When it comes to food variety, New York is the metropolis. The fact that the city hosts millions of immigrants whose traditions & cuisines have mingled and finally shaped New York's food culture has made the latter far more interesting than you may suspect. In fact, New York is the place where you can find literally anything you crave as long as you search in the right places. This, however, takes time and let's face it, you cannot try everything during your vacation unless you have the benefit of time. Well, don't worry! The good news is that now you have my food guide! So before you get yourself a headache scouting out TripAdvisor's hundreds of food recommendations, take a look at my personal list of musts to fill your tummy and get a taste of real New York.
First of all, you should know that everything in New York, including food, is overpriced for most people, so if you are planning to dine in restaurants throughout your stay, be really picky with your choices so you won't get disappointed and pay a lot of money at the same time. At least make sure that you pick the right places according to your taste. If, however, fancy restaurants are out of the question for you, there are still numerous choices at more reasonable prices thanks to diners, pubs and street food stalls and this is where my post will focus on. But enough with general info. With no further ado, I present to you my personal New York food favorites per category for your convenience:
One of my favorite spots to enjoy some quick breakfast was Princi: Spirito di Milano near Times Square. To my understanding, this is a renowned all-day Italian bakery backed by Starbucks Reserve which alongside great coffee, offers various breakfast choices, either you search for something savory or something sweet. I fell in love with their variation of Italian Cannoncini. There is a great variety of vegan options too, like their amazing Italian style pizzas.
You have not fully experienced New York’s breakfast without a bagel. And I strongly believe there is no better place to do so than Pick a Bagel, a franchise brand specialising in bagels! There, you can pick the kind of bagel you prefer and stuff it with whatever your tummy craves while sipping some diner style filter coffee like a real New Yorker. I was mad about my eggs & bacon bagel.
Yummy! This worldwide franchise chain has got your back! Breakfast for every taste, the Parisian way! There you can find the most delicious croissants and a wide range of other Parisian pastries and savory delicacies. I liked their creamy pastries!
I like my brunch and I cannot lie. That’s why I was thrilled with this franchise restaurant where I was served an excellent brunch. It’s called Le Pain Quotidien and offers a wide variety of brunch choices either you are vegetarian/vegan or not. Loved their eggs & bacon choices and their pancakes!
There are numerous diners in New York city where you can enjoy America’s signature food aka a juicy burger with french fries and a glass of iced Coke. My personal favorite was Brooklyn diner. Nice place with cozy atmosphere at a convenient location close to Columbus Circle. And most of all, great American food experience!
If you are a ‘How I met your mother’ fan, you’ll probably go nuts because of what’s coming next. Remember MacLarens pub, the one where the TV series’ gang used to gather? Well, there’s an actual pub in Manhattan from which it was inspired. McGee’s is a three-storey Irish pub with a friendly atmosphere and a whole bunch of food choices. Whatever you order, make sure you also try their Nachos! The whole pub is decorated with ‘How I met your mother’ photos and you get to order cocktails named after some of the series’ catchy phrases such as ‘Wait for it’ or even buy a souvenir T-shirt.
No 2 on my pubs list is The Playwright Pub. Its convenient location near Times Square will make it easy for you to find it. It is also a Celtic pub with a great collection of draft beer. I particularly enjoyed Brooklyn Lager. Of course there is also food on the menu and I would definitely recommend their spicy all American chicken wings!
Street food is by far my favorite because I believe that's where a city's heart beats. Lucky me, New York city is famous for its street food choices, so if you are a fan too, you might want to keep notes on what’s following.
You’ve probably heard of this in some movie. Yep, it’s the most famous hot dog in New York and it’s delicious! Gran’s Papaya is a 24/7 hot dog restaurant chain so you can pick the store that is more convenient to you.
Joe’s pizza is famous for a reason. It’s that thin Italian style pizza you see on the movies being folded in half before devoured by the actors due to its big size. I liked this pizza so much that I actually got a second slice even though my stomach was already full. Located near Times Square so it will be a piece of cake for you to find it.
When you visit Times Square, make sure you try Churros from the canteen located right in the centre of the square. They worth every penny!
The greatest ice cream ever made doesn’t taste like you probably imagine. It has nothing to do with traditional ice cream and still it is tastier. These Thai-inspired ice cream rolls are the new trend and 10 Below, now a franchise company, was the first to introduce them to New York. Part of the experience is their spectacular making live in front of your eyes with the ingredients of your choice. Try the one with fresh strawberries and biscuit in it. I had the opportunity to taste it in their store in Chinatown and it blew me away!
If you are a more traditional ice cream type, you don’t wanna miss the soft serve ice cream with added sprinkles on it from the canteen located near the steel globe at Columbus Circle.
You probably saw Magnolia Bakery in 'Sex and the City' TV series, in a scene where Carrie and Miranda sit outside the Magnoia Bakery store in West Village and enjoy a cupcake each. That is the exact same store I visited myself and I can tell you why these cupcakes are still considered legendary. Both their filling and frosting are so divine that you cannot have only one. I tried the Red Velvet and the Chocolate Banana and they were both a delight! The cheesecake is a must too! Apart from their goodies, this particular store worths a visit too, because it is like taken from another time. Small and cozy with vintage details.
The Bridge and River tour is a scenic 3-hour bicycle tour will take you from the Upper West Side of New York City up and over the George Washington Bridge for a ride along the river on Route 9W. Get the full touring experience and leave New York City for a few hours. During the ride, we make stops at Grants Tomb Memorial on the Upper West Side.