There are many nicknames for New York City. It’s The City of Dreams, it’s so nice they named it twice. They even say the Big Apple is The City That Never Sleeps. But for the purposes of this article, we’d like to rename it The City That Never Stops…Eating!
On every trip to the Empire City (another nickname), the restaurants, cafes, and diners are full to the brim with New Yorkers and tourists. But we can’t blame them, the food really is that good!
From Wall Street to Harlem and Williamsburg to the Bronx mouth-watering dishes are never far away.
Here are our five favourite eateries that are worth catching the bus, subway, heck even worth swimming the East River to get a real taste of The Big City (final nickname, we promise). Just don’t read this on an empty stomach…
Katz’s Delicatessen is a New York institution. It was made famous by Meg Ryan’s fake orgasm in When Harry Met Sally, and has been making perhaps the finest pastrami in the city for almost 130 years.
Each week the deli serves around 4,500kg of the meaty slices of heaven, and you’ll often see queues going down the block – but trust us, it’s worth the wait!
Located on the corner of Ludlow Street and East Houston Street on the Lower East Side, Katz’s menu also includes burgers, hotdogs, and a host of hot sandwiches synonymous with the city. It’s a hotspot for people on a city break in New York, but that’s no real surprise. If it’s good enough for Billy Crystal, it’s good enough for us.
If it is a hotdog you fancy though, it’s the Upper East Side of Manhattan you want and Papaya King. Since 1932 Papaya King has been serving up incredible food to locals from the corner of 86th and Third Avenue.
Originally beginning life as a juice bar, it soon began to serve hotdogs which at the time was populated by German-American immigrants. Since it’s seen off many competitors and is without doubt the king of the hotdogs in the city.
Not only are the hickory-smoked dogs incredibly tasty, they’re reasonably priced too with the Original which is topped with kraut, onions, and relish costing just $5. And with it just a five-minute walk from Central Park, you can even go and eat your dogs in one of the city’s most picturesque spots.
The Spotted Pig
The Spotted Pig is the ultimate gastropub in New York. Many have tried to replicate it, but none have come up trumps. Located in the West Village of Manhattan, it regularly welcomes famous faces – including Kanye West – thanks to its first class food and laid back vibe.
However, if you’re thinking this is some swanky joint where you have to ‘be someone’ to get in, you’re very much mistaken. Despite holding a Michelin star, and a necessary need to book, it’s actually an incredibly friendly pub, serving up stews, pork belly, and the best burger in New York. That can be washed down with a Guinness or Old Speckled Hen – as well as a great wine list – in what is just a traditional British-type boozer with one heck of a fine reputation.
New York’s Chinatown is bustling 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It has one of the oldest Chinese communities outside of the actual country with the city itself having an estimated 819,500 Chinese or American-Chinese people living there.
So naturally, there’s some great Chinese food on offer. Royal Seafood is renowned for its dim sum and sees revellers regularly lining up in droves. In the heart of Chinatown on Mott Street, the restaurant offers traditional foods including steamed dumplings, as well as shrimp with a yellow curd skin, which will transport you almost 7,000 miles to Beijing.
Across New York however you’ll find a number of smaller Chinese communities serving great food. While much of Manhattan’s Chinatown is Cantonese, to the east in Flushing, Yi Lan Halal highlights the Muslim cuisine of northern China with dishes including sea cucumber and eggs, beef tongue and tail in brown sauce, and truly delectable lamb dumplings.
Walking up to this joint you’ll likely be questioning what we have brought you to; it’s graffiti-laden exterior which was a former garage may well put you off – although we find it rather cool. Don’t worry, walk in, take a seat, and prepare yourself to be dished up the finest pizza pie in all of New York City.
Roberta’s is a hipster’s haven, so naturally all the pizzas are whimsically named. The Lil’ Stinker is a must-try with tomato, mozzarella, parmigiana, double garlic (where the name comes from), onion, and pepperoncini pepper. It makes your mouth water just thinking about it…
It’s a little bit off the tourist trail bit if you’re visiting the Brooklyn Brewery or other attractions in the general area, it’s the perfect place to stop to ‘chow down’ as they’d likely say.