clock menu more-arrow no yes
An overhead photograph of three slices of saucy pizza on a metal tray
Totonno’s pizza
Bill Addison/Eater

New York City’s 30 Most Iconic Dishes

Where to find thin crust pizza topped tomato sauce and mozzarella, premium pastrami on rye, spicy cumin lamb noodles, and more

View as Map
Totonno’s pizza
| Bill Addison/Eater

The 30 dishes presented here provide a taste of classic New York. They have achieved a distinguished reputation and shaped our modern dining scene. Most originated long ago, while those of more recent vintage have rapidly blown up to legendary status. A few are expensive, while most can be obtained for a few dollars. All are worth trying, and all contribute to what makes our city the most exciting dining destination in the world.

For more information on NYC’s essential establishments, check out the Eater 38, critic Robert Sietsema’s list of inexpensive dining destinations, and guides to iconic burgers, pizzerias, meats, and desserts.

The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Please be aware of changing local rules, and check individual restaurant websites for any additional restrictions such as mask requirements. Find a local vaccination site here.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Fried chicken at Sylvia's

Copy Link
328 Malcolm X Blvd
New York, NY 10027
(212) 996-0660
Visit Website

Founded by Sylvia Woods — known as the Queen of Soul Food — in Harlem in 1962, Sylvia’s set a high standard for dishes like fried chicken, smothered pork chops, barbecued ribs, and fried catfish. She used only a light dusting of flour on the intact skin of her fried chicken, which provides the crispness rather than a thick breading, a refreshing change from the fried chicken at today’s fast-food chains and fast-casual chicken establishments.

The packed dining room of Sylvia’s with red walls Robert Sietsema/Eater

2. Al pastor tacos at Taco Mix

Copy Link
234 E 116th St #1
New York, NY 10029
(212) 289-2963
Visit Website

Many New Yorkers first became aware of the twirling vertical rotisserie of pork topped with pineapple called a trompo when it appeared in the window of Taco Mix in East Harlem, which originated as a taco cart owned by Jorge Sanchez in 1991. Now trompos are seen all over town, betokening excellent pork tacos on corn tortillas, assembled on the spot, and simply garnished with cilantro and chopped onions. Squirt on the green or red salsa, or any of the other toppings like oiled and dried chiles displayed on the counter. Multiple locations.

Two tacos spread flat with meat, onions, cilantro, and red salsa. Robert Sietsema/Eater

3. Chocolate chip walnut cookie at Levain Bakery

Copy Link
167 W 74th St
New York, NY 10023
(212) 874-6080
Visit Website

Constance McDonald and Pamela Weekes started out making bread in 1995, but ended up making cookies. Many consider their softball-sized product the city's best, with their gooey interior and chocolate- and walnut-loaded dough — and daily lines show it. Other choices include dark chocolate chocolate chip, dark chocolate peanut butter chip, and oatmeal raisin. Multiple locations.

A craggly chocolate chip cookie sits on parchment paper Robert Sietsema/Eater

4. Franks at Gray's Papaya

Copy Link
2090 Broadway
New York, NY 10023
(212) 799-0243
Visit Website

Excellent, snappy, all-beef hot dogs and gritty but somehow refreshing fruit drinks are the hallmarks of this Upper West Side old-timer founded by Paul Gray in 1973. It also reflects a distinctive New York City style frankfurter that originated a century earlier in Coney Island. Topping choices are limited to mustard, sauerkraut, stewed onions, and ketchup (though true New Yorkers would never use ketchup).

A pair of hot dogs on a red counter with an orange drink. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

5. Soup dumplings at Joe's Shanghai

Copy Link
13621 37th Ave
Flushing, NY 11354
(718) 539-3838
Visit Website

A lot of restaurants serve good soup dumplings these days, but Joe's is the one that kickstarted New York's obsession with this delicacy when it opened in Flushing in 1994. Filled with a greasy, scalding broth, these mushroom-shaped dumplings became an immediate hit, so that nowadays even neighborhood Chinese restaurants feature them. Various branches of Joe’s Shanghai have appeared in Manhattan, still owned by Mei Ping Matsumura, with chef Kiu Sang “Joe” Si.

