June 13, 2024
a lot of buildings of new york city

Places to Visit in NYC

New York City is world famous for its incredible food scene. The five boroughs are filled with thousands of restaurants serving up delicious eats from every culture imaginable. While the options might seem endless, there are certain quintessential NYC foods that everyone should try at least once when visiting the Big Apple. Below are 10 of the most iconic foods that capture the true flavors of New York City.

1. New York-Style Pizza

A thin, foldable slice of pizza is a staple NYC food. Classic New York-style pizza has a hand-tossed thin crust with just the right balance of crispiness and chew. The minimalist toppings typically include tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, allowing the high quality dough and fresh ingredients to shine. For an authentic experience, grab a slice from popular NYC pizza joints like Joe’s Pizza, John’s of Bleecker Street or Juliana’s.

2. Bagels

Few foods say New York more than a freshly baked bagel. Bagels emerged as an NYC specialty thanks to the city’s Jewish immigrants and street food cart vendors. An authentic NYC bagel has a perfectly chewy yet crusty texture and is served with schmear of cream cheese or other toppings. Try the hand-rolled bagels from legacy spots like Ess-a-Bagel or Absolute Bagels.

3. Pastrami Sandwich

Get a taste of New York’s Jewish deli culture with a stacked pastrami sandwich. High quality pastrami is brined, seasoned and smoked until tender and piled high on rye bread for a delicious mouthful. Katz’s Delicatessen and 2nd Avenue Deli are two icons serving mile-high pastrami sandwiches around NYC.

4. New York Hot Dog

The humble New York hot dog may seem ordinary, but it’s elevated to an art form at legendary stands like Gray’s Papaya and Nathan’s Famous. A proper dog features a natural casing frankfurter on a soft steamed bun dressed with sauerkraut, yellow mustard and onion sauce. Don’t even think about ketchup!

5. New York Cheesecake

This beloved sweet treat was perfected in New York City. A seamless texture and velvety exterior gives way to a light, pillowy and rich interior in a perfect slice of NY cheesecake. Try Junior’s Restaurant and Carnegie Deli cheesecakes or pick up a whole cake from icons like Eileen’s Special Cheesecake and Veniero’s Pastry.

6. Cronuts

The cronut is a uniquely New York hybrid creation combining croissant dough and donut shapes. Flaky, crunchy and sugary sweet, the cronut sensation took off at Dominique Ansel Bakery where crowds still line up daily. These trademarked pastries can now be found at other bakeries around the city as well.

7. Black & White Cookie

This iconic NYC treat features a cakey vanilla disk iced half in white fondant and half in chocolate. Glaser’s Bake Shop has been making these beloved black and white cookies for over a century. The snack even got a shoutout on Seinfeld as the lookalike cookie symbolizing racial harmony.

8. Egg Cream

Despite its name, the classic New York egg cream contains neither eggs nor cream. It’s actually a genius mixture of chocolate syrup, milk and seltzer water invented in Brooklyn back in the late 1800s. Many old school diners and luncheonettes still whip up this unique fizzy drink.

9. New York Style Cheesecake

This beloved sweet treat was perfected in New York City. A seamless texture and velvety exterior gives way to a light, pillowy and rich interior in a perfect slice of NY cheesecake. Try Junior’s Restaurant and Carnegie Deli cheesecakes or pick up a whole cake from icons like Eileen’s Special Cheesecake and Veniero’s Pastry.

10. Babka

NYC has some of the best Jewish bakeries in the world. Their chocolate babkas are rich Eastern European coffeecakes swirled with chocolate filling. Try the babka at Breads Bakery, Zabar’s or Orwasher’s to experience this sweet specialty.

New York City truly offers tastes from around the globe. But be sure to also sample the homegrown, iconic foods that locals have been enjoying for generations when exploring New York. These classic bites capture the culinary soul of the city and should be on every visitor’s NYC food bucket list!