There’s something undeniably alluring about the unique, the extraordinary, the one of a kind. Fashion, music, art—no matter the medium, the unexpected grabs us by the imagination, often delivering unforgettable adventures that inspire us. This phenomenon is especially true when it comes to culinary delights. From cronuts to Unicorn Frappuccinos, we’re constantly fascinated by creative food and beverage creations. We’ve come to learn that when creativity flourishes, delicious fare is never far behind.
But it’s not only about taste. We live in the age of food porn. It’s no longer sufficient just to taste something memorable. It must be carefully documented, photographed, filtered, hashtagged and posted. This isn’t a critique of social media or our culture of sharing; in fact, these exact factors are inspiring culinary artists to think outside the box, serving up delicious, Instagram-worthy fare.
From chocolate pasta to French-inspired Cheeto-pastries, here are six New York fusion food creations sure to please (and possibly confuse) the palate—and your Instagram followers:
The “original sushi burrito concept” started in the Bay Area in 2011, but has since made its way to New York. This sushi/burrito mash-up is the perfect answer to lackluster on-the-go lunches. The made-to-order menu options combine the delicious ingredients of sushi with the form of a burrito, and the mix of Asian and Latin flavors makes the sushirrito a must-try. Now with two locations in New York—the historic Flatiron Building and Midtown—there’s plenty of reasons to try this flavorful food fusion.
2. Black Ink Martini
New York’s Death Ave Brewing Company is the place to go for this dark libation firmly entrenched the running for Ursula's cocktail of choice. With it’s historic name, trendy atmosphere, “Hellenic-inspired cuisine” and speakeasy bar menu, Death Ave’s Black Ink Martini is bursting with flavor, featuring Singani 63, agave, lime juice, vermouth and, of course, the secret ingredient: squid ink, which is not only edible, but sleek and sexy in a cocktail.
3. Chocolate Pasta
There’s a reason the name Max Brenner has become synonymous with “chocolate.” From cocoa-spiced waffle fries to choco-BBQ ribs, it’s sometimes difficult to know when the meal has ended and the dessert has begun. But you won’t hear guests complain, especially when it comes to the chocolate pasta. This “pasta” dish is a chocolate-lover’s dream. Thin ribbons of chocolate crepes are then coated with chocolate frosting, paired with cookie crumbles, sponge cake, waffle bites and ice cream—all of the chocolate variety, naturally.
4. Cheetos Macaron
Whether you’re in the Lower East Side or the Upper West Side, there’s a Macaron Parlour with unimaginable treats just waiting to be discovered. From Earl Gray to Apple Cider Caramel, Macaron Parlour flavors hit all the notes one might expect, with a few distinct standouts. One such item: the Cheetos. Yes, the vibrant orange snack that leaves your fingers coated in neon dust has joined flavor forces with the oh-so-delicate French cookie to create a truly unique tasting treat. Daring foodies will experience a Cheetos-infused white chocolate ganache with a dose of cheese dust. Certainly worth a try (and an Instagram post).
5. Birthday Cake Croissant
With rainbow- and unicorn-themed foods still trending, it only makes sense that the “funfetti,” or birthday cake, flavor would make a re-emergence. Union Fare Bakery is located in the heart of Union Square and made headlines last year with its compelling and outlandish croissant flavors, the most popular of which, perhaps unsurprisingly, is the Birthday Cake Croissant. Riddled with a rainbow of sprinkles and coated with a nostalgia-inducing layer of frosting, this breakfast treat is a particularly fantastic way to celebrate—even if it’s not your birthday.
6. Ice Cream Rolls
Ice cream rolls may have originated in Thailand, but New York’s 10Below Ice Cream has successfully translated the trend for stateside treat seekers. The process itself is mesmerizing, let alone the fantastical flavor combinations made available. From Key Lime Pie to S’mores Galore, the options are seemingly endless. Once selected, the ingredients are chilled and spread thin. Using metal spatulas, the chilled layer is scraped into tight rolls and placed in decorative arrangements, depending on your flavor. Perfect for a hot summer day in New York, and perfect for your Instagram feed.
As with any trend, these are sure to evolve, with new variations, combinations and iterations ready to take their place. But it’s within this culture of reinvention and reimagination that customers and consumers truly benefit. There’s a whole world of flavors waiting to be discovered, and we can’t wait to see what the chefs come up with next.