A wooden steamer basked with white parchment at the base. Eight off-white soup dumplings sit on top of it. Nick Solares/Eater

6. Spicy cumin lamb noodles at Xi'an Famous Foods

Copy Link
41-10 Main St
Flushing, NY 11355
(212) 786-2068
Visit Website

Xi’an serves a variety of hand-pulled wheat noodles from northwestern China, but the spicy cumin lamb ones rise above the rest. Shredded lamb chuck and shoulder get mixed with rice wine, garlic, ginger, onions, peppers, and a whopping 30 different spices for a very fragrant finish. Though the original in the fabled Golden Mall (founded 2005 by David Shi) is now closed, you’ll find locations in three boroughs, managed by Jason Wang, the founder’s son.

Xi’an Famous Foods’ spicy cumin lamb noodles sit on a white plate as a person pulls them up Nick Solares/Eater

7. Mutton chop at Keens Steakhouse

Copy Link
72 W 36th St
New York, NY 10018
(212) 947-3636
Visit Website

Keens, one of the oldest steakhouses in the country (opened 1885), is famous not for its steak — though that's good too — but for its mutton chop. This massive, flavorful cut, which is actually a saddle of lamb, is well worth a trip to the restaurant, especially when eaten with a wedge salad, or a side of the famed prime-rib hash. Part of the fun is the clubby, 19th century ambiance, from the days when Keens was a meeting place for actors and other theater professionals.

A white plate placed on a marble table, a silver fork and knife on either side. There’s a salad and a piece of lamb on the white plate. Nick Solares/Eater

8. Bibimbap at Han Bat

Copy Link
53 W 35th St
New York, NY 10001
(212) 629-5588
Visit Website

Korean food started taking off here in the 1980s, and it was during that era that many of Koreatown’s oldest restaurants opened. Han Bat originated on its fringes in 1990, with a classic menu that highlighted such dishes as bulgogi, pajun, mandoo, and one that instantly excited the popular imagination: bibimbap. With a mellifluous name that sounded like the title of a pop song, it came in a stone bowl as a carefully segmented collection of ingredients, which were deposited on rice and topped with an egg, and then mixed as the rice sizzled and annealed to the bottom of the bowl.

A black stone bowl with various ingredients topped with a raw egg. Robert Sietsema/Eater

9. Shackburger at Shake Shack

Copy Link
11 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10010
(212) 889-6600
Visit Website

The Shackburger may have gone worldwide, but it was first flipped in Madison Square in 2004.

The secret to the Shackburger's everlasting popularity is the patty, which has big beefy flavor and just a hint of funkiness, with superior quality lettuce and tomato and a mayo-based sauce. You can get them all over town, and indeed all over the world, but the best is still found at the original Madison Square location. The continued demand for the Shackburger makes it perhaps New York's favorite hamburger.

A hamburger with lettuce, tomato slices is in the background. crinkle-cut fries sit in the foreground. Nick Solares/Eater

10. Banana pudding at Magnolia Bakery

Copy Link
401 Bleecker St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 462-2572
Visit Website

Magnolia Bakery’s cupcakes may have become famous from a cameo in Sex and the City, but locals know to go for the banana pudding. It’s packed with banana slices, lush vanilla pudding, and slightly softened vanilla wafers, and the banana flavor is strong in every bite.

A paper container of yellow pudding with fragmentary cookies embedded. Robert Sietsema/Eater

11. Khachapuri at Chito Gvrito

Copy Link
173 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10003
(646) 767-0154
Visit Website

The city first became aware of khachapuri a dozen years ago via Georgian cafes in Brighton Beach and adjacent Brooklyn neighborhoods, and the phenomenon quickly spread. Who wouldn’t love a bread boat filled with molten cheese? We eventually learned that several regionaly varieties of this national bread exist, but the one called adjaruli khachapuri continues to be foremost in our affections, and Chito Gravito near Gramercy Park serves one of the best.

