The other day I was talking to someone who'd just relocated to NYC from San Francisco a few short weeks ago, and realized during the course of our conversation that I'd sent this person at least 8 places that they needed to check out as being the best of the best as far as food here! So rather than hoard this knowledge, I would love to pool it collectively as a living breathing list that we can all enjoy.
THE BEST BAGEL:
Bar none, this would have to be Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company on 8th Avenue and 26th Street. Freshly made right in front of you, these bagels come in multiple flavors, and with endless options to customize to your taste. There is always a line of 20-30 people, but it moves pretty quickly. Endless types of toppings! My favorite is an Everything Bagel toasted with hummus.
THE BEST DOUGHNUT:
I do not eat doughnuts often, but when I do, it is usually Doughnut Plant. They have unusual seasonal flavors made with fresh ingredients (peanut butter and jam or organic orange, anyone?). However, I have always wanted to check out Underwest Donuts and have not had the chance to yet, so this may change.
THE BEST PERUVIAN FOOD:
Absolutely obsessed with Pollo D'Oro Brooklyn. This place is incredible (and easy to get to, very central in Brooklyn). I only ever get the chaufa aeropuerto, with extra green sauce. Make sure to get extra green sauce, it is the next Sriracha, mark my words. Pollo D'oro does not accept Visa cards, so bring cash or MasterCard. Be prepared for deliciousness. Birthday-dinner-worthy!
THE BEST EGG & CHEESE:
I have gotten in debates about this with friends who feel that an egg & cheese sandwich should, by its very definition, be extremely affordable. However, the best egg & cheese sandwich I have experienced is the BEC sandwich. The brioche bun is beyond. I bring lots of guests and friends from out of town here because it's friendly, fast, and the best egg & cheese sandwich ever. Also if you're gluten-free or have other dietary needs, you can customize as needed.
THE BEST MACARONS / VEGAN BAKERY:
The best macarons (and vegan baked treats, and vegan chocolates) can be found at Confectionery! which has spoiled me and I can't go back to other bakeries now. It's that good. Every day their baked goods will be different, so you never know what they'll have in store.
THE BEST THIN CRUST PIZZA:
Opinions run hot as far as pizza and New York City are concerned, so please take this with a grain of salt and as you see fit. You can go for classics like Lombardi's, America's First Pizzeria. You can go to the famous Totonno's near Coney Island. You can go to Tracy Morgan's favorite pizza place. However I personally love the thin crust pizza from this small chain of differently named thin crust pizza shops across the city. The pizza is delicious and consistent and I love surprising people with how good it is.
I'll keep adding to this list, but anything you want to contribute, please feel free to let me know!