New York City Food Guide: Traditional foods in New York City

New York City, also known as the Big Apple, is one of the most vibrant and exciting cities in the world. With a population of over 8 million people, it is the largest city in the United States and a cultural melting pot that attracts visitors from all over the globe. From the iconic Statue of Liberty to the bright lights of Times Square, there is always something to see and do in this bustling metropolis. New York City is also known for its incredible food scene. With a diverse range of cultures and cuisines represented, there is truly something for everyone.

New York City, United States of America

What to eat in New York City, United States of America

This is a list of the must have dishes in New York City. Ranked on best food score.


The Manhattan is a classic cocktail that originated in New York City's Manhattan Club in the late 1800s. It's made with whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters, and is often garnished with a cherry. This drink is a must-try for anyone visiting the city, as it's a true taste of New York's history and culture.

Whiskey, Sweet Vermouth, Bitters

Egg Cream

The Egg Cream is a classic New York City drink that's been around since the early 1900s. Despite its name, it doesn't actually contain any eggs or cream. Instead, it's made with chocolate syrup, milk, and seltzer water, creating a frothy, refreshing beverage that's perfect for a hot summer day.

Chocolate Syrup, Milk, Seltzer Water

Ginger Beer

Ginger beer is a non-alcoholic drink that's made with ginger, sugar, and water. It has a spicy, sweet flavor that's perfect for mixing with other drinks or enjoying on its own. There are many brands of ginger beer available in New York City, so you can try different ones and find your favorite.

Ginger, Sugar, Water

Long Island Iced Tea

The Long Island Iced Tea is a potent cocktail that's made with vodka, gin, rum, tequila, triple sec, lemon juice, and cola. Despite its name, it doesn't actually contain any tea. It's a popular drink in New York City, and is often ordered by those looking to have a good time.

Vodka, Gin, Rum, Tequila, Triple Sec, Lemon Juice, Cola

Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate is a classic winter drink that's perfect for warming up on a cold day. It's made with cocoa powder, sugar, milk, and sometimes spices like cinnamon or nutmeg. There are many places in New York City that serve delicious hot chocolate, from fancy cafes to street vendors.

Cocoa Powder, Sugar, Milk, Spices


New York City is renowned for its pizza, and for good reason. The city's pizza scene is diverse, ranging from classic New York-style slices to Neapolitan-style pies. One of the most iconic pizzerias in the city is Di Fara Pizza, where the pies are made with fresh mozzarella, San Marzano tomatoes, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Other must-try pizzerias include Lombardi's, Patsy's Pizzeria, and Joe's Pizza.

Mozzarella, San Marzano Tomatoes, Parmesan Cheese


New York City bagels are a must-try for any visitor. These boiled, then baked bread rings are known for their chewy texture and delicious toppings. Some of the best bagel shops in the city include Russ & Daughters, Ess-a-Bagel, and H&H Bagels. Toppings range from classic cream cheese to lox and whitefish salad.

Cream Cheese, Lox, Whitefish Salad

Hot Dogs

No trip to New York City is complete without trying a classic hot dog from a street vendor. These grilled or boiled sausages are served on a bun with a variety of toppings, including sauerkraut, onions, and mustard. Some of the best hot dog vendors in the city include Nathan's Famous and Gray's Papaya.

Sausage, Bun, Sauerkraut, Onions, Mustard

Pastrami Sandwich

The pastrami sandwich is a New York City classic. This sandwich is made with thinly sliced, smoked beef brisket, served on rye bread with mustard. Some of the best pastrami sandwiches in the city can be found at Katz's Delicatessen, Carnegie Deli, and 2nd Ave Deli.

Pastrami, Rye Bread, Mustard


New York-style cheesecake is a rich and creamy dessert that is a must-try for any visitor to the city. This dessert is made with cream cheese, eggs, and sugar, and is often served with a graham cracker crust. Some of the best places to try New York-style cheesecake include Junior's, Eileen's Special Cheesecake, and Two Little Red Hens.

Cream Cheese, Eggs, Sugar, Graham Cracker Crust

Dim Sum

New York City has a vibrant Chinatown, and one of the best things to do there is to indulge in some dim sum. Dim sum is a style of Chinese cuisine where small plates of food are served on carts that are pushed around the restaurant. Some of the best dim sum restaurants in the city include Jing Fong, Nom Wah Tea Parlor, and Golden Unicorn.

Dumplings, Buns, Rice Noodle Rolls


New York City has no shortage of delicious burgers, from classic diner-style burgers to gourmet creations. Some of the best burger joints in the city include Shake Shack, J.G. Melon, and Minetta Tavern. Toppings range from classic cheese and bacon to more unique options like truffle aioli and foie gras.

Beef Patty, Bun, Cheese, Bacon, Truffle Aioli, Foie Gras


The cronut is a must-try for any dessert lover visiting New York City. This delectable pastry is a hybrid between a croissant and a donut, and has become an iconic dessert in the city. Created by pastry chef Dominique Ansel, the cronut has a flaky, buttery texture on the outside and a soft, sweet interior. It's often filled with flavored creams and topped with glazes and sprinkles, making it a true indulgence.

Croissant dough, Donut dough, Flavored creams

Black and White Cookie

The black and white cookie is a classic New York dessert that has been enjoyed for generations. This large, round cookie is half vanilla and half chocolate, with a soft, cake-like texture. It's often topped with a sweet glaze that adds an extra layer of flavor. The black and white cookie is a staple in bakeries across the city, and is a must-try for anyone with a sweet tooth.

Vanilla cake, Chocolate cake, Sweet glaze

Chocolate Babka

Chocolate babka is a sweet and indulgent dessert that's popular in Jewish bakeries throughout New York City. This rich pastry is made with layers of buttery dough and chocolate filling, and is often topped with streusel or powdered sugar. It's a perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee or tea, and is a must-try for anyone who loves chocolate.

Buttery dough, Chocolate filling, Streusel or powdered sugar


Baklava is a sweet and flaky pastry that's popular in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. This dessert is made with layers of phyllo dough, honey, and nuts, and is often flavored with cinnamon or cardamom. It's a staple in many New York bakeries and is a must-try for anyone looking for a unique and exotic dessert experience.

Phyllo dough, Honey, Nuts