6 Dishes You Need to Try When Visiting New York City

By Abraham Sanieoff

New York has plenty to offer visitors, from sights (the Statue of Liberty, the Met, and Central Park) to sounds (Broadway and Radio City). But no trip to the Big Apple is complete without taking a bite (or ten) of its most famous dishes.

Below, we listed eight must-try dishes for when you visit NYC.

Pizza

Sure, you can get pizza anywhere in the country or even the globe, but New York pizza simply tastes differently. When Italian immigrants settled in New York in the late 1800s, they brought with them their native Neapolitan-style pizza.

Now, you can get this signature Italian dish from pizzerias and restaurants in all five boroughs. Enjoy it plain with just a crisp crust, savory sauce, and high-quality cheese. Or you can order one with your favorite toppings, such as green peppers and pepperoni.

Pastrami

In the second half of the 19th century, Jewish immigrants brought pastrami to New York from Romania and Germany. Today, it has become an NYC classic.

Pastrami is a type of sandwich made with two pieces of rye bread slathered with spicy mustard and slices of brined and spiced roast beef. You can get a stacked pastrami on rye at kosher and non-kosher delis around NYC.

Bagel

Another treat brought by Jewish immigrants from Europe is the bagel. Mostly enjoyed as breakfast food, bagels are a type of doughnut-shaped bread that’s boiled and baked, giving each a crisp outside and chewy inside.

The best thing about bagels is their neutral, lightly sweet flavor. It means you can enjoy it plain or spice it up with almost anything. For most, the simple addition of cream cheese and lox is enough, while others put hummus, fried eggs, or fruit with nut butter.

Cheesecake

Your New York City trip is not complete without at least one stop at a cheesecake place. Rich, smooth, and with a cream cheese base, NY-style cheesecake is a decadent dessert unlike any other.

Now that Lindy’s — the joint that popularized NY-style cheesecake — is closed, you can get your fix at Junior’s. This landmark restaurant has been Brooklynites’ go-to for their cheesecake cravings since the 1950s.

Cronut

In 2013, French pastry chef Dominique Ansel wanted to make doughnuts but didn’t have any good recipes for them. So he improvised and made laminated dough, like how you make croissants, and shaped them like doughnuts. Thus, cronuts were born.

Cronuts are proofed and deep-fried. They can have different fillings or rolled in sugar and glazed. And while the original cronut can only be bought at Chef Ansel’s bakery in limited quantities, you can find plenty of copycats all over the city.

Bodega Sandwich

Every neighborhood in New York has their beloved bodegas — small grocery stores with a deli counter. Apart from shopping for emergency supplies when you run out of milk in the morning, you can also place an order for a cup of to-go coffee and a sandwich.

Simple but inherently New York, bodega sandwiches can be your breakfast-ready bacon, egg, and cheese on a roll or a more filling Philly cheesesteak for lunch, filled with grilled meat, cheese, and tomatoes. Simply walk up to the nearest bodega, and you can have your fill.

Come Hungry to New York City

With so many sights to see and places to explore, you’ll undoubtedly be famished visiting New York. Luckily, all these mouthwatering dishes and more are waiting for you, too.

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Abraham Sanieoff

Abraham Sanieoff

Abraham Sanieoff, originally from California, I’m a traveler, writer and blogger for over 15 years now. I love to write about my experiences and share them.