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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

From premium pastrami on rye to spicy cumin lamb noodles

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Totonno’s pizza
| Bill Addison/Eater

For a taste of classic New York and the dishes that shaped the current dining scene, here's a place to start. The 30 dishes on this map have all achieved varying degrees of legend status. Some originated long ago, while a few were created in the last few years. Some are expensive, while others can be obtained for a few dollars. All of them are worth trying once to see what makes this the most exciting dining city in the world.

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

Note: This is an updated version of a map originally published in 2013.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Fried chicken at Charles' Country Pan Fried Chicken

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2461 Frederick Douglass Blvd
New York, NY 10027
(212) 281-1800

This Harlem soul food institution serves up tender, crispy chicken cooked in a cast-iron pan instead of a deep fryer — and while the chicken has grown a serious following, the restaurant remains humble, with cafeteria-style ordering. It’s one of the last old-school fried chicken shops still standing, and chef Charles Gabriel continues to deliver some of the city’s best.

Fried chicken, mac and cheese, and collard greens in a styrofoam container Khushbu Shah/Eater

2. Nova Scotia lox and scrambled eggs at Barney Greengrass

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541 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10024
(212) 724-4707
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Barney Greengrass itself is an NYC icon, but the Novia Scotia lox egg scramble is a favorite. The Upper West Side Jewish deli was an Anthony Bourdain favorite — he once called it the “quintessential New York City breakfast” — and his go-to order was that Novia Scotia lox egg scramble, plus some bagels. In its more than a century of breakfast service, the restaurant has earned its title as a New York mainstay.

The interior of Barney Greengrass with a man waiting to order food. The refrigerated counter showcases the different meats and spreads the establishment has to offer. Bess Adler/Eater

3. Chocolate chip walnut cookie at Levain Bakery

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167 W 74th St
New York, NY 10023
(212) 874-6080
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Many consider these softball-sized cookies the city's absolute best, with their gooey interior and chocolate- and walnut-loaded dough — and daily lines show it. Other versions include dark chocolate chocolate chip, dark chocolate peanut butter chip, and oatmeal raisin.

4. Fusilli with octopus and bone marrow at Marea

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240 Central Park S
New York, NY 10019
(212) 582-5100
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Although the precise origins of this dish are unclear, it’s certainly Michael White’s most famous pasta, and it's the plate to try to understand why he’s considered one of the city’s great chefs. Fresh octopus is braised in red wine and tomato sauce, then pasta is tossed in and chunks of bone marrow are added to the mix. The noodles are finished with a sprinkling of bread crumbs. There’s a lot going on here — a kick of acid from the wine and tomatoes, a pop of umami from the bone marrow — but it all comes together in each bite.

A white bowl with fusilli, red sauce, bone marrow, and octopus. Nick Solares/Eater

5. Soup dumplings at Joe's Shanghai 鹿鸣春

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13621 37th Ave
Flushing, NY 11354
(718) 539-3838
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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. Eater critic Robert Sietsema notes: "Filled with a greasy, scalding gravy, these mushroom-shaped dumplings became an immediate hit, so that nowadays even neighborhood Chinese restaurants feature them. What constitutes a good soup dumpling? Well, the skin should be thin, so that the liquid inside bulges but does not erupt, until you nip off the top and suck it out."

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

6. Combo over rice at the Halal Guys

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W 53rd St
New York, NY 10019
(347) 527-1505
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Office workers and tourists alike line up day and night for the chopped lamb and chicken over rice at the Halal Guys cart on 53rd Street and Sixth Avenue. Don't forget the white sauce. Note: The Halal Guys now have a few brick-and-mortar NYC restaurants for those looking to avoid the lines at the Midtown cart.

A daily routine since 1990... #bedifferent #wearedifferent

Posted by The Halal Guys on Saturday, February 9, 2019

7. Chicken hash at 21 Club

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21 W 52nd St
New York, NY 10019
(212) 582-7200
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This dish — a mixture of cubed chicken, cream, Worcestershire sauce, eggs, butter, and sherry — is a real throwback to a different era. It’s pure, pull-no-punches comfort food. And it’s the perfect thing to eat after a martini or three in the clubby dining room of this Midtown classic. Long live the '21' Club and its chicken hash.

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

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41-10 Main St
Flushing, NY 11355

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 this is the original location, there are many other options throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn to pick these noodles up, including the newest one in Downtown Brooklyn — its 15th location citywide.

