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Mmm... pastrami on rye | © jeffreyw/Flickr
Mmm... pastrami on rye | © jeffreyw/Flickr
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What To Order At 10 Iconic NYC Restaurants

Picture of Stephanie Shoemaker
Updated: 9 February 2017
The number of restaurants in New York City seems endless, and trying to find the best places to wine and dine can be a challenge. No matter what cuisine you’re looking for, this list will help with deciding where to eat and what to order at some of the city’s hottest spots.
A NY Pizza VOL. STAPLE | © Guian Bolisay/Flickr
A NY Pizza VOL. STAPLE | © Guian Bolisay/Flickr
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John’s of Times Square

New York is known for its ability to serve up a delicious pie. Native New Yorkers and tourists alike will find that John’s of Times Square serves a pizza that is sure to impress. John’s has been making some of New York’s best coal-fired brick oven pizza since 1997. The margherita pizza is one dish not to miss. Fresh basil on top of melted mozzarella and a sweet yet tangy sauce truly doesn’t disappoint. Don’t be intimidated by the fact that they only sell by the pie, you’ll finish it and wish you had more!

John’s of Times Square, 260 West 44th Street, New York, NY, USA +1 212 391 7560

Mmm...french toast | © jeffreyw/Flickr

Mmm…french toast | © jeffreyw/Flickr

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The Smith

Looking at the menu for The Smith is mouth-watering. Every time of day offers different dishes you didn’t even know you’d want, but there are a couple you simply have to indulge in. Their mac ‘n’ cheese comes in a hot skillet filled with gooey, cheesy goodness that will ensure your rapid return. If brunch is more your style, the Vanilla Bean French Toast with maple butter and caramelized bananas will leave you more than satisfied. This place can get packed (because it’s just that good), so don’t forget to make a reservation.

The Smith, 55 Third Avenue, New York, NY, USA +1 212 420 9800

Sushi | © SteFou!/Flickr

Sushi | © SteFou!/Flickr

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Nobu

Nobu has been a popular spot for decades. The Japanese dishes they serve up are top-notch, so much so that it’s a favorite among many celebrities. Black cod with miso is synonymous with the restaurant, so if this is your first experience, this dish is a must. All of the dishes at Nobu bring a new, modern style to traditional Japanese meals, something to make the restaurant stand out from all the rest.

Nobu, 105 Hudson Street, New York, NY, USA +1 212 219 0500

Mmm... pastrami on rye | © jeffreyw/Flickr

Mmm… pastrami on rye | © jeffreyw/Flickr

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Katz’s Deli

Katz’s Deli is a New York staple. The deli brings in tourists, celebrities, and locals alike, all with one thing in common: the desire for a famous pastrami on rye. This is not your average sandwich. Katz’s Deli, which has been family owned since its opening in 1888, cures their meat using a slower method, which helps best flavor it without chemicals or other additives. Your typical commercially-prepared corned beef can cure in just 36 hours using preservatives, but the meat you find here takes 30 days to cure. That’s a high quality sandwich.

Katz’s Deli, 205 East Houston Street, New York, NY, USA +1 212 254 2246

Double Shack | © Simon Doggett/Flickr

Double Shack | © Simon Doggett/Flickr

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Shake Shack

While the shakes at Shake Shack are delicious in their many flavors, the highlight of the menu goes to the Shack Burger. This is not your typical fast food-style burger. Their secret Shack Sauce takes it to a whole new level that you simply have to taste. A burger will never be as satisfying without it. There are other burger options that include applewood-smoked bacon, a vegetarian option, and a combination of the two. But no matter what burger you choose, you’ll be happy you did.

Shake Shack, 691 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY, USA +1 646 435 0135

Mmm... meatballs | © jeffreyw/Flickr

Mmm… meatballs | © jeffreyw/Flickr

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Carmine’s

Not everyone has an Italian grandmother to make them homemade, authentic dishes. At Carmine’s, that’s exactly what it will taste like no matter what you order. If you do happen to have an Italian grandmother, Carmine’s spaghetti and meatballs will give her dish a run for its money. The meatballs are prepared gently by hand, folding all of the ingredients into the meat. If you want to try your hand at the famous recipe, it can be found in the Carmine’s Family-Style Cookbook.

Carmine’s, 200 West 44th Street, New York, New York, USA +1 212 221 0242

Hamburgers | © Lauri Rantala/Flickr

Hamburgers | © Lauri Rantala/Flickr

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The Spotted Pig

April Bloomfield and business partner Ken Friedman truly know the key to a successful gastropub. The comfort food on The Spotted Pig’s menu is divine, but the burger has been creating a notable buzz for 10 years now. This is not your average burger, and if you’re looking for a fun place to grab a bite after a day of walking around the city, this is your spot. The burger is topped with Roquefort cheese and served with shoestring fries. Coming in at a half pound, this dish is easily sharable, but this also means you have room to try their chicken liver toast appetizer.

The Spotted Pig, 314 West 11th Street, New York, NY, USA +1 212 620 0393

A night at Gramercy Tavern | © Breville USA/Flickr

A night at Gramercy Tavern | © Breville USA/Flickr

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Gramercy Tavern

Rather than giving one specific dish to enjoy at Gramercy Tavern, the best suggestion is to go for lunch and order yourself a four-course menu from the dining room. With this option you will have the chance to try four courses of decadent dishes. Gramercy Tavern offers farm-to-table freshness in each meal with combinations that only an esteemed chef could put together. One dish that stands out is the pasture-raised chicken and thigh, apples, barley, and pumpkin. A dish with so much detail sounds simply mouth-watering.

Gramercy Tavern, 42 East 20th Street, New York, NY, USA +1 212 477 0777

carnitas | © Mike McCune/Flickr

carnitas | © Mike McCune/Flickr

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Cosme

The contemporary Mexican-inspired cuisine at Cosme brings together seasonal ingredients from the local Hudson Valley while still sticking to traditional roots. World-renowned Chef Enrique Olvera wants to let the fresh ingredients shine through. Duck carnitas with onions, radishes, and salsa verde is the perfect date night dish to share. Don’t forget to end your meal with the famous meringue. The meringues are light, airy and filled with a sweet corn cream that creates something truly special.

Cosme, 35 East 21st Street, New York, NY, USA +1 212 913 9659

Sea Bass with Sauteed Mushrooms and Broccoli | © Naotake Murayama/Flickr

Sea Bass with Sauteed Mushrooms and Broccoli | © Naotake Murayama/Flickr

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Nougatine at Jean-Georges

French cuisine doesn’t get any better than that at Jean-Georges, and Nougatine offers the same quality in a more casual (yet still upscale) setting. Each dish is made with the precision and thought you would expect from a Jean-Georges. The menu changes seasonally, but the lunch tasting really provides the greatest experience. Sautéed black sea bass with caramelized cauliflower and poppy seed-buttermilk vinaigrette or sesame crusted salmon with sautéed potatoes, black olives, and passion fruit are just two peeks at your choice of entrees.

Nougatine at John-Georges, 1 Central Park West, New York, NY, USA +1 212 299 3900