New York is a gastronomic heaven, in a city built by immigrants you can taste probably every cuisine in the world. The excess of options can make you dizzy, so we come to the rescue and suggest what to try in New York. We’ll be focusing on New York classics, so you’ll know what to eat in New York! If you’re looking for places to eat you can find few ideas here.
Bagels – What to eat in New York?
You can buy bagels on every corner, bagels rule New York! Their prices start around $ 3-4 for a simple cream cheese bagel. Bagels were brought to New York by Jewish immigrants, along with many other delicacies, and are now a symbol of the city. The classic New York bagel is the one with creamy cheese and smoked salmon of the best quality! We recommend experimenting with the cheeses, because apart from the classic cream cheese, there are many options. Our favourites are scallion cream cheese, i.e. cottage cheese with chives and lox, i.e. cheese mixed with salmon, capers and dill – heaven! If you have more space in your belly to try several options, it is worth experimenting with meat filling and opting for pastrami or corned beef.
Interestingly, the cream cheese called Philly or Philadelphia is a product created in New York and quickly gained popularity in Jewish cuisine. So where did the name Philadelphia come from? This is pure marketing! Philadelphia was famous for high-quality dairy products, so the cheese was named for marketing purposes.
‘Bialy’ – What to eat in New York?
Bialy is a piece of our Polish history in New York, this bread was brought to the city by Polish emigrants. Bialy is an abbreviation of Białystok, the name of a city which originally comes from. Unfortunately together with other Jewish foods, it disappeared from Polish cuisine. By chance, it has survived in New York to this day and can be bought in most places that also sell bagels. Bialy is a bagel without a hole, instead, there is a dimple filled with caramelized onions, a bit like ‘cebularz’, a wheat dough pancake which is eaten in the Lublin region of Poland to this day.
Hot dogs – What to eat in New York?
There is a reason for the association of hot dogs with New York – street carts selling hot dogs are literally everywhere. Of course, such street food does not boast of outstanding quality, it must be admitted that they contribute to creating the atmosphere of the city and are the perfect snack in a New York rush. New York hot dogs also have a pinch of Polish history.
The most popular hot dog chain in New York is Nathan’s Famous, Nathan was a Polish immigrant of Jewish origin who worked in a hot dog restaurant on Coney Island. After a while, he opened his business and began selling hot dogs for 5 cents, which is half the price of the competition. As you can imagine, it was a spectacular success, the original location on Coney Island is booming, especially in the high season, and hundreds of Nathan’s Famous strollers can be seen on the streets of the city. Interestingly, the famous hot dog speed eating competition (which gave rise to other speed eating competitions), which takes place every year on Coney Island, is also the doing of Nathan, or rather his clever marketer.
New York hot dogs may be a bit surprising because the classic consists of sausage, soft roll, onion, brown mustard and … sauerkraut! Sauerkraut was brought to New York by German immigrants and it is surprising how many dishes it can be found in. If you are not tempted by Nathan’s hot dogs and want to go for something of more quality, check out Dickson’s Farmstand Meat or Criff’s Dogs.
New York Pizza – What to eat in New York?
The star of more than one Tv series (Joey’s special from Friends is just an example), the famous New York pizza! Classic over classics. New York pizza is baked on a giant base and sold by the slice, as it is easy to guess one slice is quite large and can replace a whole meal. The New York pizza is thin and crispy, full of tomato sauce and greasy mozzarella.
Margherita is just one of the two most popular options, the other being pepperoni of course. It is mistakenly claimed that the New York pizza is tasteless and of poor quality. This is probably the case if you buy it in a place where they sell for a dollar. In New York, there are plenty of places with really tasty, quality pizza, but it won’t cost you a dollar. We only have reservations about the quality of pepperoni, it was not good enough even in the best places.
Oysters – What to eat in New York?
Not many would know that in the past, the waters surrounding New York City were abundant in oysters, one of New York’s most popular dishes. Unfortunately, there is few oysters left in the waters, but the tradition of eating them has remained. All over the city, oysters are served in many restaurants and oyster bars, but you won’t find the one from New York City on the menus. You can try oysters from nearby states – Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Connecticut. You can even find an oyster happy hour! The price for an oyster is around $ 3-5.
Manhattan Clam Chowder – What to eat in New York?
Manhattan is also famous for its own type of fish soup called chowder. For its preparation, mussels are used as the name suggests. Manhattan chowder is prepared with the addition of tomato puree, which distinguishes it from other types of chowder. Tasty soup, but we remain faithful fans of Irish chowder.
Lobster roll – What to eat in New York?
The seafood section can be closed with a mention of a lobster roll. The lobster roll is nothing more than an oblong, buttery brioche filled to the brim with lobster. An unusual delicacy, although the price for this pleasure, as you can imagine, is not low.
New York cheesecake – What to eat in New York?