A man lifting a pile of noodles with chopsticks. Pieces of lamb can be seen peeking out from below the noodles. Nick Solares/Eater

9. Recession special at Gray's Papaya

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612 8th Ave
New York, NY 10018

Gray’s and its rival, Papaya King, both serve snappy-grilled dogs that are reliably delicious. During a 2016 hot dog crawl, Robert Sietsema remarked: “We found the Gray’s Papaya weenie a bit less assertive than those at Papaya King, with a little less garlic and a little less salt. That’s not necessarily a bad thing — we thoroughly enjoyed the franks at Gray’s Papaya. We found the onion topping a little more tart than on the Upper East Side, and the sauerkraut just about the same.” Head to the Midtown location on Eighth Avenue for the Recession Special, which includes two dogs and a papaya drink (or soda) for $5.50. The price goes up to $6.95 at its UWS location on 72nd Street.

Two hot dogs sitting side by side on a white paper plate placed on a yellow tables. One of the hot dogs is topped with sauerkraut and another is topped with an orange sauce. Nick Solares/Eater

10. Oyster pan roast at Grand Central Oyster Bar

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89 E 42nd St
New York, NY 10017
(212) 490-6650
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The oyster pan roast is a love-it-or-hate-it dish if there ever was one. But like the '21' Club chicken hash, it's a touchstone to a different era of New York City. The soup is made with clam juice, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, Heinz chili sauce, celery salt, and half & half, plus six Blue Point oysters from the Long Island Sound. The dish is cooked in a stainless steel steam-jacketed kettle, and it's served with white toast.

The road to happiness is more of a river, and it's filled with pretty much entirely this.

Posted by Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant on Tuesday, August 18, 2015

11. Mutton chop at Keens Steakhouse

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72 W 36th St
New York, NY 10018
(212) 947-3636
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Keens, one of the oldest steakhouses in the country, 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 with a wedge salad, or a side of the famed prime rib hash.

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

12. Uni panino at El Quinto Pino

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401 W 24th St
New York, NY 10011
(212) 206-6900
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Alex Raij and Eder Montero run what is surely the city’s finest collection of Spanish restaurants, and by many orders of magnitude their most famous dish is El Quinto Pino’s uni panino. The preparation is simple: cool uni pressed between two halves of a warm baguette, with a whisper of mustard oil to cleanse the palate of all the indulgent maritime funk.

13. Chicken for two at the NoMad Restaurant

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1170 Broadway
New York, NY 10001
(212) 796-1500
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New York City is overrun with chickens for two, but this is the bird to beat. Daniel Humm stuffs a mixture of foie gras, black truffles, and bread crumbs between the skin and the meat. The cavity is filled with lemon and rosemary, then the bird is trussed and roasted. Once its skin is brown, the chicken, garnished with a bouquet of fresh herbs, is presented to the diners. The bird is then returned to the kitchen so that it can be carved and the leg meat can be sautéed with shallots, morel mushrooms, stock, and herbs. The breast is plated with potato puree and some seasonal vegetables, with a crock of the leg meat fricassee on the side.

A piece of chicken with some browning on the edges sits at the center of a white plate and is surrounded by shallots, mushrooms, and a sweet potato purée. Nick Solares/Eater

14. Shackburger at Shake Shack

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11 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10010
(212) 889-6600
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The secret to the Shackburger's ever-lasting popularity is the patty, which has big beef flavor and just a hint of funkiness. It packs more of a meaty wallop than the similar menu item at West Coast favorite In-N-Out Burger. The Shackburger might very well be 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

15. Banana pudding at Magnolia Bakery

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401 Bleecker St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 462-2572
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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 banana flavor is strong in every bite.

Banana pudding makes a nice addition to any Thanksgiving feast! Visit www.magnoliabakery.com for the Thanksgiving menu + order today! #magnoliabakery

Posted by Magnolia Bakery on Thursday, November 17, 2016

16. Falafel at Mamoun's

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119 Macdougal St, New York
NY, 10012
(212) 674-8685
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At $4 for a sandwich, Mamoun's falafel is cheap, filling, and delicious. Robert Sietsema notes: "The original Mamoun's on MacDougal introduced the falafel sandwich to the city in 1971. It was 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 luxuriance of fried chickpea fritters, nutty tasting tahini, and fresh greens, onions, and tomatoes, it redefined a quick bite for New Yorkers. And the shawarma, Middle Eastern pastries, and Turkish coffee are worth snacking on, too."

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

17. Black label burger at Minetta Tavern

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113 Macdougal St
New York, NY 10012
(212) 475-3850
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NYC's love of the hamburger reached a fever pitch when chefs Lee Hanson and Riad Nasr unleashed the Black Label on an unsuspecting city in 2009. With a custom dry-aged rib steak blend from Pat LaFrieda, 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

18. Pierogies at Veselka

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144 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003
(212) 228-9682
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Veselka has been serving a mix of Ukrainian home cooking and American diner grub 24 hours a day, seven days a week for several decades. 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.

