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Atlas Obscura The Best Persian Food in New York Comes From the Front Window of a Pizza Shop

In the glitz and polish of Manhattan’s Flatiron neighborhood, it is easy to walk past Pizza Paradise. With its frayed green awning and fluorescent lighting, this pizzeria looks almost out of place amidst the trendy specialty bakery across the street or the children’s bookstore next to it. Notice the front windows on the left, though, and you’ll find Saeed Pourkay, slight of stature and thick of mustache, hunched over his dishes in his window-display food counter. And when you walk inside, the smell of marinara sauce and freshly baked crust mingles curiously with that of rose water and saffron. At this tiny workspace by the window of the pizzeria, Pourkay has been serving New Yorkers what his growing group of avid fans deem to be the best Persian food in the city.

Surrounded on three sides by casserole dishes, rice cookers, and boiling soup pots, Pourkay serves specialties such as āsh reshteh (a thick bean-and-noodles soup that takes eight hours to make and gets garnished with dried mint and dollops of tangy kashk), fesenjān (a meat stew with a walnut-pomegranate molasses base), and gheimeh bademjan (a beef stew with yellow split peas and eggplant). Most of it is served with fragrant saffron rice.

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2.14km
Gulliver’s Gate

Discover Gulliver's Gate in New York, New York: A quick trip around the globe through an amazing miniature exhibit.

Atlas Obscura 2019
4.55km
Dvořák Room

Discover Dvořák Room in New York, New York: A small piece of the composer's New York home lives on in the center of Czech culture in Manhattan.

Atlas Obscura 2017
2.1km
The Graybar Rats Near Grand Central Terminal

Discover Graybar Rats in New York, New York: Rat sculptures try to infiltrate the Graybar Building in an architectural tribute to New York City's nautical history.

Audio Guide
4.24km
Audio Guide
How Dutch is New York? – The New Amsterdam Tour
en nl
Brutalism
2.39km
Civic Center Synagogue
Atlas Obscura 2019
4.37km
Gottlieb’s Restaurant

Discover Gottlieb's Restaurant in Brooklyn, New York: One of the few Glatt kosher delis in the United States is a cornerstone of its Hasidic neighborhood.

Atlas Obscura 2019
4.98km
Libyan Desert Diorama

Discover Libyan Desert Diorama in New York, New York: This poignant display is now a memorial to these regionally extinct species.

Brutalism 1959
2.76km
Chatham Towers
Atlas Obscura 2019
4.98km
Hall of North American Mammals

Discover Hall of North American Mammals in New York, New York: Outstanding taxidermy dioramas showcase the grandeur of the continent's wildlife with spooky realism.

Atlas Obscura 2019
1.05km
Antonin Dvorak’s Home

Discover Antonin Dvorak's Home in New York, New York: The place where Dvorak composed some of his most famous works.

Atlas Obscura 2017
2.12km
Remember NYC’s Urban Air Taxis?

The Pan Am helipad was closed after a rotor blade mauled several passengers.

Atlas Obscura 2019
3.48km
Matryoshka at Wall Street Bath & Spa 88

Discover Matryoshka at Wall Street Bath & Spa 88 in New York, New York: This Russian bar-restaurant lies within a three-story underground bathhouse.

Atlas Obscura 2017
6.3km
Second Avenue Subway Art

Discover Second Avenue Subway Art in New York, New York: Beautiful mosaics cover the first stations opened on New York City's newest subway line.

Atlas Obscura 2019
2.43km
Cafe at the Swedish Church of New York

Discover Cafe at the Swedish Church of New York in New York, New York: Finally, you don't have to be a pious Swedish seaman to relax like one.

Atlas Obscura 2018
5.14km
The ‘Holy Grail’ of the Met

This overlooked artifact at the museum was once thought to be the fabled Holy Chalice.

Atlas Obscura 2019
4.98km
Scavenger Taxidermy Diorama

Discover Scavenger Taxidermy Diorama in New York, New York: This morbid scene depicts the Darwinian drama of death on the African savannah.

Atlas Obscura 2018
2.55km
Waldorf Astoria Archives

Discover Waldorf Astoria Archives in New York, New York: Long-forgotten artifacts give incredible insight into New York's most glamorous hotel.

Atlas Obscura 2022
5.07km
Naval Cemetery Landscape

Discover Naval Cemetery Landscape in Brooklyn, New York: What was once a vast naval cemetery is now home to nesting birds and pollinating bees.

Atlas Obscura 2019
2.7km
Staple Street Skybridge

Discover Staple Street Skybridge in New York, New York: Imagine having a street run right through your home, or better yet, a historic bridge three stories high.