The local dishes you need to try
Hot pastrami sandwich at Center Cut: The kosher deli is quintessential New York and a pastrami sandwich is hands down the meat of choice. Center Cut’s owner Albert Allaham has set the gold standard for kosher dining and a study in how it’s done right: the juicy pastrami is never dry, well seasoned and perfectly smoked.
Margherita pizza at Juliana’s: The margherita is perhaps the purest test of a quality pizza with only three ingredients atop the pie: tomato sauce, cheese and basil. Everything has to be perfect to pass the test. We’re lucky to have the Patsy Grimaldi slinging the ideal New York version at Juliana’s—the balanced ratio of doughy crust to bubbling cheese ready to be folded in half and devoured.
Chocolate babka at Breads Bakery: In a city full babkas, Breads Bakery wins every time for its version of the pastries New Yorkers love. The fluffy layers of dough are layered with the perfect amount of sweetness between the ribbons of chocolate and brioche-like crumbs. The most challenging part is to not finish a loaf once you’ve started. Put down the babka and walk away…
Mel’s double burger: Pat LaFrieda, the man behind some of the country’s most iconic burgers (from Minetta Tavern’s Black Label burger to Shake Shack’s signature patty), knows his way around the grill. Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyor serves the decadent Mel’s double burger featuring two patties and the toppings—American cheese, caramelized onions and steak sauce—come together between the bun for a slick update on the classic.