Where to Find the Best Pizza, Bagels, Burgers, and Ramen in NYC

Friday, September 05, 2014

Cheeseburger Cheeseburger styled by Roscoe Betsill (Photograph by Nigel Cox for Bon Appetit)

New York magazine restaurant critic Adam Platt and Grub Street editor Alan Sytsma discuss where to get the best pizza, bagels, burgers, and ramen in New York, and why those foods are quintessential NYC foods. They’ll also discuss how to find the best places around town, revisiting restaurants, and evaluating what makes one burger or bowl of ramen superior to all the others.




Adam Platt and Alan Sytsma

Comments [36]

Margaret from Riverdale, Bronx, NY

Bagels- absolute and ess-a-bagel
Burgers- Burger Joint at the Parker Medidian Hotel
Pizza- Totonno's- the white pie, Spumoni Garden- the square pie, Artichoke at 14th- the Artichoke pie. Sal's and Carmines' traditional
Hot Dogs- Walters Hot Dogs in Westchester, I eat them and I don't even like hotdogs!

Sep. 06 2014 01:24 AM
Jkjdkc from Stamford ct

Colony colony colony!!!! In stamford CT!!! After 20 years in nyc...this place tops all. Try the hot oil with sausage

Sep. 05 2014 07:55 PM
Alan from Manhattan

Best pizza in the USA!!! A potato slice from there is untouched by anyone else in the city.

Sep. 05 2014 03:19 PM
Jonah Kruvant from Brooklyn, NY

Di Fara is hands down the best pizza in NYC. Dom DeMarco has been making pies for 45 years and for 8 years running was Zagat's #1 choice. He doesn't let anyone else touch the pizza and he cooks his pies with his bare hands.

The only pizzeria in the world that is comparable is Da Michele in Naples. Read about it here:

Sep. 05 2014 02:16 PM
benita from NYC

I used to be a provincial and arrogant NY pizza snob, til I was hijacked to New Haven 12 years ago. Now, nothing but Pepe's will do. They have a shop in Fairfield too - closer to NYC - and just as good as the mother ship in NH. WORTH THE TRIP!! White clam pie to die for.

Sep. 05 2014 01:58 PM

Roberta's is INSUFFERABLE!!

Sep. 05 2014 12:44 PM
Sredni Vashtar from the Shed Out Back

And "the best this" "the best that" leaves out the possibilities of a chef/cook having a bad day (or the day off) or changes of management or, most importantly in my book, the personal preferences (and prejudices) of the judger. I love spicy food, not everybody does, so what I consider "the best" of something will almost certainly differ from someone else's choice. There are no absolutes in anything involving taste (or taste buds).

Sep. 05 2014 12:44 PM

Just Say NO To Hipster Food!!

Sep. 05 2014 12:42 PM
Sredni Vashtar from the Shed Out Back

Goodness, the ramen discussion on air suggests none of the speakers actually knows any East or Southeast Asian people all that well.

Sep. 05 2014 12:40 PM
Matt from Manhattan

Best hot dogs in NYC : AsiaDog in NoLita, Asian inspired hot dogs, absolutely unreal.

Best bagels in NYC: Tal's Bagels in Midtown East/UES.

Best pizza in NYC: Now, I love my pizza a lot, and I love NYC pizza, but the best pizzeria's are in North Jersey!

Sep. 05 2014 12:40 PM

…a da Michele pizza margherita that is FALLING OFF THE PLATE is €4!!

€4 = $5.21!!!

NOT $20!!



Sep. 05 2014 12:40 PM

How much did your guests get paid by Nomad since they have mentioned 4 times so far??

Sep. 05 2014 12:39 PM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Best chain burger is 5 guys. "Bark" does a decent hipster deconstructionist version but by default it's Nathans. Best pizza is Di Fara - long lines but worth the wait.

Sep. 05 2014 12:37 PM

Why is hipster pizza SO DAMN EXPENSIVE!!

Sep. 05 2014 12:34 PM
Susan from Morningside Hts.

Best pizza: V&T at 110th and Amsterdam

Best bagels: Absolute at 107th and Broadway

Sep. 05 2014 12:32 PM
louisa from east village

motorino pizza
12th st. betw 1st and 2nd

bagel hole
7th ave. between 12th and 13th
park slope

Sep. 05 2014 12:32 PM

Sorry…Chicago IS the hotdog capital!

