Top 5 Historical Foods of New York City – Photography and Perspective

We’re taken on a different approach for our latest blog post! Today we’re going to investigate the the various foods that make Manhattan notorious amongst the dining community. In doing so we will present photography of the specific food and give a brief history of how it relates to the History of New York City.

1) Pizza

A staple amongst American and New York City Dining, the pizza pie comes in many shapes, sizes and styles. The pizza historically speaking is well-renowned for having it’s entrance into American culture directly from Italian Immigrants on Mott Street in Little Italy New York. The 1st pizza pies came out of a neighborhood grocery store in Little Italy for which the pies were known as tomato pies and were folded and wrapped in paper and tied with a string. The pies were sold to neighborhood factory workers and evolved into the crazed take out phenomenon that we know today.

2) Hot Dogs

Hot Dogs are very iconic to American and New York City food culture. Whether it be at a baseball game, walking down the streets of New York City or getting a Hot Dog at coney Island. The food is a notorious quick snack for the New York City patron. It is believed that the very first American Hot Dog was introduced in 1870 by a German immigrant named Charles Feltman who sold sausages in rolls at Coney Island New York. Today if we were to walk down a busy New York City street its almost impossible not to see a Hot Dog Vendor.

3) Bagels

Ah Yes! How could we forget about the famous New York City Bagel. Introduced by Jewish communities in New York City, the bagel is a traditional breakfast snack item that often can be located in numerous bakeries throughout NYC. There are a few ideas for which the Bagel gained it’s prominence amongst the Jewish Community in New York City. One thought is that bagels (more specifically the doe) required 12 hours of resting before baking. The 12 hour step to ensure that these bagels were baked properly, allowed people of the Jewish faith to celebrate the Sabbath which forbids work of any kind during this period of time. Another reason that the Bagel might have gained its prominence is the fact that the bread is boiled before it’s baked and this act actually changes the rules in terms of being Kosher.

4) Pasta

Obviously we could not forget about pasta and the historical significance it has on New York City Italian Heritage. Pasta comes in all shapes and sizes, is dressed in many different spices and sauces and is cultural a staple of New York City fine dining. Pasta was introduced to New York City by Italian immigrants from the Little Italy neighborhood in lower Manhattan. Today you can go to the same location and and experience several pasta dish variations that include linguine and white clam sauce, penne with a garlic wine sauce, lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs and much more.

5) Deli Sandwich

Last but not least we could not forget the Deli Sandwich. New York City is well renowned for having the most comprehensive deli’s on planet earth. Whether you want a pastrami on rye or a Italian hero sub, Deli’s remain an important part of New York City restaurant history. Deli’s in New York City history were widely important because they provided not only take out ready foods for busy workers, but also were a source to purchase groceries for many neighborhoods. Also neighborhood deli’s traversed many different cultural backgrounds, for example throughout NYC you have Jewish Deli’s, German Deli’s, Italian Deli’s, Greek Deli’s and much more.


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