What to Eat in New York City – What is the Best Food in New York City?

One thing is for sure you are not likely to go hungry when In New York. New yorkers really love their food and as such, there is plenty of options available in the city. The Melting pot of cultures means the food is hugely varied. Just about ever cuisine in the word is represented and New Yorks Pioneering chefs have developed plenty of dishes that can only be Described as New York Cuisine.

This Guide to what to eat in new york City will help you find and try all things you absolutely Must try while visiting this fantastic City. So What is the best food in New York City?

Hot DogsWhat is the Best Food in New York City

Nothing says New York Food quite like a Hot Dog. Sure Hot dogs can not be found the entire world over but New York is the Birthplace of the Hot Dog (Probably).

Every tourist area (and quite a few non-tourist areas) will be littered with the famous New York Hotdog carts. Selling their irresistible sausages for sometimes as little as a $1. Many restaurants sell their upmarket Gourmet Dogs but, really just you can get one of those in just about any city in the world. In New York, you want an authentic hot dog from a cart. And grab a Salty Pretzel while you are at it!

Or try the iconic Gray’s Papaya for an inexpensive high-quality Hotdog washed down with delicious “fresh” fruit juice, hence the “papaya”.

Bagels and Loxbagel and lox

New York Bagels are legendary and the Classic way to enjoy them is with Lox. Cured salmon similar to Smoked Salmon (only without the smokiness) and a “schmear” of Cream Cheese.  These delicious bready delights are best enjoyed for breakfast, but don’t let me stop you eating them whenever.

You shouldn’t have much trouble tracking one down just about every breakfast joint in town will offer Bagels and Lox, you will even find them on food carts and plenty of delis.

Of course if Uncooked Salmon is not your thing then feel free to lose the Lox and just grab a bagel and “Schmear”. You really can’t come to New York and not try one of its most famous foods, though.

Pizzaslices of thin crust new york style pizza

Giant Pizza Pies sold by the Slice are not just a New York Tourist food. Eaten by the tone by the locals Pizza really is a part of New York. Of course, Tracking down a GREAT slice can be a little tricky.

Santa – “there are, like, thirty Ray’s Pizzas. They all claim to be the original. But the real one’s on 11th

Of course, a bad pizza slice in New York is no bad thing, I mean it’s still Pizza, Right? But with a little searching, you can find the absolute best. Joes Pizza is one of the Classic New York Joints. and while being very busy they know how to serve Pizza and will have you in and out with your slice in no time!

There are also some incredible Pizzerias in Manhattan. Not the Cheap and Cheerful by the Slice type joints but real coal and wood-fired oven baked pizzas. Try Patsy’s Pizzeria on 1st street for coal-fired Pizza by the slice or Juliana’s in Brooklyn for possibly the best pizza you will ever eat…just don’t say that to an Italian.

Cheesecakenew york cheesecake with blueberries

It can be argued long and hard where Cheesecake originated, However, The commercial Cheesecake we all know and love was discovered and popularised in New York. New York Style Cheesecake is incredible. Rich Creamy and dense. It’s utterly Divine whether you have it plain as intended or with delicious fruit toppings.

Available all over the City. Diner and Patisserie windows will be filled with this culinary delight in all flavours and varieties.

Juniors Cheesecake is a New York icon and well worth checking out…Not just for the Cheesecake!

Shake Shackshake shack SmokeShack burger

Hamburgers are an American Institution. And Shake shack is currently the BIG name in Burgers on the East coast of America. While California has its In and Out Burger New York has the Shake Shack. This post is not about which is best (It’s Shake Shack!), this post is about telling you to grab one anytime you are in New York.

Shake shack started as nothing more than a food cart at Madison Square Gardens and has now grown into an international franchise. Its Burgers are fantastic and we love the Crinkle cut fries. For a fast food restaurant, it’s rare in that it serves alcohol. But its Shakes and Concretes are what separate it from the crowd.

If they don’t open a branch near me soon I will be contacting them about opening my own!

