New York City, where millions of dreams come to life everyday. All you have to do is believe and the city helps you in making them come true. Here, you’ll find people from all walks of life, from investment bankers, to engineers, to actors and what not. All of them blend in together like true New Yorkers and this is what New York is made of.
NYC… Where Dreams Are Made!
Having lived in New York for almost three years, this city is very close to our hearts. There’s so much to do here. From fun outdoor fests, to charming parks, to beautiful architecture, to happening bars and restaurants, the city has it all for your every kind of mood.
It is rightly said, if you haven’t lived in New York, you haven’t lived really. By now you all must know that – We heart NY!
So, let’s just stop the NY boasting and get to our favorite spots for unique eats in New York.
1. Matcha Lava Cake at Spot Dessert Bar NYC
You see, people with a sweet tooth can get why it is so important to dig out the best desserts of every place before visiting. For us, without sweets, we aren’t really connecting with the city. We aren’t really able to capture the true essence of the place. And, hence we have Spot Dessert Bar.
If I had to tell you that one place which checks all boxes in terms of flavor and looks, then Spot Dessert Bar it will be. It has two locations in Manhattan, one in East Village and the other in Koreatown, and both have a very different ambience. If you’re looking for a date-night kind of a spot then head over to their East Village location as the other one is in a food court in Koreatown, which is also nice but has a casual appeal.
We’ve been to Spot Dessert Bar so many times that we have tried all their menu items (seasonal and regular) over and over again. But our favorites are (in order of deliciousness) their matcha lava cake, spot big orange and the harvest.
Just try them once, both your mouth and eyes will thank you later!
2. Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie at Levain’s Bakery
This might look like a small little bakery located on a street corner in the Upper West Side, but don’t go by its looks. They have BIG cookies (almost the size of your head), which are even bigger on flavor.
Even though they offer a variety of flavors from oatmeal raisin, to snickerdoodle, to double chocolate, our favorite remains their chocolate chip walnut cookie. It is so crispy on the outside, yet so gooey in the middle, and the warm melted chocolate chips blending together so perfectly with the chopped walnuts will keep you yearning for more, one after another.
And oh, by the way, be prepared to stand in line for this delicious goody, for at least an hour! Well, good things in life don’t come easy!
3. Artichoke Pizza at Artichoke Basille’s Pizza
If you’re a cheese lover and love some (rather a lot of) ooey-gooey cheese on your pizza then Artichoke Basille’s is your kinda place! Their pizza slices are huge and have a thicker crust as compared to the other NY pizzas but lesser than the Chicago deep dish. The bread used in the crust is so fresh that it will almost melt in your mouth (along with the tremendous amount of cheese, of course).
Apart from the cheesiness, artichoke pizza hits the spot in terms of unique flavors as well. The subtle flavor of artichokes roasted in garlic, spread over alfredo sauce and loaded with abundant amount of gooey cheese just makes life perfect again!
Cheese lover or not, you have to try this one-of-a-kind pizza at least once in your lifetime! (And for us, we have to try it at least once every year!)
4. Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate at Jacques Torres
If you dream about peanut butter every single minute of the day, if the flavor of peanut butter gives you the happiness that nothing else can, then welcome – you’re a true peanut butter lover, just like us!
Imagine the cold snowy days of NYC and you’re roaming on the beautiful streets of Midtown. What’s that one thing you’d need? A warm indulgent cup of hot cocoa and what better place to have it than from this acclaimed chocolatier’s shop itself.
Head over to the underground shops at Rockefeller (around 53rd and 6th Avenue) for this heart warming treat. Their simple hot chocolate is great as it is, but being peanut butter lovers we have to add peanut butter to almost everything. And when they asked if we wanted to add a dollop of peanut butter to our hot chocolate for an additional 70 cents, we exclaimed “Hell yeah!” And that was the best hot chocolate we’ve ever had.
To tell you a secret, we’ve even flown from West Coast to East just for this little cup of hot chocolate. Shhh.4
5. Varieties of Rice Pudding at Rice To Riches
Only in New York can we have a dessert shop that serves only and only one thing – rice pudding, and that too hundreds of varieties (ok, maybe a little less) of that!
