When I think of famous New York cuisine, two things immediately come to mind: New York strip steak and New York cheesecake. Maybe that's what the big New York investment bankers eat, but us interns can't afford expensive meals like that. Although it might not be named as such on restaurant menus, New York is also famous for slightly less fancy (but still delicious) cuisine: New York pizza and New York bagels.
I would not dare to pretend to have found the best pizzeria in New York. First of all, I don't think there is one. New York — even tri-state area — pizza is one thousand times better than pizza anywhere else. That doesn't mean that good pizza doesn't exist in other areas (I'm a big Pino's fan at school). It just means that bad pizza doesn't exist in the greater New York metropolitan area, and especially not in New York City.
And, it really doesn't matter where you go. From the 99 cent pizza at the 24 hour place on the corner of 51st and 8th Avenue that I've visited many a late weekend night, to New York City chains such as Two Boots, John's Pizzeria or Artichoke Basille's, to the quintessential tradition of walking across the Brooklyn Bridge to get pizza from the Grimaldi's on the other side, every single piece of pizza I've had here has been mouth-wateringly hot and cheesy, with the crust perfectly well-done. Many pizzerias know their pizza is so good, they won't let you order just a slice — you have to get a pie every time. This is New York, after all — go big or go home.
Like its pizza, New York bagels are cut from the same cloth — they're just plain better than bagels anywhere else. Also like pizza, delis are confident in the quality of their bagels, and many don't let customers order only half a bagel. Ess-a Bagel and H&H Bagels are two New York delis famous for their freshly made bagels and extensive cream cheese flavor selection. Personally, I'm more of a breakfast sandwich kind of person, and the best I've found has been a small deli by my apartment on 23rd and 2nd Avenue that let's you make essentially any kind of breakfast sandwich you want on any kind of bagel you want. Sausage egg and cheese on everything, here I come.
Photos By Jillian Timko/Gavel Media