A large majority of NYC restaurants are Italian, so it comes as no surprise that a cacio e pepe is a favorite amongst New Yorkers. As chefs continue to push their creative boundaries, we’ve seen several new renditions of this popular dish. Here are some of our favorite cacio e pepes, both traditional and non-traditional, in NYC:
Maialino – Nick Anderer’s tonnarelli cacio e pepe is a must-have for any cacio e pepe addicts. For breakfast, Maialino also offers cacio e pepe softly scrambled eggs in case you didn’t have enough of the cheesy, peppery goodness for lunch and/or dinner.
Momofuku Nishi – Swapping out Pecorino Romano for a fermented chickpea paste resembling cheese, David Chang’s spin on cacio e pepe at Momofuku Nishi is one of the most original in the city. Titled Ceci e Pepe (“chickpeas and pepper”), this dish is obligatory for any pastaholics seeking something unique.
I Sodi – All of the pastas that Rita Sodi makes at I Sodi are spectacular but her cacio e pepe specifically is not to be missed. It’s heavy on the pepper, creating a biting and incredibly tasty dish.
4 Charles Prime Rib – While 4 Charles Prime Rib is famous for their burger – the same one served at Au Cheval in Chicago – their Cacio Pepe Carbonara Pasta features the best of both pasta dishes: thick-cut bacon, black pepper, pecorino, and bucatini with a fried egg on top (EPIC).
Perla Cafe – One of the most underrated cacio e pepes in NYC is Perla Cafe’s Bucatini Cacio e Pepe. It’s amazingly al dente and the balance between the cheese and pepper is drool-worthy.
Lilia – Missy Robbins’s version of cacio e pepe, mafaldini with pink peppercorns and Parmigiano Reggiano, is one of the hottest dishes in NYC. She does abide by the “cheese and pepper rule” but the unorthodox addition of butter and lack of Pecorino Romano makes the curvy-edged pasta dish a rather radical variation.
Pig Bleecker – The Cacio Pepe Linguine at Pig Bleecker is a classic iteration served in an unexpected setting. Featuring smoked black pepper and Pecorino Romano, this dish is served at a restaurant that’s fusing fine dining with classic American BBQ.
Charlie Bird – Charlie Bird, a hip eatery featuring American-Italian cuisine, has an amazing Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe. It’s doused in small, snowflake-like balls of Pecorino Romano and bits of sharp pepper.