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Top 4 foods to eat in NYC (and where to eat them!)

by Chasing a Plate
JG Melon Cheeseburger Top Things To Eat in NYC Chasing a Plate

Whether it’s museums, Broadway shows or department stores everyone who visits New York City arrives with a hit list. If you’re an eater, your list will be a mile long and then some.  The opportunities for good eating are endless from nostalgic diners and hole in the wall Jewish delis to street food and stalwarts of the NYC dining scene.

Here are a few more spots to add to the pile- a couple to fulfil your cravings for a classic American bite as well as off the beaten path local favourites…

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1. Cheese slice at Patsy’s Pizzeria

Options abound for a classic NYC slice but for a taste of the traditional head to Patsy’s Pizzeria for a slice cooked in a coal fired oven. It’s said Patsy’s introduced pizza by the slice to the Big Apple way back in 1933. They’re all about keeping it simple- pizza dough slathered with a fresh tomato sauce and topped with mozzarella. This place continually churns out the pies so chances are your slice will be ultra fresh. Lean on the counter, fold your slice in half and savour the perfection of acidic tomato hitting creamy cheese and the tangy chew of bread. Dust the flour off your fingers and order another slice. 

Eat it at: Patsy’s Pizzeria, 2287 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10035, USA. Open 7 days 11:00am until midnight (until 11:00pm on Sundays).

2. Cheeseburger at JG Melon

JG Melon’s cheeseburger hasn’t moved from the lists of ‘Top Burgers in NYC’ for decades and once you get a taste of this thing you’ll see why. The perennial favourite features a plump patty dripping with American cheese on a plain white bun accompanied by pickles and slices of red onion. It’s what every good burger should be- savoury and juicy mouthfuls punctuated by the sting of red onion and a sour vinegariness from the pickles. Order a portion of the cottage fried potatoes and wash it all down with a beer. This Upper East side institution personifies old-school NYC. No gimmicks, just great food.  

Eat it at: JG Melon, 1291 Third Ave, New York, NY 10021, USA, open 7 days 11:30am until the wee hours of the morning.

3. Indonesian dish of the day at Warung Selasa

If you find yourself in NYC on a Tuesday do yourself a favour and hightail it to Queens. At the back of an Indonesian grocery store chef Dewi Tjahjadi dishes up mouth-watering Indonesian food from her miniscule “Love Kitchen” so named because it’s so minute it can only fit two people. The menu of this pop up kitchen changes from week to week where $10 will get you a plate piled high with food- vibrant and intense with the flavours of Java. 

On our visit we ate tender, spicy braised beef, kale cooked in a turmeric laced curry sauce, grilled chicken, a creamy soy braised egg and coconut rice topped with fragrant serunding- grated, fried coconut. Perch on a stool at one of the two foldout tables, slurp on a Teh Botol (Indonesian sweet iced tea) and dig into what is undoubtedly some of the best Indonesian food in New York City. 

Eat it at: Warung Selasa, Indo Java, 8512 Queens Blvd # 1, Elmhurst, NY 11373, USA. Every Tuesday lunch and dinner

4. Street food at Queens Night Market 

Eat your way through the borough of Queens and you’ll travel the world. The sheer cultural diversity of this neighbourhood is staggering and virtually any craving you have can be satisfied whether it’s Nepalese momos (dumplings) or Peruvian anticuchos de Corazón (beef heart skewers). If you have limited time in the city the Queens Night Market is where you can eat your fill from Queens’s most popular street vendors.

The night market is representative of its community and you’ll find everything from fragrant and delicate Cambodian fish amok and smoky, spicy Jamaican jerk chicken to gooey Japanese takoyaki and souped up Indonesian kueh (sweets). Get a taste of local life and while away a few hours eating and drinking at this NYC gem.   

Eat it at: The Queens Night Market- runs every Saturday from 5:00pm until midnight from April 20th until August 17th and September 14th until October 26th at New York Hall of Science, Flushing Meadows, Corona Park, Queens, New York City.

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Heading to Europe? Check out our posts on where to eat in Athens, Berlin, Rome and Istanbul

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