Turn Up the Heat:ย  Spicy Food in the City ๐Ÿ›๐Ÿคฏ๐Ÿ”ฅ

How Spicy Is TOO SPICY?! ๐Ÿฝ๏ธ๐ŸŒถ๐Ÿ˜ค๐Ÿค’

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Can you handle this spicy meter? Get ready to face some of the cityโ€™s most sizzling, volcanic, and notoriously spicy dishes. The near-death experience is totally worth the watery eyes and tingly-tongue.

The Guide

Mild ๐ŸŒถ 

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Medium ๐ŸŒถ๐ŸŒถ 

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Hot ๐ŸŒถ๐ŸŒถ๐ŸŒถ 

Extra Hot ๐ŸŒถ๐ŸŒถ๐ŸŒถ๐ŸŒถ 


Credit: Giphy

๐ŸŒถ BUKA NYC (946 Fulton St, Brooklyn)

Offering authentic Nigerian dishes, BUKAโ€™s food is flavorful and just the right amount of spicy. The restaurant serves a sweat-inducing Buka sauce, which is a fried beef hellfire of a stew served with a side of white rice. 

It is cooked with Jamaican hot peppers, which range from a hundred thousand to almost four hundred thousand on the Scoville scale. It also includes green bell peppers, onions, beef stock, and locust bean flavor. The dish is left with a smokey flavor, due to cooking for four hours until the bottom of the pot starts to burn as well.

๐ŸŒถ๐ŸŒถ Pok Pok NY (117 Columbia St, Brooklyn)


This unique and tasty, authentic Thai restaurant offers food inspired from Northern Thailand. Stepping away from the typical Americanized Phat Thai and Penang Curry, this restaurant drives you to be more adventurous as a food lover and makes you try things you are unfamiliar with, like their famous, Neua Naam Toka. 

This dish is a spicy Isaan flank steak salad. It is cooked with fish sauce, chili powder, mint, lemongrass, oh and LOTS MORE OF CHILI POWDER. Due to its level of spiciness, it is recommended to be paired with sticky white rice. With the level of heat in this dish, your taste buds and stomach surely will be partying for hours.

๐ŸŒถ๐ŸŒถ๐ŸŒถ Jaiya Thai (396 3rd Ave. and 28th St, Manhattan)

Jaiya Thai is known for its Bangkok-inspired cuisine. It is an extremely popular mini-spot among the Indian community. This is because it is one of the few restaurants that cook above the requested spice level. 

Best suited for the Indian palate, each dish is cooked with and incorporates ingredients such as basil, lime, chili, and coconut. They have 5 spice levels. Most Indians order the #4 spice level, and still get cryptical looks from the waiters, asking them if they want to reconsider. To most, the #1 spice level, being mild is still quite spicy. Each dish may be mouthwatering, but it sure is a tear jerker as well.

๐ŸŒถ๐ŸŒถ๐ŸŒถ Mamoun's (119 MacDougal St, Manhattan) **With Signature Hot Sauce


This Greenwich Village mini-restaurant calls itself the โ€œoldest and best falafel restaurant in New York.โ€ The menu includes iconic foods such as their signature falafel with tahini sauce. 

The listed items on the menu are more addictive than the next, but each dish is nothing without its hot sauce. Their homemade Mamounโ€™s hot sauce is a mixture of Tabasco and Sriracha created in a volcano. It instantly livens any dish, with its tomato flavor and a hint of cinnamon.

๐ŸŒถ๐ŸŒถ๐ŸŒถ๐ŸŒถ Little Pepper (18-24 College Point Blvd, Queens)


Little Pepper is truly something special. Tucked away on College Point Boulevard, it is referred to by "one of the best Chinese restaurants" by those in the neighborhood. 

Hot tea is provided at the beginning of the meal for free, but don't think it will be enough to keep the spiciness at bay. The food has a kick, they didn't name the place Little Pepper for anything. 

The scallion fried rice,  string beans, and the  Chong Qing chicken are can't miss highlights from this tasty and wholesome Sichuan menu. 

๐ŸŒถ๐ŸŒถ๐ŸŒถ๐ŸŒถ The Halal Guys Food Cart (6th Ave At 53rd St, Manhattan)


The popular food char chain is famous for their seasoned white and red sauce drizzled over platters of chicken, lamb, lettuce, and rice, with a side of freshly baked pita. Their super secret creamy white sauce has remained unchanged for about 25 years.

The signature red sauce, deep in color is habanero levels of hot. This fiery red hot sauce has a Scoville rating of hundred thousand to two hundred thousand, meaning ITโ€™S VERY HOT! It is a mixture of Tabasco, cayenne chili, and Thai chile.

๐ŸŒถ๐ŸŒถ๐ŸŒถ๐ŸŒถ๐ŸŒถ Peaches Hothouse (415 Tompkins Ave, Brooklyn)

At the urban country cafe, Peaches Hothouse, get a taste of the Southern classic dish, fried chicken, with a spicy twist. This spicy Nashville-style fried chicken comes in three heat levels: regular, hot, and extra hot, It is a mix of cayenne and ghost peppers, which exceed over a million units on the Scoville scale. 

Yes, OVER A MILLION, you might be putting your taste buds into overdrive, but it is totally worth it.

๐ŸŒถ๐ŸŒถ๐ŸŒถ๐ŸŒถ๐ŸŒถ Brick Lane Curry House (99 2nd Ave, Manhattan) - Phaal Challenge

Brick Lane Curry House claims its phaal is the spiciest dish in New York City, and they might be right. Their British-style red curry is made with ginger, tomato, and more than 10 ground chilies. This dish is described to be more painful and excruciatingly hot than tasteful, but for those with an ironclad gut, it is a piece of cake filled with flavourful spices. The restaurant offers the phaal as a challenge, for anyone who finishes it, gets a spot on the Brick Lane Curry Houseโ€™s Pโ€™hall of Fame, a certificate of honor and completion, and a free beer. 

But before a customer takes their first bite, they are required to verbally state a disclaimer, not holding the restaurant or cooks liable for any physical or emotional damages. A key tip for those brave souls willing to take on the challenge, DO NOT DALLY! 

Slow and steady surely doesnโ€™t win the race when it comes to this.

Proceed with CAUTION my fellow food lovers and get ready to SPICE UP YOUR LIFE (cue Spice Girls song...now).  

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