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Top Five Onion Rings

Onion rings that will make you want to hold the fries.

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1. Schnäck
Not so much a side of onion rings as an all-you-can-eat buffet of French-fried onion clumps, spectacularly crunchy and shamelessly salty. ($2.50; 122 Union Street, Brooklyn; 718-855-2879.)

2. Patroon
Appearance-wise, the anti-Schnäck: In fact, you could use them as stencils to sketch perfect circles. Why chef John Villa is willing to admit he took the Burger King model as his inspiration, we’ll never know. Happily, they taste a whole lot better than that—extra-crunchy and breadcrumby with a sweet onion flavor ($4 on the rooftop garden, $7 in the dining room; 160 East 46th Street; 212-883-7373.)

3. Tabla
Brilliantly spicy cornmeal-and-chickpea-flour-crusted onion rings sprinkled with cumin, Aleppo pepper, and chat masala. Bonus points for chef Floyd Cardoz’s mother’s ketchup recipe—the only homemade version we’ve ever liked. ($9; 11 Madison Avenue, at 25th Street; 212-889-0667.)

4. Mesa Grill
Alas, to get your greasy little hands on these cayenne-peppered, buttermilk-battered beauties, you’ve got to order the most expensive dish on the dinner menu, a $32 smoked black-pepper-crusted beef tenderloin. There are worse fates. (102 Fifth Avenue, at near 16th Street; 212-807-7400.)

5. Brooklyn Diner
Some call these delicious frizzy tangles of long, superthin rings “tobacco onions” because they look like dried-tobacco shreds. Here, they top the cheeseburger deluxe, prop up the “fifteen-bite” hot dog, and come as a side with a delectable cayenne-pepper aïoli dip. ($4.95; 212 West 57th Street; 212-581-8900.)


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