New York cheesecake is, in our opinion, the king of cheesecakes. Divine, perfectly creamy and light, sweet, HEAVEN IN THE MOUTH! It may be a bit too sweet for many, but it’s just a matter of finding a place that suits your taste perfectly or just sharing a slice in half. If New York cheesecake, then it must be at Junior’s, a Brooklyn-based bakery that currently has its points all over New York. They say it’s the best cheesecake in New York and we won’t argue. In addition to the classic version, they have various flavours on the menu, we recommend a combination with carrot cake, which is perfectly savoury and balances the sweetness of the cheesecake!
Cookies – What to eat in New York?
Classic, round and large cookies may not be a typical New York proposition, but they are worth trying there. Mainly because of Levain’s Bakery that sells them. At the original location, the selection was not very wide, but the peanut butter and chocolate cupcake were absolutely outstanding.
Reuben – What to eat in New York?
Reuben is a typical New York sandwich. It consists of rye bread, endless layers of corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing (it can also be a thousand island sauces, the sandwich is of course grilled.
Pastrami – What to eat in New York?
Pastrami, like most good food, was brought to New York by Jews, in this case, Romanian. Pastrami is beef brisket, salted, seasoned with spices, partially dried then smoked and steamed. The Jewish delicatessen serves a Pastrami sandwich, a sandwich that consists of rye bread, a gigantic amount of pastrami and mustard. Believe me, nothing else is needed for this sandwich. Best place to try it is Katz Delicatessen.
Cronut – What to eat in New York?
It was in New York, in 2013, a combination of a croissant and a donut was created. There were gigantic queues at the time to the Dominique Ansel Bakery in SoHo. We haven’t tried it ourselves, but if cronut is something that interests you, be sure to visit its birthplace.
Knish – What to eat in New York?
Knish is another Jewish dish that Eastern European Jews began selling from street carts around 1900. Knish is a baked or fried dough dumpling stuffed with onion and mashed potatoes.
Matzo Ball Soup – What to eat in New York?
Matzo Ball Soup is a soup originating, no surprise here, from Jewish cuisine, or basically, a classic broth served with noodles and a ball called matzo. Matzo is made from a combination of water and flour, it is slightly salty and very strange in both texture and flavour. We give the broth 10/10 for it.
Pickles – What to eat in New York?
We have already mentioned sauerkraut, so it’s time for pickles, i.e. pickled and low-salt cucumbers. In many places, especially in Jewish delicatessen, you can order pickles in restaurants (in Katz Delicatessen they immediately offer them as a side for a sandwich). Taking into consideration that eating fermented foods is not common in many well-developed parts of the world, we were surprised by how popular it is in New York City. It is worth trying to compare with other pickled cucumbers you might have had.
Manhattan drinks – Martini, Manhattan and Cosmopolitan – What to eat in New York?
Martini – a drink made of gin and vermouth, garnished with olives or lemon zest. It gained fame thanks to James Bond, but was a drink that was willingly drunk in New York during Prohibition due to the growing popularity of gin at that time.
Manhattan – founded in the now defunct Manhattan Club in the nineteenth century, made of whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters.
Cosmopolitan – we recommend it mostly to fans of Sex in the Big City because for us this cocktail is not worth much attention. Cosmopolitan consists of cranberry juice, vodka, triple sec and sweetened lime juice. It is also not a cocktail that New Yorkers would particularly like.
Brunch – What to eat in New York?
Brunch is not a dish but a way of eating. Although this custom does not originate in New York, we have the impression that it was created with New Yorkers in mind. Brunch is a combination of breakfast and lunch. Typical breakfast meals are eaten, such as French toast, pancakes, avocado toast or Benedictine eggs, at a late breakfast/lunchtime accompanied by alcohol – cocktails such as Mimosa or simply with a glass of champagne. New Yorkers seem to love this weekend habit because after the late-night parties you can get enough sleep, and start the day exactly where you finished it.
Burgers, steaks, donuts and pancakes – What to eat in New York?
All-American dishes, rather than only New York ones, which you will find in many places. While in the city, it is worth getting a good burger or steak, although the latter is not a cheap pleasure. You can take the ubiquitous donuts to the park for a picnic, and pancakes, especially those with bacon and maple syrup, are a frequent breakfast offer, especially in an affordable deli.
Reese’s and Hershey’s – What to eat in New York?
If you have never eaten American Reese’s, i.e. chocolates filled with peanut butter, you must correct your mistake as soon as possible! Reese’s has many versions, and in New York, you will find some that are not available in Europe, including Reese’s with salted chips and pretzels, which is heaven for us! The combination of sweetness, peanut butter, saltiness and crunchiness is ideal.
The famous Hershey’s chocolate is also a must, we have never eaten the classic version, but the white one with cookies is brilliant. In the US you will find many versions that we do not have access to in Europe.