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Tough one for foreign visitors!

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Trying to put together a simple guide for visiting (foreign) business travelers, and though I know this will hardly be possible, I'd like to get a working list. Here it is:

What are the top 10 (15, 20?) food/dining experiences that could either define a visit to NYC or be considered imperative. By this I mean everything from hot dogs (where, which vendors) to Deli's to top of the line dining. Cheap to outrageous. Breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner. Five days.

I debated about posting this, as it is hard and vague, but might also be fun so what the heck. I guess as a regular visitor to the City myself I'd like to know some of your thoughts for my own benefit as well.

Any takers?

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  1. where from? it's useless to go to ctown for ex., w/chinese
    visitors, all male crowd, or females also?

    1. Good point, though I didn't want to limit too much. Chinese visitors, gender unknown, assume both. Small groups or even possibly lone diners. I would leave Chinese and ctown out unless something really unique to NY and special. Possibly true for other Asian cuisines as well; focus more on American or Continental, or as I hoped to convey, anything that seems "part" of NYC.

      1. what about a nice steakhouse or the most authentic pizzeria, diners, now I have chinese friends, they love mexican food, it's always better to pick a place that has veg. and seafood items also,

        1. Yes, but I am hoping to have a list that says, for example, the most classic and delicious steakhouse, the hot dog vendor at such and such streets, the diner that's been an institution for 100 years, the first pizzeria, etc.

          Please remember I am not from there so have no ideas about these things, just what I see in Gourmet magazine or Zagats, ahem. Would want the person being guided to feel they knew something that New Yorkers know but not necessarily every tourist.

          1. peter lugers in brooklyn for steakhouse. in manhattan, sparks.

            katz's for pastrami sandwich.

            reservations ARE tough at some of the following places
            top restaurants - zagat's guide works for that, but some are gramercy tavern, gotham bar and grill, bouley, etc. babbo for italian.

            Ess-a-bagel for bagels.

            papaya king for hot dogs.

            pizza in manhattan include john's on bleeker, lombardi's, patsy's in harlem...