After all that walking around, exploring the city, you should’ve worked up quite an appetite. There are thousands of amazing restaurants in New York City, from places to grab a quick bite on the go to luxurious fine dining spots and everything in-between. It would be impossible to choose a favourite from so many, so instead, we’ve picked 7 of the best foods that the city is famous for, and we really think you should try them all!
New Yorkers take their pizza very seriously, and a visit to New York City wouldn’t be complete without trying a slice or two (or three!). There’s lots of debate over what the best pizzeria in the city is, so let us give you a hand. Ray’s Pizza is a cheap and cheerful counter-service place with restaurants throughout the city, offering huge slices of pizza starting at just $3. There’s nothing fancy about this place but the pizza is delicious, and it’s a great option for a low-cost lunch.
If you’re looking to try one of the city’s more famous pizza joints, we’d recommend Grimaldi’s. Take a stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge, and you’ll find Grimaldi’s directly underneath it. All of the pizzas are made with fresh homemade dough, fresh mozzarella and freshly crushed tomatoes, and are cooked in a 1000°F coal-brick oven to give them that totally unique taste. Once you try the pizza at Grimaldi’s, there’s no going back!
If you want to try more of the city’s pizza offerings, you could try the Slice of Brooklyn Pizza Tour, which takes you to Grimaldi’s and L&B Spumoni Gardens to sample the pizza. You’ll also get to explore the neighbourhood with an expert guide. Juliana’s, Patsy’s and Di Fara are also worth a try.
If you’ve got a serious sweet tooth, the mega milkshakes at Black Tap will not disappoint. The menu includes strawberry, chocolate, caramel, Nutella and peanut butter flavoured shakes, but the ‘Crazy Shakes’ are what draw the crowds in here. You can expect mammoth milkshakes topped with a mountain of whipped cream and covered in all kinds of sweet treats, like cotton candy, chocolate pretzels and even a giant slab of birthday cake! We love the Cookie Shake- a vanilla milkshake, with a vanilla frosted rim with crunchy cookie crumbles, chocolate chips, whipped cream and an ice cream cookie sandwich on top.
You can expect to queue for up to an hour to get inside to try one of these Instagram-worthy shakes, and they’ll set you back $15, but we promise you won’t regret it!
Times Square is lined with food carts serving up tasty snacks that are ideal for a quick bite on the go. The most popular thing you’ll find at these carts though is of course, one of New York’s most famous snacks- the hot dog! You can get hot dogs for as little as $1, so don’t be surprised if you see a long queue at lunchtime. Served with crispy fried onions, ketchup and mustard, this New York staple must be tried! If you’re visiting Coney Island, make sure you give Nathan’s mouth-watering hot dogs a try!
You can’t visit New York City and not have a burger…it would be a culinary crime! We couldn’t narrow down the best, as there’s just so much to choose from, but we do have a few favourites. The ‘Chargrilled Burger’ at Spotted Pig is a half pounder served in a chargrilled brioche bun, dripping with blue cheese and served with a portion of super skinny fries on the side. It’s also a bit of a celebrity hangout and is co-owned by Bono and Jay-Z amongst others.
Shake Shack is a casual quick-service restaurant, but its burgers are raved about by many. The Angus cheeseburger is served with American cheese, crisp lettuce, sliced tomato, and most importantly- the top-secret recipe Shake Shack sauce. We know we’ve already mentioned Black Tap, but we couldn’t not mention their amazing burgers. It would be a struggle to conquer one of their mighty milkshakes and a burger in one sitting, but it’s worth giving it a go. For a classic, try the ‘All American Cheese Burger’, or if you fancy something a bit different, try the amazing ‘Pizza Burger’- a prime burger with tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and shaved parmesan.
There’s only once place to go in NYC for cookies, and that’s Levain Bakery. For the most amazing cookie you’ll ever eat, make sure Levain is at the top of your list. You might want to get there early, as there’s always a queue out the door at this place, although the queue is well worth the wait, and we can personally vouch for that! Even though the cookies are HUGE, they’re definitely NOT for sharing. These delicious treats are much too good for that! There are four flavours to choose from- chocolate chip and walnut (our favourite!), dark chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin and dark chocolate with peanut butter. The freshly baked cookies are served warm, and just melt in the mouth. Make sure you savour every bite.
There’s only one place to go for sandwiches in NYC, and that’s Katz Delicatessen. The legendary deli has a reputation for their famous pastrami sandwiches in particular. The tender meat is cured for up to 30 days before being served on thick rye bread and given an extra kick with the deli’s homemade mustard. This is another place you can expect to queue, as according to the owner, Katz can serve anywhere between 400-4,000 customers each day! It’s also a great place to come if you’re a bit of a movie buff, as Katz actually featured in the film ‘When Harry Met Sally’.
Bagels for breakfast? Why not? At Ellen’s Stardust Diner, you can start the day off with rainbow bagels with scrambled eggs, melted American cheese and tater tots on the side. You can also add rashers of streaky bacon, which we’d recommend doing. Oh, and we forgot to mention, the waiters are aspiring Broadway stars, who will be singing and dancing around you as you eat. That’s one way to wake yourself up in the morning!
For New Yorkers, Absolute Bagels is arguably the best place to get bagels in town. There are plenty of bagels to choose from, including poppy seed, multigrain, cinnamon raisin and the delicious glazed egg bagel. There are also 14 varieties of cream cheese including sweet offerings like strawberry and blueberry, as well as jalapeño and sundried tomato flavours. For lunch on the go, stop by and build your own tasty creation.
For something sweet, Tompkins Square Bagels has an incredible birthday cake flavoured cream cheese filling, while Bagel Boy in Bay Ridge also serve rainbow bagels with rainbow cream cheese.
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