Guides New York Food Lovers' Guide to New York: Iconic Eateries & Hidden Gems

Food Lovers' Guide to New York: Iconic Eateries & Hidden Gems

City Guide July 24, 2023

Welcome to the ultimate foodie adventure in the heart of the Big Apple – New York City! Get ready to dive into a food scene that's as diverse as the city itself, with iconic eateries and hidden gems waiting to make it on your Beli rankings. New York City is where iconic eateries and hidden gems beckon food lovers from all corners of the globe.

Whether you're strolling through the bustling streets of Manhattan or exploring the eclectic neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Queens, the city's culinary landscape is a treasure trove, and we’re here to help guide you with this Food Lovers Guide to New York. This guide discusses some NYC iconic eateries and some of New York’s hidden gems. And don't fear for your budget; in NYC's captivating restaurant scene, great food doesn't necessarily mean Michelin star!

We will be talking about restaurants in NYC, but before our food lovers’ guide, we will put you on a hack. Did you know that in New York, you can find luggage storage costs as little as $6 per bag per day?

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Now let's start our food tour and introduce you to some of the best Restaurants in New York City. You'll see that NYC has no reason to envy food cities like Los Angeles or San Francisco regarding its culinary scene.


Kat’s Delicatessen- Iconic Eatery

This iconic eatery has been delighting locals and visitors since 1888. Famous for its towering pastrami and corned beef sandwiches, Katz's serves up classic Jewish deli fare with a side of nostalgia. The bustling atmosphere, friendly service, and walls adorned with celebrity photos make dining here a memorable experience, nor will they let you forget who’s visited.

Must-Try: Matzo Ball Soup

Address: 205 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002, United States Nearest Metro Line: F train to 2nd Avenue station



Lombardi’s- Iconic Eatery

Lombardi's is America's first pizzeria, and it continues to reign as an iconic eatery that captures the essence of classic New York pizza. Since 1905, this historic establishment has served coal-fired, thin-crust pizzas that are simply irresistible. With their traditional approach to pizza-making and quality ingredients, Lombardi's offers a taste of true Italian-American heritage. This one is certainly on a foodies’ favorite spots list in NYC.

Must-Try: Margherita Pizza

Address: 32 Spring St, New York, NY 10012, United States Nearest Metro Line: 6 train to Spring Street station


Nathan’s Hot Dog- Iconic Eatery

A trip to New York City wouldn't be complete without indulging in the timeless pleasure of a Nathan's Hot Dog. Since 1916, Nathan's has become a symbol of classic American fare. Enjoying a Hot Dog at Nathan’s is becoming a part of a long-standing American tradition.

You might look at Nathan’s and think, really.. a hot dog joint? But it’s more than that, Nathan’s is about nostalgia and a really good sandwich that pairs nicely with relish, sauerkraut, mustard, and ketchup. And yes, a hot dog is a sandwich.

Must-Try: Hot Dog, duh

Address: 1310 Surf Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11224, United States Nearest Metro Line: D, F, N, or Q train to Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue station



Tavern on the Green- Iconic Eatery

Nestled in Central Park on the Upper West Side, Tavern on the Green is a quintessential New York City dining destination with elegance and charm. Dating back to 1934, this iconic eatery has welcomed presidents, celebrities, and locals with its timeless ambiance. Choose between the Crystal Room and outdoor garden seating for your supper. Tavern on the Green is the perfect place to celebrate a special event— especially birthdays with their iconic birthday cake.

Must-Try: Signature cocktail

Address: Central Park West & 67th St, New York, NY 10023, United States Nearest Metro Line: 1 train to 66th Street-Lincoln Center station


Wo Hop- Iconic Eatery

Since 1938, this bustling eatery has served Cantonese-American cuisine with the warmth of a family-run business. Descend the stairs to the basement, and the aroma of sizzling woks and other mouthwatering dishes greet you.

From their classic roast duck to savory chow mein, Wo Hop's menu is a flavorful journey through Chinese-American comfort food. It’s a NY classic spot you must check off your list. If you decide to go, this institution is cash only.

Must-Try: Egg Rolls, Sesame Chicken

Address: 17 Mott St, New York, NY 10013, United States Nearest Metro Line: B, D, N, Q, R, or W train to Canal Street station


Halal Guys- Iconic Eatery

This one borders iconic and hidden because it started out as a hidden gem and has become iconic. The Halal Guys is the iconic street food sensation that has won the hearts of food lovers worldwide. What began as a humble food cart on the corner of West 53rd Street and 6th Avenue in Manhattan has now become a global phenomenon.

The Halal Guys have expanded beyond their original carts, with brick-and-mortar locations serving the same delicious fare in vibrant neighborhoods across the city. Enjoy one of their iconic platters or gyros that offer a medley of perfectly seasoned chicken and tender beef, all cooked to juicy perfection on their famous vertical grills. We’re hungry just thinking about it!

Must Try: White Sauce

Address: 720 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY Nearest Metro Line: 1,2,3 subway lines - 96th Street station



Birria-Landia- Hidden Gem

Tucked away in the vibrant streets of Jackson Heights, Queens, Birria-Landia is one of the best lesser-known eateries in NYC that delights with its authentic Mexican birria tacos. That’s right. We’re in Queens- did you think this would be Manhattan?

This humble food truck has earned a devoted following for its flavorful stewed meat, perfectly folded tortillas, and rich birria sauce. This spot is modest but a must-try if you’re looking for some good birria tacos.

Must-Try: Tacos (bet you didn’t see that one coming)

Address: 81-28 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11372, United States Nearest Metro Line: 7 train to 82nd Street-Jackson Heights station


Cha Chang Tang- Hidden Gem

In the heart of Manhattan's bustling Chinatown, Cha Chang Tang is a hidden gem that offers a taste of Hong Kong's vibrant food scene. If you’re looking for authentic Cantonese-style dishes like dim sum, look here.

Every dish bursts with authentic flavors and careful preparation, from silky congee to crispy roast duck. Locals frequent this spot, and very warm to visitors paying a visit. Just make sure to make room for dessert with the HK-style French toast.

Must-Try: Milk tea

Address: 45 Mott St, New York, NY 10013, United States Nearest Metro Line: B or D train to Grand Street station



Le French Diner- Hidden Gem

Enjoy France in NYC at Le French Diner, a charming hidden gem in Manhattan's East Village. This intimate bistro captures the essence of French culinary delights, from buttery escargot to savory coq au vin, you’ll surely find the classics here. From the outside, you might think this establishment is a crepe joint, and when you step inside, you’ll only find a couple of tables and bar seating. But you’ll be transported to Paris once you try out one of the courses at this gem of a restaurant.

Must-try: Octopus, grilled squid

Address: 188 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002, United States Nearest Metro Line: F or M train to Delancey Street station


Xi’an Famous Foods- Hidden Gem

Xi'an Famous Foods takes adventurous foodies on a culinary journey to the streets of Xi'an, China. This hidden gem is not so hidden as it has several locations around NYC. As the restaurant hidden gem it is, it offers a vibrant menu inspired by the bold flavors of the Shaanxi province.

From their hand-pulled noodles to fiery spicy cumin lamb burgers, each dish will have you coming back for more. The casual ambiance and budget-friendly prices make it a favorite among locals looking for a lunch spot.

Must Try: Any of the cold noodle selection

Address: 67 Bayard St, New York, NY 10013 Nearest Metro Line: B or D train to Grand Street station

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