General Tso’s Chicken (or Shrimp) general tso chicken

A rich Sweet spicy Chinese dish very popular in New York’s Chinese restaurants. Chinese food, in general, has a very large representation in New York. There is a very large and thriving China Town Community in Lower Manhattan. Chinese restaurants, in general, are spread through the city. And General Tso’s Chicken being the most renowned dish in the City. There are competing Stories as to who invented the Dish but we know It was invented my Chinese immigrants to New York many years ago.

Chicken is First Deep fried and then coated in a rich sweet soy sauce based chilli sauce. Despite the use of large whole dried chilli’s the dish isn’t very spicy as long as you avoid eating the Chilli’s. Although Chicken is the Proper ingredient most restaurants offer variations and the King Prawn (Shrimp) Variation is our favourite.

Almost every Chinese restaurant in New York will have their version of General Tso’s Chicken on the menu.


Cronut dominique ansel bakery cronut

A true food phenomenon. The Cronut crashed onto the New York Map when Bakery owner Dominique Ansel sold his first cream filled Croissant-donut hybrid. Within days the news had spread and Large lines formed outside his Bakery, attempting to snaffle one of his creations.

The only place to get your hands on a Cronut in New York* is Dominique Ansel’s Bakery in Soho. However, Many Ripoff products have popped up across the city. Even Dunkin Donuts have a version. Although the non-cream filled flaky donut offered by the budget Donut shop leaves a little to be desired.

The popularity of this indulgent cream filled delight means queues start well before the store opens and unless you are there in plenty of time you are unlikely to get your reward! Scalpers have been known to offer disappointed customers pre-bought Cronuts for exorbitant prices!

TBH It’s all a bit much hype for a fancy French pastry, But its all good fun. So feel free to get there early and snag one of life’s little mysteries. Or maybe try a Dunkin donuts to give you a taste of what people are going so mad about.

*there are also locations in London and Tokyo but that’s not really helpful if you are planning a New York trip!

Pastrami on Rye, Delinyc deli sandwich

New York Deli sandwiches are Meat filled wonders of the world. While in most sandwich shops you end up with more bread than filling New York’s delis have been stuffing the bread to bursting point for years. New York Delis are much copied around the world but they never get it right.

A real New York Deli isn’t the fancy upmarket sandwich shop most Rip-offs try to be. but simply corner shops selling all types of everyday things. At the same time, the sandwich operation will be putting inordinate amounts of meat between bread and selling them at low prices. Great everyday food for New Yorkers. But us tourists are welcome to dig in too.

Pastrami is one of our favourites but Corned Beef and Turkey are fantastic too.

Steakpeter luger porterhouse

So far I have mainly focused on every day cheap eats but most people will be wanting a splurge meal and New York is home to some fantastic steak and chop houses so if you are wanting a splurge it doesn’t get much better. But If you are planning on visiting one of the high-end steakhouses expect it to be a splurge!

Peter Luger’s Brooklyn-based Steakhouse is the most famous and with good reason the steaks are truly phenomenal.  Wolfgang Zwiener, peter Luger’s head waiter decided he could do better and launched his own Steakhouse, Wolfgang’s Steakhouse. He now has several excellent locations throughout Manhattan.

Keens Steakhouse is another New York Icon. The 130year old Historic Steakhouse is something from another Era but the steaks are up there with anything the city has to offer.

With any popular restaurant in new York Remember to book well in advance. Rocking up without a reservation will be very likely to lead to disappointment.


Have I missed Something out? There are so many food options in New York and so many different tastes I’m sure lots of you will have something to add? Did I miss your favourite off my list? Feel free to drop me a comment below and we will look into it next time were there!





2 thoughts on “What to Eat in New York City – What is the Best Food in New York City?”

  1. I wish I had this information before my last trip to New York! We walked a good five miles thru downtown New York, from one end to the other. I was getting pretty hungry and we kept looking for a place. I wanted NY pizza, or a hot dog. We couldn’t find any that served this. Are they off the beaten path? We ended up just eating at some diner with sub par food because we were so hungry, and I had given up on what I was looking for.

    • Wow, We are pretty amazed you couldn’t find a hotdog in Downtown, there are carts on nearly every street corner especially in any busy location! NY Pizza is a little more scarce in Downtown, In Midtown they are everywhere. But Downtown they need a little more hunting down.


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