For those of us who think more about the foods of the Super Bowl than that pigskin getting thrown around, nachos are at the top of the must-have list. While the classic tortilla chip, melted cheese, salsa and sour cream nachos always hit the spot, the best part about a nacho plate is all the things you can add to make it truly shine. And in New York, there are plenty of delicious nacho places — from a spot that tops its nachos with a spicy venison chili to another that gives the traditional recipe an Asian twist. With these five New York City nacho options, you may never look at nachos the same way.
Venison Chili Nachos at Waterfront Ale House
Though this dish, available at both the Murray Hill and Brooklyn Heights locations looks like you can share it, chances are you won’t want to. Not only do the crisp tortilla chips get laden with melted jack and cheddar cheeses, kalamata olives, and pickled jalapenos, but it comes topped with what might be the best venison chili ever. The meat is tender and spicy, and the beans melt into the combination making it the perfect addition, that is, until you dollop some of the tequila-laced sour cream on top. Now this is lovely plate of nachos you won’t be quick to forget. 540 Second Ave., 212-696-4104; 155 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn, 718-522-3794; waterfrontalehouse.com
Loaded Nachos at 5 Burro Cafe
Sometimes you just want a superb example of classic nachos, which you can find in this Forest Hills restaurant in Queens. Here, they serve them with beans, melted cheeses, jalapenos and guacamole. But wait, maybe you don’t want to go traditional after all — that’s when you add chipotle chicken or shrimp into the mix. Of course, you might be feeling fancy, in which case grilled skirt steak or tantalizing lobster comes into mix. Make sure to get one of the colorful frozen drinks to chase down this nacho extravaganza — the roadside-stand-meets-island-shack interior just calls for it. 7205 Austin St., 718-544-2984, 5burrocafe.com
Latin American Nachos at Coppelia
At Julian Medina’s 24-hour, seven-day-a-week diner in the Flatiron, Latin American and Cuban staples are served alongside twists on North American classics. This means the nachos get a special kick with shredded beef short rib, fresh guacamole, spicy black beans and creamy, spicy Chihuahua cheese drizzled over, under, and throughout the plate. Pair that with a pineapple and mezcal cocktail, and you might think nachos are the perfect companion to a game of football, the South American kind that is. 207 W. 14th St., 212-858-5001, coppelianyc.com
Korean Nachos at Kimchi Grill
Who says this iconic dish has to stick to its roots, after all, Asian fusion is back in the best possible way, and the folk at Kimchi Grill in Prospect Heights, the brick and mortar shop of that famous Kimchi Taco truck, know how to work kimchi into just about anything. For the shop’s nachos, owner Phillip Lee takes barbecued beef and spicy and seared pork and mixes it with a light and melty queso blanco. Then, the dish gets topped with a homemade miso crema and signature fresh kimchi. Though this combination proves game day worthy, since the joint is so small and has no television, you will want to take it to go or order in, and you might as well pick up a few dozen tacos while you’re at it. 766 Washington Ave., 718-360-1839, kimchitacotruck.com
Nachos at Calexico
Utilizing Mexican ingredients, the staff at this cozy Brooklyn restaurant loads its nachos with smoky roasted corn, bright guacamole, pico de gallo, pickled jalapenos and a special creamy cheese sauce. For even more bang to the bite, add grilled chicken or steak. Next, sit back in the in the brightly lit, taco-truck-cum-trendy-California/Mexican-eatery or take it to go, after all, there’s a game playing somewhere. 645 Manhattan Ave., Brooklyn, 347-763-2129; calexico.net
Click here to read more about our ultimate guide to Super Bowl 2014.