Best of New York Food

There are so many reasons to visit New York. You will love the atmosphere, the skyscrapers, Broadway, Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, the view from the top of the Empire State Building…and the food. New York’s food is part of this city’s incredible appeal. Whether that’s a coffee and a bagel from the best breakfast haunt, a hotdog from a street vendor or soup and dumplings from Chinatown – the food here is amazing. 

New York is a melting pot of all different types of cuisine and flavors. So, ahead of your visit to New York – here’s our guide to enjoying the best of New York food. 

Breakfast New York Style

Start your day the NYC way and stop off for a bagel and a coffee. Bagels are an art form here in NYC. They arrived in the city in the 1880s, having been introduced by new Jewish residents and friends who arrived from Eastern Europe around that time. Sit in at the best breakfast joint near you, and watch the steady flow of New Yorkers arrive to pick up their morning staple, before heading off to work. 

Start your day the NYC way (Image source: Unsplash @Christine_Siracusa) 


There’s so much to see in New York City.  Many of the visitors that I guide on our GrayLine New York Tours stop off for a quick bite of lunch, before getting back on with sightseeing. One of the most popular lunch options is a pastrami sandwich – that sounds so NYC doesn’t it? It’s legendary. You can pick one up from most delicatessens, but if you really want to experience NYC head to Katz’s delicatessen – a lower east side institution since 1888 – and the location of that scene in When Harry Met Sally. ‘I’ll have what she’s having!’

New York Street Food

When you visit New York, you absolutely have to try our hot dogs. It’s one of our culinary traditions. Introduced by a German butcher on Coney Island back in 1871, it’s a dish that has become synonymous with our city. You’ll find some of the best hotdogs at Nathan’s Famous – they have restaurants, stalls and trucks all over town, and have been selling amazing kosher hotdogs for close to 100 years! 

The Hot Dog is a culinary tradition in NYC (Image source: Unsplash @Jaywennington) 

Whilst we are on the subject of hotdogs, if you are stopping by a hotdog cart at any point, make sure you pick up a pretzel too. It wouldn’t be a visit to New York if you didn’t try a soft pretzel.  

Cultural Dining in New York

As I said in the intro, New York is a melting pot of flavors, people and nationalities. In NYC’s Chinatown, you’ll find the largest population of Chinese people in the western hemisphere. It’s a wonderful location, full of incredible food, with lots of options for an amazing sit down meal. It’s the ultimate foodie destination – check out the Nom Wah Tea parlour – one of our first dim sum houses, or for the ultimate noodle experience, check out Great NY Noodletown.

NYC’s Chinatown will offer you some fabulous dining options (Image Source: Unsplash @sickhews)

Close by Chinatown lies Little Italy – home of NYC pizza. The ultimate place try it is Lombardi’s – first opened in 1905. It’s been renovated since then but its reputation remains as the home of the best pizza pie in NYC. 

New York Desserts

When it comes to desserts, apart from cheesecake (obviously), the Black and White Cookie is the one that’s most closely associated with NYC. Much like most of the examples I’ve highlighted on this page, you wouldn’t be truly experiencing New York without picking one up. They’ve been popular here for over 100 years and you’ll find them at bakeries, coffee shops and diners all over the city.  

So – experiencing the best of NYC food is as much a thing as visiting the Empire State. Tasting some of the options above will give you a true NYC experience – along with a tour of this great city by the team at Gray Line New York. Hop on one of our buses or boats and we’ll show you NYC in style – we might even share a few tips on the best of New York food. Contact us today for more information!

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