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Hole in the Wall-Crown Heights-Chicken-Jamaican-Carribbean Food-Papa-Kingston Avenue-St Johns Place-Brooklyn-NYC

We thought we were well-versed in the world of New York City’s hidden restaurants (after all, we wrote a whole book about it). But nothing quite prepared us for the awesomeness of this hole in the wall in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, near the Untapped Cities office. And when we write hole in the wall, we mean it literally. There’s no name, no sign, no hours, no menu, no door to walk through. Just a rectangular cutout from a storefront grate, just by the intersection of Kingston Avenue and St. John’s Place, behind which a man from Jamaica is serving up delicious Caribbean food.

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Savoring Gotham Book Cover-Launch-NYCSavoring Gotham. Photo via Oxford University Press blog

A new book from Oxford University Press, Savoring Gotham: A Food Lover’s Companion to New York City is a veritable encyclopedia of food terms, all distinctly New York. The book, with almost 570 entries written by nearly 180 food experts, is a celebration of the diversity of food and cultures in the city. Learn what a bialy is, recall the days of the automats, or go back in time when oysters were so abundant in the New York Harbor they cost only 5 cents. Even the oft-forgotten Native Americans get their due. The forward is written by Brooklyn Brewery Brewmaster Garrett Oliver and in advance of getting your own copy, take this quiz from the Oxford Dictionary team:

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14 of NYC's One Food Wonders, Single Food Spots_Rice crispy treats_Treat House_NYC_Untapped Cities_Stephanie GeierTreat House in NYC specializes in Rice Crispy treats. Image via Noah Fleck/Gothamist

New York City is full of unique eateries for people with all appetites, and as we’ve continuously explored on our series about places that only sell one thing, the city is dense enough to support a plethora of single-food spots. Using Mitch Broder’s new book New York’s One-Food Wonders, a follow-up to the book Discovering Vintage New York, which we used for our guide to NYC’s Vintage Restaurants, Bars and Cafes), we compiled our top fourteen one-food eateries.

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2-Micro Neighborhoods_Flushing_Main Street_NYC_Untapped Cities_Stephanie GeierDowntown Flushing is home to many Chinese and Korean businesses

Though many know Lower Manhattan’s Chinatown for its dense Chinese population, Flushing, Queens has a nearly equal Chinese presence. About 70% of its population is Asian, making it a thriving ethnic micro neighborhood. In fact, according to a Daily News article citing the 2010 census, Flushing’s own Chinese population has overtaken that of Lower Manhattan’s Chinatown.

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Here’s what the Untapped staff is reading in the HQ today: 

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New York Compost-Newspaper Box-Debbie Ullman-6

New York Compost, a project by designer Debbie Ullman,  a former art director at the New York Daily News takes those ubiquitous but underutilized newspaper boxes you see on the sidewalks of New York City and turns them into clever, guerrilla composting sites. A composting proponent, Ullman uses decommissioned newspaper boxes to collect compost to make the experience fun, memorable, and transformative.

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