New York City, NY

9 Foodie Experiences for your first trip to NYC

Hungry Hong Kong

New York City is on most bucket lists for many reasons and one of the top is definitely the incredible amount of delicious eats on offer. You'll find a mixture of cultures and cuisines from around the United States and the World ensuring NYC has its own signature dishes, famous eateries, and iconic street food. The question is where to start?

Here's a list of our top 9 favourite foodie experiences for the first time visitor to the city.

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Katz's Deli

  • Located in the Lower East Side, Katz's Deli has a story that dates back to 1888. The popular kosher-style delicatessen is famous for its Pastrami sandwiches and is well loved by New Yorkers and celebrity customers whos photos line the historic walls. Most days you'll find a long line of tourists eager to try the irresistible pastrami and corned beef but we guarantee it is worth the hype.

Joe's Pizza

  • The iconic slice of NY Style pizza is avidly recreated across the globe but never truly hits the spot like the real deal. Joe's has been serving the perfect slice for over 35 years and now has locations all across the city. Consistently topping "Top 10" lists it's a must try when visiting NYC and we ensure you'll never forget your first bite.

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Bottomless Sunday Brunch

  • This ritual is more about the experience than the food itself. No vacation is complete without a fun day drinking session right? By 11am Sunday morning you'll see New Yorkers milling outside their favourite weekend brunch spot waiting for a much needed mimosa. NYC has a long list of bottomless brunches spanning from the West Village to Williamsburg and serving anything from the traditional eggs benedict to tacos and even Peruvian fare. Take your pick but make sure the bubbles are free flow and add a spicy bloody mary to the mix.

Dollar Oysters

  • Oysters are usually an expensive treat so we were very excited to find out about the affordable and delicious $1 deals that are offered around the city. Usually during happy hour you can find several dollar oyster and drinks menus ensuring you can sample the delicious treat without breaking the bank. The Mermaid Inn has the deal daily between 5-7pm and was one of our favourite date night spots during our visit.

Pilot Brooklyn

  • Glimpse the glittering Manhattan skyline from a vintage boat and enjoy wine and a seasonal menu to match. Pilot is one of those movie style experiences you can't miss when visiting New York. You'll have to trek to Brooklyn but we promise the views are worth it. Arrive at sunset for the most romantic scenery and make sure to sample the lobster roll with a few glasses of Chablis.

Serendipity 3

  • The alluring dessert shop has barely changed in 70 years and serves some of the best ice cream treats in town. A must stop on the foodie map for those who have a sweet tooth or maybe fans of the Kate Beckinsale and John Cusak rom com. Don't miss their frozen hot chocolate and bring the kids to help you devour those oversized sundaes.

The Boathouse

  • Located in Central Park you can't miss The Loeb Boathouse. This nostalgic spot is perfect for weekend lunches or celebratory dinners while visiting the city. Grab an outdoor table on the terrace to enjoy the quintessential NYC vibes and rent a row boat after lunch for a romantic ride on the lake.

The Halal Guys

  • If you're strolling around bright and bustling Times Square you'll probably notice a huge line forming behind a vibrant yellow food truck. That is The Halal Guys who now have locations all over the city. Popular with college students, office workers, and tourists you won't want to miss this casual yet mouthwatering fast food option. The chicken platter and chicken sandwich are probably the most ordered but we also loved the falafel plate. Ask for extra sauce and perch on a step nearby to enjoy the feast.

Magnolia Bakery

  • This sweet and pretty West Village bakery was catapulted to fame when it was featured on Sex and the City in 2000. Luckily their gigantic, frosting laden cupcakes are worth all the hype. They're known for having the best American baked goods in town with cakes, banana pudding, cheesecakes, and muffins topping every sweet tooth's delicious must eat list. Grab your goods and snap a photo with the storefront for the ultimate Instagram pic, and make sure to get a takeout box full of treats to share with your friends.

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The Classic Hotdog

  • An American food staple, you can't miss a taste of the NYC hotdog. They're easily found at the many street carts you see around and are perfect for a quick bite. Add mustard and ketchup for the ideal lunchtime snack and snap an Instagram pic with the cart for good measure. If you're looking for the best NYC hotdog Gray's Papaya and Nathan's Coney Island both top lists every year.

NYC Chinese Food

  • Whether you're craving a comforting plate of dumplings or made to order Peking duck NYC does an amazing job at recreating mouthwatering Chinese fare. Head to Spicy Village for the chili laden Big Tray Chicken and Henan hand pulled noodles or David Chang's Momofuku Noodle Bar for those famous pork buns. Manhattan's Chinatown boasts something for every budget and we are sure you'll find something you've never tried before.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it's comes to mouthwatering NYC eats, but it's a great place to start for someone new to the city or still grasping the vast options and hidden gems available in each neighborhood. I know we always tick off this list every time we visit.

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We are a full time travelling family, world schooling our kids one trip at a time. Check out our articles to find the best street food, world class Michelin star restaurants, five star resorts, far flung beaches, and tips on travelling with kids and homeschooling.

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