It’s 3AM and your stomach is growling for a slice of pizza and a diet soda. You try to sleep off the hunger pangs but the growling wins and you get up to find there’s nothing but a tub of crackers on your pantry.
As you much on a cracker and sip soda, you try to think what you had for dinner. Did you get enough food or did you just eat early thus the hunger pangs. While there are people who can simply sleep it off, there are those who can’t get some shut eye without giving into temptation.
However, if you do find yourself in these cities, here are the best dishes to order that will have you dreaming of your next visit all night long.
NEW YORK: Coppelia (207 W. 14th St., New York)
Coppelia is your typical bar in New York: lots of wood, chrome, and cozy booths where you can just sit down and enjoy draft beer with your equally work-stressed colleagues. In fact, Coppelia is your kind of bar in New York where the beer is always ice cold and the food is always comforting. They have everything from the favorite bar chow like tacos, nachos, French fries with a variety of dips to choose from, and of course, burgers! Notable drinks are their spiked milkshakes. The next time you find yourself in Chelsea, head to Coppelia and order the Ropa Vieja and savor the goodness of slow-cooked beef.
TOKYO: Shinanoji (1-7-4 Negishi, Taito-ku, Tokyo)
Tokyo is probably one of the priciest cities in the world. The cost of living and food is just plain high. And yet, in the middle of this pricey city lies one of the most inexpensive, yet very popular hole-in-the-wall food establishments. Shinanoji is a popular food joint for the blue collar workers in Tokyo. It lies near the Uguisudani train station, making it the perfect go-to food stop for the weary Japanese workforce. Shinanoji offers a variety of noodle, beef, and salad dishes.
There’s a common eating area where you can just sit down and enjoy your ramen. Large groups of people can also get one of those “bijou” tables and order budget set meals. Now that’s “comfort” food while waiting for the train. If ever you find yourself in Tokyo, visit Shinanoji and order their deep fried mackerel dish called Aji-furai and don’t forget to try sake.
LONDON: Duck & Waffle Restaurant (Heron Tower, 110 Bishopgate, London)
Compared to Hong Kong and New York where the chow scene can go as late (or early, depending on who you’re talking to) as 3AM, London is, well, still catching up. Unlike these cities, London is not “there yet” when it comes to being called a melting pot of cultures where you can just go grab Chinese takeout during the wee hours of the night or even get Indian food at a hole-in-the-wall establishment. However, on one of the tops floors of the Heron Tower in London lies Duck & Waffle, a sophisticated but cozy restaurant that serves a fusion of comfort food that will have you salivating for more.
Duck & Waffle is located in the middle of London’s financial district. It’s great to know that the food and the view don’t disappoint. As you dine in the restaurant and enjoy their famous duck egg dish, you are treated to a panoramic view of London’s sparkling skyline.
MOSCOW: Café Pushkin (Ul. Tverskoy Boulevard. 26-A, Moscow)
Café Pushkin has been enjoying rave reviews for a long time. This 24-hour café holds some sort of a legendary reputation among its patrons for serving the most number of Russian classics you can think of; and delectable classics at that. They even have the blinchiki (Russian pancake), complete with serving of black caviar. Café Pushkin first opened its doors to the public in 1999. Amazingly, almost all of Europe has heard of Café Pushkin way before it actually opened.
In the 1960s, Gilber Brecaud, a French singer, wrote and sang about Café Pushin. Here’s the exact line in the song: “’I wish to sit with you in Cafe Pushkin, drink a hot chocolate and talk…while the snow is falling outside.” Now, if you ever find yourself in Moscow on a snowy evening, head to the famous Café Pushkin and order not just a cup of hot chocolate but other classics as well. Try the duck mousse dish.
PARIS: Le Cochon (6 rue Coquilliere, Paris)
Le Cochon is your typical restaurant in Paris. Yes, this description includes aloof waiters. Very French, as you must say. And yet, despite the aloofness of the help, their food is every bit as comforting. Ironic, isn’t it? Here in Le Cochon, pork dishes are the main attractions. Classic favorites like deep-fried pork with fries and braised pork knuckles never fail to satisfy both patrons and walk-ins.
Must try is their braised pork dish that is infused with beer and several spices. Don’t forget to try the St. Anthony’s Temptation—pig tail that’s been breaded and friend and served with a Béarnaise sauce. Le Cochon has been serving and satisfying its patrons since 1947. Famous diners include Jacques Chirac, Alfred Hitchcock, and Serge Gainsbourg.
LOS ANGELES: Mel’s Drive-in (8585 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, California)
The Americans just love their drive-ins. One of the best is one in California called “Mel’s Drive-in. Like any other drive-ins in the US, Mel’s has the traditional vintage diner set-up and a menu that offers the best of comfort diner food: chili fries, milkshakes, and burgers. All night long, Mel’s is packed with hungry locals and tourists alike. This cozy diner that opened in 1960s is famous for their iconic Mel-burgers.
HONG KONG: Tsui Wah (G/F-2/F, 15-19 Wellington St., Central, Hong Kong)
In this melting pot of a city, it’s so hard to choose one restaurant that offers the best comfort food, simply because most of the food establishments here offer dishes that are not just inexpensive but also very delicious. However, if we have to choose one, we decided with Tsui Wah in Central. Because it’s open at 4 in the morning, it is a place where sleepy students who partied the night before choose to get their morning fix.
There are also very early commuters who pass by the place to get their blood pumping, and of course, tourists who want to eat like a local. They have every comfort food your can think of when you’re in Hong Kong: beef brisket, macaroni noodles and vegetables, chicken rice, and so much more. When you visit Tsui Wah, get the sizzling prawns and fried noodles.
MEXICO CITY: El Borrego Viudo (Revolucion 241, Tacubaya, Mexico City)
Hungry for tacos? Head to El Borrego Viudo! Here, it’s comfort Mexican food like no other. Take your pick from their delectable taco dishes like the tacos de cabeza and the suadero. While you’re at it, order a glass of their famous Mexican drink called tepache (pineapple juice with barley, cloves, and honey).
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