A round bread with two opposing bread handles and cheese and an uncooked egg yolk in a pool in the middle. Robert Sietsema/Eater

12. Falafel at Mamoun's

Copy Link
119 Macdougal St, New York
NY, 10012
(212) 674-8685
Visit Website

Mamoun's falafel is inexpensive, filling, and delicious. The original Mamoun's on MacDougal introduced the falafel sandwich to the city in 1971, and it became a mega hit, first with NYU students and hippies, but soon with the general public. Falafel also served as a wedge for the introduction of vegetarian dining in the city. With its abundance of fried chickpea fritters, nutty tasting tahini, and fresh greens, onions, and tomatoes, it redefined a quick bite for New Yorkers.

The exterior of Mamoun’s Macdougal Street shop, with a brown-and-white striped awning. Robert Sietsema/Eater

13. Black label burger at Minetta Tavern

Copy Link
113 Macdougal St
New York, NY 10012
(212) 475-3850
Visit Website

NYC's love of the hamburger reached a fever pitch when chefs Lee Hanson and Riad Nasr, who now head the lauded Frenchette, unleashed the black label burger on an unsuspecting city in 2009. With a custom dry-aged rib steak blend, the black label represents the zenith of classic hamburger architecture — no truffles, no foie gras, no cheese even. Just beef, onions, and bun.

A beef patty, with slight charring on top and caramelized onions, sits between two sesame buns. A slice of tomato sits on one side, and french fries can be seen in the back. Nick Solares/Eater

14. Pierogies at Veselka

Copy Link
144 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003
(212) 228-9682
Visit Website

Veselka has been serving a mix of Ukrainian home cooking and American diner grub 24 hours a day, seven days a week since 1954. A plate of pierogies with sour cream and caramelized onions is the essential order — they're made in house and the restaurant goes through a lot of them, so they're always fresh. Choices include the classic meat, potato, cheese, or sauerkraut, but other options abound, like steak, lobster, and arugula and goat cheese.

15. Cronut at Dominique Ansel Bakery

Copy Link
189 Spring St
New York, NY 10012
(212) 219-2773
Visit Website

The Cronut has become quintessential New York since its invention by French pastry chef Dominique Ansel in his Soho bakery in 2013. Soon after its birth, the croissant-doughnut hybrid became a viral sensation, spawned countless knockoffs, and attracted long lines (it still does). The flaky, layered dough comes filled with cream, and the bakery prepares a new flavor every month. Those in the know will order ahead to cut the line.

Circular fried doughnuts with frosting on top Getty/Dan Kitwood

16. BEC at Sunny & Annie's Deli

Copy Link
94 Avenue B
New York, NY 10009
(212) 677-3131

Perhaps the most-consumed sandwich in New York City, nearly always eaten for breakfast, the BEC (bacon, egg, and cheese) comes on a crusty kaiser roll, itself a reminder that Austrian bakeries dominated the city’s bread scene over a century ago. With all its nuances and variations (ham or sausage instead of bacon, for example), the sandwich can be found at thousands of delis in all five boroughs, but Sunny & Annie’s stands out because of the extra effort that goes into toasting the roll, super-crisping the bacon, and using an egg that’s been only slightly scrambled.

A sandwich shown in cross section on roll containing egg, bacon, and cheese. Robert Sietsema/Eater

17. Bagel with lox and cream cheese at Russ & Daughters

Copy Link
179 E Houston St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 475-4880
Visit Website

NYC might have better bagels, but there is no better bagel and lox experience than the one at Russ & Daughters. Four generations of family ownership and over one hundred years of business give this place a certain sense of gravitas, but it's the quality that keeps people coming back. Check out how the bagel and lox are put together here.

