Meatballs are a hot commodity in New York, inspiring devotees to seek out the perfect version. From the traditional to the avant-garde, meatballs satisfy the appetite and the soul, providing a comforting dose of homeyness.
Meatballs were one of the first things I learned to make, and a staple of my childhood. Served with traditional Swedish accompaniments-mashed potatoes, lingonberry jam, and pickled cucumbers-the plump meatballs make a filling, delicious dinner. If you can’t make it to Red Rooster, make these Swedish meatballs at home.
Discussions of New York‘s meatball scene invariably touch on The Meatball Shop. Credited with starting New York’s meatball craze, The Meatball Shop offers both conventional and contemporary options. Once you’ve worked your way through their permanent selections-classic beef, spicy pork, chicken, and vegetable-try the ball of the day. For instance, a bolognese ball combines mortadella, carrots, celery, tomatoes and cream for a convincing hit of cozy bolognese flavor.
As a change of pace from the Italian variety, head to Chinatown for a sampling of lion’s head meatballs. At Shanghai Cuisine, a stewed pork ball with crabmeat in soup takes the lion’s head meatball in a more delicate direction.
Whether Italian or Chinese, meatballs are fun food for everyday eating. With New York gone meatball-crazy, there are more options than ever. Thanks to Serious Eats for including Helga’s Meatballs in their list of the best 15 meatballs in NYC.Â See the slideshow here.