Most Iconic Foods in New York City

There are certain staple foods that places all around the world are known for.

They’re iconic dishes that are as much a part of a city as its history and landmarks. There’s deep-dish pizza in Chicago, fish tacos in San Diego, poke in Honolulu and BBQ ribs in Memphis.

You get the picture. These foods are part of the culture and personality that make a city unique.

And New York has no shortage. We have “iconic” food for basically every meal. There are foods you just have to eat when visiting this amazing city, and then there’s the stuff that New Yorkers eat on a pretty regular basis. So, make sure to pack your appetite.

Here are some of the most iconic foods to eat in New York City.

Enjoy them all, and you’ll get that much closer to being a real New Yorker:

Bacon, Egg and Cheese

Essentially pronounced as one word (versus three separate words) by most New Yorkers, the Baconeggandcheese is a staple breakfast for curing hangovers and combating high rent.

Try: Sunny and Annie’s in East Village, Frankel’s Delicatessen in Brooklyn, or nearly any corner deli that you come across. 

Everything Bagel

An everything bagel is pretty representative of New York itself: a melting pot of flavor for a melting pot of people. This doughy, East Coast-style bagel is topped with every taste that New Yorkers (and bagel eaters) have come to love, featuring poppy, caraway, and sesame seeds, with salt, garlic, and onion.

Try: Tompkins Square Bagels 


Is there anything more iconic to New York than pizza? New York pizza is often cut real wide, and sold real cheap. A huge slice can go for just $1 in NYC. And a real New Yorker folds their slice of heaven in half to eat it ;)

Try: Roberta’s in Brooklyn or Patsy’s in Harlem 

Hot Dog

For every street corner with a Starbucks, or deli, there’s also a hot dog stand. It’s a cultural thing to have a “dirty water dog” from a food vendor in NYC. If you’re from New York – you love them. If you hate them – chances are you haven’t tried one yet!

Try: Any street-side vendor, or Nathan’s Famous in Coney Island for the less adventurous (but just as tasty). 


Black & White

A “Black & White” in New York City has nothing to do with race, filter, or color. It’s actually a cookie. A delicious, giant cookie covered in icing – half of it vanilla (white) and half of it chocolate (black). The name “Black & White” is just so much easier to say.


New York-style cheesecake is another iconic dessert you just can’t pass up. A good cheesecake is light and airy, not crumbly or cracking and oh-so creamy. Junior’s is famous for putting this one on the Manhattan foodie map (it’s one of the best) and there are tons of places around the city that offer up a delicious slice for dessert.

Try: Zeppieri & Sons Italian Bakery

Okay, you caught me. I’m a little biased with this last recommendation, because it’s my family’s business and bakery. My dad and his crew make the goodies and they’re scrumptious. Putting it on here because it’s in the Bronx, it’s super affordable, and people rave about our cheesecake (just saying!).

Also try: Junior’s, Dominique Ansel Bakery, or Russ & Daughters

Honorable Mention: Cupcakes

We might not be known for cupcakes in particular, but we’re home to some damn good ones. Magnolia’s is the most famous, but Butter Lane, Two Little Red Hens, and Baked by Melissa are other great options.

Whether you try a few or eat them all, these foods help give life to New York.

Disclaimer: This post was first published on Elite Daily