19. Pork buns at Momofuku Noodle Bar

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171 1st Ave
New York, NY 10003
(212) 777-7773
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David Chang absolutely did not invent the pork bun, but his iteration of this snack quickly became one of his signature dishes, and it inspired countless knock-offs across the country. Chang's version of this dish has big, plump slabs of pork belly sticking out from the bun like a cartoon tongue, with clean cucumbers and earthy hoisin sauce between the meat and the dough. These never get old. Check out how they're made here.

Disclosure: David Chang is producing shows for Hulu in partnership with Vox Media Studios, part of Eater’s parent company, Vox Media. No Eater staff member is involved in the production of those shows, and this does not impact coverage on Eater.

Slices of pork belly sit in a white bun with greens and hoisin sauce. Nick Solares/Eater

20. Beef marrow & oxtail marmalade at Blue Ribbon Brasserie

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97 Sullivan St
New York, NY 10012
(212) 274-0404
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Eric and Bruce Bromberg's signature dish at Blue Ribbon pairs rich, gooey bone marrow with a mixture of salty braised oxtail, vegetables, and herbs. It's an especially popular destination dish after a night out.

21. Cronut at Dominique Ansel Bakery

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189 Spring St
New York, NY 10012
(212) 219-2773
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New Yorkers have a love-hate relationship with the Cronut, but they all agree that it’s quintessential New York. Invented by French pastry chef Dominique Ansel in his Soho bakery in 2013, the croissant-doughnut hybrid quickly became a viral sensation, spawned countless knockoffs, and still attracts long lines. 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

22. Bagel and lox at Russ & Daughters

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179 E Houston St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 475-4880
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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

23. Pastrami on rye at Katz's Delicatessen

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205 E Houston St
New York, NY 10002
(800) 446-8364
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Katz's serves New York's favorite pastrami sandwich. It's not a sloppy pile of beef, and as Robert Sietsema notes, "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.

24. Pancakes at Clinton St. Baking Co.

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4 Clinton St
New York, NY 10002
(646) 602-6263
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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

25. Porterhouse at Peter Luger Steak House

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178 Broadway
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 387-7400
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Many meat lovers in the New York area believe that Peter Luger's porterhouse is the greatest steak ever served by man — despite a recent, brutal Times review. The beef hits the table in a pool of hot butter and blood, 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 many, many restaurants across the city now serve similar porterhouse steaks, Luger remains one of the best places 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

26. Eggs Benedict at Delmonico's

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56 Beaver St
New York, NY 10004
(212) 509-1144
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Allegedly created at the city's oldest restaurant — the menu says 1860 — this classic dish has become a nationwide brunch staple. An interplay of poached eggs and Canadian bacon on an English muffin topped with hollandaise, it’s enhanced when paired with a bloody mary, followed by a Sunday afternoon nap. The dish was named after Delmonico's regulars Mr. and Mrs. LeGrand Benedict.

Two poached eggs topped with hollandaise sauce sit on top of Canadian bacon on an English muffin, all served on a white plate and topped with some herbs. Delmonico’s [Official Photo]

27. Pizza at Di Fara Pizza

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1424 Avenue J
Brooklyn, NY 11230
(718) 258-1367
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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 makes up for any hassle. DeMarco has eased up on his cooking duties just a tad, 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

28. Spumoni at L&B Spumoni Gardens

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2725 86th St
Brooklyn, NY 11223
(718) 449-1230
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Red-sauce 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, nut-studded 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 or few of the thick-crusted, rectangular Sicilian pizzas.

A whole Sicilian pie in rectangular form with puffy dough Sonia Chopra/Eater

29. Fried calamari at Randazzo's Clam Bar

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2017 Emmons Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11235
(718) 615-0010
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This is the Randazzo’s hallmark, which the waterfront restaurant has been serving consistently since the 1960s. The fried calamari 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

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1524 Neptune Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11224
(718) 372-8606
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For over 90 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. In a post about the history of New York pizza, Robert Sietsema notes: "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

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1. Fried chicken at Charles' Country Pan Fried Chicken

2461 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY 10027
Fried chicken, mac and cheese, and collard greens in a styrofoam container Khushbu Shah/Eater

This Harlem soul food institution serves up tender, crispy chicken cooked in a cast-iron pan instead of a deep fryer — and while the chicken has grown a serious following, the restaurant remains humble, with cafeteria-style ordering. It’s one of the last old-school fried chicken shops still standing, and chef Charles Gabriel continues to deliver some of the city’s best.

