What Makes a Unique Eat?

Unique Eats on CookingChannelTV.com -- food photos of the best restaurants, diners and dives across the US serving up the most unique eats.
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Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Shake It Up

The last thing you'd want to eat before you die? "I think I'd have to go with a really great burger," says one fan of NYC's Shake Shack. But this is no ordinary fast food — Shake Shack is the modern-day version of the classic roadside shake stand. It sources the finest local ingredients, so every burger, fry, hot dog and frozen custard tastes like a gourmet treat.

Check Here for Amazing Meatballs

The Meatball Shop in Manhattan's Lower East Side serves every kind of meatball dish you can imagine. Diners use a laminated wipe-off menu to customize their meal, from meat to sauce and sides. Want the spicy pork meatball sliders with mushroom sauce?

"Meatball-riffic"

Or maybe you'd rather have the classic beef meatballs served over polenta; they got it! The Meatball Shop only uses top-notch ingredients, and the options are endless.

A Sausage Mecca

What could be more simple and delicious than a juicy link with a perfect side? At DBGB, that's what you find: every kind of delicious, house-made sausage from all over the world, made with a variety of meat.

Let Them Have Cake

What's a girl to do when she learns she can't eat wheat or dairy? Erin McKenna opened her own bakery. Nothing makes her happier than when people with food allergies come into Babycakes and can eat anything they see. But can a gluten-free, egg-free, and soy-free cupcake still be delicious? "All it takes is one bite and they're hooked," says Erin.

"Skinny" Buns

When you bite into a Babycakes cinnamon bun, the furthest thing from your mind is that it's made from agave nectar and spelt flour.

Not Your Everyday Apple Pie

Brooklyn pie shop Four & Twenty Blackbirds divides their menu into spring, summer, winter and fall — it's seasonal all the way. But what's most interesting are the combinations that celebrate the tastes of each seasonal ingredient. How about a slice of their renowned Salted Caramel Apple Pie?

Card File Heritage

In building their pie repertoire, sisters and owners Emily and Melissa Elsen have quite the background to draw from: their grandmother made all the pies for their family-owned restaurant back in their native South Dakota. Her card file of recipes is the foundation of the business. Four & Twenty Blackbirds is Emily and Melissa's homage to their grandmother and her traditions in pie-making.

How Sweet It Is

What's the most delectable way to bring out the sweetness of fresh strawberries? Try the Srawberry and Balsamic Vinegar Pie at Four & Twenty Blackbirds and find out.

The Whole Hog

New Yorkers might get more than they bargained for in this pub. The Breslin is a "gastro" pub, and serves a menu of some truly unique eats. Who's craving pig's foot?

The Juiciest Burger

The Breslin's mouth-watering lamb burger is topped with tangy, salty goat milk feta cheese, and then placed on housemade ciabatta-like bread that soaks up all the meat juices. Pig's foot served separately.

Footlong Finale

The Breslin serves foot-long hot dogs unlike any you've ever tasted, homemade with the freshest ingredients. Cured, freshly ground meat is piped into a thin casing and then grilled over an open flame.

Triple Decker Grilled Cheese

An L.A. food truck entirely dedicated to grilled cheese sandwiches? The Grilled Cheese Truck lets diners customize their own creations, including an array of breads, cheeses and fresh meat and vegetable toppings. The "Fully Loaded" signature sandwich is made with mac 'n cheese, pulled pork and caramelized onions.

Truck Trick of the Trade

A special coating of mayo and butter on the outside of the bread allows the sandwich to cook for a longer period on the grill without burning, making for an extra crispy crunch, with a perfectly melted center.

Sweet Grill Thrill

The Grilled Cheese Truck's answer to dessert: a tantalizing melt that starts with a brioche loaf, topped with chocolate ganache spread and marshmallow drizzle, then finished with a layer of rum-puréed bananas and melted up on the grill. It's the closest a sandwich has ever come to the s'more!

Take a Bus Ride Across the World

Climb aboard the World Fare "BUStaurant" in Los Angeles, where international street food becomes a gourmet dining experience. With a kitchen downstairs and an open-air eatery up top, diners enjoy global classics such as this South African "bunny" — a hollowed loaf of bread filled with chicken curry stew.

Portable Comfort

Save some room for the Fried Truffle Mac 'n Cheese Balls. Flavored with truffle oil and shavings, dipped in Japanese breadcrumbs and thehn fried to perfection, they’re crispy on the outside and gooey in the middle.

Fantasy (Dessert) Island

The Floating Island is one of the signature desserts at Beverly Hills tapas restaurant The Bazaar. Liquid nitrogen super-cools the exterior of the coconut mousse into a hard shell, but the inside remains moist, light and airy.

Food as Art

New York City's WD-50 merges flavors, colors and textures in a manner that is part food fantasy and part geometry lesson. This dish includes a cube-shaped scrambled egg ravioli, an avocado pureée that's been bruléed and charred, crunchy potato pellets and a fresh fish kampachi.

A Doughnut Dream

How do you get a reputation for being one of the most unique diners in America? 5¢ Diner did it by reimagining the taste experience of French toast and bacon into a single pastry: the world-famous maple-glazed brioche-bacon doughnut.

Popping Up to New Heights

5¢ Diner recreated the toaster pastries you grew up with, but theirs are made with all-fresh chunky jam inside a handmade pie crust, glazed and sprinkled with tart, dehydrated strawberries.

A League of their Own

You won't find typical bowling alley snacks at Brooklyn Bowl. The owners have taken American comfort classics and elevated them into gourmet pub fare. Their Disco Fries are made with aged provolone, then topped with a chicken gravy and a handmade Cajun spice — the ultimate cheese fries.

With a Side of Napkins, Please

Go all out with Brooklyn Bowl's Sloppy Joe — meat and sauce spilling out of a freshly baked burger bun.

No Gnocchi You Know

The gnocchi at Vetri are made almost entirely of spinach, cooked down and puréed into a smooth paste, and finished off with a brown butter sauce and parmesan. Light as air, smooth and delicious.

Meat Doughnuts

Imagine mortadella — an artisanal bologna that's handmade with the finest ingredients — worked into a fluffy mousse, then piped into a lightly fried cream puff. These are Vetri's Mortadella Beignets.

Lasagna, Deconstructed

Vetri reinvents the traditional Italian dish with open-face handmade pasta rounds, studded with sautéed porcini mushrooms. Seasonal blueberries are the surprise ingredient, and finish off each bite with a burst of tang. Unique Eats, Italian-style.