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New York Cuisine by Thilen

Updated: Feb 16

This article was re-published with permission from the author.

Food. Wherever you go, you will have a main idea of what to expect from that country. You would know what to eat there. You would know the national dishes of that country. However, in New York, it's a little different. There is a large diversity of cuisines that were brought from all over the world.

The dishes that you’re going to see are some of the classic cuisines of New York.

Lox Bagel

In the 1940s, Jewish communities started selling lox bagels to the neighborhood. This cuisine was brought by the Jews when they immigrated to New York and from then onwards, the lox bagel became a part of the culture of New York City. The lox bagel is an iconic dish to New Yorkers because of how you can go and eat it quickly. The combination of cream cheese, thinly sliced red onions, and lox is a perfect example of a distinct cuisine in New York. A lox bagel is usually eaten for breakfast but could be used for a little snack. Some places I recommend for you to eat at are Russ & Daughters in the Lower East Side and Best Bagel & Coffee in Midtown West. These two places have their own charm and taste of the lox bagel but both have the history behind the cuisine.

Manhattan Clam Chowder

The soup with tomatoes, clams, and other ingredients is known as the Manhattan Clam Chowder. Clam Chowders are popular in New York City, especially Manhattan because of their Italian and Portuguese origins. Back in the 1800s, there were many immigrants from Europe. The Italians and Portuguese who settled in Rhode Island eventually brought clam chowders to New York. Since then, clam chowders quickly grew in popularity, becoming a fan-favorite in the city of Manhattan. In recent years, Lobster Place has been popularly suggested by many people. You can find this restaurant in Chelsea Market. 

Pastrami Sandwich - Katz Delicatessen

If you like classic sandwiches, then the Pastrami Sandwich at Katz’s Delicatessen is the right place for you. Katz’s Delicatessen was established in 1888, on Ludlow Street in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. It was first run by two brothers whose last name was Iceland and therefore, the deli was named the “Iceland Brothers”. A few years later, Willy Katz joined the brothers, and the deli was renamed “Iceland & Katz.” Then in 1910, Wily’s cousin Benny joined him in buying out the Iceland brothers to certify the official creation of Katz’s Delicatessen. They started their own family business and the rest was history. Their pastrami sandwich is one of the best of its kind, if not the best sandwich in New York. If pastrami isn't for you, I would recommend Katz’s Delicatessen for its other options. The whole menu is a classic. 

Porterhouse - Peter Luger Steak House

If you are looking for a scrumptious dish to eat (obviously you are), I recommend the Porterhouse from Peter Luger Steak House in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Their meat is the finest cattle in the country and is in the top 2% of graded beef cattle. Peter Luger Steak House was not named as it is now. It was actually first named the “Carl Luger’s Café, Billiards and Bowling Alley” back in 1887. Peter Luger owned the establishment then. He had his nephew, Carl, work with him and both of them transformed the building into a steakhouse which is today known as the Peter Luger Steak House. Now, Peter Luger Steak House is one of the best steakhouses in New York and has been awarded a Michelin Star for four consecutive years. However, it is expensive so I wouldn’t recommend it if you're looking for something on the cheap side, but it is definitely worth the experience. 

New York Pizza

If you are visiting New York, there are two things you must do: 

  • Ride in a yellow cab

  • Eat a New York Pizza

Eating a New York pizza is as iconic as riding a yellow cab. The New York-style pizza has a thin crust with crunchy and delicious flavors with layers of toppings. Gennaro Lombardi was the first person to sell New York-style pizza more than 100 years ago on Spring Street in Manhattan. Speaking of Gennaro Lombardi, Lombardi’s Pizza is one of the best pizza places in the city. The restaurant was established in 1905 and is America’s first pizzeria. If you go to Lombardi’s Pizza, don’t forget to say “Ciao!”

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