2461 Frederick Douglass Blvd
New York, NY 10027

2. Nova Scotia lox and scrambled eggs at Barney Greengrass

541 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024
The interior of Barney Greengrass with a man waiting to order food. The refrigerated counter showcases the different meats and spreads the establishment has to offer. Bess Adler/Eater

Barney Greengrass itself is an NYC icon, but the Novia Scotia lox egg scramble is a favorite. The Upper West Side Jewish deli was an Anthony Bourdain favorite — he once called it the “quintessential New York City breakfast” — and his go-to order was that Novia Scotia lox egg scramble, plus some bagels. In its more than a century of breakfast service, the restaurant has earned its title as a New York mainstay.

541 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10024

3. Chocolate chip walnut cookie at Levain Bakery

167 W 74th St, New York, NY 10023

Many consider these softball-sized cookies the city's absolute best, with their gooey interior and chocolate- and walnut-loaded dough — and daily lines show it. Other versions include dark chocolate chocolate chip, dark chocolate peanut butter chip, and oatmeal raisin.

167 W 74th St
New York, NY 10023

4. Fusilli with octopus and bone marrow at Marea

240 Central Park S, New York, NY 10019
A white bowl with fusilli, red sauce, bone marrow, and octopus. Nick Solares/Eater

Although the precise origins of this dish are unclear, it’s certainly Michael White’s most famous pasta, and it's the plate to try to understand why he’s considered one of the city’s great chefs. Fresh octopus is braised in red wine and tomato sauce, then pasta is tossed in and chunks of bone marrow are added to the mix. The noodles are finished with a sprinkling of bread crumbs. There’s a lot going on here — a kick of acid from the wine and tomatoes, a pop of umami from the bone marrow — but it all comes together in each bite.

240 Central Park S
New York, NY 10019

5. Soup dumplings at Joe's Shanghai 鹿鸣春

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. Eater critic Robert Sietsema notes: "Filled with a greasy, scalding gravy, these mushroom-shaped dumplings became an immediate hit, so that nowadays even neighborhood Chinese restaurants feature them. What constitutes a good soup dumpling? Well, the skin should be thin, so that the liquid inside bulges but does not erupt, until you nip off the top and suck it out."

13621 37th Ave
Flushing, NY 11354

6. Combo over rice at the Halal Guys

W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019

Office workers and tourists alike line up day and night for the chopped lamb and chicken over rice at the Halal Guys cart on 53rd Street and Sixth Avenue. Don't forget the white sauce. Note: The Halal Guys now have a few brick-and-mortar NYC restaurants for those looking to avoid the lines at the Midtown cart.

W 53rd St
New York, NY 10019

7. Chicken hash at 21 Club

21 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019

This dish — a mixture of cubed chicken, cream, Worcestershire sauce, eggs, butter, and sherry — is a real throwback to a different era. It’s pure, pull-no-punches comfort food. And it’s the perfect thing to eat after a martini or three in the clubby dining room of this Midtown classic. Long live the '21' Club and its chicken hash.

21 W 52nd St
New York, NY 10019

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

41-10 Main St, Flushing, NY 11355
A man lifting a pile of noodles with chopsticks. Pieces of lamb can be seen peeking out from below the noodles. 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 this is the original location, there are many other options throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn to pick these noodles up, including the newest one in Downtown Brooklyn — its 15th location citywide.

41-10 Main St
Flushing, NY 11355

9. Recession special at Gray's Papaya

612 8th Ave, New York, NY 10018
Two hot dogs sitting side by side on a white paper plate placed on a yellow tables. One of the hot dogs is topped with sauerkraut and another is topped with an orange sauce. Nick Solares/Eater

Gray’s and its rival, Papaya King, both serve snappy-grilled dogs that are reliably delicious. During a 2016 hot dog crawl, Robert Sietsema remarked: “We found the Gray’s Papaya weenie a bit less assertive than those at Papaya King, with a little less garlic and a little less salt. That’s not necessarily a bad thing — we thoroughly enjoyed the franks at Gray’s Papaya. We found the onion topping a little more tart than on the Upper East Side, and the sauerkraut just about the same.” Head to the Midtown location on Eighth Avenue for the Recession Special, which includes two dogs and a papaya drink (or soda) for $5.50. The price goes up to $6.95 at its UWS location on 72nd Street.

