Typical American Food in New York
‘Where can I eat typical American food in New York?’ It’s a frequently asked question. 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. Besides that, there is a new American cuisine, due to the country’s rapidly evolving food culture. In this top five, I tried to make a selection of restaurants, that represent the American food culture in their own special way.
Going for dinner at Virgil’s Southern-style barbecue restaurant? Order ‘train wreck fries’ as a starter for all. This doesn’t sound too appetising, but it is. It’s actually a pile of fries, bacon, cheese and other good stuff. I then recommend choosing the pulled pork, which is truly delicious. Other typical specialities on the menu include mac and cheese and 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.
A bit like Virgil’s, only the quality of the food is a little less, and the atmosphere much better. You’ll find Cowgirl in a quaint street in an attractive neighbourhood: Greenwich Village. They’ve selected the decorations with the utmost care: it’s like you just walked into a Spaghetti Western, only they don’t serve spaghetti. They do serve other pasta dishes with a ‘Western twist’, mozzarella sticks with bacon and fresh jalapeños and a cowboy steak accompanied by green chillies and sundried tomatoes, to name a few. Make sure to reserve some of your appetite 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 just as easily wear a cap, not a problem at all. Just doing this, is already a very ‘typical American’ thing to do of course.
Bubby’s is a typical American restaurant. That started already with its opening day: Thanksgiving Day 1990. The restaurant, which is now decades old, is known for its American cuisine; simple and fresh comfort food. You can go there for brunch with pancakes, burgers and sandwiches on the menu, or a dinner consisting of BBQ ribs or fried chicken for example. Bubby’s has two locations, in Meatpacking District and TriBeCa.
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.
IHOP makes it into this top 5 with a wildcard. Why? This chain is the ‘love it or hate it’ kind. It’s not quite the definition of ‘atmospheric’ as you might know it, but it does show you the way hundreds of millions of Americans spend their mornings. In this – mostly – breakfast restaurant you can choose from 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 ‘lumberjack breakfast’ – the Canadian version of our English 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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