It’s impossible not to be tempted by all the fantastic smells that drift from restaurants, bakeries, and food stands onto the streets of New York. This city has an endless supply of amazing cuisines that are guaranteed to satisfy even the fussiest eaters.
If you’re planning a visit to this foodie haven, be prepared to manically consume as much of the local specialties as your stomach will allow. Here are 9 foods that you absolutely must have while you’re in NYC.
1. Pizza slice
Sure, you can get pizza anywhere in the world, but in NYC you can experience the thin crust and excessive diameter that is truly unique to this city.
NYC Pizza is often sold by the slice and is properly consumed by folding the slice in half lengthways then eating it pointy-end first. Make sure you grab a 99c cheese slice if you’re returning home from a bar at 2AM.
Where you’ll find it: Throughout East Village and Midtown.
2. Grilled Cheese
A classic New York food, the city prides itself on having the best grilled cheese sandwiches around. I can vouch for them being an amazing hangover cure after a night out on the town.
You can order a classic grilled cheese on its own, or with other fillings like tomato and caramelised onion. The sandwich will often be served with soup or tots on the side.
Brunch is great anywhere in the world, but the people of New York City sure know how to do brunch right. Every Sunday, you’ll spot local cafes and restaurants advertising their breakfast-for-lunch specials from around 12PM onwards.
Brunch in NYC is always boozy, so you must choose to have either a Mimosa or Bloody Mary on the side. Be prepared for a full stomach and some afternoon drinks.
Where you’ll find it: Various places in Williamsburg, East Village, or West Village.
4. Chinese Dumplings
Chinatown in New York City is as close to being in China as you can get without actually going there. The residents cook up a variety of authentic meals, so sampling some hearty and cheap Chinese dumplings is a must.
Dumplings should be swimming in soy sauce, and eaten with chopsticks.
If there’s one thing that NYC is damn good at, it’s burgers. Burger joints all over the city will claim that their burgers are the best, and as someone who has tried many of them, it sure is hard to decide which one takes the award.
Most of the time you can expect your burger to be served on some sort of fancy non-plate, and your side of sweet potato fries to come out in a tiny wire basket.
A classic New York food, their bagel have a crisp exterior and soft chewy inside, and is far superior to bagels elsewhere. Why? As it turns out, the traditional NYC bagel is boiled, which seals in the moisture and contributes to the doughy taste.
New York bagels come in a variety of flavors, and must be schmeared with a thick layer of cream cheese.
7. Hot Dogs
Anyone who has ever walked through the streets of New York City has noticed that there’s a hot dog stand on every corner. The hot dog revolution has now developed to include gourmet hot dog joints all over the city, and my fellow vegetarians will be happy to know that you can even grab a veggie dog while you’re in NYC.
A NYC hot dog is served on a long bun with both ketchup and mustard, and can also be topped with sauerkraut, pickles, or other toppings.
8. Ice cream sandwich
NYC ice cream sandwiches are the absolute best. You’ve never had two deliciously soft cookies sandwiching some hard frozen ice-cream like the ones you’ll find in NYC.
Ice cream sandwiches come in a variety of flavors, but you can’t beat the classic choc chip cookie with vanilla.
Where you’ll find it: Melt Bakery in the Lower East Side or on The High Line during summer.
Whoever said donuts were a thing of the past obviously hasn’t had New York food lately. This trend-setting city has some of the best donuts around, and you’ll discover some truly unique flavours like Hibiscus, Pistachio, and Toasted Coconut.
This article was written by Ashlea Wheeler.