Culinary Exploration: The New York Food Scene

If you purchase through a link marked *, we will receive a commission.
You like to eat steak in New York

Where to eat in New York

The answer to the question of where New Yorkers eat is not that simple. Which restaurant in New York City is worth visiting? There are numerous options. New York City is a foodie’s paradise! New Yorkers eat street food as well as sandwiches and salads in delis. You can eat well in steakhouses or fine-dining restaurants. Or are you more after a great meal with a view? Roof-top bars are also places where you can try out typical New York food. Or would you like to try the latest pastry creations in a café in New York. As a tour guide, I often traveled to New York in search of new food trends and restaurants. Whether you love street food, are looking for fine dining or simply want to discover the best steakhouses in the city - I've put together the best tips for you here.

Take a look at our New York insider tips for foodies. We asked around among travel bloggers who've been to New York and offer our own tips. Here you are guaranteed to find one or the other culinary tip for your own New York trip. We give restaurant recommendations as well as tips on where to find New York specialties. There are also tips for Breweries in New York.


Steak with potatoes
Steak and potatoes is a common dish in a New York City restaurant


New York Restaurants Tips for Steakhouses

For all foodies and pleasure travelers, we have put together the best New York restaurant tips for steak lovers here.

Gallagher's Steakhouse

New Yorkers like to eat steaks. You can find them in all regions of Manhattan. When I travel to New York, a visit to Gallagher's Steakhouse is an absolute must. Nowhere else is steak as perfect as there. The first steakhouse on Broadway was Gallagher's (228 W 52nd St). It was founded by Helen Gallagher, a former Ziegfeld Girl, and Jack Solomon in 1927. That was the time of Prohibition. Gallagher's is said to have had the first New York strip steak on the menu. Gallagher's is also known for its freezer chamber with glass windows. Behind it, restaurant guests can see the steaks that are “ripening” there for consumption.

The porterhouse steak was traditional. Many think that this was also first served in New York. When new management removed it from the menu in 2008, Gallagher's regular clientele erupted with outrage. In 2013, the steakhouse changed hands again. He had the restaurant renovated... and put the porterhouse steak back on the menu when it reopened in 2014. Gallagher's is a good New York City restaurant for "pre-theater dinners" on Broadway.

Smith & Wollensky Steakhouse

Another well-known steakhouse in Manhattan is Smith & Wollensky (corner of 49th Street & 3rd Avenue). When I visited New York, I first noticed it because of the building in which it is located. I only visited it later. Its founders Alan Stillman and Ben Benson chose this house because of its beautiful facade. There are now Smith & Wollensky Steakhouses in numerous cities in the USA. Many of them have the familiar white and green facade of the original New York steakhouse. When Stillman sold the Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group, he kept the New York headquarters.

Other good New York steakhouses introduced by Grub Street (in English).


Fresh oysters with lemon - where to eat in New York
Oysters with Lemon - one New York City restaurant that serves them is the Grand Central Oyster Bar


New York Restaurant Tip: Which famous restaurant in New York City is worth checking out?

There are some restaurants in New York City that are world famous. If you want to treat yourself to something special, then these are certainly a good choice. However, the food in these restaurants also has its price.

The Rainbow Room

On the 65th floor in one of the most famous skyscrapers in New York (30 Rockefeller Center) you can have cocktails in the Rainbow Room in the Sixtyfive bar and enjoy a wonderful view of New York. You can also order dishes from the bistro menu, which are quite affordable. A very special experience is the Spring Brunch, which is served at Easter, Mother's Day and Father's Day. For the steep price of US$ 162, you have a great selection at the Raw Bar, breakfast dishes, the Carving Station, Dim Sum and a fantastic selection of cakes, pies and other pastry specialties.

Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant

The price of the day menu is upscale in the Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant (89 E 42nd St) on the lower floor of New York's main train station, Grand Central Station. It features fresh lobster, seafood and oyster delicacies that are served there. You can also order seafood, oyster and lobster sandwiches at lower prices at the counter. A meal in the Grand Central Oyster Bar is definitely an experience.

Delmonico's in the Financial District

Located in its original building at the intersection of Beaver and William Streets in the Financial District since 1837, Delmonico's has welcomed a variety of culinary enthusiasts. For nearly two centuries, Delmonico's has served royalty, society, luminaries and visionaries. With experience in some of New York's most notable Michelin-starred kitchens, Delmonico's Executive Chef Edward Hong brings innovative new dishes to the restaurant's menu, including Myung Ran Cesar Salad (Little Gem, Parmesan, white anchovies, chives, creamy Myung dressing); and sea urchin and abalone risotto (koshihikari rice, abalone liver sauce, nori, crispy shitake, shaved frozen oysters). However, the dinner budget must be large enough, because a starter costs as much as a main course.


