A guide to the best spots for New York dishes

brunch boy sitting at table with pancakes

Founder of @brunchboys, Jeremy Jacobowitz shares his favourite spots to find native New York dishes

By Charlotte Steinway   Saturday 23 February, 2019

Whether you're visiting for a weekend or a seasoned local, there are some classic New York dishes that always deserve to be at the top of your meal picks — and if you're after the city's best dishes, you may as well get them at the best spots. Here, founder of acclaimed food Instagram @brunchboys and New York city restaurant aficionado Jeremy Jacobowitz shares his insider guide to his favourite spots.  
slice of pizza
PIZZA: Joe’s Pizza
7 Carmine Street, NY 10014; joespizzanyc.com
‘There are incredible pizza places across New York, but Joe’s has really perfected the art of serving by the slice. Whenever someone comes to visit and asks me where to get pizza, Joe’s is my first suggestion. It’s got outposts all over the city, and you can’t go wrong at any of them. I live in Williamsburg, so I tend to frequent that one, but the original one in Greenwich Village is fun for an authentic experience; it has photos on the wall of everyone who’s been there, the staff are always a little mean to you (in a lovable way) but the pizza is always fantastic. It’s simple and truly NYC – I don’t think I’ve ever ordered anything there that wasn’t a plain cheese slice.’
pancakes covered in syrup
BRUNCH: Sunday in Brooklyn
348 Wythe Avenue, NY 11249; sundayinbrooklyn.com
‘Sunday in Brooklyn is one of New York’s most quintessential brunch spots. The wait can be annoying, but here’s a pro tip: they serve brunch every single day so, if you can sneak over mid-week, you don’t have to go and wait in a two-hour line on a Saturday or Sunday. The pancakes here are, in my opinion, the best in New York City – they’re served with a malted brown butter, which is delicious. It’s comfy and quiet and fits the mood of Williamsburg so perfectly. I recently moved to a place a block away…in part because I wanted to be close by.’
a bagel sandwich
BAGELS: Pick-a-Bagel
891 8th Avenue, NY 10019; pickabagelnyc.com
‘It’s hard to pick a favorite bagel joint, since I think it usually comes down to what you grew up with, and/or your location. I lived in Midtown for five years, so I would get bagels from Pick-a-Bagel. A traditional option as far as New York City bagels go, they are really big, crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, and have a good bite to them. My go-to is an egg bagel, which tends to strike a certain chord with people. I’m often told that an egg bagel is the same as challah [a Jewish ceremonial bread], but I love challah, so I don’t see a problem with it. I also love Black Seed in Nolita, but they refuse to make egg bagels. My regular order at Pick-a-Bagel is an egg bagel with lox and scallion cream cheese. Someone recently told me to add avocado to those fillings – it changed my whole order.’
a row of steamed dumplings
SOUP DUMPLINGS: Joe’s Shanghai
24 West 56th Street, NY 10019; joeshanghairestaurants.com
‘In New York, soup dumplings are a type of food that people tend to get very territorial about. When I lived in Midtown, I had a place right above Joe’s Shanghai. It has a few locations across the city, but that one is the best because it’s much bigger than the Downtown location, and doesn’t have giant lines all the time. For the first five years of my life in the city, I had to walk upstairs past Joe’s delicious-smelling Chinese food every day. Its soup dumplings are fantastic; you really can’t go wrong with a couple of orders of the classic pork xiao long bao.’
fried cheese
RED SAUCE: Emilio’s Ballato
55 East Houston Street, 10012; +1 212 274 8881
‘I’ve lived in New York my whole life and only went to Emilio’s recently. I don’t know why it took me forever to get there, but it is insanely good. It has been on Houston Street since 1956. Everyone’s eaten there (even Obama), and its Bolognese is fantastic. It has old-school Italian vibes, and reminds
me of what (I think) Little Italy used to be like. It’s still family run; the current executive chef, who is the son of the original owner, has really built up the restaurant’s presence on Instagram (@chefanthony_ballatosnyc), even though I don’t think his dad even has a cell phone.’

Top image: Jeremy Jacobowitz (Liz Clayman); all others courtesy of @brunchboys
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