Sep. 05 2014 12:31 PM

Lombardi's went south the moment it "Disnified®".

It WAS great.

Sep. 05 2014 12:31 PM
Hal from NYC

The classic New York slice is best after its reheated in the pizzeria so the crust gets a little crustier.
Good wood oven pizza is hard to beat in most places, except one trendy place on Bleecker Street where its too expensive.
DiFara's is good to great, but the experience is not pleasant, considering the price.

Sep. 05 2014 12:30 PM

On the other hand:

…call it what you will, the product that the original Uno's and Due's IN CHICAGO (not the crappy franchises) is pretty damn great!!

Sep. 05 2014 12:30 PM

Whole conversation is SO provincial. Don't you people get out?

I've had GREAT pizza in Portland, OR. And great felafels, too. And the very best German beer, too.

The only foods that really don't transfer are, imo:

You can't get good bagels outside of NYC.

You can't get good sour dough bread outside of Calif.

Sep. 05 2014 12:27 PM

da Michele in Napoli is THE pizza.

Sep. 05 2014 12:27 PM
marc burch from Brooklyn

Sam's @ 238 Court St in Brooklyn best pizza anywhere!

Sep. 05 2014 12:27 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Whether it's sugar or honey, why are they putting so much sweetener in bagels in the 1st place? And on whole wheat bagels, hipster shmipster, if they become more popular, maybe they'll sell enough to make flavored ones. I want whole wheat poppyseed & garlic bagels! But not cinnamon raisin--c'mon, that's a donut, not a bagel! (& that's the extent of my bagel snobbery....)

Sep. 05 2014 12:27 PM
wb from ues

this is so stupid, it's like debating the best color.

Sep. 05 2014 12:26 PM
DC from Sunset Park

Best bialys from my childhood are from Kossar on Grand Street. When I was a kid, walking that part of the Lower East Side guaranteed a trip there. I wish I could go today, but I hear it's too crowded.

Best pizza for me is always the one in Gramercy's on 23rd Street. $2 and a hot slice of bliss.

Sep. 05 2014 12:26 PM
matt from manhattan

DiFara in midwood best pizza by far

Sep. 05 2014 12:25 PM
sophia lewis from Westchester county

Ess a bagel best bagel hands down!!

Sep. 05 2014 12:25 PM
Mike from Bklyn

Shelskys in Bklyn has old school bagels. Only place I've been able to find them.

Sep. 05 2014 12:24 PM
NYC from NYC

Did burgers start in NY??? Wow, some provincialism.

When I first got here in 1968, you couldn't FIND a decent burger (or pancake, or Mexican food). Those from the new crush of cheap Greek diners were AWFUL. No one had a clue.

I remember getting the pancakes from the Purity restaurant in Park Slope once. So awful, I held up a heavy, leaking portion to the waitress, and said, "Haven't you ever heard of 'light and fluffy?'"

She seemed shocked, and said, "Our customers like it that way."

Burgers as a phenom began, I believe, in Calif., partly with the Bob's Big Boys (which were, once upon a time, GREAT) and McDonald's. I remember passing a McDonald's in Reseda, CA, whose sign boasted, "Over 150,000 sold!"

Sep. 05 2014 12:19 PM

What about Bareburger? I like their choice of meat, buffalo, elk, lamb,wild boar, etc. The boar is the juiciest.

Sep. 05 2014 12:19 PM

Shout out for Kambi, a ramen place on 14th and first avenue. Best ramen!!!

Sep. 05 2014 12:18 PM
els from ridgefield, ct
New Haven 1895

Sep. 05 2014 12:15 PM
Tony from Canarsie

Bagels -- boiled or steamed? (For me, the former.)

Sep. 05 2014 12:11 PM
antonio from bayside

Just scope out how many black rimmed glasses/bearded fellows are present...At the very least it will mean its a new joint...

Sep. 05 2014 12:10 PM
Elaine from Baltimore

YEA!! Food Fridays Returns!
Thanks Leonard!

Sep. 05 2014 11:45 AM

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