Powered by GetYourGuide


Trendy Restaurant New York Tips

If you are looking for the hottest restaurants, you will find the best addresses for an unforgettable culinary experience in our Trendy Restaurant New York tips.

Nobu New York Downtown

What do Hollywood actor Robert De Niro, sushi chef Nobu Matsuhisa, producer Meir Teper and restaurateur Drew Nieporent have in common? Very easy. They like (or create) Japanese cuisine in a class of their own. Nobu made a classic education to become a sushi chef. Through his travels and stays abroad, he expanded his skills. He created a new trend in Japanese cuisine, which he celebrates today in his many restaurants around the world. Nobu New York Downtown (195 Broadway) is the first restaurant to create a global chain of restaurants and hotels with De Niro, Meir Teper and Drew Nieporent. To eat there is not necessarily a cheap treat, but certainly a special experience.

Momofuku Noodle Bar

Do you like noodles and noodle soup? Then you are at the right place at Momofuku. There are two Momofuku noodle bars in New York: one in The Shops at Columbus Circle (10's Columbus Circle), the other - the original - in the East Village (planned: at the Pier 17 Building on South Street Seaport). The specialty in both are Ramen soups with Momofuku noodles made from barley flour. The menu changes daily.

Here you can enjoy the view of New York without eating

In New York eat with a view

It is a special pleasure in New York if you can enjoy a great view during the meal. There are a number of restaurants where this is possible. One we present here:

The River Café

Probably one of the most famous restaurants that offers a great view of New York is the River Café (One Water Street, Brooklyn) in Brooklyn. The restaurant is located beneath the Brooklyn Bridge. I liked eating there because you can see the bridge and the New York skyline all the way to the Statue of Liberty while you eat. The fact that The River Café is the proud owner of a Michelin star makes dining at this restaurant a special treat. Reservations are recommended: Tel. 718-522-5200


Ellis Island - perfect for a lunch break
Ellis Island - perfect for a lunch break


Lunch in Manhattan - it has to be quick

Since steakhouses and fine-dining restaurants aren't the cheapest options for eating in New York, New Yorkers have turned to other options instead. Fast food, street food and baking specialties that can be quickly eaten while walking have proven to be particularly suitable for everyday use. A real New Yorker is in a hurry. It was no different when I was in New York. Street food is simply part of it there. As a visitor, you will definitely notice how hectic life is in the Big Apple.

When you first come to New York, it's hard to keep up with New Yorkers. You can almost always recognize tourists by the fact that they move slower through the Big Apple's maze of streets than the locals. This fast-paced lifestyle is affecting the eating habits of residents – and ultimately visitors. The range of food has adapted to this lifestyle.

Lunch is often “on the go” for a New Yorker. It definitely has to be quick. The best way to do this is to get a hot dog, a sandwich, a wrap, a bagel, a muffin, Cookie or buy a cupcake to go. For eating, there are parks or other public places where you can eat your picnic lunch during a short break. Once you get used to the rhythm of life in New York, your picnic will taste better in the High Line Park, on the Hudson River boardwalk, or on a park bench in Battery Park or Central Park than in one of the shops where you buy it. Our tip: buy a packed lunch on your tour of Manhattan and take it with you for a break on the way.


Empire Diner in New York City
Empire Diner in New York City Photo by Lee Ball on Unsplash


Empire Diner: A classic with a new look

The Empire Diner, an icon in West Chelsea (210 10th Ave.), combines nostalgic charm with modern flair. Since reopening, the restaurant offers a welcoming atmosphere that is perfect for a relaxed breakfast, lunch or dinner. Not only classic diner dishes await you here, but also innovative creations.

A look at the menu reveals a diverse selection of dishes. For example, start your day with avocado toast for $18 or the Empire pancakes for $17. For lunch or dinner, you can look forward to the popular Empire Burger for $25, served with cheddar, bacon and homemade fries. Vegetarians also get their money's worth: the Beyond Meat Burger for $26 is a delicious alternative.

