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With its world-famous New York food and drink experiences at the forefront of any holiday, the city is often deemed the culinary capital of the world. However, it can often be difficult to know where to start when planning your trip. We've answered five of the most asked questions about New York's food and drink scene to help you get started.

What is the official food of New York?

The official fruit of New York state is the apple according to the New York State Department of State. However, when it comes to the official food of New York City there are too many iconic dishes to choose from. New York-style cheesecake, pizzas and bagels are definitely near the top of the list. Hot dogs and pretzels, both of which can be purchased from street vendors all over the city, are also synonymous with New York. Eggs Benedict, the Reuben sandwich and Waldorf salad are also iconic New York dishes that were created in the city.

Much of the iconic cuisine of New York is heavily influenced by various ethnic groups which settled in New York when they first entered the United States. For example, bagels with cream cheese and lox, challah bread, chicken noodle soup (Lokshen), and pastrami all stem from Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine. New York-style pizza, penne alla vodka, spaghetti and meatballs, chicken parmigiana and cannoli are all attributed to Italian communities. Chinese Cubans who entered the United States following the Cuban Revolution brought Chino-Latino cuisine that includes dishes like chicken and broccoli, egg drop soup and sesame chicken, all of which are immensely popular in New York.

What drink is New York good for?

There are plenty of cocktails that originated in New York and are perhaps best sampled in the city. The Manhattan is an obvious example. It is thought to have been created in the luxury hotel, the Manhattan Club, in the late 1800s or early 1900s. The drink is a blend of American rye whiskey, sweet vermouth and Angostura bitters stirred over ice and garnished with a maraschino cherry or lemon peel twist. It has a sweet and mellow flavour with hints of herbs, dark red fruit and vanilla from the vermouth.

The Long Island Iced Tea is another classic New York cocktail named after the eastern area of New York State. It is designed for easy drinking, but given the potent blend of spirits that go into it, it's very easy to drink too many. The Long Island Iced Tea combines vodka, gin, white rum, silver tequila, Triple Sec and lemon juice. This mixture is shaken, poured over ice, and finished with a little cola to taste.

What is a traditional New York-style pizza?

You won't have trouble finding a slice of pizza in New York, but you'll probably notice that New York-style pizza has some very unique and specific attributes. For starters, New York-style pizzas have huge, hand-stretched crusts that span around 18 inches rather than the Neapolitan-style 14 inches. You can pick up a whole pie from a pizza place, but it's not uncommon to simply grab a quick slice as a snack or light meal. The slices are large and thin, and the crusts are foldable to ensure they can be eaten conveniently with one hand. Despite its bendy, flexible nature, the crust should still have a crispy outer coating and fluffy middle.

The staple toppings of a New York-style pizza are tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. The sauce is made from canned tomatoes heavily seasoned with garlic, salt, sugar, oregano, basil, and sometimes crushed red pepper flakes. This is at odds with Neapolitan pizza sauce which simply consists of crushed fresh tomatoes and salt. The mozzarella used is different, too. Unlike Neapolitan pizza which uses sliced fresh mozzarella, New York-style pizza uses a low-moisture mozzarella which is grated and liberally sprinkled over the pie. Additional toppings are always added on top of the cheese. After baking and serving, it's common to top a slice of New York pizza with extra condiments such as crushed red pepper, dried oregano, grated Parmesan and garlic powder.

Is it expensive to eat and drink in New York?

It can be expensive to eat and drink in New York if you're hitting up the city's most sought-after restaurants, cafes and bars, particularly in areas of the city that are most popular with tourists. However, you can eat and drink on a budget in New York by seeking out food stands, hole-in-the-wall takeaway spots, and eateries that are off the beaten path. Look out for where the locals are eating to find more affordable meals.

Coffee and soft drinks in New York are relatively cheap, but alcohol is a little pricier particularly if you're opting for cocktails. Don't forget to add tips into your budget as it is customary to tip in America. You can expect to pay a 20% tip to servers, bartenders and baristas.

What part of New York has the best food?

To get a true idea of just how diverse the cuisine is in New York, you'll need to eat in several parts of the city. East Village is a great spot for a little bit of everything, including sushi, tacos, ramen and BBQ. Greenpoint, often called Little Poland, has a large Polish community and plenty of restaurants serving the likes of pierogis and gołąbki. Astoria is renowned for its Greek eateries but you'll find cuisines from all over the world, including Egypt, Colombia, Lebanon and Pakistan.

Chinatown is an essential visit if you're looking for the best Chinese food in New York City. Flushing is a close second, and it has a fantastic bustling atmosphere reminiscent of Beijing. Koreatown, in midtown Manhattan, is the place to go for the likes of stir-fried glass noodles, dumplings, and Korean barbecue. If you're craving comfort food, head to Harlem where you'll find a host of soul food eateries serving up mac and cheese, cornbread, fried chicken and collard greens.

New York Food and Drink Experiences

To get the most out of your trip to New York, check out our New York food and drink experiences to discover new ways to explore the city.

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