One of the many things New York City is known for is the variety of food you can find along the streets. Whether you go to a stand on the corner or sit down for some fine dining, you’ll always find a delicious meal to take with you through the Big Apple. There are some foods that the city is best known for, and they’re ready to be served for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even dessert! Stop into these city staples and take a bite of their classic dishes that will have you feeling like a native in NYC.
Classic Foods of New York City
One of the age-old arguments you’ll hear when visiting New York City is who serves the best pizza. The city is known for its world of Italian restaurants, and pizzerias are no exception. However, John's of Bleecker Street tends to be the most popular recommendation for city pizza. Open in 1929, this Greenwich Village pizzeria is known for perfecting the taste of coal-fired brick oven pizza. You’ll find slices made with the finest ricotta cheese and various toppings such as roasted tomatoes, garlic and onions. Each pie also comes with a fun name, so be sure to order yourself a slice of “The Boom Pie” or the spicy “Piccante Pie.”
John's of Bleeker Street (©David La Spina / NYC & Company)
Popular street food you’ll find at food stands in the city is hot dogs, and they’re also a popular staple at Coney Island. If you’re looking for a quick bite of this summer treat away from the carnival, head to Crif Dogs in the East Village. This restaurant offers a fun spin on the traditional hot dog, giving each meal a taste of the city’s creativity. Their bacon-wrapped “crif dogs” are a popular choice, but they also serve chili dogs and various condiments and toppings. If you want to go all out, create your own delicious experience with their “Build Your Own” options or order your crif dog with a drink during Happy Hour.
Hot Dog at Crif Dogs (CourtesyIrene L.)
Sandwiches are the perfect lunchtime treat when you need a quick bite, and you can’t go wrong with some slices of pastrami on rye bread. Most people might think of Katz’s Deli when they’re looking for their fix of New York-style sandwiches, but another popular spot is 2nd Ave Deli. This classic Jewish deli has been a staple of Midtown East with a long history under its name. They serve every kind of sandwich you can think of inside, but their pastrami sandwiches are one of their more popular choices. You have the option of eating it hot, served with turkey or piled high with other meats and cheeses with their “3 Decker Sandwich” options.
Pastrami Sandwich (Courtesy 2nd Ave Deli)
Bagels and Lox
A popular breakfast treat in New York is bagels smeared with every kind of spread or topping you can think of. Lox cream cheese is one of the more common choices, and there’s no better place to find it than at Russ & Daughters. This appetizing shop on the Lower East Side has been family-owned for four generations, and they continue to serve the finest bagels and lox in the city today. If you want to take your bagel with you later in the day, consider ordering one of their sandwiches served with smoked salmon and their variety of lox spreads.
Bagels (Courtesy Russ & Daughters)
While some foods have become staples of New York City, some are native to the city and call it their home. One of them is the Cronut©, a pastry created as a combination of the croissant and the doughnut. This treat came from the SoHo bakery Dominique Ansel Bakery, where it’s still served daily to customers. Their Cronut© pastries are combined with a new flavor each month to give your mouth a different kind of sweet treat. Be sure to stop inside this month and grab a bite of their “Honey Peach & Graham Cracker Cronut©” filled with homemade honey peach jam and graham cracker ganache.
Cronut© (Courtesy Dominique Ansel Bakery)
Another dessert staple of the city is cheesecake, and you’ll find it served homemade and ready to eat at almost every bakery you visit. If you’re looking for one of the best, look no further than Veniero’s Pasticceria & Cafe in the East Village. This Italian bakery has been cooking for customers since 1894, so it’s safe to say that they’ve been in the cheesecake business for a while. Their cheesecake is a popular item on the menu, and you have the choice of topping off the classic, creamy slices with other favorite flavors such as chocolate marble, almonds or fresh strawberries.
Cheesecake (©Molly Flores / NYC & Company)