What is a must eat in New York?

1. Hot dog

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Hot Dog. Photo: Culture Trip

No, we’re not referring to the “dirty water dogs” peddled on sidewalks across the city. A true New York hot dog should be crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and, ideally, secured from local institution Gray’s Papaya. The Recession Special at this famous 24-hour spot includes two franks and one soda for “when you’re hungry, or broke, or just in a hurry.” In truth, though, there’s never a wrong time to eat at Gray’s Papaya, according to The Culture Trip.

2. Pizza

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Pizza. Photo: Wanderlustingk

Pizza in New York City is a must. I proudly say that New York Pizza is the best pizza in the United States as pizza came to the United States starting in NYC. Really. The first pizzeria in the United States of America was opened in 1905 by an Italian immigrant from Naples in New York City.

You eat a New York slice by picking it up, folding it in half while supporting the bottom (if needed), and taking a bite. You don’t want to tilt it too much, so that the cheese and oil don’t drip off. Do not use a knife and fork!

Good pizza should not be too oily with a thin crust. In the photo above, you can see pizza from one of my favorite places, a small pizzeria in Queens, with high quality mozzarella that doesn’t overwhelm the taste of the rest. I usually get the margarita pizza, which includes basil, cheese, and tomato sauce. At a high quality pizzeria, this should be divine, as said by Wanderlustingk.

For a good slice, head down to Coney Island to visit one of the oldest pizzerias in New York City: Totonno’s. Also in Brooklyn, consider visiting Roberta’s. I used to always recommend Grimaldi’s , however the original owner has left and opened up a new pizzeria: Juliana’s in Downtown Brooklyn. In Manhattan, head to Joe’s Pizza and Keste.

3. Shackburger

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Shackburger. Photo: Today Show

A city of food snobs, New Yorkers don’t do chains. Unless, of course, that chain is Shake Shack, a Madison Square Park hot dog cart-turned-international burger joint. Since this New York-born business first opened in 2004, its Shackburger, featuring Pat LaFrieda beef, a Martin’s potato roll, and top-secret ShackSauce, has become as much of a local classic as the other items on this list.

4. New York cheesecake

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New York cheesecake. Photo: Life Made Simple

Consider yourself warned: once you’ve tasted true New York-style cheesecake, the imitations you’ll find across the globe won’t be able to compare. After 67 years, the best spot to sample the city’s richest dessert is still Junior’s, where fresh fruit, homemade purees, and more accent creamy slices with sponge cake bottoms.

Bagels (and Lox)

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Bagels. Photo: A Well Fed Life

Can you visit New York City without having a bagel? (Even if you’re gluten intolerant, don’t worry: there are gluten free bagels!) It’s traditional to have your bagel with smear (cream cheese) and/or lox (salmon). I recommend Russ and Daughters, Zabar’s, and Ess-a-bagel to get your fix. That said, it’s much harder to go wrong here…and a bagel is perfect for a quick breakfast! Get it with a regular coffee (coffee with milk and sugar) and you’ll be on your way to becoming a New Yorker.

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