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Must-have dishes in NYC?

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Dear Chowhounds,

I'm planning a NYC and want to enjoy some of the "best of the best," most iconic dishes in NYC. Can anyone recommend some must-have dishes at Manhattan restaurants?

Thanks!!

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  1. A starting point on the not-too-fancy end:

    Katz's pastrami sandwich. Get all the different kinds of pickles, too. Expensive for a sandwich but really good.

    B&H lox platter. We like it better than Russ & Daughters. It's a hole in the wall.

    Pizza, probably a place that has pies only. John's of Bleeker, or walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to Grimaldi's. Be prepared to wait or order takeout.

    Grand Sichaun St Marks for some spicy specialties (the dry and spicy chicken and dan dan noodles really stand out.)

    Cupcakes? Gelato? Not sure these are iconic. Brunch at Clinton St Bakery? Depends on if "iconic" means you have to wait in line for it...you can make reservations at Five Points, which makes the brunch experience a little less crazy.

    1 Reply
    1. re: maggiej

      Katz's pastrami - absolutely!
      Hot dog - Gray's Papaya
      Gravlax - Aquavit
      Cheese - Artisanal
      Chop - Keen's
      Raw oysters - Grand Central Station Oyster Bar

    2. Can I be really tacky and say that if you're looking for a scene with an "iconic" dish or two and you don't mind going to a chain that you should go to the flagship Nobu down in Tribeca and get the crispy shrimp tempura and the black cod w/miso?

      : )

      3 Replies
      1. re: coleyas

        My personal go to dishes when I have guests in from out of town;
        Katz's pastrami
        Aurtuos Pizza
        Cajun Bone In Rib Eye at Wollensky Grill
        Banana Wrapped Lamb Shank at Rosa Mexicano

        1. re: princeofpork

          bistro burger at corner bistro
          pastrami sandwich at katz
          uni at yasuda
          truffled egg toast at 'ino
          chocolate bread pudding at blue ribbon bakery
          porterhouse for 2 at peter lugers

        2. re: coleyas

          Not tacky at all...was going to suggest same. Nobu's black cod with miso is my all-time favorite dish. Anywhere.

          I'm also going to suggest pork soup dumplings at Joe's Shanghai, a burger at Shake Shack, and Sunday brunch at Pastis or Bubbys (not especially amazing brunches, just both very NY experiences, IMO)

        3. Try here for suggestions:
          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/443609

          1. after my recent trip I am still salivating over the
            truffle egg toast at 'ino
            brussel sprouts from ssam bar
            banh mi from saigon banh mi
            kanpachi at Le Bernardin

            1. Barney GreengrassEggs Nova onion soft scrambled with 2 plain untoasted bagles to put the egg on
              Katz Pastrami
              DiFara Square Pizza
              Momofuku Pork Buns
              Babbo - Tripe Marinara, Beef Cheek Ravioli, Olive Oil Gelatto
              Eleven Madison Park - Duck for 2

              1 Reply
              1. re: tpigeon

                I concur wholeheartedly about the Momofuku pork buns. I haven't found anything else like it.

              2. Blintzes or anything else at B & H Dairy
                Banh Mi, anywhere in a 10 block radius of Grand and Hester
                Egg Cream at Ray's, Ave. A
                Dumplings at Fried Dumpling or Prosperity
                Lox/Nova from Russ, Zabar's, B. Greengrass
                Pizza (4 or 5 main combatants in this war)
                oh, and supposedly Katz's sells pastrami