10 Best Things to Eat in NYC | Must Try Foods
10 Best Things to Eat in NYC
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One of the best things about living in NYC is having access to the best food spanning every cuisine and flavor.
There are some iconic foods you have to try in NYC. Whether you are a local or visiting, this foodie guide will show you the best things to eat in NYC.
After living in NYC for almost 10 years, I have come across a fair share of the good, the bad, and the ugly when eating my way through the city.
To help you out, I listed the top must-try food in NYC. These foods are iconic to New York can’t be missed on a visit. Alright, let’s get into the list!
|Bonus: To help you eat your way throughout NYC, I created a handy map of all the restaurants mentioned below with all of their locations.|
Starting off this list is the iconic New York Bagel. You can’t visit NYC and not have one.
Why do bagels taste great in NYC? The secret is in the water.
New York has soft water, meaning it has low concentrations of calcium and magnesium. The harder the water strengthens the dough making bagels hard and tough.
The Best Place to get a New York Bagel
Ess-A-Bagel: Ess-A-Bagel is the classic place to get a New York bagel. They have been around since 1976, and you can still expect to find lines to get these extra-large bagels.
They are crispy on the outside, and fluffy on the inside. My go-to flavor is the everything bagel, and it was seasoned perfectly!
Other Top Contenders:
Russ & Daughters: A famous staple in New York City for a bagel and lox. This shop opened in 1914 and still has that charm. You can also get other breakfast staples. However, a bagel and smoked fish is the most famous item on the menu, and the wait is worth it.
Black Seed Bagel: With six locations across NYC, you won’t have trouble finding your nearest location. This bagel shop was started by two friends that combined the New York and Montreal style way by boiling the bagel in honey-sweetened water.
Tompkins Square Bagel: Another favorite bagel shop is known for its fresh ingredients, hand-rolled bagels, and unique types of cream cheese. This is a local East Village staple right across from Tompkins Square Park.
Just like with New York Bagels, the secret ingredient that makes New York pizza the best is our soft water.
How to Eat Pizza Like a New Yorker:
In New York, you buy the pizza by the ‘slice’ and you eat it by folding the corners to create a U shape with your pizza.
Also, a slice with only cheese is not called a cheese slice. In NYC you would call it a ‘plain’ slice’.
You can find a pizza spot on almost every corner in NYC. But trust me, they are not all created equal. Here are the best pizza places in NYC.
Where to Eat Pizza in NYC
Prince Street Pizza: Prince Street Pizza is known for its famous Soho Square. A square-shaped pizza loaded with spicy pepperoni all over.
However, my favorite is the Margarita slice. It has a crispy crust on the bottom, but the dough is nice and soft at the top. Prince Street Pizza also uses traditional pasta sauces on their pizza slices.
Bleecker Street Pizza: You have to head over to the West Village, and try Bleecker Street Pizza’s ‘Nonna Maria Slice’.
Made with premium ingredients including home-made sauce, buffalo mozzarella, basil, premium olive oil, and parmigiana Reggiano (which not used in many places because it’s so expensive)
Also, every time I step in here, I am always chatting with the workers. If you have any questions about the pizza, they are happy to answer any questions.
Stromboli Pizza: This is my go-to spot for a nice cheesy, spicy pepperoni slice. Located in the East Village, and open until 4 am! This no-frills spot is worth it every time.
Artichoke Basille’s Pizza: If you are looking for something unique in your pizza slice, you have to order the Artichoke Slice from Artichoke Pizza. Covered with artichoke hearts, spinach, cream sauce, mozzarella, and pecorino Romano cheese, this massive slice is something to remember.
Joe’s Pizza: Last but not least is Joe’s Pizza on 7 Carmine Street in Greenwich Village. Founded by Joe Pozzuoli, originally from Naples Italy. He has been offering this classic slice for over 37 years!
Los Tacos No.1: Are they really number one? Oh yeah. Los Tacos has one of the famous places to eat in NYC for tacos. My favorite is the Adobada pork tacos, which are seasoned to perfection.
The original location in Chelsea Market is a taqueria style. There is no seating at this location, it’s more grab and go. If you can find space at their counter, you can eat there. Otherwise, you’ll have to find somewhere else to enjoy.
There is also a location in Times Square. This means there is no excuse now to eat bad food in Times Square.
Tacos range from 3.95 to 4.25 and I suggest you order that side of guac!