Pieces of salmon jut out of a bagel sandwich sliced in half, that’s placed on a white cermaic plate. A sign for Russ & Daughters hangs in the background. Bess Adler/Eater

18. Pastrami on rye at Katz's Deli

Copy Link
205 E Houston St
New York, NY 10002
(800) 446-8364
Visit Website

Katz's serves New York's favorite pastrami sandwich, a meat central to the city’s carnivorous identity, and indeed it may have originated here. At Katz’s it's not just a humongous pile of pink cured beef, but one in which the flavor is richer and emphatically smokier than other popular versions served around town. It's a dish that New Yorkers have craved and relished for over a hundred years.

19. Pancakes at Clinton St. Baking Co.

Copy Link
4 Clinton St
New York, NY 10002
(646) 602-6263
Visit Website

This abiding brunch magnet has been serving its iconic flapjacks since opening in 2001, and they are wonderfully simple, impossibly fluffy (made with egg whites), and essential to a meal at Clinton Street. Whether wild Maine blueberry, banana walnut, or chocolate chunk, each short stack is served with maple butter that should find its way into every bite.

A stack of pancakes dusted with powdered sugar and topped with blueberry jam. A tiny bowl of syrup sits on the side. Robert Sietsema/Eater

20. Big tray chicken at Spicy Village

Copy Link
68 Forsyth St B
New York, NY 10002
(212) 625-8299
Visit Website

The popular “big tray chicken” was introduced to New Yorkers a decade ago (or maybe earlier at its Flushing predecessor) by Spicy Village. It came originally from the Uyghurs, and was popularized in Henan before it set down here at a restaurant run by Fujianese owners, illustrating the circuitous route by which our iconic dishes often arrive. Owner Wendy Lian’s version was mind-boggling, featuring broad homemade wheat noodles, a fiery red broth laced with Sichuan peppercorns, and nuggets of dark meat chicken — bone-in for extra flavor.

A wok brimming with red sauce, chicken tidbits, and pale noodles. Robert Sietsema/Eater

21. Eggplant rollatini at Bamonte's

Copy Link
32 Withers St
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 384-8831

At any of Brooklyn’s ancient Italian-American restaurants you can regale yourself with classics of the genre like baked ziti, stuffed clams, lasagna, and pork chops with cherry peppers, but king of these dishes is eggplant rollatini. As interpreted by Bamonte’s, founded by Pasquale Bamonte in 1900, it rolls sauteed eggplant around a ricotta filling and thickly covers it in marinara, a combination that’s mellow and pungent at the same time.

Two big humps of red sauced eggplant with ricotta cheese oozing out at the edges... Robert Sietsema/Eater

22. Steak at Peter Luger Steak House

Copy Link
178 Broadway
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 387-7400
Visit Website

Many meat lovers in the New York area believe that Peter Luger's porterhouse is the greatest steak ever served by anyone — despite a brutal Times review. The beef hits the table in a pool of hot butter and red meat juices, with the filet and sirloin pre-sliced. The beef has a prominent char on the exterior, and if ordered rare or medium-rare, each piece has a perfectly rosy interior. Although countless restaurants across the city now serve similar porterhouse steaks, Luger remains the best place in New York to eat dry-aged beef.

The steak at Peter Luger that’s sliced on the bone and placed on an oval plate. There are condiments on either side of the plate, placed on a wooden table. Nick Solares/Eater

23. Hot fudge sundae at Eddie's Sweet Shop

Copy Link
105-29 Metropolitan Ave #1
Queens, NY 11375
(718) 520-8514
Visit Website

With its wooden fixtures and old-fashioned soda fountain, Eddie’s in Forest HIlls (founded 1909) is a delightful throwback to a much earlier era. The homemade ice cream is maybe not the very best in town, but it suffices, and when made into the magnificent hot fudge sundae with its rich fudge and optional clouds of whipped cream (we prefer it with no whipped cream), served in an antique tulip glass, it is one of the best desserts in town, loved by young and old alike.

