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
The only question is, “Why isn’t everything covered in mac & cheese?”
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3. Bagels & Lox from Russ & Daughters Cafe
Lower East Side
Classic NYC = Classic America.
4. Fried clam & lobster sandwich from The Clam
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.
6. Butterscotch Pudding from Puddin' by Clio
Snacking is American, and pudding is the ultimate snack. YOU DO THE MATH.
11. Fried chicken from Bromberg Bros. Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken
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.
16. Fried chicken and biscuits at Bobwhite Lunch and Supper Counter
It’s not the South, but you can at least eat like it here.
18. A black and white cookie from literally anywhere in NYC
“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?
22. Fried pickles from Pickle Shack
We can pickle that. Because we're American.
24. Rice krispy treats at Treat House
Upper West Side
Best cereal treat in America, or best cereal treat in the world?
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
Seriously, c'mon. They're ribs, dude.
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.
37. Bacon tasting at BarBacon
America does bacon better than anywhere else in the world. That’s just a fact.
41. Lobster mac & cheese from Red Hook Lobster Pound
Feel free to get two or three of these to maximize your American-ness.
43. Beef rib from Mighty Quinn's Barbeque
It’s massive, impressive, and delicious... just like America.
44. Fried chicken biscuits from Empire Biscuit
The only thing un-American is not also getting the bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit.
45. All kinds of crazy chicken nuggets at The Nugget Spot
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
Try to get something that sounds extra American, like blueberry sweet corn or the beer & pretzels.
48. Super-Duper Stack Burger from Genuine Roadside
In America, every stack should be a double stack.
49. Pigs in a blanket from Brooklyn Piggies
Look at that picture. LOOK AT IT. Okay then.
1. Mighty Quinn's BBQ103 2nd Ave, New York
2. BrisketTown359 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn
3. Hometown Bar-B-Que454 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn
4. The Derby167 Orchard St, New York
5. The Burger Bistro1663 1st Ave, New York
6. Treat House452 Amsterdam Ave, New York
7. Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken28 E 1st St, New York
8. BarBacon836 9th Ave, New York
9. Bobwhite Lunch & Supper Counter94 Ave C, New York
10. Dough Loco24 E 97th St, New York
11. Red Hook Lobster Pound16 Extra Place, New York
12. Colonie127 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn
13. The Wash House44 East 1st St, New York
14. The Clam420 Hudson St, New York
15. Dylan Prime62 Laight St, New York
16. The Nugget Spot230 E 14th St, New York
17. Puddin' by Clio102 Saint Marks Pl, New York
18. Brooklyn Piggies195 Avenue A, New York
19. Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream2 Rivington St, New York
20. Luke's Lobster93 E 7th St, New York
21. North River Lobster CompanyPier 81, New York
22. Dairy Queen54 W 14th St, New York
23. Russ & Daughters Cafe127 Orchard St, New York
24. RippersBeach 86th St Boardwalk, New York
25. Desnuda221 S 1st St, Williamsburg
26. Landhaus48 S 4th St, Brooklyn
27. Ditch Plains29 Bedford St, New York
28. Mable's Smokehouse and Banquet Hall44 Berry St, New York
29. Genuine Roadside600 11th Ave, New York
30. The Pullman Kitchen959 2nd Ave, New York
31. Pickle Shack256 4th Ave, Brooklyn
32. Empire Biscuit198 Avenue A, New York
33. The Butterfly225 W Broadway, New York
34. Prohibition Bakery9 Clinton St, New York
35. Waffle & Wolf413 Graham Ave, Brooklyn
36. Quality Italian57 W 57th St, New York
37. Crif Dogs113 Saint Marks Pl, New York
38. Shake Shack11 Madison Ave, New York
39. Peaches Hothouse415 Tompkins Ave, Brooklyn
40. Heavy Woods50 Wyckoff Ave, Brooklyn
41. Del Frisco's Steakhouse1221 Avenue of the Americas, New York
42. Boulton & Watt5 Ave A, New York
43. NYY Steak7 W 51 Street, New York
44. Junior's Restaurant386 Flatbush Avenue Ext, Brooklyn
This fast-casual BBQ joint has multiple outposts in the city, but the original holds strong at its 6th Street East Village location, bringing the sweet smell of smoked meat to 2nd Avenue. There's a real authentic flavor here, whereas many BBQ spots in the city have an artificial smokiness to their meat. The fall-apart brisket at Mighty Quinns doesn't even require sauce, but you might want to add one of the local drafts on tap to your order.
