12 Things You Have To Eat In New York City

I’m not gonna lie, as this was my fourth trip to New York, I was pretty much in it for the food and drink. Because I think that really is the beauty of the big apple, the fact that you have so many different kinds of bars and restaurants at your fingertips. I mean where else can you get warm cookies delivered to your house at 3am? (That’s from Insomnia Cookies if you’re all about that shit btw).

So here’s my list of deliciousness that I think you should TOTALLY try whilst you’re in New York City. Obvs there’s tonnes more but here are the ones floating my boat, babes.

New York Cheesecake

OK hands up, the first time I tried New York cheesecake in my first trip to NYC, I didn’t like it. I mean, it had a cake base instead of a biscuit base for crying out loud. (Not cool). But this was in a random diner in 2009 and I figured I should probs give it another whirl on this trip. And oh baby, am I glad I did. I had the Magnolia Bakery vanilla bean cheesecake from JG Melon and it made all my dreams come true.

New York Cheesecake


Before my visit, I had my heart set on getting a donut from the infamous Dough shops. But a local friend recommended Peter Pans Donut and Pastry Shop in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and it was just great. Three of us shared 5 different donuts so we could taste them all and my fave was definitely buttermilk blueberry – YUM.

Peter Pan Donut and Pastry Shop

Peter Pan Donut and Pastry Shop


Well you gotta be all trendy and that and get brunch when in New York right? Whether it’s pancakes, eggs benny or a bagel, there’s so many places to go in NYC.

I tried Egg in Williamsburg which is quite a cool hot spot with insane hashbrowns, and I tried the Biscuits and Gravy ’cause it sounds American (it’s not bad!).

I also tried Harefield Road in Brooklyn, an Irish pub with a budget but delicious $13 brunch (I had the portobello mushroom bap with home fries and a mimosa!), as well as Cafe Henri in Long Island City, a French place that’s really popular (I had a ratatouille and chicken panini but the omelettes looked good!).

Egg Brooklyn

Harefield Road NYC

Cafe Henri NYC

Deli Sandwich

Nothing beats eating a New York deli in an actual real life New York deli, am I right?

I actually had 2 deli sandwiches whilst I was in the Big Apple. The first one was a pastrami, salami and swiss on rye from a cheap and cheerful deli in the village.

The second one was a pastrami sandwich from the famous Kat’z Deli (where Harry met Sally was filmed). But I definitely ordered wrongly there. Me and josh ordered one each and they are WAY too big for one person. Plus other people had the Rueben which looked much nicer. I’LL HAVE WHAT SHE’S HAVING. (Lol, couldn’t help it).

But seriously, I actually preferred the cheap one in the Greenwich deli, so I think save your money and go local.

Kat'z Deli Sandwich

Kat'z Deli Sandwich

Chinatown Dumplings

I’m not normally a Chinatown girl because I always think you can go to Chinatown anywhere and they’re always the same. But a friend recommended the soup dumplings at Joe’s Ginger and they didn’t disappoint ($8 for 8). Just be careful how you eat them, they’re filled with hot soup of course!

Chinatown dumplings NYC

Pizza By The Slice

The jewel of New York’s food scene crown is for sure the delicious pizza available by the slice from pretty much every corner. They can cost as little as 99¢, are giant portions and are damn tasty. I liked that even in the touristy bits, the pizza was good.

And if you’re out in Williamsburg, go to Vinnie’s Pizza on Bedford Ave, they do pizza filled with veggies, are super nice guys and have Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the walls. Score.

Vinnies Pizza


Well you can’t help but get caffeinated to the max in New York. It’s just too easy to stop for a cup of Joe in a takeaway cup on every street. Plus, I always feel like a New Yorker when I have a coffee in my hand!

Oslo Coffee in Brooklyn is super tasty, as is Joe’s near Washington Square Park.

Oslo Coffee Brooklyn

Joe's Coffee NYC

Cocktails At A Rooftop Bar

When you’re on a budget, cocktails are not your friend in NYC. Despite how much they make you feel like Carrie Bradshaw, the bill can rack up pretty quickly when you’re ordering $16 daquiries… But you HAVE to treat yourself to one, in a rooftop bar with a glorious view of the city.

I’ve been recommended so many in Manhattan, but I visited The William Vale in Brooklyn and really liked it. The whole Manhattan skyline, cute yellow viewfinders and a cocktail that was actually delicious. Totally check it out (or tell me your favourite for my next visit!)

Rooftop Bar - The William Vale NYC

Mac and Cheese

OK so this is a generic USA staple rather than a New York special I think. But I can’t go all the way across the pond and not get a serving of my fave comfort food, mac and cheese. I had one from Berry Park with bits of bacon in it and a side of frickles and it was divine.

Can we take a second to appreciate frickles?!

Mac n Cheese Berry Park NYC

Chicken Wings

Another generic one but Josh is obsessed with hot chicken wings, so we had to stop at Atomic Wings for a serving of wings in buffalo sauce. And I discovered boneless wings which I didn’t know were a thing and oh my, they’re just the best!

Chicken wings

New York Italian

I love Italian food in general so wanted to experience a bit of New York Italian. You know what I mean, like a 50s mobster would eat at you know?

Well there were no mobsters in sight but I really loved date night at Caffe Reggio in Greenwich village. It’s actually the first place to serve Cappuccino in America, had real Caravaggio paintings on the walls and was featured in the Godfather II. It’s real neat.

We shared an amazing bruschetta to start which was super fresh, and then both had pasta for our mains. We also sat outside and watched the world go by so it was a pretty awesome meal.

Caffe Reggio, NYC

Caffe Reggio, NYC

Hotdog Or Pretzel From A Van

I don’t care how you feel about the hygiene at food vans, you have to have a New York hotdog in your hand as you wander Central Park. Like, you have to. I didn’t think either the hotdogs or pretzels were anything to write home about, they’re just so damn iconic!

Hotdogs in Central Park

What do you think of my New York City foodie bucketlist? Anything you’d like to add?

Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @HeelsInBackpack!

Bacon NYC

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