For a special recommendation that fits in with our Trendy Restaurant New York picks, try the Truffle Mac & Cheese for $18. The combination of creamy sauce and delicate truffle flavor is a highlight on the menu.


Bagel with cream cheese and salmon
Bagel with cream cheese and salmon


What New Yorkers Eat – Eating in New York City

Have you ever wondered what is typical for New York City food? You're certainly not alone. New York is a melting pot of cultures. Everyone who comes here brings their own lifestyle with them. And food is one of them. That's why you'll find many of the New York specialties that you already know from other countries around the world. You should definitely try these New York food tips:


Pizza - Italian immigrants introduced them early in the 20th century. It is typically thin-bottomed and topped with tomato sauce and cheese.


Bagels originally come from Jewish (kosher) cuisine. They taste particularly good with cream cheese and salmon or prepared as a sandwich. I really like eating them for breakfast or lunch.

Hot Dogs

Hot dogs are as much a part of New York as the Empire State Building. Every street vendor offers hot dogs with “the works” and you can choose what you want on your bun besides sausages and ketchup. They're also one of the cheapest meals you'll find in New York. For me they are unbeatable when things need to be done quickly.

Donuts, muffins and cupcakes

Donuts, muffins, cupcakes and other pastry delights may not be typical of New York. But every New Yorker loves them. You should definitely try them once.

New York Cheesecake

This also applies to New York Cheesecake. It was allegedly invented in New York. It has become so popular that you can find it on almost every menu in the Big Apple, and not only there. And you can be sure it always tastes good.

You can also find good desserts in the best Icecream Shops of New York.

Pastrami sandwiches

Our favorite food in New York is undoubtedly the pastrami sandwiches. This is a sandwich that is thickly topped with sliced ​​beef. The meat is processed using kosher methods and marinated in a marinade of herbs and spices, smoked and cooked. To me, a pastrami sandwich epitomizes New York food.

Powered by GetYourGuide


Where to eat cheap in New York

Good New York Delis

Katz's Delicatessen

Pastrami at its best

New Yorker's favorite sandwich is the pastrami sandwich. Pastrami, is a meat made by smoking, curing and preserving in a delicious spicy breading. Mostly beef breast. Sounds not so tempting? OK. That's what happened to me when I got the invitation from a New Yorker. Located in New York's Lower East Side Katz's Delicatessen is certainly the place to get to know the best, juiciest and tenderest pastrami sandwich. More than five warm and still dripping slices and a dollop of yellow, coarse Mostrich lie between the slices of white bread. These are served with crisp cucumbers.

The ambience seems a bit cold. It's noisy. You feel transported to another time. The staff is more businesslike than overly friendly. That's just New York. I see framed photos on the walls. Tons. Well-known faces and celebrities from culture and politics. Oh yes. And then I know the shop from somewhere! Didn't Harry & Sally eat the pastrami sandwich here in the movie scene that is remembered by the whole world? Yes. It was here.

You can not miss the Deli, still run since 1888, on E Houston St at the corner of Clinton St. The dominating red neon sign already screams from the distance and vies for attention.
If you are traveling without a car, the closest metro station, 2 Avenue Station, is about 300 meters walk from the destination.

Sylwia of Born4Travel contributed this tip. There's nothing better to eat in New York.

New York food prices

How expensive the food in New York is depends on many things. Especially of course the quality of the restaurant that you choose. At the top, the prices are open. However, you can eat very cheaply if you restrict yourself to simple restaurants, bakeries, cafés and cafeterias. There you can already have breakfast for 6 $, if you have a bagel with coffee. A hot breakfast with cereal, fruit, egg, croissant and coffee is available from 10 $.

The same goes for lunch. If you eat at a simple restaurant and choose a burger, sushi or steak, you can usually get by with $15. In the evening the prices are usually around $20. An inexpensive alternative are the food trucks, which are available in many places in New York. If you want something particularly cheap and you're not too hungry, you can get a piece of pizza for around $3. You can get half a liter of water from a street vendor for as little as $1.


Nolita Food Tour Little Italy
Nolita Food Tour Little Italy © Jessica Niedergesäß


Discover good food on a New York Food Tour

Nolita Food Tour

An absolute must as a food crazed traveler in New York is to visit Little Italy. There is a problem there however - the restaurants and delicatessen are mostly designed for tourist requirements. But if you go only a few hundred meters outside of this epicenter, you will get to know a completely new food scene.

