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The essential food in NYC

Our definitive checklist of the best food in NYC is here. Gear up for 100 amazing dishes and drinks, New York.

Katz’s Delicatessen
Photograph: Courtesy Katz’s Delicatessen
By Time Out contributors |

Whoever said you can have too much of a good thing clearly wasn’t a New Yorker. Our list of the essential NYC dishes and drinks every Gothamite needs to taste has all the good things, such as late-night sammies at New York delis, the snootiest egg caviar at an UWS fine-dining mecca and everything in between. Those staples—the tastiest New York pizza and the best bagels in nyc—are well represented, but we’ve thrown in some surprises, too. Caution: Don’t read this while hungry.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in NYC

Essential food in NYC

Roasted chicken at the NoMad
Photograph: Daniel Krieger
Restaurants, North African

Roasted chicken at Nomad

East Village

You’ll definitely need to split this succulent, pricey roast, complete with decadent foie gras, a hint of swoonworthy black truffle and sharp, invigorating baby leeks. $94 

Cafe Mogador
Photograph: Beth Levendis
Restaurants, Moroccan

Lamb tagine at Café Mogador

East Village

Flavors of North Africa and lower Manhattan meet at this St. Marks café, a neighborhood fixture since 1983. $22

Meskerem Ethiopian Cuisine
Photograph: Yelp/Marz S.
Restaurants, Ethiopian

Vegetarian combo at Meskerem Ethiopian Cuisine

Greenwich Village

Tear off a piece of spongy, crêpelike injera and dive straight into this all-veggie platter, which features hearty dollops of dishes like mesir wat (red lentils simmered with berbere spice) and shiro wat (ground chickpeas tinged yellow from fragrant turmeric). $16.95

Mile End Deli
Photograph: Courtesy Virginia Rollison
Restaurants, Delis

Reuben sandwich at Mile End Deli

Boerum Hill

This claim is heavily contested in the Midwest, but at least a few culinary historians agree: The combination of corned beef, kraut and Swiss cheese rose to fame at the now-shuttered Reuben’s Delicatessen on 58th Street in the early 1900s. $13

Photograph: Yelp/Aaron N.
Restaurants, Cuban

Cubano at Margon

Midtown West

While Times Square tourists line up outside Planet Hollywood, real New Yorkers queue for an entirely different reason: the sandwiches turned out at this bustling Latin luncheonette. $10

Burrito at Dos Toros
Photograph: Lizz Kuehl
Restaurants, Mexican

Carne asada burrito at Dos Toros

Upper East Side

Juicy beef and inventive pick-your-own fillings (farro, smashed chips) have made the burritos at the burgeoning fast-casual Mexican chain a major player in the NYC lunch scene. $9.87

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