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Katz’s Delicatessen, an institution since 1888 on the Lower East Side

New York

New York City’s Classic Eateries in Manhattan and Brooklyn

By: Idoia Gkikas

Julienne Schaer
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  • States:
    New York

Dining in New York City can be an inspiring experience for travelers and long-time residents alike.

Restaurants and cafes line the streets, and the culinary options are unlimited. Bookmark this list of classics to help you navigate the culinary standouts, including famous delicatessens, notable New York eateries and trendy hot spots from Manhattan to Brooklyn.

Must-Try Delis

No doubt about it – New York City and delis go together like pastrami and rye.

Katz’s Delicatessen, Manhattan
Order the pastrami Reuben at this local institution, where the meat is hand-carved and indescribably tender. Bring your appetite – this legendary sandwich is huge! 

2nd Ave. Deli, Manhattan
You can order the popular hot corned beef sandwich, but they say the matzo ball soup at this Kosher deli will cure any and all ailments – there is a reason this soup is nicknamed “Jewish Penicillin.”

Sadelle’s, Manhattan
Sadelle’s specializes in bagels, boiled on site and served on a stacked tower. Try the smoked Scottish salmon and grab a slice of chocolate babka – a sweet yeast cake – to-go.

Mile End Delicatessen, Brooklyn
Forget the calories and order the Ruth Wilensky, a seared beef salami sandwich, or an authentic Canadian poutine – a quick dish made with French fries, cheese curds and gravy.

Always a packed house at Katz’s Delicatessen on the Lower East Side

Always a packed house at Katz’s Delicatessen on the Lower East Side
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Julienne Schaer

New York’s Culinary Icons

These tried-and-true legendary restaurants range from hot dog stands to a historic steak house.

Arturo’s, Manhattan
Want a New York City pizza experience to remember? Order a coal-oven baked pie at Arturo’s and enjoy the kitschy vibe of the restaurant, along with a fantastic bar and live jazz. This Greenwich Village staple has been around for over 60 years.  

Sardi’s, Manhattan
Stop by this old-school Theater District staple before or after a show. Open since 1921, Sardi’s menu features American, Italian and seafood fare, and there are dozens of caricature drawings of Broadway stars on the walls.

Nathan’s Famous, Brooklyn
Beloved by legends like Al Capone and Franklin Roosevelt, Nathan’s has been serving its beef hot dogs since 1916. Try them at the original Coney Island beachfront location.

Junior’s, Brooklyn
This establishment is American diner food at its finest. Many cheesecake fanatics claim Junior’s hand-mixed, kosher recipe is the best – it’s worth ordering a slice (or two) to determine for yourself.

Peter Luger Steak House, Brooklyn
The beef is dry-aged on site at this Michelin-starred steak house. The original location in Williamsburg has been serving since 1887. It’s also regularly hailed as one of the best steak houses in New York City, so make sure to make a reservation.

Lining up for hot dogs and French fries at Nathan’s Famous on Coney Island

Lining up for hot dogs and French fries at Nathan’s Famous on Coney Island
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Alex Lopez

Hot Spots for New Flavors

There’s always a new trendy spot to try, but these are a few noteworthy mentions.

M. Wells Dinette, Queens
Inside Queens’ legendary art institute, MoMa PS1, find a rotating menu of Québécois-inspired delicacies at M. Wells Dinette. The quirky café is decorated like an elementary classroom, where you can enjoy your meal at a schoolroom table, alongside vintage yearbook photos and a chalkboard menu.

Roberta’s Pizza, Brooklyn
At this hip hangout in Bushwick, experience the wonder that is Roberta’s Bee Sting pizza – mozzarella, tomato, thin-sliced soppressata and honey on a wood-fired crust.

Red Rooster, Manhattan
Taste Southern-inspired dishes, such as gumbo and catfish, at this Marcus Samuelsson restaurant. Enjoy live music at the speakeasy-esque Ginny’s Supper Club on the lower level of the Harlem location.

 

Wood-fired pizza at trendy Roberta’s in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood

Wood-fired pizza at trendy Roberta’s in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood
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Julienne Schaer

Getting There

To reach New York City from international destinations, fly into John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in Queens or Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) in nearby Newark, New Jersey.