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    What to eat in New York? Are there typical dishes?

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    Lluis Enric Mayans

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    It may seem like a gamble, but it is pure reality: in New York you can eat well, indeed very well. Of course, choosing is not easy and extricating yourself in the immense jungle of restaurants, street food, hotels and pizzerias it is an exhausting undertaking to say the least. All this is even more true if you want to dedicate your gourmet break to taste some of the dishes and gastronomic wonders that, over time, have become "must-eat” assoluti.

    If you are looking for typical dishes of the Big Apple, resign yourself. There are none. If, on the other hand, you want to experience delicacies of foreign origin that have become extremely popular in the city as a result of modern and international reinterpretations, then this is the right guide. To print and take with you on your next foray into NYC.


    • New York-style pizza
    • Il Coney Island Hot Dog
    • La New York cheesecake
    • Le Eggs Benedict
    • His Majesty the hamburger
    • New York-style pastrami
    • Map of the premises

    New York-style pizza

    For us Italians it sounds almost like a blasphemy. The REAL pizza is only the strictly Made in Italy one. Perhaps, however, it is good to keep in mind that one of our national dishes has made a name for itself (and space) in New York since 1905, the year in which Gennaro Lombardi the first pizzeria in the metropolis opened in Little Italy. And from that moment on it was an escalation of openings of places dedicated to pizza. The New York-style one is obviously different from our typical Neapolitan pizza, considering that it has adapted to the tastes and needs of Americans.

    Prepared with larger quantities of ingredients, the New-York Pizza uses a dough made from sugar, olive oil, durum wheat flour without gluten, yeast and water (strictly tap), which is worked by hand. Then, a little bit of everything is sprinkled on top of it: tomato sauce, garlic, red chilli pepper, grated mozzarella, oregano, basil, very often also peppers and sausage. With a thick and crunchy consistency (especially the edge), New York pizza is also soft towards the center.

    • Where to eat the best New York City Pizza: from Joe's Pizza, of course. A veritable institution of Greenwich Village (since 1975), the format was then extended to other areas of the Big Apple. Available both sliced ​​and whole, with different types of additions, to take away or with delivery. Address: 7 Carmine St., Greenwich Village, NYC. For other recommended places, read our guide to pizza in New York.

    Il Coney Island Hot Dog

    Il Coney Dog it is not just any hot dog, but a real New York specialty. Although there are countless street stands where you can buy a "to go" hot dog, the real one is prepared using a round, slightly oblong bun, inside it is inserted a sausage seasoned with a tasty sauce based on meat or pickle sauce and enriched with onion rings.

    Inserted among the favorite dishes of New Yorkers (and not only), the hot dog was imported to America by Greek and Macedonian immigrants in the early 900s. And ever since, it has become a real cornerstone of stars and stripes gastronomy.

    • Where to eat the best Coney Dog: to the Nathan's Famous. In business since 1916, when the Polish immigrant Nathan Handwerker opened his stand in Coney Island, today the place is still there, where Nathan started his business, on the corner of Surf and Stillwell. A restaurant business that does not stop in New York (with 2 locations), but which offers restaurants all over the world. The Coney Dog follows the tradition, but with the addition of an extra ingredient: the sauce that is spread over the sausages is heavenly and the recipe is very secret. Address: 1310 Surf Ave, Brooklyn, NYC.

    La New York cheesecake

    Raise your hand if you haven't tasted it at least once in your life. One of the typical sweets of the stars and stripes tradition, the New York cheesecake is still different from the traditional cheesecakes. And much tastier. The base, made of crunchy biscuits, embraces a soft cream, but with an enveloping consistency and is prepared with cheese, which must be creamy. On the top of the cake, then, tradition has it that there is a profusion of berries, sour cream and topping based on sauce, also of berries. Despite being one of the most typical desserts, there is however a place in New York where it is possible to savor this delight, but in a "modern" key.

    • Where to eat the best New York cheesecake: from Eileen's Special Cheesecake. An entire menu with 18 different cheesecake proposals, revisited in the most disparate flavors: from lemon to mango cheesecake, from cherry to Cheenoli (cheesecake + Sicilian cannoli). Address: 17 Cleveland Place, NYC.
    Where to have breakfast in New York? If you would like some advice on this, read our article on where to have breakfast in New York.

    Le Eggs Benedict

    In New York you can't say you've done a brunch as it should be if you haven't ordered at least a couple of eggs benedict. Poached eggs, enriched with Canadian bacon or thickly sliced ​​cooked ham and hollandaise sauce. All sandwiched between two slices of wonderful English muffin. Yes, this is how they are done in the Big Apple and I assure you that once you try it, you will (almost) not be able to do without it.

    Among other things, history has it that this dish was created right in that of Manhattan, by the famous Delmonico's in 1860. When and who invented them, it doesn't matter. The only and indisputable certainty remains that they should be savored, sooner or later.

    • Where to eat the best eggs benedict in New York: to the Russ & Daughters Cafe. Opened in 1907, this historic Lower East Side venue offers both the classic and revisited versions of Eggs Benny, enriched with smoked salmon and stir-fried spinach on challah bread (traditional Jewish bread). Address: 127 Orchard St., NYC.

    His Majesty the hamburger

    Hamburgers are serious business in America. And in New York even more, even more than steak. It's not just about meat, salad, onion and side fries. A hamburger of excellence must be able to be chosen, in all its components. So forget about the large restaurant chains scattered all over the world. Those are, in reality, pale attempts to imitate the most famous and loved American sandwich.

    Medium, well done, rare, thick meat, matching sauces. And then again lettuce crunchy at the right point, fresh but fragrant tomatoes, bread with sesame seeds or plain. There is a whole preparation behind a simple sandwich which, if followed carefully, turns a taste into a real sensory experience.

    • Where to eat the "best burger in town": from Jackson Hole. With four different addresses scattered around New York, we recommend that you choose the one in Astoria (also because if you look closely you might recognize some of the scenes from the movie Goodfellas, by Martin Scorsese…). Here tradition has met modernity and innovation in the East Sider Burger variant, enriched with ham, cheese, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried onions and another cheese of your choice (I recommend the Monterey Jack). To be combined with sweet fries. Address: 69-35 Astoria Boulevard, Jackson Heights, NYC.

    You will still be spoiled for choice, and for other recommended places, I refer you to our guide on where to eat burgers in New York.

    New York-style pastrami

    Originally from Romania, included first in Turkish and later Israeli recipes, this gastronomic delicacy made with beef, but also presented in pork or mutton variants, has been part of the culinary specialties of the Big Apple for decades. Similar to carpaccio, but more spicy, Pastrami is served with sauces and vegetables, especially cabbage and sauerkraut. In New York you can buy it almost anywhere, especially like street food and is served between two slices of bread (especially rye), but also as an accompaniment to burgers.

    • Where to eat the best pastrami in New York: all’Eisenberg's Sandwich Shop. Popular with celebrities of all ages, Eisenberg is the place that “has raised New York's cholesterol since 1929. And that's all said. A paradise for sandwiches in all shapes and variations, the Famous Reuben Sandwich offers it in a revisited variant: Pastrami, salted beef or turkey, soft cheese, grilled sauerkraut and rye bread. Address: 174, 5th Avenue, NYC. Another famous place for this dish is Katz's Delicatessen, at 205 E Houston Street, where the famous scene at Harry's bar was filmed Meet Sally.
    How do tipping work? Not sure how tipping waiters works? Check out our article on Tips in the USA!

    Map of the premises

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