Best Food to Wait in Line For

By Alizah Salario

Where to find delicious meals and beverages at any hour of the day

Black Tap
529 Broome St.
Black Tap's towering milkshakes are a dessert dream come true, or diabetes in a fountain glass, depending on your perspective. Either way, these extravagant man-made wonders are a true New York experience. Each concoction is big enough to satisfy a small army (ask for extra straws). The Sour Power features sour gummies, pixy stix and more pucker-worthy candies; for chocolate lovers the Brooklyn Blackout is a must. The Instagram-able shakes get all the attention, but Black Tap's beers and burgers are solid, including new creations like the Carolina burger. Yes, there's always — always — a line, but decadence is worth the wait.

Sweet Catch Poke
642 Lexington Ave
Poke bowls — cubes of raw, marinated fish tossed over rice and vegetables, then slathered in sauces — have taken New York by storm this year. Lines for the traditional Hawaiian dish can been seen all over town, from the Bronx to the Battery, but one standout is Sweet Catch, a lunchtime favorite. Their pre-marination method sets these bowls apart from the poke-crazed masses, as does a flavor-packed menu that includes a spicy yuzu bowl boasting sweet & green onions, mango, red chile, sea salt, cilantro. If you never understood umami, try Sweet Catch.

Levain Bakery
351 Amsterdam Ave. and 167 West 74th St.
Any Manhattan cookie lover worth their semi-sweet chocolate knows about Levain Bakery's pièce de résistance, the chocolate chip walnut cookie. The lines wrapping around the block for these divine creations are epic; Levain now has a “line cam” so potential patrons can check out the wait on their website. Don't forgot that Levain offers myriad baked goods — the sticky buns filled with crunchy golden walnuts and the bomboloncini are crowd favorites, too. Their newest location on Amsterdam is more spacious, but there's still a line. As to the question, “Is the wait worth it?” the answer, still, is yes.