A hot fudge sundae in a tulip glass. Robert Sietsema/Eater

24. Burek at Burek’s Pizza

Copy Link
68-57 Forest Ave
Ridgewood, NY 11385
(718) 971-4453

No, there’s no actual pizza on the menu at this Ridgewood stalwart near the Forest Avenue stop on the M. Instead, the place exclusively peddles bureks, the tire-size flaky Balkan pie, filled with meat, cheese, or cheese and spinach, available by the slice or the entire pie. It’s proper accompaniment is the made-in-house yogurt, for dipping.

Spinach and cheese flaky phyllo pie spread out so you can see the filling. Robert Sietsema/Eater

25. Jerk chicken at Peppa's

Copy Link
738 Flatbush Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11226
(646) 683-6012
Visit Website

Founded by Gavin Hussey (nicknamed Peppa) in the 90s, this storefront that has spouted many branches produces some of the best Jamaican jerk chicken in the city. And remember that jerk pork was the standard back in Jamaica, and that jerk chicken may have been invented in Brooklyn. Finished over flame, Peppa’s rendition has a charred exterior and slight vinegary tang, but you’d best also squirt on the jerk sauce, which adds fiery notes of allspice and scotch bonnet pepper.

Peppa’s jerk chicken on the grill. Louise Palmberg/Eater

26. Pizza at Di Fara Pizza

Copy Link
1424 Avenue J
Brooklyn, NY 11230
(718) 258-1367
Visit Website

Dom DeMarco is the most legendary pizzaiolo in New York, if not the entire country. His pies are topped with a three-cheese blend, snips of fresh basil, and a thin layer of olive oil. The typical Di Fara experience involves confusion at the cash register and a long wait for your food, but the sight of Dom fussing and fiddling with his pizzas usually might make up for any hassle. DeMarco has eased up on his cooking duties in recent yeras, and passed them on to his sons.

A pizza with basil on top sits on a counter, as a man’s hands tears more herbs. Nick Solares/Eater

27. Roast beef sandwich at Brennan & Carr

Copy Link
3432 Nostrand Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11229
(718) 769-1254
Visit Website

Established in 1938 in Sheepshead Bay when the surrounding area was mainly farmland, Brennan & Carr provides NYC’s answer to LA’s fabled french dip sandwich. A flavorful wad of beef awash in its steaming juices is deposited on a kaiser roll, and the beefy aroma arise from the sandwich like an early morning fog. The place is a joy to visit, looking like a Civil War stockade in its fenced parking lot.

A roast beef sandwich drenched with beef broth on a plate seen in cross section. Robert Sietsema/Eater

28. Spumoni at L&B Spumoni Gardens

Copy Link
2725 86th St
Brooklyn, NY 11223
(718) 449-1230
Visit Website

Red-sauce Sicilian restaurant and Gravesend institution L & B Spumoni Gardens comes alive in the summer. That’s because of its namesake spumoni, available in paper cups from the walk-up window. Chocolate, pistachio, and vanilla with candied fruit come together for a colorful treat that’s as photogenic as it is tasty. The spumoni is best enjoyed on a warm evening after a slice of the thick-crusted, rectangular Sicilian pizzas.

A hand holds a white paper cup with three colors of ice cream in it, green, yellow, and brown. Robert Sietsema/Eater

29. Fried calamari at Randazzo's Clam Bar

Copy Link
2017 Emmons Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11235
(718) 615-0010
Visit Website

This is the Randazzo’s hallmark, which the waterfront restaurant has been serving consistently since the 1960s. The squid at Randazzo’s is graced with a light, golden batter, and finished with a pour over of the restaurant’s equally iconic red sauce. Servers will politely suggest a portion if for some reason diners "forgot" one.

Randazzo’s Randazzo’s [Official Photo]

30. Pizza at Totonno's Pizzeria Napolitano

Copy Link
1524 Neptune Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11224
(718) 372-8606
Visit Website

For 95 years, this storied Coney Island pizzeria has been serving thin crust pizzas topped with a simple tomato sauces and patches of silky fresh mozzarella. The crust has a char that may surprise diners who have never tasted real coal-oven pizza before, and the toppings are delicately applied. This place is simply the best pizzeria in the world, and well worth the sojourn on a whole host of trains to Coney Island.

