When you imagine a New Yorker, what do you picture them eating? Whatever your answer (especially if it’s either pizza or bagels), you’re likely mistaken. True New Yorkers tuck into Chinese food in a shopping mall basement; they start stateside food trends at DIY barbecue joints, and they eat tacos standing up in a high-end Chelsea food hall. Above all, true New Yorkers eat at these 10 places, where there’s always room at the table for more.
Pizzaria, Italian, $$$
Not every diner is willing to brave the long schlep uptown for a single slice of pizza—their loss. As a quintessential example of New York Neapolitan pizza, the pie at Patsy’s Pizzeria
, an East Harlem eatery serving the city (and installing nary an update) since 1933, is well worth the trip—and
Los Tacos No. 1
With over 1,900 Yelp reviews and a recent cameo on Netflix’s popular Master of None
series, Los Tacos No. 1
isn’t exactly a “locals only” secret. It is,
however, the city’s best bet for authentic Mexican tacos and snacks. Situated in the delectable (and down-right uncomfortable) Chelsea Market, this standing-room-only taco spot is the New Yorker’s go-to for al pastor
, carne asada
, and nopal tacos.
Golden Shopping Mall
Market, Chinese, $$$
If sampling Chinese street food in a shopping mall basement sounds like your kind of thing, you may be a true New Yorker. Locals from across the city flock to Flushing’s Golden Shopping Mall
—more specifically, to its underground food court, where diners can enjoy fiery hand-pulled noodles, lamb burgers, scrambled egg-stuffed pancakes, and much more.
Restaurant, American, $$$
When a veggie burger joint earns block-long lines, New Yorkers take notice, regardless
of their diet. Hippie-approved fare with a New York flair is what’s on the menu at Superiority Burger
, an East Village eatery serving up meatless sloppy joe sandwiches, burnt broccoli salad, and a killer cruelty-free burger.
Restaurant, Korean, Barbeque, $$$
The true New Yorker isn’t just aware of the latest food fads; they’ve helped start them. You can thank this spot for fueling America’s obsession with a new brand of barbecue: South Korean. The Manhattan outpost of South Korean chain Jongro
specializes in tableside grilling, classic Korean banchan,
and much like its New York neighbors, being one step ahead of the trend.
Brasserie, French, $$$
is packed, pricey, and part of the SoHo snob’s lifestyle. It also happens to be one of the best restaurants in town. Every local should brave the crowds (and check) at least once—the reward of steak frites, roast chicken for two, and addictive Balthazar bread is well worth it.
Restaurant, Ramen, $$$
Non-New Yorkers may be surprised to learn ramen has become as quintessentially “New York” as coffee or even (dare we say?) pizza. While there’s no shortage of spots serving the Japanese soup, Mu Ramen
stands out as the local’s top tonkotsu
pick. Join in-the-know eaters at this Long Island City spot for slurp-worthy bowls and beyond (think foie gras-stuffed chicken wings and sea urchin and salmon roe rice bowls).
Deli, American, $$$
Not even New Yorkers’ aversion to tourists can keep them away from Katz’s Delicatessen
. Specializing in no frills, just flavor, this historic Jewish deli serves the city’s best hot pastrami sandwich, wholesome all-beef hot dogs, matzo ball soup, and more classic New York noshes.
The Halal Guys
Food Truck, Middle Eastern, $$$
Proud owners of the longest food cart line in the city, The Halal Guys
raise the bar for lunch breaks everywhere. New Yorkers travel from all over to see the self-described “pioneers of American Halal Food” and, more importantly, to taste the hot platters of gyro, chicken, and falafel on rice smothered in secret “White Sauce.”
Diner, American, $$$
Nostalgic noshes—and the New Yorkers who love them—have always had a home at Junior’s
. Whether you’re craving a taste of your childhood or are simply hankering for New York’s best cheesecake and down-to-earth dining, this Downtown Brooklyn staple is always in style.