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Places to eat & drink in New York

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In New York you can eat anything you want, literally, at any price. Eat at top chains around the city and you’ll probably end up spending more than going off the beaten path. Eating well on a budget is easy to do in the Big Apple – expect generous portions and tasty food.

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Before you find out about some of the best restaurants in New York, here are a few handy tips:

  • Make a reservation, when possible, with, to avoid disappointment
  • Always prepare a budget for tipping (15-20% of the bill cost) since it usual-ly comes included as a gratuity/service charge
  • Don’t go home without dining in an authentic American diner

Here are some dishes you have to try:

  • new york wafflesChicken and waffles (perfect for breakfast and dinner)
  • Hog dogs (preferably from street carts)
  • Pizza (as Italian as this might sound, it’s a favourite in NYC, best served as a slice)
  • Bagels (the locals love them)
  • New York cheesecake (because you’re in NYC)
  • Chinese takeaway (straight from those fancy boxes, like in the movies)


INTERMEDIATE LEVEL TIP: Call a takeaway restaurant and order over the phone (pizza, Chinese). It will allow you to use your speaking and listening skills.


1. Restaurants

New York offers its inhabitants more than 20,000 dining choices, all worth a visit! For the best Italian and Chinese food, which the locals love, check out Little Italy and Chinatown. The Chelsea Market is not just great for grocery shopping, but you can also enjoy snacks and full meals at affordable prices. Try these popular New York restaurants where locals like to hang out.




ABC Kitchen

Located in Downtown, ABC Kitchen serves unique dishes that will make your taste buds sing. The creative menu includes roast chicken glazed with buttery potato puree and wilted escarole, clam pizza with tasty Thai chilies, littlenecks, lemon and herbs, and brown-butter tart topped with chocolate and hazelnuts.

Buttermilk Channel

Famous for offering American comfort food, this Brooklyn based restaurant is a hit with locals. Chef Ryan Angulo treats guests to delicious homemade food, from southern fried chicken to tasty brunch recipes. The Buttermilk Channel is located at Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.

The Dutch

This Soho eatery is a popular venue for those looking for an exciting gastro-tour of American cuisine. Given the great food and vibrant atmosphere, it can be tough to make a reservation here. The Dutch is one of the best New American restaurants, as popular as Blue Ribbon and Balthazar. You can check out their menu and contact information at their official website:

BEGINNER LEVEL TIP: Call to make a reservation. It will help you work on your speaking and listening skills, improve your telephone skills, and ensure you a seat at this fantastic restaurant.


2. Street Food

If you are looking for the real American flavours, you will find them in the most affordable of eateries – the street food stands. From American hot dogs to pieces, pizzas, bagels and almost anything else you can imagine, this is where you can get a taste of local favourites for the lowest prices. Street food stands are dotted all over the city.


King of Falafel & Shawarma

Although NYC is packed with street food stalls that sell falafel and shawarma, the most famous one is The King of Falafel. Found on the sidewalks of 30th Street and Broadway in Astoria, you will recognise it by the long line of customers.

Milk Truck

Fancy some classic American mac and cheese? Join the pack of hungry New Yorkers waiting in line for The Milk Truck. The truck travels around the city serving mac and cheese and the legendary grilled cheese sandwich. Look out for it – it’s a distinctive yellow truck.

Breakfast Cart Bagel

The Breakfast Cart Bagel is one of the most common street foods in New York. Every morning, locals line up to get a cost effective breakfast from street carts that sell bagels, pastries and comforting cups of coffee. To make your breakfast complete, get a deli-quality coffee served in a small Anthora cup.


3. Bars

New York is the city that never sleeps – so you’ll never be short of great places to hang out and have a good time. Here are some bars to check out when in New York:





Porchlight is a long-running gastro-pub empire with 13 branches in the city. Here you can enjoy southern-inspired cocktails and tasty snacks.


This Lower East Side establishment is a popular cider bar and restaurant, known for serving classic British drinks.


Seamstress is a Lennox Hill uptown-lounge venue to look out for. You are welcomed into a charming leather and accessories shop that leads to a cosy space with two bars. Take a sip of their famous cocktails which include a Wiz Fizz topped with egg whites, tequila-thyme Table Top and cocoa cold brew Early Bird.

Planning to study English in New York?Download our New York Travel Guide for FREE and find out more information!

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