The New York Diet

The Punk-Rock Diet

What, no chicken rings?Photo: Delissa Santos
Handsome Dick Manitoba, lead singer of New York proto-punk greats the Dictators, helped launch the CBGB scene in the mid-seventies; Saturday night, when his band plays the club’s next-to-last show, he’ll be marking the end of an era. Unlike many of their punk-rock peers, who were more into drugs than food, the Dictators were “gourmandizers” (according to CB’s founder Hilly Kristal, at least). Handsome Dick Manitoba shared some memories of the punk-era East Village eats scene (and outer-borough fast-food scene), plus where he chows now that he’s got a “lot of money.”

White Castle
“If there was one restaurant in history that represented the Dictators, it was White Castle. We always had band meals there. Always.”

Wo Hop

17 Mott St., between Mosco St. and Chatham Sq.; 212-962-8617
“I can’t remember what we had there — we’d be drunk. Something greasy and noodley.”


119 Mott St. at Hester St.; 212-226-8133
“I went to the other day with Little Steven. For some reason, when I go with him, it’s good, but it’s always bad when I go by myself.”

Yummy House

76 Third Ave., nr. 13th St.; 212-505-1668
“Nowadays, I order from there at least twice a week. We get beef on skewers, steamed chicken dumplings, fresh Chinese broccoli. And they make this wonderful shredded beef dish, with tofu and carrots in a spicy cilantro sauce.”

144 Second Ave., at 9th St.; 212-228-9682
Joe Junior
167 Third Ave., nr. 16th St.; 212-473-5150
“I love the hamburgers.”

Blue Ribbon
97 Sullivan St., nr. Spring St.; 212-274-0404
The Stanton Social
99 Stanton St., between Ludlow and Orchard Sts.; 212-995-0099
“Since I make a lot of money now, I’m going to Blue Ribbon. Their oysters are so good that I’ve stopped ordering them everywhere else. And the Stanton Social — they have these amazing Kobe-beef White Castles … I mean sliders.”

The Punk-Rock Diet