Explore New York City's Food Scene on a $50 Tour!

Explore New York City's Food Scene on a $50 Tour!

New York 2024-01-15 ParkingNearAirports.io

Trying out the local cuisine is one of the most exciting parts of visiting a new city, but it can also be quite expensive, especially if you want to taste a variety of dishes the place has to offer. The good news is that you can still enjoy the essential dishes without breaking the bank. Today, let's take a look at New York City, a food lover's paradise. In addition to its famous cheesy pizza and fluffy bagels, this vibrant city offers a plethora of culinary delights. Here are a few local restaurants we recommend for our affordable $50 food tour of New York City. Let's get to the point!

Please note that the menu prices mentioned in this article may vary and don't include tax or tip. Remember to show appreciation to the servers by leaving a tip for their hard work.

What are some enjoyable options for travelers in New York City to experience delicious local food with a $50 budget?

Breakfast: bagel with cream cheese

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Bagels have been a vital part of New York City's culinary scene for more than a hundred years. Polish immigrants introduced these traditional treats to the United States in the 1880s, which helped popularize them in the city. The local water, known for its "soft" quality, plays a significant role in giving NYC bagels their chewy texture. Along with that, their convenience makes them a popular choice for busy New Yorkers who need a quick and satisfying breakfast option.

Situated in the Upper West Side neighborhood of Manhattan, Absolute Bagels is a cash-only establishment that is always bustling with customers. It's renowned for serving fluffy bagels generously smeared in creamy spreads, making it an ideal spot to kickstart your day in the Big Apple. Even if you're short on time, rest assured that the line moves swiftly, so you'll be enjoying a delicious breakfast bagel in no time.

Absolute Bagels offers a diverse menu, featuring a range of options, such as egg salad and sliced roast beef. However, when it comes to breakfast, there's no better choice than a bagel slathered with cream cheese. You can select your preferred type of bagel, from plain to everything bagel or even pumpernickel, and then customize it with your favorite spread. One highly recommended option is the lox spread, which adds a delightful touch of saltiness with its bits of smoked salmon. The best part is, this filling meal typically costs around $3.55, so you'll have plenty of money left for the rest of your day's activities.

Lunch: Italian sandwich

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Starting in the 1860s, large numbers of Italian immigrants began migrating to New York City. By 1930, Italians accounted for 17% of the city's population. This influx of Italians led to a significant rise in the number of Italian delis and restaurants throughout the city, shaping the culinary scene. Over time, Italian cuisine became closely associated with New York, with iconic neighborhoods like Little Italy in Manhattan and Arthur Avenue in the Bronx continuing to offer authentic Italian dishes.

One popular Italian delicacy is the Italian sandwich, and if you're looking for one of the best, Defonte's is the place to go. Established in 1922 in Brooklyn's Red Hook neighborhood, this sandwich shop stands out among the numerous Italian sandwich joints in NYC. Defonte's prides itself on using high-quality ingredients and crafting made-to-order sandwiches.

For vegetarians, Defonte's offers delectable fried eggplant sandwiches topped with melted cheese and tomato sauce. However, our top recommendation is the Sinatra Special, featuring steak pizzaiola smothered in tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and grated cheese, all toasted under a broiler. A medium-sized sandwich will cost you around $10.50, which is more than enough to satisfy your hunger.

Dinner: pizza

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When talking about New York City, it's impossible not to mention pizza. The city's very first pizzeria, Lombardi's, can be found in lower Manhattan. Lombardi's initially started as a grocery store that served tomato pies to workers during lunchtime before transforming into a pizzeria in 1905. Since then, pizza has become the most popular food in New York City, with more than 2,000 pizzerias scattered across the five boroughs.

While any pizzeria you choose in the city is sure to please, we're specifically focusing on one in Greenwich Village. Unlike most pizza places in New York City that offer slices, John's of Bleecker Street stands out for selling only whole pies. So gather a friend and head over to this iconic establishment, which opened its doors in 1929. John's still proudly uses coal-fired brick ovens, resulting in a uniquely crispy and delicious crust that sets it apart from other pizza joints in the city.

Although John's menu includes pasta, sandwiches, and appetizers, their pizzas are truly unbeatable. We recommend going for the "John's Original," a simple yet mind-blowing pie topped with mozzarella and tomato sauce. A 14-inch pie will cost you $20.99, but it's more than enough to satisfy both you and your companion.

Dessert: gelato

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The culinary scene in New York City is constantly evolving, with new restaurants popping up regularly. While there is something comforting about enjoying traditional favorites, it's also worth exploring the latest food trends when visiting the city. One particularly popular trend in the dessert world is the experimentation with ice cream. Local creameries in Brooklyn, like Malai, are known for incorporating South Asian flavors into their ice cream creations, just scratching the surface of what's available.

One of the most in-demand dessert spots in the city right now is Caffè Panna, located in the Gramercy neighborhood of Manhattan. Despite its small size, this shop offers Italian-inspired gelato that comes with a rotating menu featuring high-quality ingredients imported from Italy, as well as locally-sourced ingredients.

Caffè Panna is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, so it's important to plan your visit for another day of the week. Popular flavors tend to sell out quickly, but if you arrive early enough, you can still enjoy some gelato before it runs out. We suggest getting the regular size, which includes two scoops of gelato with a crunch and drizzle topping. During our visit, we tried the Oreo-infused gelato paired with a sweet cream and strawberry swirl gelato, topped with sea salt and umbrian olive oil. The price for this treat is only $7, keeping your total spending just under $50 for the entire day.

Total spent: $47.54

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