Food trends come and go, and I’d say we’re in the midst of the serve your own fro-yo, cupcake, intricate juices, phase.   But there is one niche that many New Yorkers have enjoyed and helped to thrive in various locations around the city for some time now.  I’m speaking of course of the Meatball Shop, your one stop shop for all things meat (and non-meat) ball related.   Imitators have popped up, but in my opinion this is the best choice for a unique and exceptionally delicious dining experience.

The first time I went to New York's famous Meatball Shop I met a friend at the West Village location.  Diners can choose from a variety of meats and ball sizes, choose their sauce, and choose an optional side, which may or may not be ball shaped.  You can choose from beef, spicey pork, chicken or vegetable or the special, which is always a more interesting choice like veal, BBQ pork, or Cuban, for example.  Then comes the sauce, ranging from your classical tomato Italian to gravy with mushrooms, and the recommended sauce to go with the special, which could be something completely original.  The sides get a bit more interesting, and you can choose from more carb heavy choices like pasta or potatoes to something from the ‘greens’ menu like the daily salad special or roasted vegetables.   I recommend saving room for dessert, as the meatball shop is famous for their creative ice cream sandwiches.  Diners can choose their cookie and the ice cream flavor, which of course, comes in the shape of a ball, and is served between the two cookies.

The Meatball Shops are always packed, so if possible I suggest going during the week or during off peak hours during the weekend.  There are five locations throughout the city, each with their own unique daily specials.  You can view the specials, the menu, and locations here (

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Photo credit: Amy Wiener

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