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NYC, Here's Where To Enjoy Poke Right Now
Perhaps New Yorkers' love for poke was inevitable. Typically served atop a bed of rice, it plays off our love of sushi, burrito bowls, and fast food that still tastes good. When Sons Of Thunder started serving poke back in fall 2015, the restaurant told Hawaii magazine it almost closed its doors because no one knew what it was. Now, new poke places are opening almost every week, with new locations popping up so quickly we have to wonder if one is destined to be the next Chipotle or Shake Shack.
But we still have a lot to learn about the dish — for example, the often-added accent in many spellings of the word ("poké") was added for mainland consumers, presumably to let us know it's pronounced "poh-kay," not like the verb that means "to jab or prod." Poke is also readily available at grocery stores, often by the pound, and simply means "slice" or "chunk." The variety of poke that has really taken off in NYC is ahi tuna, though you can find other varieties, from Scottish salmon to marinated beef, if you look for it. The best way to experience poke, however, is by eating it — and thankfully, there is no shortage there. Ahead, our favorite poke spots in the city right now.
Simple NYC This hidden Lower East Side spot offers exactly what it's name says: simple bowls. Customers choose between salmon or tuna for raw poke, and a few more options like crab, octopus, salmon or shrimp for cooked poke. Then you can choose which base and "crunchies" you want to add.
Simple NYC, 109 Eldridge Street (between Broome and Grand streets); 646-870-8292.
Pokéspot At Pokéspot, you can transform your poke from ordinary to a crafted creation. You have the choice to choose from one of their signature bowls, like their Spicy Ponzu Tuna or Spicy Salmon or make your own unique bowl. You begin with a base, then you choose proteins, mix-ins, crafted sauces, and toppings. The decisions can get tricky, like whether to choose the blood orange ponzu, sesame shoyu, or add one of the premium toppings, like avocado.
Pokespot, 120 4th Avenue (between 13th and 12th streets); 212-933-0971, and 25 Cleveland Place (between Spring and Kenmare streets); 212-966-5014.