I don’t think I’ve eaten as much food in my lifetime as I did when I spent three days in New York City. I’m going to be honest- nothing I had eaten in America had remotely excited me until I reached the Big Apple. Suddenly, I was in food heaven. There is so much diversity within New York’s gastronomical scene, you’ll literally never run out of something new and exciting to tantalize your tastebuds. From cannoli in Little Italy to dumplings in Chinatown, Korean cuisine from a food truck to banana pudding from cult bakery Magnolia’s, there really is something for everyone. If you are in New York for a limited time and want to sample AS MUCH as you possibly can, take note of these 12 quick, cheap and delicious snacks to try in New York City. Your stomach will thank you for it!
12 of the BEST Snacks to Try in New York City
1. Ice Cream from Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory
After a long walk over the Brooklyn Bridge on a sweltering hot New York day, the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory has you covered. Its flavours may be simple (think strawberry, choc-chip, vanilla), but it is still probably some of the best icecream you’ll sample in this city. Oh, and the view is a nice bonus. Who am I kidding, the view is to die for!
2. Dumplings from Chinatown
Did someone say $1 for a whole plate of dumplings? Head down to Chinatown and you’ll find a handful of authentic hole-in-the-wall shops that will serve you up your dumpling fix in a matter of seconds. Try to find a quicker, cheaper meal in New York than this, I dare you.
3. Korean Cuisine from Bapcha Food Truck
If you’ve been associating food trucks with hot dogs and salty pretzels, get ready for your mind to be blown. Food trucks are a revolution sweeping over NYC, and the quality you can now find in food made out of the back of a vehicle is absolutely incredible. My advice? Go on a street food tour and let the professionals take you to the best spots around town. I am not exaggerating when I say that the food I ate on this tour was some of the tastiest food I’ve tried in my ENTIRE life! One of our stops was a place called Bapcha, a food truck selling fresh, authentic Korean cuisine that was literally bursting with flavor.
4. Banana Pudding from Magnolia Bakery
If you haven’t heard of Magnolia Bakery, you obviously haven’t got much of an interest in delicious, indulgent sweets. Not only do they make scrumptious cupcakes, but this famous New York Bakery’s Banana Pudding has also become a best-seller for good reason. Don’t ask questions, just try it.
5. Cannoli from Ferrara
A few minutes roaming the streets of Little Italy and you’ll feel as though you’ve taken the metro to Rome. Filled with pizzerias, gelaterias and bakeries, make sure you have a lot of room in your stomach to indulge. Don’t leave without stopping by Ferrara (which claims to be America’s first espresso bar) for your caffeine shot and a classic Italian treat- cannoli. Once you try this crispy pastry filled with spiced cream, you’ll never look back.
6. Kati Roll from Biryani Food Truck
Get ready for your tastebuds to be blown away. Biryani is an award-winning Indian food truck located on 46th and 6th Ave, and is famous for its mouth-watering Kati Roll. A Kati Roll is a type of kebab originating from Kolkata, where skewer-roasted meat is encased in Indian flat bread. Delicious is an understatement. Leaving New York without grabbing one of these quick, delicious snacks would be a tragic mistake.
7. Belgium Waffles from Wafels and Dinges
What is a dinges? No one really knows, but that doesn’t matter. Whatever it is they serve at Wafels and Dinges is out of this world. Topped with a lapping of whipped cream and speculoos sauce (this place has a penchant for odd names), these Belgian treats are probably the best you’ll find outside of Europe. Thank you, New York City!
8. Corn on the Cob from Cafe Habana
Head over to Cafe Habana in NoLita for a taste of Cuba that you won’t forget in a hurry. Try a classic Cuban sandwich, or the Cafe Habana speciality- the mother of all corn-on-the-cobs. Grilled to perfection, topped with lashings of butter, parmesan cheese and lime juice, this dish comes with a warning: once you eat it, you may be ruined for corn forever. This one really does take some beating.
9. Bagel and Coffee from the Jolly Goat Coffee Bar
When you are in New York City, a warm, toasty bagel filled with lashings of cream cheese can only be improved when matched with an equally delightful cup of coffee. Whilst most the bagels in this city are pretty phenomenal, coffee can be a little hit and miss. Hence the excitement when you find a cafe like the Jolly Goat Coffee Bar (located in Hell’s Kitchen) that does bagels AND coffee well.
Walking in to Serendipity 3 feels like you are Alice entering Wonderland. Taste the frozen hot chocolate and you really will feel like you’ve been transported to another universe- it’s that good. If you are wondering how this chocolatey drink can be frozen and hot at the same time, it’s not. Despite the deceptive name, it’s still one of the best hot (but not actually hot) chocolates you’ve ever tried. Here is a tip: the frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity is not modest in size or cost, so sharing is definitely recommended.
11. Cheesecake from Martha’s Country Bakery
If you want to sink your teeth into some of the tastiest baked goods in NYC, head over to Martha’s Country Bakery in Brooklyn. The endless selection of cakes, pies and tarts is overwhelming to say the least, so be sure to come with a few friends so you can try as many sweet treats as possible. There is an abundance of cheesecake flavours to try- I opted for the carrot cake number and hand over heart, it was some of the most delicious cheesecake I’ve ever paletted. The coffee here is also surprisingly good, so I would highly recommend washing down your sins with some caffeine.
It’s everything you could dream of and more- why not bring a classic favorite campfire treat to the street of New York City? Decadent, vanilla ice cream topped with a crispy layer of chocolate wafer is encased in a homemade marshmallow and is lit on fire in front of your eyes, producing a gooey inside and cracking creme-brulee-style outer. Dominique Ansel, you’ve done it again.
Food Tours in NYC
If you want even more ways to enjoy NYC’s gastronomy scene, try some of these food tours:
- Cupcake Tour of Greenwich Village
- Chocolate Tasting Tour
- Brooklyn Brownstones Food Tour
- Williamsburg Food Tour
Been to New York? Let me know your favorite snacks/ treats in NYC!
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