Eating in Style in New York City

New York is home to a lot of people, all of whom are exceptionally busy! In New York food is part of the culture, and the type of food you eat and the places you eat at, very much define you as a human being. Policemen have their hangouts, city chicks have theirs and in between you have a wide range of tastes and characters seeking the best donut, the best bagel and the best salad. Today we are going to go through some of the New York eating habits and etiquettes to help you navigate your way through this enormous food jungle!

“No Salt”

If you have a dietary requirement, there is no better place to be than New York. Whether you like soya, avoid gluten, want a dairy free milkshake, or a meat free beef burger: you are in the right place! Restaurants here cater to every whim and you won’t be left behind in the taste stakes here. So if you have a dietary requirement: shout it out loud! New York is full of it. The only downside is potentially long queuing times while the person in front of you carefully describes a long list of requirements for their coffee, donut or sandwich.


Food and dining is part of the New Yorker culture and so nearly every food venue from the upper class to the high street stall will have something crazy on the menu that is designed to entertain and delight. Whether it be extra, extra, extra cheese on your pizza, or a squid burger – eating in New York is designed to be part of the ongoing entertainment of New York life, so be prepared for anything and don’t look surprised when your bacon sandwich appears with a dollop of ice cream on top.

Speed and Takeout

New Yorkers are too busy and too social to cook, so takeout food is often a replacement for a home cooked meal. You are likely to be offered the option of a takeout almost everywhere you go and there is no shame in asking for a doggy bag. All of New York is geared towards speed, efficiency and convenience: so who is going to stay home and cook when the world’s culinary delights are available on every corner?

Large and Teeny Portions

If you are eating sandwiches, burgers or hotdogs then you are in for a big surprise and that is not meant metaphorically! Portions in New York are either super sized to feed the ever growing population (pun intended) or the speedy slim line bunch. Whatever it is, the visible clientele should be a good clue on what kind of portion to expect, but if this is your first time: prepare to be stuffed!


New Yorkers tend to graze rather than eat, so a full course at breakfast, lunch or dinner is rare, as eating out is something New Yorkers do while they are doing something else. Food or coffee is merely an accompaniment to a meeting, a social gathering, a date or some other event and so one-hour lunches and two hour dinners are a rarity. Be prepared to meet for lunch at least five times over the course of a single day.

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