612 8th Ave
New York, NY 10018

10. Oyster pan roast at Grand Central Oyster Bar

89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017

The oyster pan roast is a love-it-or-hate-it dish if there ever was one. But like the '21' Club chicken hash, it's a touchstone to a different era of New York City. The soup is made with clam juice, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, Heinz chili sauce, celery salt, and half & half, plus six Blue Point oysters from the Long Island Sound. The dish is cooked in a stainless steel steam-jacketed kettle, and it's served with white toast.

89 E 42nd St
New York, NY 10017

11. 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, 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 with a wedge salad, or a side of the famed prime rib hash.

72 W 36th St
New York, NY 10018

12. Uni panino at El Quinto Pino

401 W 24th St, New York, NY 10011
Read Review |

Alex Raij and Eder Montero run what is surely the city’s finest collection of Spanish restaurants, and by many orders of magnitude their most famous dish is El Quinto Pino’s uni panino. The preparation is simple: cool uni pressed between two halves of a warm baguette, with a whisper of mustard oil to cleanse the palate of all the indulgent maritime funk.

401 W 24th St
New York, NY 10011

13. Chicken for two at the NoMad Restaurant

1170 Broadway, New York, NY 10001
A piece of chicken with some browning on the edges sits at the center of a white plate and is surrounded by shallots, mushrooms, and a sweet potato purée. Nick Solares/Eater

New York City is overrun with chickens for two, but this is the bird to beat. Daniel Humm stuffs a mixture of foie gras, black truffles, and bread crumbs between the skin and the meat. The cavity is filled with lemon and rosemary, then the bird is trussed and roasted. Once its skin is brown, the chicken, garnished with a bouquet of fresh herbs, is presented to the diners. The bird is then returned to the kitchen so that it can be carved and the leg meat can be sautéed with shallots, morel mushrooms, stock, and herbs. The breast is plated with potato puree and some seasonal vegetables, with a crock of the leg meat fricassee on the side.

1170 Broadway
New York, NY 10001

14. 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 secret to the Shackburger's ever-lasting popularity is the patty, which has big beef flavor and just a hint of funkiness. It packs more of a meaty wallop than the similar menu item at West Coast favorite In-N-Out Burger. The Shackburger might very well be New York's favorite hamburger.

11 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10010

15. Banana pudding at Magnolia Bakery

401 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

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 banana flavor is strong in every bite.

401 Bleecker St
New York, NY 10014

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16. 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

At $4 for a sandwich, Mamoun's falafel is cheap, filling, and delicious. Robert Sietsema notes: "The original Mamoun's on MacDougal introduced the falafel sandwich to the city in 1971. It was 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 luxuriance of fried chickpea fritters, nutty tasting tahini, and fresh greens, onions, and tomatoes, it redefined a quick bite for New Yorkers. And the shawarma, Middle Eastern pastries, and Turkish coffee are worth snacking on, too."

119 Macdougal St, New York
NY, 10012

17. Black label burger at Minetta Tavern

113 Macdougal St, New York, NY 10012
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

NYC's love of the hamburger reached a fever pitch when chefs Lee Hanson and Riad Nasr unleashed the Black Label on an unsuspecting city in 2009. With a custom dry-aged rib steak blend from Pat LaFrieda, the Black Label represents the zenith of classic hamburger architecture — no truffles, no foie gras, no cheese even. Just beef, onions, and bun.

113 Macdougal St
New York, NY 10012

18. Pierogies at Veselka

144 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

Veselka has been serving a mix of Ukrainian home cooking and American diner grub 24 hours a day, seven days a week for several decades. 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.

144 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003

19. Pork buns at Momofuku Noodle Bar

171 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003
Slices of pork belly sit in a white bun with greens and hoisin sauce. Nick Solares/Eater

David Chang absolutely did not invent the pork bun, but his iteration of this snack quickly became one of his signature dishes, and it inspired countless knock-offs across the country. Chang's version of this dish has big, plump slabs of pork belly sticking out from the bun like a cartoon tongue, with clean cucumbers and earthy hoisin sauce between the meat and the dough. These never get old. Check out how they're made here.

Disclosure: David Chang is producing shows for Hulu in partnership with Vox Media Studios, part of Eater’s parent company, Vox Media. No Eater staff member is involved in the production of those shows, and this does not impact coverage on Eater.

171 1st Ave
New York, NY 10003

20. Beef marrow & oxtail marmalade at Blue Ribbon Brasserie

97 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

Eric and Bruce Bromberg's signature dish at Blue Ribbon pairs rich, gooey bone marrow with a mixture of salty braised oxtail, vegetables, and herbs. It's an especially popular destination dish after a night out.

97 Sullivan St
New York, NY 10012

21. Cronut at Dominique Ansel Bakery

189 Spring St, New York, NY 10012