New York City, NY

10 Quintessential NYC Foods and Dining Experiences

Travel Maven

From culinary trends to tried-and-true dishes like hot dogs and bagels, When it comes to good food, New York City has a lot to offer.

The 10 dishes featured on this list have achieved a distinguished reputation that has helped shape the modern NYC dining scene that we know and love today. Together, this blend of flavors and dining experiences contribute to what makes this city one of the most exciting dining destinations in the world.

1. Hot Dog from Gray's Papaya | Upper West Side

Cheap just as much as it is iconic, Gray's Papaya is always there when we need a quick bite. Founded in 1973, Gray's has become known as one of the best places in the city to grab a New York-style dog. Currently, there's only one location still open at W 72nd Street and Amsterdam Ave.

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Gray's PapayaEmily Neil/Unsplash

2. Spumoni Ice from L&B Spumoni Gardens | Gravesend, Brooklyn

A pizzeria from the 1930s, Spumoni Gardens is most known for its thick Scillian-style slices and ices. The Spumoni ice is served in a paper cup and features chocolate, pistachio, and vanilla ice cream. The best compliment to the Spumoni slice.

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Spumoni IceCarol Simon/Unsplash

3. Sub from Sal, Kris, and Charlie's | Astoria, Queens

Known as the "sandwich king of Astoria" this deli has been around for over 30 years. Their oversized Italian-style subs have earned them a top spot in the list of most celebrated delis of New York.

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Sal, Kris, and Charlie's SubCorrine Hayes/Unsplash

4. Steak from Peter Luger's | Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Opened 135 years ago, Peter Luger's is known for its weathered beer hall-styled tables, brass chandeliers, and being one of the most famous steakhouses in the country. The steak here is served on the rarer side with a crispy outside.

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Peter Luger'sChris Moore/Unsplash

5. Wood Fired Pizza from Zero Otto Nove | Bronx

An open-style kitchen restaurant turning out delicious wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizza on NYC's iconic Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, Zero Otto Nove got its start in the early 2000s. Since then it's been regarded as one of NYC's best spots to grab an authentic slice and has added additional locations in the Flatiron District in Manhattan and Armonk, NY in Westchester County.

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Zero Otto NoveLindsay Smith/Unsplash

6. Lox Bagel from Ess-a-Bagel | Midtown East

An NYC staple since 1976, Ess-a-Bagel encompasses everything that an NYC bagel should be. Big, chewy, and served with a smear of cream cheese 2 inches wide, opt for the iconic nova lox, scallion cream cheese, tomato, lettuce, onions, and capers combo.

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Ess-a-BagelCarolyn Capilli

7. Fried Chicken from Blue Ribbon | East Village

A counter-service spot that's hard to resist. Blue Ribbon offers crispy, spiced, juicy fried chicken plus an array of sides like loaded fries and mac and cheese. Open until 12 am, this is one of the best late-night spots to grab food on weekends.

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Blue RibbonZack Jacobs/Unsplash

8. Noodles from Momofuku | Upper West Side

The Ramen restaurant that made David Chang a star. Momofuku began back in 2004 and has been attracting large crowds ever since for its inventive take on ramen, its pork bun, and large-format fried-chicken feast.

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Momofuku Noodle BarChris Kelly/Unsplash

9. Cheesecake from Junior's Restuarant | Time's Sq + Flatbush, Brooklyn

Known for its distinctive 50s-styled orange and white striped awning, Junior's Restaurant opened in Brooklyn back in 1950 and has been known as the home of New York's best cheesecake ever since. Visit either location in Time's Sq or their original location in Flatbush, Brooklyn.

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Junior'sPaul Mirabelli/Unsplash

10. Pastrami Sandwich from Katz's | Lower East Side

This deli is so iconic, walking inside is like taking a journey through NYC's history. This no-frills eatery opened back in 1888 and not a ton has changed on the inside since then. Be prepared for a line that might wrap around the block and massive portions, almost half a pound of pastrami is used on the sandwiches here.

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Katz's DeliMarina Killoy/Unsplash

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