New York

NYC's 50 most American eats to devour this 4th of July

Andrew Zimmer

July 4th is here, and that means two things: 1) you're gonna need to find a rooftop to cram yourself on in order to catch some fireworks, and 2) you're gonna need a list of the 50 most American eats in NYC, so you can patriotically stuff your face this weekend. Well, in no particular order, we've got you covered:

1. Ditch Dogs from Ditch Plains

West Village
The only question is, “Why isn’t everything covered in mac & cheese?”

2. Slushies from Kelvin Natural Slush Co.

Multiple Locations
Do your best to drink it while loitering somewhere, if you can.

3. Bagels & Lox from Russ & Daughters Cafe

Lower East Side
Classic NYC = Classic America.

4. Fried clam & lobster sandwich from The Clam

West Village
It’ll make you miss the beach, but at least you’ll be eating fried clams.

5. Donuts at Dough Loco

Upper East Side
Donuts come in many forms, but getting crazy innovative on them like the pineapple/brown butter-glazed number here? That’s the American way.

Pudding NYC
Khushbu Shah

6. Butterscotch Pudding from Puddin' by Clio

East Village
Snacking is American, and pudding is the ultimate snack. YOU DO THE MATH.

7. The Hardbody from Rippers

Rockaway Beach
"As American as eating apple pie" should be changed to, "As American as eating burgers on the beach".

8. Lobster rolls from Luke’s Lobster

East Village
If you're only gonna have one, go with Luke's. If you're gonna have many, click here.

Heavy Woods
Anthony Masters

9. Crispy chicken biscuits from Tchoup Shop at Heavy Woods

Something this beautiful has to be American.

10. Brunch from almost anywhere

Multiple Locations
Whether it involves bottomless drinks or not, this had to be on here.

11. Fried chicken from Bromberg Bros. Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken

East Village
Fried chicken, fried chicken with honey, fried chicken all over your face and lap. It’s what our forefathers risked their lives to protect.

12. Donut Burger at Burger Bistro

Upper East Side
A burger alone is pretty damn American, but using a donut as a bun? That’s downright patriotic.

13. A martini with so many olives in it, it counts as food at Dylan Prime

Turning a martini into food is very American.

14. Philly Cheesesteak at Phil’s Steaks

Multiple Locations
Philadelphia would ball-punch you if you said the cheesesteak wasn’t an essential American sandwich.

15. Cheesecake from Junior's

Downtown Brooklyn
On the U S of A's birthday, you should eat some cake.

16. Fried chicken and biscuits at Bobwhite Lunch and Supper Counter

Alphabet City
It’s not the South, but you can at least eat like it here.

17. Brisket from BrisketTown

There’s no denying it -- brisket (and BBQ in general) is classic red, white, and blue.

18. A black and white cookie from literally anywhere in NYC

Multiple Locations
“Look to the cookie.”

19. Monster banana splits from Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream

Lower East Side
Why have one scoop of ice cream, when you can have three topped with bananas and a ton of other awesome stuff?

Mac n cheese nyc

20. Mac & cheese from Mable's Smokehouse & Banquet Hall

A classic take on a classic dish. So classic.

Steak NYC
NY Yankee Steak House

21. A long-bone rib eye steak from NYY Steak

Yankees and steak? You could do worse today.

22. Fried pickles from Pickle Shack

We can pickle that. Because we're American.

23. The Double Eagle steak from Del Frisco's Steakhouse

Midtown West

24. Rice krispy treats at Treat House

Upper West Side
Best cereal treat in America, or best cereal treat in the world?

Giant Cookie NYC
Khushbu Shah

25. Cast-iron cookie from Boulton & Watt

East Village
Your Mom would have hated this thing. But she’s not here, is she??

Burger NYC

26. The Colonie Burger from Colonie

Brooklyn Heights
They only serve a limited number of these a day, and the ingredients are so local that it’s physically not even possible to be more homegrown.

27. Probably the biggest chicken Parm in the world from Quality Italian

Midtown West
Sure, it’s an Italian dish, but it’s also the biggest one you’ve ever seen, which makes it an American dish.

Shake shack

28. Double Shack Burger from Shake Shack 

Multiple Locations
You loved those crazy ones, but now’s the time for a classic.

29. Patty melt at The Butterfly

It’s a burger, but it’s also a sandwich. That’s double America.

30. Chicken fried steak at The Derby

Lower East Side
It’s a fried steak. A fried. Steak. A. Fri. Ed. Ste. Ak.

31. Pork ribs at Hometown Bar-B-Que

Red Hook
Seriously, c'mon. They're ribs, dude.

32. A hot dog from Crif Dogs

East Village
It doesn’t matter if you’re there at 2pm or 2am, get it done. Bonus points for the corn dog, or if chili is involved.

33. Oysters from North River Lobster Company

Hell’s Kitchen
Getting oysters on a boat is the bar, but if you want to dip below it, there are a ton of great ways to do that, too.

34. Waffle sandwich from Waffle & Wolf

When you make a waffle into a sandwich, it becomes American. Filling it with pulled pork or chicken doesn’t hurt either.

35. An Apple Pie Blizzard from Dairy Queen

The only way it could be more American is if it was flown to you on a bald eagle.

36. The Beast of Midtown East from The Pullman Kitchen

Midtown East
It’s a 13-layer grilled cheese, and it’s damn delicious.

37. Bacon tasting at BarBacon

Hell’s Kitchen
America does bacon better than anywhere else in the world. That’s just a fact.

38. A cupcake from the cupcake ATM at Sprinkles Cupcakes

Midtown East
Yep, this exists.

39. Bong-smoked oysters from Desnuda

Oyster are already very America, but then they went and smoked ‘em IN A BONG.

40. A grilled cheese with chips in it from The Wash House

East Village
Not only can you get a dope grilled cheese, but this place will also do your laundry.

41. Lobster mac & cheese from Red Hook Lobster Pound

Multiple Locations
Feel free to get two or three of these to maximize your American-ness.

42. A cupcake with booze in it from Prohibition Bakery

Lower East Side
Anytime you manage to get booze in your food, it’s a good thing. And an American thing.

43. Beef rib from Mighty Quinn's Barbeque

East Village
It’s massive, impressive, and delicious... just like America.

44. Fried chicken biscuits from Empire Biscuit

Alphabet City
The only thing un-American is not also getting the bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit.

nuggets nyc
Khushbu Shah

45. All kinds of crazy chicken nuggets at The Nugget Spot

East Village
You grew up on chicken nuggets, and you grew up in America, therefore, this is perfect. Our logic is irrefutable.

46. Ice cream sandwiches from Coolhaus

Multiple Locations
Try to get something that sounds extra American, like blueberry sweet corn or the beer & pretzels.

47. Nashville-style hot fried chicken from Peaches HotHouse

Burning your taste buds right off is every American’s right. It’s in the Constitution. Somewhere.

48. Super-Duper Stack Burger from Genuine Roadside

Hell’s Kitchen
In America, every stack should be a double stack.

49. Pigs in a blanket from Brooklyn Piggies

East Village
Look at that picture. LOOK AT IT. Okay then.

50. Maple bacon on a stick from Landhaus at The Woods

Come on, it’s bacon on a stick.

Andrew Zimmer is Thrillist’s NYC Editor, and fireworks and burgers are his favorite pairing combo ever. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Our Newsletter
By Signing Up, I Agree to the Terms and Privacy Policy.