Cut-up slices of pizza sit on a steel plate and have smidges of red sauce and cheese on them. Bill Addison/Eater

Loading comments...

1. Fried chicken at Sylvia's

328 Malcolm X Blvd, New York, NY 10027
The packed dining room of Sylvia’s with red walls Robert Sietsema/Eater

Founded by Sylvia Woods — known as the Queen of Soul Food — in Harlem in 1962, Sylvia’s set a high standard for dishes like fried chicken, smothered pork chops, barbecued ribs, and fried catfish. She used only a light dusting of flour on the intact skin of her fried chicken, which provides the crispness rather than a thick breading, a refreshing change from the fried chicken at today’s fast-food chains and fast-casual chicken establishments.

328 Malcolm X Blvd
New York, NY 10027

2. Al pastor tacos at Taco Mix

234 E 116th St #1, New York, NY 10029
Two tacos spread flat with meat, onions, cilantro, and red salsa. Robert Sietsema/Eater

Many New Yorkers first became aware of the twirling vertical rotisserie of pork topped with pineapple called a trompo when it appeared in the window of Taco Mix in East Harlem, which originated as a taco cart owned by Jorge Sanchez in 1991. Now trompos are seen all over town, betokening excellent pork tacos on corn tortillas, assembled on the spot, and simply garnished with cilantro and chopped onions. Squirt on the green or red salsa, or any of the other toppings like oiled and dried chiles displayed on the counter. Multiple locations.

234 E 116th St #1
New York, NY 10029

3. Chocolate chip walnut cookie at Levain Bakery

167 W 74th St, New York, NY 10023
A craggly chocolate chip cookie sits on parchment paper Robert Sietsema/Eater

Constance McDonald and Pamela Weekes started out making bread in 1995, but ended up making cookies. Many consider their softball-sized product the city's best, with their gooey interior and chocolate- and walnut-loaded dough — and daily lines show it. Other choices include dark chocolate chocolate chip, dark chocolate peanut butter chip, and oatmeal raisin. Multiple locations.

167 W 74th St
New York, NY 10023

4. Franks at Gray's Papaya

2090 Broadway, New York, NY 10023
A pair of hot dogs on a red counter with an orange drink. Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Excellent, snappy, all-beef hot dogs and gritty but somehow refreshing fruit drinks are the hallmarks of this Upper West Side old-timer founded by Paul Gray in 1973. It also reflects a distinctive New York City style frankfurter that originated a century earlier in Coney Island. Topping choices are limited to mustard, sauerkraut, stewed onions, and ketchup (though true New Yorkers would never use ketchup).

2090 Broadway
New York, NY 10023

5. Soup dumplings at Joe's Shanghai

13621 37th Ave, Flushing, NY 11354
A wooden steamer basked with white parchment at the base. Eight off-white soup dumplings sit on top of it. Nick Solares/Eater

A lot of restaurants serve good soup dumplings these days, but Joe's is the one that kickstarted New York's obsession with this delicacy when it opened in Flushing in 1994. Filled with a greasy, scalding broth, these mushroom-shaped dumplings became an immediate hit, so that nowadays even neighborhood Chinese restaurants feature them. Various branches of Joe’s Shanghai have appeared in Manhattan, still owned by Mei Ping Matsumura, with chef Kiu Sang “Joe” Si.

13621 37th Ave
Flushing, NY 11354

6. Spicy cumin lamb noodles at Xi'an Famous Foods

41-10 Main St, Flushing, NY 11355
Xi’an Famous Foods’ spicy cumin lamb noodles sit on a white plate as a person pulls them up Nick Solares/Eater

Xi’an serves a variety of hand-pulled wheat noodles from northwestern China, but the spicy cumin lamb ones rise above the rest. Shredded lamb chuck and shoulder get mixed with rice wine, garlic, ginger, onions, peppers, and a whopping 30 different spices for a very fragrant finish. Though the original in the fabled Golden Mall (founded 2005 by David Shi) is now closed, you’ll find locations in three boroughs, managed by Jason Wang, the founder’s son.

