The Ultimate 72-Hour Food Guide to NYC

Congratulations! You have just landed in the best gastronomic city in the world. The bad news? You have such a plethora of options easily available that it can be quite overwhelming. Luckily for you we have broken down some of the must-haves while you’re in the city.

First and foremost, there are a few group of foods that you NEED to have while in NYC, types of food that New York inarguably does better than anywhere else: Pizza, Bagels, Desserts, Fine Dining, Cosmopolitan/International. Now let’s get started.

Day 1:

You’ve just landed and are hungry! Grab a classic NYC bagel to start your trip off right! If you’re in Manhattan we recommend Ess-a-Bagel (see our “Top 10 Bagels in NYC” ), but if you’ve flown into JFK you’re already near some of the best bagels in NYC, we recommend Baker’s Dozen Bagels in Kew Gardens.


Ess-a-Bagel with lox cream cheese

Photo credit: Yelp user Simogne C.

After getting to your extremely spacious hotel/AirBnb/corner of the street you’ve decided to stay in and you’ve settled down, go for a walk around this great city and build up an appetite! Whenever you’re ready for lunch, go to one of NYC’s famed food trucks. We recommend Uncle Gussy’s during the weekday (open from 10AM – 4PM), a friendly Greek food truck serving some of the best souvlaki, gyro and chicken at very cheap prices. We also recommend Royal Grill Halal Food in Midtown West, a classic halal food cart serving fresh Indian cuisine at extraordinarily cheap prices; don’t just take our word for it, this food cart won the 2018 Vendy Award for all food carts in NYC.

UncleGussys72Uncle Gussy’s

Photo credit: Yelp user John Z.

Alright, alright, you’ve had bagels and street food. You’ve saved enough money for a nice, fancy meal tonight, treat yourself!

We recommend Marea, a two-star Michelin Restaurant that is actually relatively affordable if you order correctly. If you cannot get a reservation, promptly go to the bar when Marea opens at 5 and enjoy their full-service menu while sipping on some of the finest cocktails in the city.

Another slightly more affordable option is L’Artusi, yet another Italian gem with some of the best pastas and ricottas in the city (and therefore the world). You must make a reservation here well in advance.

If you’ve saved up and really want to splurge on the best dining in the city, we recommend Daniel. A two-star Michelin Restaurant that many agree is the best in the city. The price is roughly $200 a person, but believe it or not, this is fantastic value for the quality of service and food that you’ll get here.


Octopus and bone marrow fusilli from Marea

Photo credit: Yelp user Jasmine W.

Day 2:

We get it, you’re full, you had a lot to eat yesterday. Well, welcome to New York. Maybe skip breakfast today and have an early lunch/brunch. If you’re lucky and are in New York from Friday to Sunday go to Smorgasburg, an outdoor market closed during the winter, to sample a variety of some New York favorites. If you’re not up for Smorgasburg and just want some pizza already, head over to Prince Street pizza and get their world-famous square slice with pepperoni. Although this is more of a street style pizza, the flavor profile of the sauce, perfectly cooked dough as well as the fresh pepperonis make this one of New Yorkers’ favorite pizzas, as you’ll soon realize while waiting in their long line.


Prince Street Pizza

Photo credit: Yelp user Frank E. 

After having a hearty lunch, take a walk through central park to build up your appetite for our first dedicated dessert spot of the trip (finally). You have three amazing options (or feel free to go to both!): Levains on the Upper West Side, Two Little Red Hens and/or Wafels and Dinges. Levains serves up the most perfect chocoalate chip cookie, Two Little Red Hens serves a variety of amazing desserts, while Wafels and Dinges are famous for their Belgian waffles and speculoos. We’ve written about them extensively in our post:

Dinner time! New York has some of the best Asian cuisines in America. We recommend Totto Ramen (Midtown West), Joes Shanghai for dumplings (Chinatown, a little touristy, but delicious and authentic nonetheless) or Thursday Kitchen (a Korean-American fusion, serving small dishes in a quant East Village setting).


Totto Ramen

Photo credit: Yelp user Philip T.

Day 3:

Last day in New York! Let’s make it great start to the day by going to Dominique Ansel Bakery and getting their famed cronut – a mix of a doughnut and croissant. Their flavors change every month, but their quality does not. They open at 8AM but you’ll want to get there slightly earlier than that to make sure that you get a cronut as they will sell out quite fast (you can also pre-order their cronut, skip the line and ensure you get one of these delectable morsels).

While you’re on the West side, head up to Chelsea Market – a sprawling market serving food, drink, clothes and knick-knacks. Visit Los Tacos No. 1 for the best tacos in the city (and even all of America, don’t believe us? Try it for yourself and be converted) and Los Mariscos for seafood tacos and ceviche. There are so many food vendors at Chelsea market that there truly is something for everyone: Cambodian sandwiches, doughnuts, freshly pulled noodles, pizza, chocolates, the list truly is endless.


LosTacosNo1 72

Los Tacos No. 1

Photo credit: Yelp user Nam T.

There is no better or iconic way to end a trip to New York by getting the best pizza in the city. Lucali is a famed Brooklyn establishment with ridiculous, but warranted wait times. There are no reservations and they start taking names at around 5:45PM, but to guarantee that you’ll be eating the best pizza in NYC you have to get there at 4:45PM at least and even earlier if you want to dine before 9PM. The restaurant is BYOB so bring your favorite bottle of wine or a 6 pack of beer and enjoy the best of the best, no toppings needed. Don’t skip out on the calzone with an extra side of their unbelievable tomato sauce. What better way to end a trip in the best gastronomic city in the world. We’ll see you back soon.



Photo credit: Yelp user Carlos E.


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