Typical American Food in New York

Typical American Food in New York

Typical American food in New York can be found in a lot of restaurants. When you think about American food, you can imagine a variety of dishes, such as burgers, mac & cheese and much more. There is always something new to try because of the country’s rapidly evolving food culture. In this top five, I tried to create a selection of restaurants that embody the American food culture in their own special way.


Typical American food in New York

First things first, what is ‘typical American food’? Of course, I’ll start with my good old favourites: burgers and pizza. Another very American thing to do is eat ‘Southern soul food’, such as barbecue dishes and pulled pork. But pancakes should not be missed either.

  1. Virgil’s (152 West 44th Street)

    Going for dinner at Virgil’s Southern-style barbecue restaurant? Order ‘Trainwreck Fries’ as a starter for the table. I know it doesn’t sound too appetizing, but trust me. It’s actually a pile of fries, bacon, cheese and other good stuff. I then recommend choosing the pulled pork, truly delicious. Other typical specialities on the menu include mac and cheese and crispy hushpuppies for example. They even make their own sauces, you’ll always have about four of them on your table. The interior is spacious and tidy, it’s a great place to visit with (small) children.

    Eric’s tip: “If you’re in the mood for mac and cheese, go to STK. It’s a steak house indeed, but their mac & cheese is very good.”
  2. Cowgirl (519 Hudson Street)

    This restaurant feels like you just walked into a Spaghetti Western, only they don’t serve spaghetti. The atmospheric Cowgirl is located on a quaint street in the charming neighbourhood of West Village. All dishes are served with a ‘Western twist’. Roasted jalapeños stuffed with grilled shrimp and wrapped in bacon, and a Texas chili, to name a few. Make sure you save some space for ‘New York’s best dessert’: baked potato ice cream. It’s like a baked potato, only the taste is quite different. Let them surprise you! You can visit this place for lunch and dinner. It’s all very low-key, you can easily get away with wearing a baseball cap, not a problem at all.

  3. Fraunces Tavern (54 Pearl Street)

    Step into New York history at Fraunces Tavern, which opened here in 1762! This bar and restaurant is the oldest establishment in the city and an official New York City Landmark. It is where George Washington and Alexander Hamilton frequently visited. Now you can enjoy American cuisine here, including steaks, lobster Mac & Cheese, and burgers. Make a reservation before you go. Fraunces Tavern is also, as the name indicates, a tavern (bar). So feel free to have a drink at the bar. When you are here you feel as if you are back in 1762, at the beginning of the New York we know today.

  4. Freemans Restaurant (Freeman Alley)

    Freemans Restaurant is a typical New York restaurant. It’s located at the end of an alley, making it mysterious and not so easy to find on your own. There is a lot of atmosphere here and it feels like a small-scale tavern. On the menu, you can find options like steak, mashed potatoes, and a burger. I had the latter and thought it was really tasty.

  5. IHOP (235 East 14th Street)

    IHOP makes it into this top 5 as a wildcard. Why? This is a ‘love it or hate it’ kind of chain. It’s not what most would describe as ‘atmospheric’, but it is a prime example of how hundreds of millions of Americans spend their mornings. In this predominantly breakfast restaurant, there is a wide variety of different pancakes and syrups. They also serve a fine brunch (after which they’ll have to roll you out of the restaurant) and a ‘lumberjack breakfast’. Oh, they do love strange combinations. I remember eating a steak-filled omelette for breakfast as if it was a kind of taco. Prices are really low. Again: don’t expect any atmosphere whatsoever, do expect an all-American experience though – including ‘unlimited coffee’ and ‘unlimited pancakes’ once in a while. Be prepared!

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