New York City is known around the world for many things: The Empire State Building, Broadway, the Yankees and Wall Street (to name but a few!). One thing that is rarely spoken about, yet is commonly on the lips of both the locals and tourists is the food of the city. Bold, hearty and fulfilling, New York has an impressive selection of culinary cravings for you to experience like nowhere else.
NYC doesn't claim to be the birthplace of most of it's evident favourite foods, but can often be found shouting to the hilltops that it is the home of them. For those dishes that have been embraced by New Yorkers in the past have evolved and adapted to suit their surroundings, to satisfy the people of this unique city.
Most famously, pizza has undergone this treatment on a big scale. Whilst in Chicago you'll be treated to filling deep-dish pizza, in New York you'll help yourself to a thin, wide slice (or two) to be eaten on the go. You go in, you buy it, you walk out, you fold it, you eat it. Pizza really is fast food here, but don't let that fool you, there's no reduction in quality here and if you don't believe me, check out the frozen aisles of your local supermarket. There's a reason why New York style pizza is now available worldwide.
It's hard to say if it's a tribute to the quality or a measure of how well New Yorkers can disagree with eachother, but ask ten locals where the best pizza in the city is and the chances are you'll be told ten different places. Your best bet? Do it yourself! Pizza a Casa (which translates to Pizza at Home) offers classes on how to make this style of pizza in the confines of your own kitchen. Well worth a punt.
Less of a local dish and more a national one, the hot dog has become to be recognised as best in the US. A staple of ballpark culture and eats-on-the-streets, hot dogs are an absolute must in this fair city. Although you won't be disappointed by many dogs you buy from stalls lining busy streets scattered across the city, you'll find they probably won't have the same impact on you as one from the historic Nathan's Famous, which approaches it's cetenary on Coney Island. Enjoy the classic dog, or indulge in a chilli or chilli cheese dog, with a welcome side of crinkle cut fries for a delightfully filling meal at a very reasonable price.
For something a little different, why not pay homage to the Italian ancestry of NYC with a bowl of Manhattan Clam Chowder? A tomato-based version of the original, the dish took off in the area at the same time tomatoes did and may be hard to come by anywhere else. This can be as authentic as you want it to be too. Whilst many places will serve this dish, get guaranteed freshness at The Lobster Place by Chelsea Market. As a supplier, they guarantee that their Cull & Pistol restaurant stocks the finest ingredients, as well as a healthy selection of wines!
Finally, you'd be mad to depart the Big Apple without a great big helping of perfectly cooked steak lining your stomach, as New York plays host to almost unparalleled steak houses. Few, however, can top Lincoln Square Steak who offer superb dry-aged steak in an incredible retro environment which will throw you back to the 60s.
Try to make sure you have some room for some New York Cheesecake and a pretzle or two and you can safely say that you've sampled the best!