here’s a walking trip that takes you for a good "sampling".
Take the subway to the Lower East Side, 2nd Ave stop.
Go to Russ and Daughters for some smoked sable (black cod). http://www.russanddaughters.com/
Go to Yonnah Schimmel’s for a knish. http://www.yonahschimmel.com/
Go to Katz for a pastrami sandwich. http://www.katzdeli.com/
head up 2nd Ave.
at the sw corner of 2nd and St Marks Place, stop in at Gem Spa, it’s a newstand that makes one of the best egg creams in the city.
turn right on 11th st.
at the corner of 11th and 1st, go to Veniero’s for a cannoli, or whatever pastry looks good to you. http://www.venierospastry.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=SFNT&Store_Code=V
head back down 1st towards the subway stop.
at the corner of 1st and St Marks, get some dumplings at the Dumpling Man. http://www.dumplingman.com/menu.html
I make this route every time I go to Manhattan. I feel it gives the best "taste" of the city for the time spent.