This cute little shop, located in Nolita, is a perfect spot to hangout with either friends or family. Come here for your evening chit chats and try as many combinations of their velvety smooth, bold on flavors, rice pudding varieties.
Our favorites were the butter pecan and the chocolate hazelnut. And both the flavors are completely on-point!
A word of advice though – out of the so many times we’ve visited Rice To Riches, we’ve been able to have their butter pecan flavor only once. Because at other times, it was just not in season. So, make sure to call in advance to know if they have butter pecan that day or not. Otherwise, decadent chocolate is always an option!
6. Oven Baked Pancakes at Le Barricou
Located in the heart of Brooklyn, this French restaurant serves some amazing breakfast food.
While all of their menu items sound tempting, make sure to try their oven baked pancakes. They’re so huge, they can feed a party! They’re so fluffy and light, they simply dissolve in your mouth without chewing! Prepared made to order, it takes 40 minutes to bake them. Have patience, good things take time to make, all right!
Another item worth trying at Le Barricou is there Croque Madame. The question of whether it is the most authentic french croque madame sandwich or not is debatable but one thing we can assure you of is that it is really delicious and you won’t find this kind anywhere else.
7. Matcha Cream Puff at Bibble & Sip
Bibble & Sip is a cute little bakery in Hell’s Kitchen that serves some delectable sweet treats. But, what you absolutely need to try is their matcha cream puff.
Now, these aren’t your normal cream puffs. These are huge and these are filled with the best matcha cream you’ll ever taste! With a crisp craquelin on top and a velvety matcha cream inside, it is definitely a flavor bomb!
Be prepared to wait in line, as is the case for almost any great place in New York.
8. Pastrami Sandwich at Katz Deli
A legendary deli where people line up daily just to have a taste of their monstrous pastrami sandwich.
There’s no more explanation needed for this amazing sandwich, just go have it okay, you’ll know!
We also love having their split pea and ham soup on cold winter days of New York. It’s like a bowl of coziness, straight up!
9. Crack Pie & Cereal Milk Soft Serve at Milk Bar
Now, this pie is really crack! And after you have a bite of it, it will make you crack! Yes, it is this addictive. It’s astonishing how such simple elements like brown sugar, cream, corn powder and vanilla extract when combined together can make such a delicious treat. I have never had a pie like this in my life.
In fact, every time someone visits us from New York, that’s the gift they have to get for us. Yes, not any expensive souvenirs, not any branded items, but only this one thing – this Crack Pie!
They also have another item which will take you back to your childhood. It’s their cereal milk soft serve. The moment I took a bite, I was transported back to my school days – rushing to get to school in time and hence just gulping down the entire bowl of cornflakes at once. It’s just so true to its flavors!
They have multiple locations throughout New York, so choose which ever location suits you best.
10. Don Huevo at Bodega Negra
Who doesn’t love some theater along with their food? We know we do!
And I’m not talking about “the actual theater” here, but the performance that this decadent chocolate dessert puts up. If you’re like us who loves to hunt for unique desserts in every place you visit, then this should be on top of your list.
As the hot caramel is poured over the milk chocolate dome, it falls apart like petals and uncovers the gooey dark chocolate cake hiding underneath a perfect scoop of horchata ice cream. This is sure to melt your heart away!
Located in Chelsea, Don Huevo at this hip restaurant is surely an instagram worthy treat! While you’re here make sure to try their warm – freshly made tortilla chips as well.
11. Cream Art at Sweet Moment NYC
This adorable little cafe located in the heart of Chinatown is sure to leave you with lots of Sweet Moments in your day. You’ll have a wide variety of Asian inspired treats to choose from. From black sesame red bean shaved ice tower, also known as Bingsoo, to melon bingsoo, to matcha waffles and more, the choices just seem endless. But, what really caught our eye was their Cream Art drink.
It is just a cold coffee or a tea based drink, that is topped with cream. Sounds simple, right? But the real innovation lies in this very cream topping. Really! You get to choose from chocolate, matcha, red velvet, taro or thai cream. After you make your choice, that’s only half work done. The “art” part of this cream art is still left. Now, please your eyes as the barista makes this one-of-a-kind creation for you!
Honestly, the drink is nothing exceptional in terms of flavor but just look at it. It looks so pretty and colorful! Sometimes we’ve got to do something for the eyes too, you know!
