9 Classic Must-Visit Restaurants In New York City


Variety in the Big Apple

What is the true taste of New York City? Yes, you can dine on the cuisines of the world (especially in the boroughs) and if a food or a chef is trendy, you will find that here for sure; but what are the dining experiences that are nowhere better, meals in which the flavor is all about New York? Certainly you want a great pastrami sandwich in a vintage deli: for that, Katz’s down on Houston Street is definitive. For lox and bagels and the best smoked fish, Barney Greengrass uptown is the best place on earth. The primest of prime steak in a clubby steak house (and at the primest prices) remains a pinnacle of New York excellence, at its best just over the bridge in Brooklyn at Peter Luger. A true taste of the city is not all top-dollar fare. A hot dog at Gray’s Papaya is a must, as is coal-oven pizza at Patsy’s Pizzeria and falafel at a streetcorner stand or, better yet, at Taim Falafel & Smoothie Bar. For noshing between meals, pick up really good bagels at Leo’s Bagels, the world’s most wonderful cookies at Levain Bakery, and pie and cake to die for at Yura.


Leo’s Bagels

It's hard to find a really good bagel these days, even in New York. But Leo's delivers the goods: just-right chewy but not too dense, simply flawless.



The best deli sandwiches are made at Katz's on the Lower East Side. It's the grandaddy of urban delicatessens – since 1888, an only-in-New York experience.


Taïm Falafel & Smoothie Bar

Taïm is Hebrew for “delicious,” an apropos name for this little falafel stand in Greenwich Village with a completely vegetarian menu.


Gray’s Papaya

Legendary New York hot dogs are grilled to develop a nice brown crust. Toppings include sauerkraut, onions, ketchup, mustard. Papaya drink is a sweet companion.


Levain Bakery

Immense, irresistible cookies (chocolate chip!) are the best at Levain. From-scratch bread, muffins, sticky buns and fruit tarts also are bakery treasures.


Barney Greengrass

Lean, silky sturgeon, cured salmon,snow-white whitefish, & luscious sable (plus great babkas!) make Barney Greengrass an Upper West Side New York deli landmark.


Patsy’s Pizzeria

A coal-fired oven at Patsy's yields classic northeastern Italian-American pizzas. An essential New York experience.


Peter Luger

Peter Luger is an ancient (since 1887) neighborhood Brooklyn steak house that serves stupendous porterhouse. Is this America's best steak? (Cash only)



Superb muffins, cakes, brownies, and pies (whole or by the slice) make Upper East Side's Yura bakery a New York treasure. Mostly take-out, with a few tables.