security blanket for the blazed.
Southern eatery the Brooklyn Star serves a very satisfying version in a mini cast iron (careful, it’s very hot!) The trick to this dish is the bacon, which adds a smokiness to the whole creamy, cheesy affair. Finished with a layer of crispy and buttery bread crumbs, it’s a perfect blend of textures and flavors that you’ll want to savor with every mouthful. Pair it with an order of buttermilk biscuits and honey, and you’ll end up in a stupor of cannabis and comfort.
The Queens Kickshaw’s unconventional take also hits the spot, combining cheddar, gruyere and smoked mozzarella, tomato sauce and GREEN BEANS, the latter of which sounds wild but adds a satisfying snappiness. The preparation is unique: first baked in a loaf pan, cut into square slices and refrigerated, it’s then baked again to form a crispy layer on all sides. The whole shebang's served with a side of cornbread, in case you weren't already carbo-loading heavily enough.
The Brooklyn Star is located at 593 Lorimer Street at Conselyea Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-599-9899, thebrooklynstar.com). The Queens Kickshaw is located at 40-17 Broadway in Astoria, Queens (718) 777-0913, thequeenskickshaw.com).
Tortilleria Nixtamal (via Yelp)
NACHOS AT THE COMMODORE/EL CORTEZ AND TORTILLERIA NIXTAMAL: The only thing better for your stoned stomach than chips are layers of chips interspersed with cheese, beans, and any number of fixings. Nachos are an ideal high food choice because they’re delicious and easy to snack on, but with enough toppings, they can end up filling you up as much as a full meal would.
Sister bars the Commodore and El Cortez serve up nearly identical plates of nachos. Both consist of a giant pile up of crispy chips with refried pinto beans, gooey white queso, verde, roja and chile de arbol salsas, and a douse of crema, making for a serious mess of goodness you’ll want to dive right into. They're topped with cilantro, radishes and scallions for a fresh edge.
Corona's Tortilleria Nixtamal makes their own tortillas from scratch, which means their nachos are served with some of the freshest cut chips around. Oaxaca cheese, pinto beans, crema, pico de gallo, and avocado all do their part to dress up the crunchy tortilla chip base.
The Commodore is located at 366 Metropolitan Avenue at Havemeyer Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-218-7632). El Cortez is located at 17 Ingraham Street between Bogart Street and Morgan Avenue in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn (347-599-2976, elcortezbushwick.com). Tortilleria Nixtamal is located at 104-05 47th Ave in Corona, Queens (718-699-2434, tortillerianixtamal.com).
American Retro (via Yelp)
TATER TOTS AT JIMMY'S DINER AND AMERICAN RETRO BAR & GRILL
: Tater tots—or potatoes that are ready to party, as I like to call them— are delicious on their own, with naught but ketchup and maybe a dash of hot sauce. But when they're topped with even more unique fixings—not to mention your own ganka fix—these babies reach even higher heights of awesomeness.
Popular Greenpoint and Williamsburg joint Jimmy's Diner serves breakfast all day, which makes it a solid stoned destination on its own. But it's the homemade tots that stand out here, especially “Tater Heaven," which boasts tots delivered in a bowl with scrambled eggs, guacamole and melted jack cheese that is decadent and delicious.
Meanwhile, Hell's Kitchen spot American Retro Bar and Grill’s tot-chos are so massive and scrumptious, they just might win in a nacho vs. tot-cho face-off. A full plate of crispy tots are topped with jalapenos, melted cheese, salsa, and sour cream. If you become completely tater-crazed, check out the gamut of creative offerings in the ‘tots’ section on the menu: pizza tots, buffalo tots, disco tots, chili cheese tots.
Jimmy's Diner has two locations in Brooklyn: 577 Union Avenue between Richardson and Frost Streets in Williamsburg (718-218-7174) and at 92 Calyer Street between West and Franklin Streets in Greenpoint (347-889-6323, jimmysgpoint.com). American Retro Bar and Grill is located at 714 11th Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets in Hell's Kitchen (212-245-2203, americanretrony.com).
The Bronx Alehouse (via Yelp)
WINGS AT THE KETTLE BLACK AND THE BRONX ALEHOUSE
: Bay Ridge sports bar and restaurant The Kettle Black is a certifiable wing mecca, offering traditional or boneless wings in 10 different flavors, available in orders from as few as 6 to as many as 100. A plate of finger lickin’ goodness will do any night of the week, but the crowd really packs in the place for the $.60 special on Monday (boneless) and Wednesday (bone-in) nights.
The Bronx Alehouse, Kingbridge’s craft beer headquarters, serves up big, meaty wings in seven different sauce flavors (try the “Bronx is Burning” if you like ‘em hot). For a $1 more, you can order them “double cooked”—fried, then grilled for an added layer of charred smokiness.
The Kettle Black is located at 8622 3rd Avenue between 86th and 87th Streets in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn (718-680-7862, kettleblackbar.com). The Bronx Alehouse is located at 216 West 238th Street in the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx (718-601-0204, bronxalehouse.com).
Lam Zhou (Sam Horine/Gothamist)
DUMPLINGS AT NAN XIANG DUMPLING HOUSE AND LAM ZHOU HANDMADE NOODLE: Fried, boiled, or of the soup dumpling variety, dumplings go down real easy, especially after a starter of THC.
While most frequent Chinatown’s Lam Zhou Handmade Noodle for, you guessed it, the handmade noodles, the fried pork dumplings are not to be overlooked. They’re an ideal level of fried, crispy but still slick, and when doused with soy sauce, vinegar, sriracha, make just the splash you need to cure your case of dry mouth and fill your rumbling stomach.
If soup dumplings are the fix you need, head to Flushing’s Nan Xiang Dumpling House for xiao long bao, the magic that is delicious broth encased inside a steamed bun. At Nan Xiang, the delicate, just-thick enough dumplings are filled with crab and pork (surf ‘n turf!), bursting with juicy flavor when you bite into them.
Nan Xiang Dumpling House is located at 38-12 Prince Street in Flushing, Queens (718-321-3838). Lam Zhou is located at 144 East Broadway between Pike Street and East Broadway in Chinatown (212-566-6933).
Eddie's Via Facebook
ICE CREAM AT EDDIE'S SWEET SHOP AND MORGENSTERN'S FINEST ICE CREAM At Eddie’s Sweet Shop, Forest Hills’ old-school ice cream parlor, all the possible combinations of ice cream, toppings and syrups seem endless. From sundaes and shakes to classic egg creams and ice cream sodas, you’ll be sure to hit the sweet spot your nerve endings crave
In Nolita, Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream specializes in creative, small batch ice cream flavors, from Rose Pepper Cherry to Fernet Black Walnut. The most outrageous item on the menu is the King Kong Banana Split—five scoops of ice cream (go nuts picking out those flavors!), banana, sesame caramel, and pineapple.
Eddie's Sweet Shop is located at 105-29 Metropolitan Ave in Forest Hills, Queens (718-520-8514). Morgenstern's is located at 2 Rivington Street between Freeman Aly and Bowery on the Lower East Side (212-209-7684, morgensternsnyc.com).
Kate Mooney is a writer living in Brooklyn. Follow her here.