12. Gelato at Amorino
Now, whether gelato is the best form of frozen treat or it’s ice cream or sherbet, the answer is arguable. Well, it’s not a tough task for us because we enjoy all forms of frozen treats! But what makes Amorino stand out is its presentation.
Their gelato is perfectly creamy and smooth, but the effort they put in to carefully make beautiful petals from it is commendable! It’s definitely another insta-worthy spot in NYC.
13. Hit Me Cake at Catch NYC
What if I told you that you could officially smash hit and destroy a dish at a fine dining restaurant without being chided by them? Yes, it is the Hit Me Cake from Catch NYC.
A scrumptious four layer dessert prepared by placing a slab of chocolate brownie, topped with roasted white chocolate ice cream, followed by devil’s food cake and finally a slab of liquid “klondike”, is definitely a fun dessert. Get ready to hit it and let all the fun flow! By the way, hit hard!
14. Ube Soft Serve at Soft Swerve
Ube is the new black! And I’m not even kidding. These days almost everywhere we go, we find places serving ube products. Be it ube cheesecake, ube cookies, ube tarts, they’ve got it all. Sometimes it’s just purple food coloring and not even real ube, but Soft Swerve in NYC has mastered the flavors of ube in their soft serve! You have to try it to understand what the real flavor tastes like.
This cute ice cream shop in Lower Manhattan also has some unconventional flavors such as lychee, earl grey tea, winter melon, matcha and more. Be sure to try them as well.
PRO TIP – Get a swirl of two flavors to get some colorful insta-worthy photos!
15. Flowering Hot Chocolate & Cookie Shots at Dominique Ansel Bakery
Even though Dominique Ansel Bakery has other locations in Los Angeles and London as well, but we wouldn’t miss this one hell of a bakery each time we’re in New York. Why, you ask? Because of two things.
One, because of their flowering hot chocolate.I mean where else can you find a thing like that? Remember my point about theater with food? Yeah, we love it! The flower shaped marshmallow blossoms as you delicately place it on top of the steaming hot chocolate. A perfect treat for a cold New York night!
And two, because of their milk and cookie shots. Honestly, I haven’t tried anything like this before. I mean what a concept. Crispy chocolate chip cookies made in the form of shot glasses become soft and gooey as warm milk is poured into them. That’s the definition of a perfect cookie – the right balance between crispiness and chewiness!
And oh, you have to try their cronuts! But do note, they are only available for a couple of hours after their opening time. Yeah, they sell out that fast daily. (By the way, do check out our review of this bakery at its London location as well, in our article here.)
16. Cuban Sandwich at Margon
This is definitely the best cuban sandwich in New York! Don’t go by the looks of this place, it is a very simple looking Cuban restaurant located in the heart of Midtown, but what they serve in the form of their cuban sandwich is a complete flavor bomb!
Tell you a little secret to enjoy this sandwich even more? Get this packed up and head to Central Park. Have a little picnic of your own and do some people watching as you enjoy this delectable delight. Trust us now and thank us later!
17. Almost Any Bagel at Murray’s Bagels
Your trip to NYC is incomplete without having a New York bagel with almost an inch thick of cream cheese slathered in between.
The question of where you’ll find the best bagel in New York is debatable because different people have different opinions. Some say you’ll find the best bagels at Russ & Daughters, some say Ess-A-Bagels have the best ones, we say it’s Murray’s! But the truth really is, you can walk into almost any bagel shop in NYC and it will not disappoint you!
We personally like their bagels the best because of the unique cream cheese flavors we get there. We enjoy a nicely toasted everything bagel smeared with sun-dried tomato & roasted garlic cream cheese the most!
Also, when you’re in New York, you have to try a Bagel & Lox from somewhere at least once.
PRO TIP – Get the bagel toasted!
18. Banana Pudding at Magnolia Bakery
Do you dream of creamy luscious sweetness generously blended with crisp wafers and gooey bananas? We do too!
And Magnolia Bakery is here to make your dreams come true! You cannot leave New York without trying their legendary banana pudding. We can bet you will not find a banana pudding even half as good anywhere else.
19. Almost Anything Chocolate at Max Brenner
Too much chocolate is like having too much love, it can never be enough! And this restaurant follows this principle to a tee. From appetizers, to cocktails, to main course, to… well of course desserts, everything is about chocolate at Max Brenner.
