Dining

Where to Eat Adultified Versions of Your Favorite Childhood Foods

Forever young
9 Adultified Snacks We're, like, So Totally Into
Photo: Rush Jagoe

Homemade, unprocessed and unboxed: Our favorite childhood treats are getting a serious upgrade at some of the country's best bars and restaurants. Chefs, butchers and chocolatiers are elevating nostalgic favorites like s'mores, Pop-Tarts and chicken tenders, using sustainably sourced ingredients that leave the freezer aisle originals cold. For those who remain young at heart, here are nine throwback snacks with adultified appeal.

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 Cookies and Milk at Willa Jean (New Orleans, LA)

Chef Kelly Fields uses high-quality Valrhona chocolate and serves these chewy, soft and crunchy cookies with Tahitian vanilla-infused milk for dunking—and an egg beater adorned with some unbaked cookie dough.
Photo: Rush Jagoe

 Hot Pockets at Sunday in Brooklyn (New York, NY)

At this buzzy Brooklyn brunch spot, executive sous-chef Mallory Cayon takes the scraps and end pieces from the kitchen's house-cured ham, couples them with Saxelby's Cabot aged cheddar and wraps it all in a flaky, buttery whole-wheat crust.
Photo: Melissa Hom

 Pop-Tarts, aka Ted's Tarts, at Ted's Bulletin (Washington, D.C.)

Hand-rolled, homemade Pop-Tarts by pastry chef Todd Miller are available in a variety of nostalgia-inducing flavors, like strawberry, blueberry, and brown sugar and cinnamon at these District hangouts. Pro tip: Go à la mode with an off-the-menu Ted's Tart ice cream sandwich.
Photo: Courtesy of Ted's Bulletin 

 Lamb in Blanket at June’s All Day (Austin, TX)

At this South Congress spot, pastry chef Sarah Stevens tweaks the traditional pigs-in-a-blanket formula by wrapping merguez sausage, harissa, American cheese and herb-olive jam in a homemade Parker House roll. Inspired by the sausage kolaches and pigs in a blanket she ate growing up in South Texas, Stevens says this version is “hopefully a bit more sophisticated than our grandmothers' cocktail weenies wrapped in pop ‘n’ serve biscuits." Mission accomplished.

 Pizza Bagels at Baz Bagel, (New York, NY)

Waiting for Mom to cook frozen Bagel Bites twas a fate worse than death as a child. Fortunately, this Manhattan bagel shop serves its Mystic Pizza Bagel hot and baked fresh to order fast. The savory snack combines Di Palo's tomato sauce and shredded Grande mozzarella, while Parmigiano-Reggiano tops the hand-rolled garlic bagel, finished with slivers of basil and a splash of extra-virgin olive oil.

 Macaroni and Cheese at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar (Miami, FL)

Yardbird’s out-of-the-box version of our college staple eschews elbows for spiral-shaped torchio pasta, plus a crispy herb crust and five(!) types of cheeses: Grayson, medium-sharp cheddar, Swiss, Parmesan and Red Leicester, a crumbly English cheese with a reddish-orange rind. A pinch of Creole mustard and pop of paprika add savory flavor and heat.

 S’mores at Dandelion Chocolate (San Francisco, CA)

This bean-to-bar chocolate maker in the Mission highlights Papua New Guinean chocolate (featuring notes of pomegranate, raisins and tobacco) in its elevated s'more, served on a homemade graham cracker with marshmallow, small-batch chocolate ganache and a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt. Those haunted by memories of tragically burnt marshmallows can rest easy: All of Dandelion's s'mores are toasted to order.
Photo: Megan Swann

 Chicken Fingers at Boudro's, (San Antonio, TX)

Chef Robbie Nowlin, formerly a butcher at the French Laundry, considers his panko-crusted chicken tenders an homage to his five-year-old son, Keller. (And, yes, the budding chicken connoisseur was named after Nowlin's ex-boss and mentor, Thomas Keller.) Nowlin's elevated take has a Texan accent, featuring sweet and spicy chile sauce, cotija cheese, cilantro and house-made curried peanuts.

 Yodel at Juniper and Ivy, (San Diego, CA)

From Top Chef alum Richard Blais comes this bright spot serving modern California fare, as well as a surprisingly elegant iteration of the Drake's cake Yodels of our youth. Juniper and Ivy's Yodel features cocoa-dusted devil's food cake rolled with white chocolate and hazelnut brittle, and bathed in hot chocolate sauce.
Photo: CeCe Canton

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