An NYC World Food Tour With Sultry Songstress Tei Shi

From by Ken Scrudato
Travel around the culinary world without leaving the city
tei shei
Black Book

On the heels of launching her international tour, Tei Shei shares her favorite restaurants in NYC each serving a different cuisine from around the world. 

She was born in Buenos Aires, and spent a good part of her life in Colombia – but peripatetic songstress Tei Shi now calls New York City home. As accomplished as she is alluring, she released her first single “M&Ms” in 2013, after studying at Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Four years on, her debut album Crawl Space has finally seen release (on Downtown Records), and it exhibits a remarkable musical and emotional maturity. The seductive “Keep Running” stands out for its mix of sultry R&B and chunky synths; but our fave is “How Far,” with Tei Shi lamenting in sensual tones, “If it pleases you to say you’re sorry when you’re not / It’s a dangerous slip of the tongue,” over a cool, melancholy guitar twang.

As she prepares to launch an extensive international tour on June 3 at Toronto’s Field Trip Music and Arts Festival, we asked her to share her favorite spots in her adopted home of NYC – those places where she’s likely to be found when she’s not out on the road.

Punjabi Deli

This is probably my favorite NYC food discovery that I made when I first moved here. It’s a bodega-style Indian deli in a basement on the Lower East Side. They sell all kinds of awesome Indian snacks, candies, and trinkets. But the main thing are their homemade daily all vegetarian options. You have six veggie dishes to choose from with rice, samosas, and lots of other sides. It’s a place to pick up, or stop and eat on the go. It’s really affordable, and also open 24 hours a day, which makes it great for a late night stop.

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Ramen Lab

A ramen bar in Nolita that runs like a pop-up, featuring a different ramen chef every month. So each month the menu is different, but always only features two or three insanely delicious options – one of which is vegetarian. It’s a tiny place and you can only sit at the bar while you’re eating, so generally it moves pretty quickly. They also have only one type of beer and sake; so it’s very simple and no-frills, but the vibe is great.

Cheeky Sandwiches

A New-Orleans style snack and sandwich shop on the border of the Lower East Side and Chinatown, right by where I live. I am not a huge meat eater and eat mostly veggie food – but their fried chicken sandwich is unreal. They make all the sandwiches with freshly made biscuits, and their gravy and coleslaw are so good. It’s a tiny shop with a really laid back and welcoming vibe all around.

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Mile End Deli

A Montreal style Jewish deli in Soho, it’s named after an area in Montreal that has a lot of local food spots. I lived in the Mile End for a while so this place always gives me a good dose of nostalgia. Go for really great sandwiches and Jewish dishes like knishes and matzo ball soup. It’s delicious, homemade comfort food.

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