41-10 Main St
Flushing, NY 11355

7. Mutton chop at Keens Steakhouse

72 W 36th St, New York, NY 10018
A white plate placed on a marble table, a silver fork and knife on either side. There’s a salad and a piece of lamb on the white plate. Nick Solares/Eater

Keens, one of the oldest steakhouses in the country (opened 1885), is famous not for its steak — though that's good too — but for its mutton chop. This massive, flavorful cut, which is actually a saddle of lamb, is well worth a trip to the restaurant, especially when eaten with a wedge salad, or a side of the famed prime-rib hash. Part of the fun is the clubby, 19th century ambiance, from the days when Keens was a meeting place for actors and other theater professionals.

72 W 36th St
New York, NY 10018

8. Bibimbap at Han Bat

53 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001
A black stone bowl with various ingredients topped with a raw egg. Robert Sietsema/Eater

Korean food started taking off here in the 1980s, and it was during that era that many of Koreatown’s oldest restaurants opened. Han Bat originated on its fringes in 1990, with a classic menu that highlighted such dishes as bulgogi, pajun, mandoo, and one that instantly excited the popular imagination: bibimbap. With a mellifluous name that sounded like the title of a pop song, it came in a stone bowl as a carefully segmented collection of ingredients, which were deposited on rice and topped with an egg, and then mixed as the rice sizzled and annealed to the bottom of the bowl.

53 W 35th St
New York, NY 10001

9. Shackburger at Shake Shack

11 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010
A hamburger with lettuce, tomato slices is in the background. crinkle-cut fries sit in the foreground. Nick Solares/Eater

The Shackburger may have gone worldwide, but it was first flipped in Madison Square in 2004.

The secret to the Shackburger's everlasting popularity is the patty, which has big beefy flavor and just a hint of funkiness, with superior quality lettuce and tomato and a mayo-based sauce. You can get them all over town, and indeed all over the world, but the best is still found at the original Madison Square location. The continued demand for the Shackburger makes it perhaps New York's favorite hamburger.

11 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10010

10. Banana pudding at Magnolia Bakery

401 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014
A paper container of yellow pudding with fragmentary cookies embedded. Robert Sietsema/Eater

Magnolia Bakery’s cupcakes may have become famous from a cameo in Sex and the City, but locals know to go for the banana pudding. It’s packed with banana slices, lush vanilla pudding, and slightly softened vanilla wafers, and the banana flavor is strong in every bite.

401 Bleecker St
New York, NY 10014

11. Khachapuri at Chito Gvrito

173 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10003
A round bread with two opposing bread handles and cheese and an uncooked egg yolk in a pool in the middle. Robert Sietsema/Eater

The city first became aware of khachapuri a dozen years ago via Georgian cafes in Brighton Beach and adjacent Brooklyn neighborhoods, and the phenomenon quickly spread. Who wouldn’t love a bread boat filled with molten cheese? We eventually learned that several regionaly varieties of this national bread exist, but the one called adjaruli khachapuri continues to be foremost in our affections, and Chito Gravito near Gramercy Park serves one of the best.

173 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10003

12. Falafel at Mamoun's

119 Macdougal St, New York, NY, 10012
The exterior of Mamoun’s Macdougal Street shop, with a brown-and-white striped awning. Robert Sietsema/Eater

Mamoun's falafel is inexpensive, filling, and delicious. The original Mamoun's on MacDougal introduced the falafel sandwich to the city in 1971, and it became a mega hit, first with NYU students and hippies, but soon with the general public. Falafel also served as a wedge for the introduction of vegetarian dining in the city. With its abundance of fried chickpea fritters, nutty tasting tahini, and fresh greens, onions, and tomatoes, it redefined a quick bite for New Yorkers.

119 Macdougal St, New York
NY, 10012

13. Black label burger at Minetta Tavern

113 Macdougal St, New York, NY 10012