One of the most famous chefs around, Food Network star Bobby Flay sits atop a restaurant empire but also enjoys stepping out of his own kitchen. No doubt he’s a discerning audience, so when a certain restaurant or dish garners his approval, you know it’s good.
Click through to find out what it costs to eat Flay’s favorites — and how to make budget-friendly alternatives.
When he isn’t cooking food for others, Flay enjoys a cheeseburger at J.G. Melon, in his native New York City, according to the Food Network. In fact, the network quoted him as saying the restaurant serves the “best cheeseburgers in the world.” Although this burger will cost you more than value menu prices, it sounds like it’s worth the extra money.
Flay orders the burger with double American cheese, according to the Food Network. The restaurant has two locations, one in Upper Manhattan and one in Lower Manhattan, so if you’re in town, Flay’s favorite $12.50 cheeseburger is never too far away.
It’s easy to assume an esteemed chef like Flay uses only complicated cooking recipes, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Even celebrity chefs enjoy simple and affordable meals that can be whipped up in a flash.
In an interview with the Food Network, Flay revealed his favorite go-to weeknight meal is pasta with tomato and Parmesan. It would cost approximately $11.36 to create this in your own kitchen when shopping at Whole Foods. That includes a 16-ounce box of 365 Penne Rigate, a 5-ounce container of shredded Parmesan cheese, four tomatoes and a 0.75-ounce container of organic basil.
Although Flay probably wasn’t doing this before he became famous, when visiting the Los Angeles area, he now enjoys dining at Spartina. The celebrity chef praised the restaurant in a January 2016 interview with the Tasting Table. He said the best dish he tried at the West Hollywood, Calif., eatery was the raviolo with burrata and sea urchin.
Unfortunately, this dish no longer is available at Spartina, as menus change monthly. However, the March 2018 menu featured a $20 burrata ravioli with early peas, fine herbs and Parmigiano Reggiano, so you’ll likely find something similar each month.
Dudley’s on Short
When Flay calls a dish his favorite guilty pleasure, you know it’s food that’s worth the money — and calories. On an episode of the Food Network’s “Guilty Pleasures,” he referred to the Tournedos Maxwell at Dudley’s on Short in Lexington, Ky., as “the perfect three-course meal in one single bite.”
Featuring petite filets, lump crab, potato puree and béarnaise, the Tournedos Maxwell will set you back $36, but if Flay recommends indulging, you probably should go for it.
Salt & Char
Flay definitely knows how to prepare a good steak, and his favorite when eating out is a dish at Salt & Char in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Flay was featured on the Cooking Channel’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” discussing the restaurant’s American Wagyu ribeye for a “Feats of Meat” episode.
Dining where chefs eat can be pricey. A 9-ounce cut of Salt & Char’s American Wagyu ribeye cap will set you back $78 before you factor in appetizers or sides.
White House Sub Shop
Cost: $16.20 to $24.55
When Flay visits Atlantic City, N.J., he can’t resist stopping at the White House Sub Shop. In an interview with the Food Network, he said his standard order is the 19-inch White House Special, which has been piled with cold cuts — Genoa salami, capicola and cotechino — as well as provolone, lettuce, tomato, onions and hot peppers. The eatery opened in 1946.
Flay told the Food Network he typically eats only half the 19-inch sub — priced at $16.20 — but when he’s really hungry, he also orders half a cheesesteak sub, which costs $8.35.
To dine where chefs eat, head to Via Carota in New York City’s West Village. In a January 2016 interview with the Tasting Table, Flay said he’d had his best meal of the previous year at the restaurant and already had been back five times. He recommended ordering every vegetable dish, a few pastas and a crostino or two.
Menus change monthly, so it’s hard to say how much ordering like Flay would set you back. In March 2018, ordering every vegetable dish on the menu would cost $245, but you probably don’t need to go to that extreme.
Make your visit more affordable by sticking to one order of vegetables — that is, the $16 Radicchio Treviso — and one order of pasta, such as the $20 tortelli.
Du’s Donuts and Coffee
It’s not one of his own recipes, but Flay raved about one of his favorite desserts in a December 2017 Instagram post. Du’s Donuts and Coffee, with locations in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood and in Brooklyn, N.Y., has earned the famed chef’s seal of approval.
At the restaurant founded by chef Wylie Dufresne, the New England-style cake doughnuts and crullers likely are delicious, but Flay said on Instagram that his favorite flavor is cinnamon apple. The cost of Flay’s pick isn’t listed online, but all other doughnuts are $3.50 each, so it’s probably around the same. You also can get a dozen doughnuts for $38.50.
Cost: $2.35 and up for oysters, $14.45 for the oyster pan roast
He doesn’t have easy access to crushed ice at home, so in a 2017 interview with Popsugar, Flay said he likes to order oysters when he’s out. He previously commented in an interview with First We Feast that he goes to Grand Central Oyster Bar in New York and orders the oyster pan roast. One of his own oyster dishes at his restaurant Bar Americain is inspired by the oyster pan roast.
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Pistachio Ice Cream
In an interview with the Food Network, Flay revealed any flavor of ice cream is his weakness, but he especially favors pistachio.
Flay’s favorite New York City ice cream shop is unknown, but Yelpers can’t get enough of Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream, located on the city’s Lower East Side. Since it’s highly rated, it seems probable the establishment could be on his radar. One pint of the eatery’s Green Tea Pistachio ice cream starts at $11.50.
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