5 NYC Eats To Try When You’re In Town
New York City is known for its many pleasures, like endless amounts of entertainment, an amazing public transportation system, some of the best shopping, one of the most amazing marathons and absolutely unforgettable food. But with the abundance of options comes an overwhelming amount of choices, especially when it comes to picking a meal. Anyone visiting NYC for the TCS New York City Marathon has a very limited amount of time and can only eat so many meals in a day. With that limited time, this New Yorker (me) implores you to try these five iconic New York eats.
I would be remiss if I didn’t list pizza as the best thing to eat in New York City. If you’ve never had real New York pizza before, you are not allowed to leave the city without giving it a try. The traditional New York-style pizza is simple–just sauce and cheese on a chewy crust, made from the finest ingredients. Ask 10 different New Yorkers about their favorite pizza place and you will probably get 10 different answers. Regardless of our differences in opinion, most New Yorkers will unanimously agree that the best pizza in town is Di Fara Pizza in Brooklyn. If you don’t want to venture out of Manhattan before the big day, try Joe’s in Greenwich Village, Prince Street Pizza in Nolita or John’s of Bleecker Street.
Yes, I’m sure you’ve had coffee before. But if your typical coffee is from a mass-produced java chain, then you’ve never had real New York coffee. The trendy coffee shops that adorn the city streets feature the best beans from around the world, and some of the shops roast their beans right here in the city. A cup of good New York coffee will taste incredibly fresh, and the barista will be able to explain the flavor profile of every cup (just like a sommelier). You can walk into practically any coffee shop and find a good cup, but some of the best can be found at Joe, Ninth Street Espresso, Toby’s Estate, Brooklyn Roasting Company and La Colombe.
They say New York has the best bagels because of the water. I don’t know what it is, but I can promise you that you will never find a bagel as good as the ones in NYC. They are almost as big as your head, and some of the best bagel shops have been around for more than 50 years. Made by boiling dough in hot water and browning in the oven, a good New York bagel will have a soft chewy inside with a hard crunchy outside. Plus, a giant New York bagel fits perfectly into your carb-loading plans. Just like pizza, every New Yorker will tell you that their favorite bagel shop is the best–but these are some of my favorites: Ess-a-Bagel, Brooklyn Bagel, Murray’s Bagel and H&H Bagel.
I really didn’t know what to call these because the title “roasted nuts” doesn’t do them justice. But this pick is essentially just sweet glazed roasted nuts from a street cart. What makes them amazing is the taste, the smell and the fact that each bag is only about $3. You know the smell of waffle cones being made? The smell of these roasted nuts in the tiny street cart is just as good, if not better. You can smell this treat from a mile away, and your mouth will be watering by the time you reach the cart. Believe me when I say that this is street food you don’t want to miss.
For my last pick, I had a hard time choosing between an Italian cannoli and a black and white cookie. If you’re in a bakery that sells both, please indulge in one of each. The traditional Italian cannoli is a fried tubular pastry shell filled with a sweet and creamy ricotta filling. Growing up in an Italian family, cannolis were a delicacy at every holiday. Living in NYC, I’ve come to realize the wonder of a handmade cannoli. This dessert is the perfect treat after the TCS NYC marathon (or before). And, if you’re feeling really adventurous, try one that has a chocolate-coated shell. You will find some of the best cannolis in the city in small Italian bakeries, like Veniero’s in the East Village, Ferrara in Little Italy and Caffé Palermo in Little Italy.