A perfect place to celebrate with your loved ones or just enjoy a casual dinner, this place fits into all domains.
Now, one thing that you absolutely have to try when you visit is their Classic European Fondue. As you’ll roast the marshmallows and brûlée the bananas, and dip them into warm cups of decadent dark, milk and white chocolate sauces, it is sure to bring out the child in you! The child who always wanted to eat more chocolate but was never allowed to. This is your chance now, eat away! It’s the experience that elevates its taste even more!
You must also try their italian thick hot chocolate – so thick and luscious, it’s unbelievable; and their classic chocolate martini – I’ve never tasted anything like this before, simply yum!
While you’re here, and if by chance you need some break from the decadence, there is this one non-chocolate thing on their menu that is simply the best in all of New York – it’s their Pressed Cubano Waffle Sandwich! Perfectly crispy on the outside and utterly cheesy on the inside, it is bang on in terms of flavor! Do yourself a favor, just try this okay!
20. Dark Hot Chocolate with Homemade Marshmallow at City Bakery
Well, by now it must be pretty evident that we love our hot chocolate! You see, you need it to brave the frigid cold. Hot cocoa gives you the warmth that coffee can’t. That cozy sort of a feeling, if you know what I mean!
The hot chocolate you get at city bakery isn’t your normal hot chocolate. It is way more indulgent, it’s way more thick! It’s like drinking a dessert. But, one thing that makes this bakery stand out is their homemade marshmallow! It’s a monster marshmallow as big as the size of your mouth and it just melts the moment you bite into it.
We recommend you try their dark and decadent hot chocolate topped with their homemade marshmallow. It’s amazing! Trust us.
As innovation in food keeps on growing so rapidly in New York, new places serving unique foods keep on opening with the blink of an eye. In fact ten new spots might have opened up as you were reading this article! It is just not possible to fit all the NY eats into one post. (Check out this amazing article by Christine Amorose to know about more such great places). So, we will be back with more unique things to do and eat in New York. Why don’t you stuff yourself with these scrumptious treats till then!
72 thoughts on “20 Unique Things To Eat In NYC That You Simply Cannot Miss”
Wow! I could have used this for our recent visit to NYC. It was over the holidays and was a little crazy (as you know). We will get back soon when the weather is warmer and the crowds are a little more, ummmmm, tolerable! This post is truly beautiful. It’s the perfect NYC bucket list.
Well, you know crowds can never get better in New York. Oops! I guess that’s one thing we all just have to live with.
Such awesome eateries to visit in NYC. I like how they are very artistic in garnishing the food. 😍
Yeah, we love it when they present food so beautifully!
Wow so much food to taste. I am a foodie and won’t mind having a taste of them all.
You’d absolutely love it in NY then! The city has so much to offer in terms of food.
It’s been waaaay too long since I’ve been to NYC (9 years this summer), so there are definitely places that I need to try out when I go back. Two that really stood out for me in your post are Levain’s Bakery and Artichoke Basille’s Pizza.
Levain and Artichoke are some of the oldest running eateries and they’ve remained consistent with the quality of their food throughout. Definitely a must try!
Guess visiting New York can hit me up with gastronomy. Such a great post. The picture look so delicious and am actually hungry by end of the post.
Haha thank you!
Ok, I am hungry and tempted now. And that cream art on tea, it’s so beautiful, I won’t be able to drink it. Wow, these delishes. I need to visit there.
Right, the same thing happened with us as well. It was so pretty we didn’t wanna destroy it.
Food is the best part of vacationn! I love trying new foods and vacation is great for that.
We travel for food! So that is the most important part of our travels. Haha
I want those pancakes! Haha all of this looks soooo delicious!
I can understand because we dream of all of these every single day!
Levain’sBakery and Soft Serve is a MUST in my opinion to eat at in NYC!
We can’t agree more!
Oh my gosh it all looks delish! I am totally drooling!
Haha, try them when you’re in NYC next time!
You had me at Matcha Lave Cake! How could you not love living in NYC? I have bookmarked this for my next trip.
We absolutely loved living in New York until we had to move.
