What to Eat in New York City (Google Map Included!)

By Brittany Zerr

New York City. NYC. The Big Apple. The City of Dreams. It goes by many names, but I know it as “The City of Delicious Food”. There are so many restaurant and food options in New York City that it can be very overwhelming — especially if you’re only visiting for a limited time and you want to maximize your food-intake. This guide will ensure that you’re eating the best of the best — you don’t want a meal to go to waste!

Map of NYC’s Best Restaurants

If you’re going to NYC soon and are researching restaurants to eat at, you’re in the right place. I break down the different types of food to try, and have created a Google Map so you can easily plan your attack and see what restaurants are near your hotel and in the neighborhoods your visiting! This map includes:

  • Restaurants I ate at while I was in NYC
  • Places I wish I had time to eat at
  • Where chefs eat in Manhattan (taken from the book Where Chefs Eat)
  • 23 New York pizza slices (from this Bon Appetit video)

Note: This map and article mostly focus on Manhattan, as that’s where I explored during the majority of my trip. However, there are a ton of great food options in the other four boroughs — The Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, and Brooklyn.

Pizza 🍕

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of New York City is pizza! There are a lot of pizza-by-the-slice options in NYC — you can get a cheap slice for just 99 cents at some joints. Alex from Bon Appétit covers 26 different pizza places in this video which I highly recommend watching (these are also noted on the Google Map).

 Photo Credit: Bon Appétit

Photo Credit: Bon Appétit

Alex’s top three New York pizza slices are:

I didn’t have time to stop by Alex’s top three spots, but I did stop by Joe’s Pizza on Broadway for a $3 slice of NY-style pizza. I also stopped by Rubirosa, an Italian restaurant in Little Italy for some Italian-style pizza. The crust was 👌. The sauce was 👌. The whole pizza was just perfect. I highly recommend stopping by if you’re in Little Italy!

 Tip: You can get a half/half pizza if you just want one pizza but can’t decide between two types!

Tip: You can get a half/half pizza if you just want one pizza but can’t decide between two types!

Bagels

The second thing that comes to mind when I think of NYC is bagels. More carbs! I tried both a garlic bagel with cream cheese and a blueberry bagel with cream cheese, which are pretty basic orders. The person ahead of me in line ordered a cinnamon rasin bagel with walnut and raisin cream cheese — it sounded so amazing and I should have tried it…. I’ll be back!

Absolute Bagels and Pick-A-Bagel are two popular bagel spots to check-out! The lines are usually long but they move pretty quick.

 Dat cross-section though.

Dat cross-section though.

Mexican Food 🌮

There is a TON of delicious Mexican fare in New York City. I went to a little place called San Jose Tulcingo Deli and Restaurant and picked up some food to go while I was there, and it was one of the best meals I had in NYC.

I also had tacos from Los Tacos No. 1 in Chelsea Market for lunch one day — very affordable and SO GOOD. Chelsea Market can get pretty busy around lunch and supper time, so if you can’t find somewhere to sit with your food, I recommend sitting down somewhere at the High Line.

 Tacos done right.

Tacos done right.

Street Food 🌭

There are a lot of options for food when you’re walking around Manhattan. Hot dogs, pretzels, halal food, waffles, smoothies, and so much more! If you ever need a quick bite to eat, a food cart is usually not far.

I had a little bit of everything during my trip:

  • Combo plate from Halal Guys
  • PB&J waffle from Wafels & Dinges
  • Hot dog & fries from Nathan’s
  • Strawberry banana smoothie from ??? at Central Park
 PB&J Waffle. Mmm.

PB&J Waffle. Mmm.

Deli Sandwiches 🥪

When doing research before my trip I came across Katz’s Delicatessen, which is known for its enormous pastrami sandwiches. Although the price was a bit insane for a sandwich, I decided to check out what all the hype was about. The pastrami sandwich was good, but the corned beef was not for me. The pickles were alright. Overall, I’d say it’s definitely over-hyped, but if you want to check out a piece of history and love pastrami, then you should go here.

Of course there are a lot of other delis in NYC that deserve a shout out — check out the Google Map for more!

 Half of a very expensive sandwich.

Half of a very expensive sandwich.

Diners 🍽️

While walking around Manhattan I noticed a common theme… Diners. Diners everywhere! I’m assuming this is fairly common in the USA (there aren’t a lot where I’m from), and it made me understand why Guy Fieri called his show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Wherever I was, there seemed to be a diner. With their large menus and cases full of desserts, they’ll probably have something you’re craving.

One diner that’s famous in NYC is Ellen’s Stardust Diner for its food AND entertainment — talented waitresses and waiters take turns singing in between waiting tables. It’s not the type of place you go to when you want to have a conversation with someone over diner. Be prepared for lights, confetti, and some of your favourite songs! There’s always a line-up outside of this place, but it’s worth the wait.

 The best breakfast food can be found at diners!

The best breakfast food can be found at diners!

Ramen 🍜

Now, I didn’t eat ramen while I was in New York City, but I’m not too heartbroken about it as I had my fill during my Japan trip. However, if you’re in the city and love a good bowl of ramen, NYC has plenty of options for you!

Some A++ ramen places include Totto Ramen, Jun-Men, and Momosan. (These are all noted in the Google Map!)

 Ramen from my Japan trip.

Ramen from my Japan trip.

Dessert 🍰

I did a lot of walking around NYC, so naturally I had to stop for a snacks often to keep my energy levels up! There’s no shortage of bakeries, doughnut shops, and gelato. One of my favourite places was Takahachi Bakery, a Japanese bakery in Tribeca. Another favourite was Ferrara in Little Italy — they have a “flight” of desserts for $9, so you can try multiple without breaking the bank!

 Dessert case at Takahachi Bakery.

Dessert case at Takahachi Bakery.


Is there a restaurant I’m missing that is an absolute must-eat-at-place in New York City? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll add it to the map!