This pop-up-turned-brick-and-mortar serves up classic Texas-style brisket, ribs, and BBQ. Its fatty cuts are especially memorable, but the tender bite and peppery bark of most of the meats will have you coming back for a ton more. Your taste buds could be satiated with a carnivorous entree alone, but sides like tangy collard greens and creamy mac 'n cheese round out the savory, umami-ful experience.
Pitmaster Billy Durney's Red Hook restaurant is smoking authentic regional barbecue like Texas-style brisket and St. Louis-style ribs. The menu is inspired by Durney's New York childhood spent eating eating at the international food carts along Flatbush Avenue, so options like lamb belly bánh mì and Vietnamese hot wings make the cut as well.
The Derby -- a LES Southern-fare staple -- is doling out serious eats, ranging from chicken-fried steak, Pimento patty melts, and strong, unique whiskeys.
This UES bistro is slinging a selection of ridiculous mix 'n match burgs. Just grab a menu, a wax pencil, and your depraved imagination, then conjure up a ridiculously awesome meat + covering concoction, from a beef burger with mozzarella sticks on it, to shrimp burgers topped with... more shrimp.
This crisp rice treats (not to be confused with Rice Krispies Treats) purveyor's baking some delicious treats made with sweets like flavor-infused marshmallows, chocolate ganache, s'mores, and more.
The Bromberg Brothers' success with Blue Ribbon Sushi and Blue Ribbon Brasserie continues with an East Village fast-casual spot devoted to all things fried chicken. Breasts, thighs, wings, and drumsticks, and tenders come crisp and juicy with a side of coleslaw, while fried chicken sandwiches are gussied up with blue cheese, red onion, and bacon (in the case of the Blue Bird). Don't discount the fries: the thin and golden sticks are glued together by cheddar, sprinkled with bacon, and topped with a dollop of sour cream when you get them "with the works." You may need a milkshake to get that down.
NYC's seen its fair share of single-item centric bars and restos but none captures the zeitgeist more than BarBacon. An ode to everything pork, you'd be remiss to go to this Hell's Kitchen spot and not try a bacon flight, a riff on the omnipresent beer sampler showcasing a selection of four artisanal cured variations on the fatty treat, or at least the bacon guac. Non-bacon options (aka a beer and wine list) are also spot on.
The East Village foodies behind the cozy delicatessen, Bobwhite Lunch and Supper Counter, serve up local-sustainable farmed fare with a down home twist. This friendly little spot is known for a wide variety of Southern style dishes like tasty fried chicken platters and boneless chicken sandwiches. The bone-in fried chicken supper comes with a flaky hot biscuit and your choice of side (think mac & cheese, fried okra, potato salad, and all the other hearty country staples that are like what your mom makes, only better).
Chef Corey Cova (ABV, Earl's Beer & Cheese) is baking insanely delicious and creative donuts -- like miso-maple, blueberry-rosemary, and blood orange -- on the UES.
Get ready for this seafood market to pwn your entire expectations of the meal you'll have. Specializing in succulent lobster rolls, there are different styles to hone in on (go for the Connecticut-style), and tons of delicious sides, like crispy chips and creamy mac 'n cheese.
Colonie is an upscale but unpretentious neighborhood restaurant in Brooklyn Heights -- it's the kind of place you go when you feel like treating yourself to a quality dinner and don't want somewhere sceney. You know what we mean. The menu has a little bit of everything: oysters, kale salad, burrata, pasta, and one very fine burger topped with aged cheddar, a fried egg, bacon, and beet ketchup. There is, of course, brunch, where you'll find that damn good burger again, plus monkey bread, buttermilk pancakes, and eggs Benedict. The space is simple with exposed brick walls, wooden ceilings, and touches of greenery.
The Wash House is truly one of a kind; with grilled cheese, craft brews, delicious dessert-wiches, and the option to have your laundry done for you same-day, laundry has never been so relaxing.
The Clam has brought an ode to everybody's favorite mollusk, and the Atlantic Seaboard at large to the city with the titular shellfish worked up in a bunch of interesting ways.
This Tribeca steakhouse offers prix fixe menus for special dinners events, but otherwise doles out a host of amazing cuts of meat and seafood from a standard menu.
An entire restaurant based on the simple concept of the chicken nugget? You betcha. Stop by and enjoy their laid-back atmosphere and some beer (or wine) or grab your nuggets to go!
