Like many large cities, New York has made a name for itself in the world of cuisine. Unlike the fare in most cities, however, “New York food” is awfully hard to define. As one of the world’s biggest melting pots of culture, New York offers one of the most diverse culinary landscapes you’ll find. Thus, “New York food” could mean a gourmet hot dog, a dish of hot Indian curry, or a platter of something completely indescribable. There are a few items, however, that stand out as true New York staples – and those are the ones we’re going to cover here.
New York certainly can’t lay to claim pizza’s origins, and if you ask any true New Yorker, there’s no better pizza on earth. The first pizzeria in America was Lombardi’s on 32 Spring Street, which opened in 1905, and though American pizza has evolved across the country, New York-style pizza retains a unique quality that few can imitate. New York pizza has a thin crust that allows for quick cooking times in a city that’s constantly moving. New York loves its pizza so much that you’ll find a pizza parlor every 10 blocks or so – each offering its own take on the signature dish.
Few foods say “New York” like the bagel. Though the doughy rings were likely invented in Europe, they were really perfected in New York around the turn of the 19th century. Once you’ve had a New York bagel, you may just be spoiled for them anywhere else. The boiling-baking process has been imitated elsewhere, but New York bagel makers claim that the water here adds a sweetness that can’t be attained anywhere else.
The plain yeast dough can be left plain or mixed with various additions, then topped with a variety of finishing touches. For a real New York experience though, ask for a “bagel and schmear” – a bagel topped with a thick slathering of cream cheese. For a decadent addition, top that with some lox (thin slices of smoked salmon). Some of the best bagels can be had at H&H Bagels.
It’s almost odd that such a great city could lay claim to such a humble food, yet here it is. The first hot dog vendor was Charles Feltman, a German who sold his dogs from pushcarts on Coney Island. However, Nathan Handwerker was really the one responsible for making the hot dog a New York staple. He set up shop right across from Feltman, but offered his dogs at half price, quickly putting his competition out of business. The legendary Nathan’s is still churning out hot dogs on Coney Island, though the empire has expanded to sell hot dogs at a national level. Now you can find a hot dog vendor in nearly every New York neighborhood, and you can enjoy yours topped with everything from mustard and relish to sauerkraut, onions and bleu cheese.
After enjoying these delicious and rather simple culinary delights during a long day of sightseeing in the city, there is nothing better than having a nice rest. If you haven’t found accommodation, perhaps you can find cheap apartments in New York by searching online. Enjoy the great NYC!