Traveling around the world is a great pleasure, and one of the best things about getting to know new places is trying the local food – not only is it a delight for the senses, but it also tells us a lot about the culture and customs of each destination.
For this reason, food tours – which let visitors sample the best and most authentic dishes from the city they’re visiting – are becoming more and more popular.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best typical foods in New York City. The Big Apple has a wide variety of gastronomic options thanks to its rich history and immigrant ethos, which has resulted in a can’t-miss blend of cultures.
If you are tempted by the idea of taking a Food tour in New York, you’ve come to the right place! This article examines in detail which classic delicacies you cannot afford to miss while you’re in town.
Best of all, most of New York’s food is fast and cheap, so you should be able to try out multiple dishes without spending a fortune. Fancier alternatives are available, of course, but that’s not our focus here.
So without further ado, let’s get started on our virtual New York Food tour.
Bagel filled with cream cheese
Bagels are a classic of the New York culinary scene regardless of the filling, of which there are hundreds. But we’ve highlighted the cream cheese bagel since it is the undisputed star of New York breakfasts.
Bagels were introduced to the city by its Jewish population and consisted of bread with a hole in the center (like a savory donut!) which is cut in half, with all kinds of fillings such as sausage and cheese. The secret to the Bagels served in New York is that they are boiled before being baked.
New York Pizza
Pizza is an Italian classic that’s served all over the world; but New York-style pizza stands alone – made with a brittle dough, daubed with a layer of tomato sauce, and seasoned with multiple spices and a heap of mozzarella. The result is a simple, oily, and delicious pizza.
The pizza slice is a New York icon, often sold from street trucks. Individual portions are gigantic, and just one will fill you up. New Yorkers usually fold their slice in half so they can eat them on the go without having to worry about dripping oil on their clothes. No Food tour in New York is complete without a serving of the city’s iconic pizza.
The famous New York Cheesecake is an intense and creamy cake made with generous portions of cream cheese, eggs, sugar, and cream.
Some establishments garnish their cakes with fruits of the forest or jam, but most traditional venues don’t add any extraneous ingredients – just a delicious circle of dough and cream cheese filling.
Two New York joints are said to serve the best cheesecake in town: Eileen’s and Junior’s. Which of the two is best has become a point of contention among New Yorkers.
A kind of bow-shaped bread sprinkled with coarse salt and baked, pretzels were introduced to the city with the arrival of German immigrants.
Today they have become an icon of the city, offered by hundreds of street cars on every corner. Pretzels are typically eaten warm, with added mustard. We wouldn’t recommend trying the pretzels from street carts; instead, head to the city’s bars and breweries, and make sure to check out those from Auntie Anne’s chain.
New Yorkers love donuts. In fact, they’re a New York creation, albeit based on a type of fried dough introduced to the New Amsterdam neighborhood by the Dutch.
Donuts come in all shapes, sizes, and tastes; covered, filled, or plain, the options are endless. They are also available from street carts, although we recommend you try the donuts served in Dough, The Doughnut Project, or the Dominique Ansel Bakery.
Chicken and waffles
This dish has become a New York classic thanks to the residents of Harlem, who introduced this typical African-American recipe to the city.
A specialty of most Harlem restaurants, as well as other places like Sweet Chick and Clinton St Baking Co, the dish even comes in a vegan version, which is delicious! It’s as simple as its name would suggest: a portion of waffles accompanied by fried chicken, and a little melted butter or maple syrup for texture.
One of the best – and biggest – pastrami sandwiches in town can be sampled at Katz’s Delicatessen, made with rye bread and the most delicious pastrami. A typical Jewish dish immediately adopted by New Yorkers, you’re unlikely to be able to finish a typical pastrami sandwich without the help of a partner…
This dish is said to have been created in New York, although this is up for dispute. In any case, Eggs Benedict is a New York brunch classic: poached eggs with hollandaise sauce (made from egg yolks, lemon, and butter) and bacon, served on an English muffin.
We hope that our recommendations have made your mouth water. Make sure to try all these dishes if you decide to visit New York City!