If you thought you'd never again taste creamy delicious homemade pudding like you used to have as a kid, then we have good news. It's Puddin' by Clio.
This gourmet pigs-in-a-blanket joint has been a long time coming (like, since our childhood). Head in for Super Bowl favorites and innovative pig options.
This nine-seat ice cream parlor is a true parlor; you can order while sitting at six seats on the bar. Once you have ordered, the man behind the scoop will likely slide your way one of his unique "texture-driven small-batch" flavors like a salt & pepper pine nut or Brazilian bourbon topped with curiously created made-to-order whipped cream or even Fernet biscuits.
Long before Luke's Lobster became a national chain, it was a tiny seafood shack in the East Village. The original location serves the chilled lobster rolls that made the New England-inspired counter-serve so damn popular -- as well as crab rolls, shrimp rolls, and sides. If you really want a taste of Luke's, order the Taste of Maine combo, which includes half-portions of the aforementioned rolls (all served on buttered and toasted split-top buns), crab claws, chips or slaw, a pickle, and a (non-alcoholic) drink. The shop's small size makes it conducive to take out, but there are a few stools.
This floating lobster shack is perfect if you want a totally unpretentious atmosphere for drinking and eating out on the water. Docked in Midtown West, North River offers 45-minute cruises that serve great seafood -- think four different kinds of lobster rolls and a full raw bar -- as well as a solid bar menu with Mason-jar cocktails, beer buckets, and an ample selection of wine.
A Manhattan location of the famous chain is most welcome on 14th St. Get your burgers, get your ice cream, and get your Big Apple Blizzard (that's right!) all without leaving the city.
Around the corner from the iconic Lower East Side appetizing shop of the same name, Russ & Daughters Cafe serves everything you love about the original (pastrami-cured salmon, whitefish salad on a bagel, caviar) in a sit-down luncheonette space. Cafe-specific dishes like babka French toast and halvah ice cream cater to the brunch crowd, as do Jewish classics like knishes, latkes, and matzoh ball soup. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, R&D Cafe is proof that Jewish noshes are the perfect anytime food.
The Meat Hook's Brent Young is behind Rippers, an oceanfront shack at Beach 86th Street that's known for its spring break vibes and snack bar menu. Thanks to Young's ground beef expertise, Rippers' burgers consistently rank among New York's best -- the soft and juicy patties are available in a few varieties, but you should probably go big with the double-decker Hard Body and a side of cheese fries.
This Williamsburg outpost serves up traditional Peruvian ceviche, creative pisco cocktails, and signature gravity-bong smoked oysters. The main focuses at this date spot, however, are the daily oyster happy hours and extensive South American wine selection.
This Williamsburg joint serves up maple bacon hunks served by the handful, in addition to sandos like slow braised pork shoulder w/ cheddar sauce & pickled peppers.
Named after the Montauk surfing beach, this West Village restaurant is as close to the Hamptons as you'll find below 14th Street. Ditch Plains' focus is fittingly on fish and oysters, but its menu is a celebration of all Americana food, especially the kind that reminds you of summer. You'll find fish shack staples like lobster rolls and beer-battered fish and chips, plus a grilled hot dog topped with mac & cheese and fish, pork, and chicken tacos. Not too mention, Ditch Plains' brunch service proves that Bloody Marys and pancakes are always a good idea.
Refurbishing former tonic water factory digs with their own four hands, the husband & wife team behind Mable's stocked their airy, industrial barn-steezed "roadhouse" with long communal tables set with chairs they either built themselves or sourced from flea markets, a giant buck head shot by the owner's cousin, and a central bar lit by hanging rusted buckets. The sliced brisket is lean with the perfect amount of fat and smokiness to not even require sauce. Order at the counter and be served almost as quickly as you can sit down.
Everyone knows the best part of road trips is the diner grub, and Genuine Roadside capitalizes on this shameless indulgence with classic American fare done up with a gourmet twist. Come in for spicy smokehouse burgers, shrimp tacos, and vanilla bean ice cream sandwiches, and -- if you're not driving -- pair your meal with a cold beer or specialty cocktail.
The best high-level grilled cheese connoisseurs on the Midtown East-block, The Pullman Kitchen is doing astounding things with our favorite bread and cheese combo... like merging it with fried chicken & waffles. You've gotta try these gooey, ooey, savory, salty (umami?) sandwich confections if you're even gonna consider calling yourself yourself an NYC brunch expert.
