This is NOT a drill.

Legendary Tik Tok Food critic, Keith Lee announced recently that he and his family will be continuing their ICONIC food tour in *gasp* NEW YORK.

Can you even can?!

If you are unfamiliar with Keith Lee-- This is he.

New York Liberty v Las Vegas Aces
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Lee is, by now, a TikTok icon. He's a former MMA fighter, turned TikTok food critic that is literally changing the lives of restaurant owners all over the country with his super cute and honest food reviews. With 15.6 million activated followers (up from 14.8 million since my last reporting), a Keith Lee review can take a relatively obscure food establishment (food trucks included) to the absolute next level.


Case in point:

@keith_lee125 Frankensons Pizzeria Taste test 💕 would you try it ? 💕 #foodcritic ♬ original sound - Keith Lee

 Within a few hours, Frankensons Pizzeria went from crickets to 2-3 hour long lines. And NOW even talking about franchising. As Keith Lee would say, "God is Amazing". via GIPHY  

AND just as Keith's reviews have the power to elevate a business, an honest Keith Lee review around poor customer service, has the exact opposite effect. For example, the whole city of Atlanta. Par example:

@brutamerica Why TikToker and food critic Keith Lee cut his Atlanta restaurant tour short … ♬ original sound - Brut.

READ MORE: Keith Lee's TikTok Food Reviews Had Atlanta's Restaurant Scene in Shambles. What Happened? (


Keith Lee and his family were just in Houston, TX, reviewing local places and changing the success trajectory for local businesses left and right in the process, per usual. Imagine my surprise as I was watching a recent Houston recap video on TikTok, when at the tail end, Lee made this announcement.

"The next stop in the Keith Lee and Family Tour--New York."

@keith_lee125 Houston Food Tour taste test 💕 would you try it ? 💕 #foodcritic ♬ original sound - Keith Lee

*insert heart palpitations*

Where will he be? Whell. If he decides that he'd like to sample some of Utica's finest-- these are my suggestions. He's already in NY, so feel free to tag him to this article if you follow him, shalt you?

Rooster’s (Smashburgers & sandwiches)
Address: 814 Charlotte St., Utica, NY 13501
Menu Recommendations: The Figgy, the fries (get your burger ON the fries), & any special they’re offering.
Hours: Monday-Friday (11 AM – 2 PM, 4-8 PM)
Other: Cash only!

Soul 112 (Soul food)
Address: 171 Genesee St., Utica, NY 13501
Menu Recommendations: Hot honey fried chicken, mac and cheese, cabbage, corn bread, and collard greens.
Hours: Thursday-Saturday (12-7 PM), Sun (12-4 PM)

Jibril’s Kitchen and Catering* (Halal)
Address: 8555 Seneca Turnpike (Sangertown Square Mall), New Hartford, NY 13413
Menu Recommendations: Birria tacos, sambusas and plantains.
Hours: Tues-Sat (11:30 AM – 7:30 PM), Sun (11:30 AM – 6 PM)
*Jabril’s is a fairly new restaurant and they are working hard to provide the best possible service and quality food. Please be kind and understanding as they open!

Island Breeze Bar & Grill (Caribbean & American)
Address: 517 Mandeville St., Utica, NY 13502
Menu Recommendations: Oxtail, pepper steak, and jerk chicken.
Hours: Tues-Sat (10:30 AM – 9 PM)

READ MORE: Black-Owned Restaurants in Oneida County - Oneida County Tourism

What do you think? Who would you add to this list?

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