I went on a food tour through North of Little Italy (short Nolita) and got to know the true and authentic New York. The clocks tick differently here - more relaxed and less touristy. That doesn't detract from the delicacies, because they are almost always better than in their big sister Little Italy. Most of the legendary movie “The Godfather” was shot here. Incidentally, based on a true story! At that time Nolita was the center of the Italian Mafia and part of Little Italy. It wasn't until the 90s that the neighborhood was re-christened but not changed significantly.

Where to eat in Nolita

A must in Nolita is the pizza in Emporio Ristorante, preferably the white pizza without tomato sauce. Next up, treat yourself to a Brooklyn Blackout Cupcake (named because of the major power outage), which is so famous that it is dubbed the best in the USA by various food critics. If you are still hungry you have to make a detour to the tartinery. They have fresh sourdough bread with different toppings (I tried chicken with pistachio). The crowning glory is the homemade salted caramel gelato from Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria!

Jessica writes about culinary surprises, cooking classes and food tours around the world on her blog Yummy Travel. Always with a touch of culture and the focus on slow travel and individual travel.

Powered by GetYourGuide


Roof Top Bar on Times Square
Roof Top Bar in Times Square © Stefan Sauer & Dr. Isabella Mayer


Enjoy the views from Roof Top Bars

Of course, a nice drink is the perfect way to end an exciting day in a city. And especially in Manhattan, it is worthwhile to visit one of the countless Roof Top Bars. Only which ones? And how to decide?

A Roof Top Bar Tour visits three different rooftops with an international group. Ideal for exchanging tips with other travelers in addition to the great views of Manhattan at night. We meet near the Times Square in a coffee and will be welcomed there by the friendly "tour guides". It is a bit strange at first that a bus travels the few blocks, but on the one hand the group stays together and on the other hand the girls in the sometimes adventurously high heels are in a good mood.

We visited three rooftop bars in the area between Times Square and Empire State Building. Each bar includes a drink and you spend about an hour listening to local lounge music and enjoying the view before heading to the next stop. In the last bar, the guides say goodbye and you can still comfortably end the evening with the other participants or continue to party. The style of the bars went from modern-glazed to "hipster-ig" bronzed, so something for everyone. Good restaurants in Times Square we also present here.

Powered by GetYourGuide


One of the rooftop bars introduces Ulli Jeute:


View from the rooftop bar of the Whyte Hotel
View from the rooftop bar of the Whyte Hotel © Copyright Ulrike Jeute


Manhattan skyline at night

The view of the Manhattan skyline is something very special by day. Anyone who walked over the Brooklyn Bridge once and turned around 90 degrees knows what I'm talking about.
In 2017 I was alone in NYC and Brooklyn for a few days and wanted to enjoy this view. In the middle of the party mile, almost directly on the banks of the East River, the wonderfully stylish ambience of the Whyte Hotel and its rooftop "The Ides Bar" is hidden behind red brick tiles.

The outdoor area is spacious. Small seats and bar tables offer plenty of opportunities to make yourself comfortable. For me the perfect place to have a drink on a mild summer night and enjoy a magnificent view of the Manhattan skyline. From time to time you can hear the horn of an evening cruise ringing, which gives the whole thing a pinch of adventure and a sense of freedom. I was willing to dig a little deeper into my pocket for that.

Ulrike Jeute aka Little Bigvoyager stands for the travel blog for the whole family. In addition to many small and large trips with the family, also times for two or just alone. As in real life - the mix makes it.

More sources for the best restaurants in New York City

  • Time Out New York: This page lists the current best restaurants in New York and provides detailed descriptions and reviews from experts.
  • The Infatuation: This page provides a list of the best restaurants in New York with detailed reviews and tips.
  • Eater New York: This site is known for its comprehensive restaurant reviews and dining recommendations. It offers a detailed overview of the best restaurants in different parts of New York.



Questions and answers about New York food

Where can I find good street food in New York?

Popular street food stalls can be found in areas such as Times Square, Central Park, SoHo, Union Square and along 5th Avenue. Food truck events like Smorgasburg in Brooklyn are also recommended.

Which international cuisines are particularly well represented in New York?

New York is known for its culinary diversity. Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Indian, Korean and Jewish cuisines are particularly well represented.

How do I find good, inexpensive restaurants in New York?

To find cheap restaurants, it pays to venture out of the tourist areas and look for local recommendations in neighborhoods like the East Village, Chinatown, Astoria, or Jackson Heights.

Where is the best place to have breakfast or brunch in New York?