A place that's got crazy inventive pickle options is the place to be. The guys at Brooklyn Brine have opened this joint and are serving Dogfish Head exclusively, alongside awesome, elevated fare and all the Brooklyn flare one could possibly hope for.
Empire Biscuit is exactly as it sounds... a manically obsessive eatery based around the wonder that are biscuits. They're not ordinary, either -- try one of their custom biscuits, or go with a friend and split the the Snuggah Boo -- a plum, prune & port, goat cheese, and black pepper buttered wonder.
Inspired by mid-century supper clubs, The Butterfly has killer cocktails by Eben Freeman and a patty melt so good, you should drop what you're doing right now to go get it.
A downtown bakery that makes boozy cupcakes that will actually get you drunk (if you eat enough of them). Favorites include the Car Bomb with whiskey, Baileys, stout, and chocolate and the Scotch & Cigar with molasses, tobacco, and Laphroaig Scotch.
This BK waffle-taco purveyor's slinging absurd creations like waffles with coconut, jalapenos, and bacon baked in, then finished off with sweet (fluff, peanut butter, bananas, strawberries) and savory (pulled-pork, avocado, bacon) toppings.
The sister restaurant to neighboring Quality Meats, this Midtown steakhouse focuses on modern and upscale Italian-American food, like a show-stopping chicken parm served like a pizza. The bi-level space has a swagger that appeals to the business dinner crowd and a rustic vibe that plays into the Italian theme. The classic wine list is predictably heavy on Italian varieties, and you'll find familiar drinks, like a Moscow mule and aperol spritz, on the cocktail menu.
Crif Dogs is to hot dogs like Katz's is to pastrami and Russ & Daughters is to lox. The house-made dogs come in a variety of styles -- go big with one of the bacon-wrapped dogs, like the Tsunami, which comes with a healthy dosage of teriyaki, pineapple, and green onions, or keep it simple with the deep-fried corn dog (made with a super secret batter, of course). Crif Dogs' original location, in the heart of Alphabet City, is home to the phone booth entrance that leads to one of the city's most iconic speakeasies, PDT.
Long before Shake Shack was an international chain with outposts as far as Dubai, it was a hot dog stand in Madison Square Park. The original location is still in the park, but instead of a roaming cart, it's a large kiosk surrounded by a sea of outdoor tables. There are two lines, an express one reserved for cold orders (that would be the frozen custard and concretes -- get them, they're good) and a regular one for everything else, which includes the signature ShackBurgers, crinkle-cut fries, and flat-top hot dogs.
The popular Bed-Stuy HotHouse condenses the two menus from its owners' first two joints -- a soul spot and a 'cue joint -- and turns the focus to comforting, regional staples, like Nashville hot chicken and NOLA-favorite barbecue shrimp, served over fried grits. Come by on Saturdays and Sunday for brunch to experience Southern hospitality and its finest.
This cheery Bushwick dive has been serving up great 'tails, a number of brews, and a myriad of fine liquors since it opened up shop in 2012.
Del Frisco's filet mignon and creamed spinach is something everyone needs to experience during their time in the big app.
The dining room at Boulton & Watt is heavily reminiscent of the Industrial Revolution -- but with far more beer and oysters. The Alphabet City gastropub is littered with rusted gears and pulleys, all tastefully arranged around tall windows and communal wooden tables. The contemporary menu offers a creative take on bar food with snacks like "Brats in a Blanket" and duck confit queso fondito, plus unconventional pickle varieties (pineapple with habanero, mint, and basil, for one). Updates on age-old classics round out the cocktail menu, as do pickle-back shots.
You're probably going to want to check out the custom-made Signature Wall when you walk into this three-story steak house to see just which 86 Yankee players have similar tastes in cuisine as you do. Of course once you do take your seat you'll be going through a list of 400 wines to go with your steak - or King Crab or short rib ragu. On second thought, maybe you should check that wall after you order.
Since 1950, this Downtown Brooklyn diner has been serving up incredibly dense slices of its famed cheesecake. Unlike many cheesecakes, Junior’s version skips the graham cracker crust and ricotta filling in favor of a thin layer of sponge cake and tons of cream cheese. Though every table at the landmark restaurant orders the cheesecake, the menu features all the New York diner staples, like loaded corned beef and pastrami sandwiches, steakburgers, and all-day breakfast.