Tacombi: Tacombi also has mouth-watering tacos, but is more a sit-down style restaurant. Whatever tacos you order be sure to add the crispy fish taco to your list. It’s by far the best fish taco out there.
4. Shack Burger:
The Shake Shack ‘Shack Burger’ gets its own category on this list.
By now, you may already have had a Shack Burger since the company has locations across the USA and the world.
However, before its huge expansion, Shake Shack was started in the heart of Manhattan just serving hot dogs from a stand in Madison Square Park. In 2004, they had their first location and people lined up for hours just to get a burger here.
I remember standing in line for over an hour about 10 years ago when I first moved to NYC.
Thankfully, you won’t have to wait as long to try this one-of-a-kind burger, as there are multiple locations throughout NYC.
When you see the word Falafel in NYC, you think Mamoun’s.
Mamoun’s Falafel: Since 1971 Mamoun’s has been serving the best high quietly authentic Middle Eastern food, with falafel at the center.
Falafel is a deep-fried patty made from ground chickpeas, and Mamoun’s in NYC does it best. Crispy and flaky on the outside, and soft on the inside.
You can order a side of 4 Falafel for $3.45
If you want to try the best pancakes in NYC, you have to go to Clinton St. Baking Company.
Clinton St. Baking Company: This is the go-to place for brunch in NYC. Located in the Lower East Side, this spot is known for its mouth-watering pancakes. Blueberry pancakes are the most popular ones to order.
Expect a wait at Clinton St. Baking Company. They do not take reservations, so it’s best to arrive early if you want to be seated right away. If not, the wait may be over an hour.
Dumplings are a Chinese staple dish. The dough is used to wrap around a filling typically with meat, cheese, or vegetables.
There are so many amazing places to try authentic Chinese dumplings in NYC, but I like to head to the source in Chinatown.
Best Dumplings in Chinatown:
Tasty Dumpling: This unassuming dumpling spot in the heart of Chinatown is worth coming for. This plate of 10 pork dumplings came out to $3! It’s the perfect place for a snack in NYC.
Fried Dumpling: It might be easy to walk right past this dumpling spot in Chinatown, but you probably will see people outside digging in on these cheap, yet delicious dumplings. Another staple in Chinatown.
8. Hot Dog
Another food to eat in NYC is the iconic hot dog. Did you know the hot dog was invented in Coney Island in NYC? It only makes sense that you have to have one when in New York City.
Papaya King: Papaya King started selling just tropical fruits drinks, but began serving hot dogs when people wanted something to eat in 1932. Since then, the winning combination of hot dog and fruit drink has been imitated across the city.
But if you want the original experience, head to Papaya King on 86th and 3rd Avenue. Be sure to top your dog with New York onion Sauce.
9. Pastrami on Rye
Pastrami on Rye is a must eat food in NYC. Made from beef brisket the meat is brined, dried, and seasoned with herbs, and then smoked and is a classic part of the food identity of New York City.
Where to get the Best Pastrami Sandwich?
Katz’s Delicatessen: The classic place to get a pastrami on rye is Katz’s Delicatessen. It’s a world-famous eatery since 1888 and is family-owned in the Lower East Side.
It’s famous for its huge hand-sliced pastrami sandwiches. And it even made a famous cameo on “When Harry Met Sally”.
Sandwiches come with 16 oz of meat and are priced at $19.99. You can definitely share a sandwich with someone.
Pastrami Queen: Formally known as Pastrami King, Pastrami Queen has been serving this classic dish since 1956. Located on the Upper East Side on Lexington Avenue between 78th and 79th streets.
Order the overstuffed pastrami on rye for a classic New York Experience.
Last but not least on this ultimate food tour of New York is a bowl of Japanese Ramen Noodles. Now I’m not talking about the pre-packaged ramen noodles you can find at the supermarket.
These Ramen dishes are made with quality ingredients.
Best Places for Ramen in NYC:
Ipuddo: This award-winning ramen joint in NYC is worth the craze. You may have to wait to get a table, but it’s totally worth it. The ramen dishes here are the best in NYC.
Don’t forget and order their pork buns!
Tatsu: I am obsessed with their Cheeky Ramen. It’s a slow-cooked chicken broth ramen with so much flavor. While Tatsu is on the pricer side for ramen, this is my go-to order.
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Hope this list didn’t make you too hungry! I know when I was writing it was craving everything.
Now you have a lot of places to check out when you are in NYC.
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