New York State Food and Drink

New York is packed with thousands of restaurants serving food from around the world. The cultural mix has brought every kind of ethnic food to New York City and the surrounding region. Also, the state is increasingly acknowledging its agricultural roots, and farms around New York supply residents with fresh, local food, often sold at community-based farmers' markets. Reservations are highly recommended at most restaurants and reservations should even be made for lunch when planning to dine at an upscale restaurant or popular establishment. Restaurants without the expensive and difficult-to-acquire beer, wine, or liquor license granted by the state may allow customers to bring their own bottle; in such cases, a corkage fee may be imposed.

New York delis and diners are known the world over, and remain popular lunch spots for New Yorkers on the go as well as visitors to the city. Delis offering massive sandwiches and seemingly endless hot and cold bars are prevalent throughout the city.

New York City street vendors have long been popular among food lovers who seek more casual fare, but such vendors are seeing increasing competition from food trucks, which have become a visible phenomenon in the city. Selling everything from Chinese-style dumplings and Mexican tacos to Dutch waffles and American cupcakes and coffee, these trucks are wildly popular among locals and visitors alike.

The city's desserts and pastries are also world-famous, and there is no shortage of bakeries. Traditional favourites are rugelach and black-and-white cookies, as well as New York cheesecake – and a certain popular romantic comedy featuring Sarah Jessica Parker has made a particular Greenwich Village bakery's cupcakes so famous that a line forms outside its doors nearly every day.

More and more visitors are venturing beyond the borough of Manhattan to try the cuisine of New York City’s ethnic neighbourhoods, such as Flushing, Queens' Chinatown.

Outside the city, the food scene is no less exciting. Farm-to-table fare is typical, and is exemplified at popular places such as Blue Hill at Stone Barns, a restaurant on a working farm in the Hudson Valley. It's “Farmer's Feast” tasting menus are created anew each day based on the current harvest. Blue Hill at Stone Barns is a newer iteration of the kind of place New Yorkers have loved for decades. The much-beloved, much older restaurant Moosewood in Ithaca, also famous for its series of cookbooks, is known for its natural foods menu and its co-op oriented business model.

Another New York State food institution is Buffalo wings, which originated in Buffalo, New York. The classic wings now appear on menus across the USA and beyond, and are reported to have been dreamed up by the owner of the Anchor Bar (, who needed a quick snack to feed her college-aged son and his friends.



• Wine.
• Steaks.
• Seafood.
• Waldorf salad.
• Bagels.
• Deli-style sandwiches.
• New York cheesecake.

Things to know

Restaurant hours tend not to be as late outside of the city.


A 15-20% tip is customary for good service in restaurants around the state. In many restaurants, particularly in New York City, a gratuity will automatically be added to bills for parties of 4-6 or more. Be sure to check with your server about the policies of the restaurant where you are dining before leaving an additional tip.

Drinking age


Regional drinks

• Manhattan (whiskey and vermouth cocktail).
• Cosmopolitan (triple sec, vodka, cranberry juice and lime juice cocktail).
• New York State wines.

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