New York offers numerous breakfast and brunch options. Cafes and bakeries in neighborhoods like SoHo, West Village, Williamsburg, and Park Slope are often known for their excellent deals.

Are there any recommended vegetarian or vegan restaurants in New York?

Yes, New York has a great selection of vegetarian as well vegan restaurants. Popular neighborhoods for such establishments include Greenwich Village, East Village, Chelsea and Williamsburg.

Where can I eat authentic New York style pizza in New York?

New York pizza can be found in many pizzerias in the city. Famous pizzerias like Di Fara Pizza in Brooklyn, Joe's Pizza in Greenwich Village and Prince Street Pizza in SoHo are good places to go.

What food festivals and events are held in New York?

There are also numerous culinary festivals in New York, such as the New York City Wine & Food Festival, NYC Restaurant Week, Taste of Tribeca and the Smorgasburg Food Market at the World Trade Center, in Williamsburg or in Brooklyn.

Where can I find rooftop bars in New York with good food and a view?

Rooftop bars with good food and a view can be found, for example, at 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar, The Press Lounge or the Ophelia Lounge. These also offer a combination of food, drinks and panoramic views.

How can I find authentic ethnic cuisine in New York?

To enjoy authentic ethnic cuisine, visit neighborhoods with a high concentration of certain cultures, such as Chinatown for Chinese cuisine, Little Italy for Italian cuisine, or Jackson Heights for Indian and South American dishes.



What you need to visit New York

If you purchase via a link marked *, we receive a commission, which we use to run this blog.


Travel Arrangements:

Parking at the airport

You can book your parking space at the airport here.


Compare and book flights here*. NNew York City can be reached on the one hand with airlines such as United, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, but also with others. You can then continue your journey by rental car, bus or train.

The best tours and activities in New York

You can reserve these with our partner Get Your Guide. This also saves you long waiting times on site.

Powered by GetYourGuide

It is also very practical City Pass New York.


Hotels in Manhattan* you can book here.




New York City restaurants
Click on the photo and then save “New York City Restaurants” on Pinterest.


Do you know this?


Source Restaurant in New York City: On-site research as a tour guide in New York and the travel tips of the contributing travel bloggers. Our opinion is definitely our own.

Text Restaurant in New York City: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline and the travel blogger colleagues mentioned in the article
Photos restaurant in New York City © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline as well as the travel blogger colleagues and Unsplash mentioned in the article
Video © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline

Culinary Exploration: The New York Food Scene

Monika Fuchs

Monika Fuchs and Petar Fuchs are the authors and publishers of the Slow Travel and Enjoyment travel blog TravelWorldOnline Traveller. You have been publishing this blog since 2005. TravelWorldOnline has been online since 2001. Your topics are Trips to Savor and wine tourism worldwide and Slow Travel. During her studies, Monika Fuchs spent some time in North America, where she traveled to the USA and Canada - sometimes together with Petar Fuchs - and spent a research year in British Columbia. This strengthened her thirst for knowledge, which she pursued for 6 years Adventure Guide for Rotel Tours and then for 11 years as Study tour guide for Studiosus Reisen tried to breastfeed all over the world. She constantly expanded her travel regions, but curiosity still gnawed at her: “What is beyond the horizon? What else is there to discover in this city? Which people are interesting here? What do you eat in this region?” These are the questions she is now trying to answer as a freelance travel journalist (her articles have appeared in DIE ZEIT, 360° Canada, 360° USA, etc.), among others. travel writer and travel blogger answers in many countries around the world. Petar Fuchs produces the videos on this blog as well as on YouTube. Monika Fuchs from TravelWorldOnline is below Germany's top 50 bloggers in 2021 Other Information about Monika and Petar Fuchs. Recommendations on LinkedIn from tourism experts Further recommendations from cooperation partners and tourism experts Professional experience Monika on LinkedIn

4 thoughts too "Culinary Exploration: The New York Food Scene"

  1. Very interesting article and useful recommendations, thanks! Special attention deserves wonderful food pictures. Great photos!

  2. Such a wonderful write up, Monika! I love reading about all these places, and if ever I find myself in the NY, I will definitely hold on to this article. Momofuku, having heard so much about it!

    1. Hi Azlin,

      thank you for your kind comment. I am happy you like it. Let me know if you travel to New York. I know the city pretty well, having worked there for years and I am happy to help out with tips.

Leave a Comment

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked with * marked