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SHEI Magazine is a University of Michigan student-run fashion, art, and pop culture publication. Everything from the photography, writing, modeling, editing, and publicity of our bi-yearly print publications and monthly digital mini is created by students who attend the University of Michigan. Founded in 1999, SHEI Magazine continues to produce issues of professional quality, as well as provide real-world experience to students interested in journalism, publishing, and the fashion industries.

A New York Foodie's Guide to Eating Like a Local

Features

A New York Foodie's Guide to Eating Like a Local

Madi Kantor

Only in New York is being called “food snob” a rite of passage. New York City foodies are a special breed: not only do we know what we want (and how to get it in under a minute), but we are also spoiled rotten by a) living in the greatest city in the world and b) living surrounded by millions of the greatest restaurants in the world. The classic NYC fixes - bagels and pizza - can be found everywhere. But, you wouldn’t be a real New Yorker if you didn’t have the hidden foodie gems to call your own. You know, “your” bagel place: the one that gives you the most perfect freshly baked New York bagel with a schmear (yes, you read that right, a schmear) of vegetable cream cheese. 

New York City is filled with all types of culinary treasures, yet only a handful of truly extraordinary places to get them. Here are NYC’s best “locals-approved” food spots for the ultimate foodie tour of the Big Apple:

 

Bagels

A recent Buzzfeed Article did a taste test of the best bagels in NYC (source)

A recent Buzzfeed Article did a taste test of the best bagels in NYC (source)

New York culture is built on bagels.

Happy? Eat a bagel. Sad? Eat a bagel. Angry? Eat a bagel. Holiday? Eat a bagel. Wedding? Mazel tov. Eat a bagel.

Because the best bagels in the entire world are made in New York (anyone who tells you otherwise is objectively wrong), New Yorkers have unlimited access to freshly baked doughy goodness. Sadly, all this goodness does make recommending a specific place a bit of a challenge: if you ask a thousand New Yorkers about the best place to get a bagel, you'll get a thousand and one different answers.

Here's the truth: there is no bad place to get a bagel in New York City. From the Upper West Side to Midtown to Brooklyn to Westchester to even Long Island, any place that serves breakfast will give you the perfect Bacon Egg and Cheese sandwich (add hashbrowns to it, it's life changing) or fulfill your cream cheese and lox craving. Well, except for Starbucks. But who gets a bagel there anyways?

A rainbow bagel from The Bagel Store, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

A rainbow bagel from The Bagel Store, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

However, if you have the time, a special place to try is The Bagel Store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which is the birthplace of the original rainbow bagel (above). They also have an awesome selection of cool types of cream cheeses, like funfetti, cannoli, or cookies and creme.

 

Pizza

Don't let anyone (aka Chicagoans) tell you pizza from anywhere else is better than New York pizza; it's a complete lie (source)

Don't let anyone (aka Chicagoans) tell you pizza from anywhere else is better than New York pizza; it's a complete lie (source)

Who can resist the smell of oven-fresh pizza? While there are thousands, if not millions, of pizzerias sprinkled across the city, going back to New York’s pizza roots will get you the best pie out there. Lombardi's in SoHo was the first pizza place to break ground in New York, and the historical restaurant sits a mere block away from its original downtown home. Serving up perfectly-crafted, thin crust goodness for over 100 years, you can never go wrong a trip to Lombardi's. It may be the best pizza in the world.

 

Sushi

Despite its long distance from home, sushi has become a staple of the New York City food scene. For traditional sushi, the best place is Tao. This Japanese restaurant makes sushi every bit as gorgeous as its Insta-worthy interior. Tao’s creations are unbelieveable, and take the classic sushi rolls to a whole new level.

Pokéworks was just named one of the best places to get a sushi burrito in NYC this fall (source)

Pokéworks was just named one of the best places to get a sushi burrito in NYC this fall (source)

But, if you're feeling more adventurous, try Pokéworks in Midtown. They're famous for popularizing the “sushi burrito,” NYC’s latest food trend. Think of Pokéworks like a high-quality Chipotle of sushi: their photogenic, customizable creations have earned social media notoriety for their amazing flavor and presentation. 

 

Brunch

One of Sarabeth's signature brunch dishes, French Toast (source)

One of Sarabeth's signature brunch dishes, French Toast (source)

Sure, you might believe that brunch around the world is all the same. But in New York City, brunch is a competitive sport.

Choosing a single best brunch spot could take hours – or, if you go based on wait time, you’ll spend just as long without any delicious mid-day meals (looking at you, Jack’s Wife Freda). That being said, the classic - and hands down best – New York City brunch spot is Sarabeth's. Not only will you feel like Gossip Girl eating in such a classy Upper West Side establishment, but Sarabeth’s mouth-watering menu will have you coming back for more. 

 

Desserts

New York's tiniest treat (source)

New York's tiniest treat (source)

Last but not least: dessert. Arguably the most important dish of them all, dessert receives proper treatment in New York. Throughout the Concrete Jungle, there are hundreds of amazing and unique desserts that you just can't find anywhere else in the world. A New York classic is the mini cupcakes from Baked by Melissa: their tiny, bite-sized cupcakes let you sample as many fun flavors as you want without feeling the least bit guilty. My personal recommendation: get at least 6 for yourself.

How can you say no to these beautiful creations? (source)

How can you say no to these beautiful creations? (source)

Another amazing New York dessert is the Black Tap milkshake. Their milkshakes are masterpieces, literally overflowing with all the cake, cookies, and candy you could ever imagine. Although the wait to get seated at Black Tap will likely run a few hours, it's all worth it. Just look at these beautiful monstrosities. They're perfect