A KULE Guide to the Best Cacio e Pepe in NYC

We’re big fans of cacio e pepe at KULE, hence the Cacio e Pepe tee from our new July capsule. While cacio e pepe is a fairly simple dish (it really only has three ingredients), there’s nothing like a classic that is done perfectly. Just like a tee πŸ˜‰! We rounded up our standout spots in NYC to go for the best plate — with Nikki’s own personal favorites — and wanted to share the delicious secrets! So read on, and grab a fork… and a tee 🍝.

kule cacio e pepe july tee
New KULE Cacio e Pepe tee worn with the new black Syd blazer

Photographed by Mei Tao
The Modern Cacio e Pepe

The Modern Cacio e Pepe

The Cacio e Pepe Kap (coming soon)

The Cacio e Pepe Kap (coming soon)

Nikki’s favorite places to get cacio e pepe are I Sodi and Sant Ambroeus. I Sodi’s cacio e pepe is a classic spaghetti with black pepper and pecorino. A comfort dish made classically perfect. Owner Rita Sodi says it’s her most popular pasta dish. Sant Ambroeus (which has multiple locations, but only some offer cacio e pepe, so check first!) uses a tonnarelli pasta — which is thicker than a spaghetti and has square edges instead of round — great for a perfect coating of aged pecorino romano and fresh ground pepper.

Altro Paradiso is a fan favorite (and a popular place to snap a food pic). Unlike the traditional cacio e pepe preparation, theirs uses giant thick and hollow candele noodles, great for the cheese to get into. You may even need a knife with this dish.

At Piccola Cucina — which has three locations in New York (one of which is dangerously close to KULE’s office) — your pasta comes right to the table in a giant pecorino wheel, from which the server plates for you. So, you know it has a good amount of cacio.

Lupa on Thompson — a NY-famous Roman osteria — is widely known for its cacio e pepe, something you’re basically required to order when you go. It’s made with a thinner “bavette” noodle, so there’s a delightful cacio/pepe to pasta ratio.

Via Carota is a well-known and much loved trattoria in Greenwich Village. Their cacio e pepe dish is piled high with cheese, and they use a tonnarelli noodle. If you can get a table, this is top place for a plate.

The rigatoni cacio e pepe at Charlie Bird seems to only be on the lunch menu (there’s a traditional spaghetti version on the dinner one), but if you’re a cacio e pepe connoisseur, you should head there midday to try it. The flavors cover the grooves and openings of the pasta, making every single bite a treat.

La Pecora Bianca — which has six locations around NYC — uses bucatini noodles with their cacio e pepe. Bucatini is a hollow spaghetti, so it makes hidden nooks of cheese the same way rigatoni does, but with the joyful fork twirl of any long noodle. They also have a cacio e pepe fritter appetizer on their menu, if you want a full course cacio e pepe meal.

Are you hungry yet? 🍝 

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