Why do you do this?!! That choco walnut cookies made me hungryyyyyyy! Waaaaa
Oops! I guess you’ll have to visit NYC now!
Great suggestions and I would like to try some!
There are some many exciting places in New York at every corner in the city and it’s almost impossible to try them all! @ knycx.journeying
All of this food makes me feel hungry it looks so delicious. How I wish I have to chance to visit in NYC someday “cross fingers”
We hope you visit soon too!
Sounds like an amazing trip to NYC that’s very much worth it. I’ve never been there and this post makes me want to go there now. I’d love to try all the good food!
I live in a NYC and agree with this list! I actually have some new places to try now…thanks! Oh my god, those baked pancakes are my favorite.
Thanks for sharing about the interesting eateries in NYC. I would love to be there as all of them seem nice to taste some unique dishes.
Wow!! All those amazing pictures have made me really hungry!!! I have only been to Magnolia Bakery while in NYC but clearly have to go back and try all the other amazing places you have mentioned! The food all looks incredible!
I attempted to make crack pie. It was utter fail. I am dying reading about all of these treats. I have been to few, but am adding a bunch. Thanks for sharing.
So cool! Next time I am in NYC I have quite a few places to check out!
Cuban Sandwich at Margon is my favorite one, now can someone get me one?
I’m a foodie person that whenever I get to a new place, I always look for a local food to try. I haven’t been to NY yet, and this post is making me hungry. I love to try the Cuban sandwich, cause it looks really luscious and tempting. Thank you so much for sharing this boat load of food to try.
Oh you got me hungry! The pictures are talking 😀 I can’t get my eyes off that chocolate chip walnut cookie from Levain’s Bakery. Noted all of these for my next visit.
Yum! So many great suggestions. NY is on our travel bucket list, mostly because of the history and foodie options.
I need to visit NYC! Thanks for sharing 😀
Had no idea that New York had so many wonderful places to eat. Thank you for sharing.
OMG!!!! I want to go eat each of these items!! I have had the Magnolia Banana pudding in LA before and it is outstanding!!
Thanks for sharing. I live In NY and I’ve never been to some of these places. Will definitely try and go to every place on the list
all looks delish
They all look SO great! I will have to stop and try these the next time I go!
We used to have a max brenner in vegas, but it is gone now sadly. I am definitely getting those pancakes though
Whoa!!! The pictures of all that food are NUTS! You sure know how to make a person hungry! I will definitely check out some of those places when we travel to New York.
Wow! It’s amazing. I will try all the foods that you recommend. all the food looks tempting and tasty.
NYC is on my list of trips to do. Unfortunatelly due full time job, I wasn’t able to plan overseas trips yet. But now, going full time on the passion travel, I will have time to discover a bit more.
The first one, matcha lava cake seems to be my favourite! I don’t even live near NYC, but so many pictures about the cake!
mmm i want to try that one with cheese! It looks mouth-watering my girl!
OMG I am soooooo hungry now!! All your photos look amazing. I will be traveling to NYC one august, I’ll be sure to check out what I can from your list. Thank you!
Omg Yummay so delicious.. I missed so much when in NY.. I will definitely try them at my next visit.
I was just in NYC two weeks ago, I wish I’d seen this earlier. I will remember it for next time though!
Matcha Lava and Cream Art are amazing and unique ones. I will try them out when I visit the place.
OMG Yummy list. Wil definately try this. Thanks
You made me hungry 🙂 I wish that I can visit US at least one time before I die 🙂 Happy blogging 🙂
I saw so much sweets on this list and all of them look amazing, I mean NYC is know for it’s good places to eat a lot of delicacies thank you for sharing
I have soon to visit New York. I will bookmark this article so that I have a guide for some food tripping.
Oh my gosh, yummy!!!! I’m so hungry now after looking at this! I definitely need to take a trip to NYC now!
Sounds like great options, especially the banana pudding from Magnolias Bakery. Hopefully on my first NY trip I can try some of these.
Omg there are so many delicious foods to choose from in NY. I wish I could eat them a without gaining weight 🙄 but thank you for sharing this so I can add these places to my list of restaurants to visit!
Can someone take me there right away! I’m drooling already!
Everything looks great! Would love to visit these places!
I have never been to NYC so when I make it out there I will for sure have to check out these places.