15 Things You Need to Eat in NYC This Summer

You know what's better during the summer in NYC? Pretty much everything. Fridays? Better. Rooftops? Better. The 15 foods we listed out below? OhmyGodbetter. From a lobster roll to a fried chicken cone, here are 15 NYC foods you need to eat before you're back to being ankle-deep in slush puddles.

We're not saying your summer will be a failure if you don't eat all of these, but... we're kinda saying your summer will be a failure if you don't eat all of these.

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A lobster roll

Perhaps the king of all summer sandwiches, few things in summertime life are better than a buttery roll filled with a hulking mound of lobster meat. There are several exemplary spots around the city to get one, but Luke’s Lobster or Red Hook Lobster Pound are always safe bets.

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Hot dogs

If at all possible you should grill these yourself on a rooftop, but if not, Gray’s Papaya, a dirty-water vendor, or The Cannibal -- which makes an excellent version topped with tripe chili -- should have you covered.

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You should eat these regularly this summer, preferably straight off a grill or on the beach, especially if your on-the-beach one is the badass Hardbody.

A San Diego-style burrito

Yeah, these bad boys, which you can score from Smorgas star Best Buds Burrito, get loaded up with French fries, carne asada, guacamole, and cheese, and yeah, you need one in your life immediately.

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Tacos from a truck

On a hot summer night, you don’t want to mess with sitting at a restaurant or any of that BS -- tacos from a truck like El Vagabundo are a must-do.

Soft-shell crabs

Score a couple of these from dope Chelsea Market fish market The Lobster Place, take ‘em home, and sauté them with some garlic and butter and whatever else you like and proceed to eat the crap out of them.

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Oysters and cocktails on a boat. Every summer night (and preferably afternoon) should start at Grand Banks.

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Ice cream

Summer is the perfect excuse to eat ice cream -- use this momentous opportunity to stake out some space on Gowanus' Ample Hills roof deck and ply yourself with Snap Mallow Pop, Salted Crack Caramel, Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, or whatever other great seasonals they have on hand.


You can get clams pretty much any way you want at The Clam, and none of those would be wrong, but the summeriest clam move? Steamers. Do it, then get the clam-topped pizza.

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It’s very satisfying to have one place that you can go to to sit in the sun, eat buckets of crabs, enjoy a crappy frozen drink, and then play a round of mini golf. Brooklyn Crab is that one place. Do it.


Is there anything better than dipping bread in the broth of your bowl of mussels at Flex Mussels? No, no there is not.

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There are a ton of spots in the city worthy of a visit, Hometown, with its beef rib and brisket, is one, but you should really get out to as many as possible, maybe even make a road trip out of it.

Flickr/Violet Faversham

A really fresh margherita pizza

We know Motorino has a good one, but as long as its ingredients are fresh, and it’s fresh out of the oven, there are tons of options around the city.

Mangos in those little baggies

They're the hot nuts of the summer. Don’t be afraid of some hot sauce.

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A fried chicken cone

The summer festival staple from Brooklyn Star is planting its flag at one of the newest outdoor food markets -- Riis Beach Bazaar -- get out there, get some beach time, then slam a waffle cone filled with fried chicken into your face. Just make sure to Instagram it first, guaranteed likes with this one.

Andrew Zimmer is Thrillist’s NYC editor, and he’s predicting the best summer ever for people who’re reading this. Get after it people. Follow him on Instagram.