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13 Food Signs You're Definitely A Tourist In New York City

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New York is one of, if not THE, greatest food cities in the world. Not only can you get just about any kind of food in New York, but you can get some of the best. Besides all of the world-class restaurants and amazing hole-in-the-walls you wouldn't find anywhere else in the country, you've got the iconic stuff, like black and white cookies, New York style cheesecake and the bagels (sorry, Montreal). Despite what some Chicagoans may think, the pizza reigns supreme in New York. (Although we'll entertain a dispute and taste test deep dish versus thin crust any day.)

Indeed, the food in New York makes all the hardship that the city requires worthwhile; it's a struggle to live here but the food more than makes up for it. The food is a reason on it's own to live in New York. It's no wonder, then, that tourists flock to our great city not just to see the sights, but to eat.

The curse of all tourists, however, is that they're not locals and thus can't truly eat like a local -- no matter how hard they try. Despite even the most valiant efforts, too many visitors will inevitably fall into at least one tourist trap. Luckily it's not all bad. There's a reason visitors to New York seek out some of our most touristy food attractions -- many of them are great and New Yorkers love them too! New Yorkers really do love Junior's cheesecake, and we're damn proud of our pizza and hot dogs.

Other touristy restaurants and iconic foods, however, are an egregious waste of time and stomach space. New Yorkers would never be caught dead at these establishments or eating this food -- or at least they don't have time to wait in the lines.

For better or worse, here are 13 signs that you're definitely a tourist in New York (or are at least acting like one). What's your favorite or least favorite culinary tourist trap in New York City?

  • 1
    You stand in line for cupcakes at Magnolia.
    haleysuzanne/Flickr
    There are so many better cupcakes in New York. Just try Billy's or Buttercup Bakeshop and then see what you think about waiting for Magnolia. There's just no need to wait in a line that wraps around the block for a dry cupcake with inferior frosting.
  • 2
    You eat pizza from Lombardi's.
    SimonDoggett/Flickr
    It's not that Lombardi's pizza is bad, per se, but there are so many better places to get pizza in New York. You're just selling yourself short by waiting for an hour for pizza from Lombardi's.
  • 3
    You eat at the Olive Garden in Times Square.
    Elvert Barnes/Flickr
    Don't do it. Just don't do it.
  • 4
    You eat anywhere in Times Square.
    Project 1080/Flickr
    Unless you're forced to eat in or around Times Square because of your office location (for which we pity you), there's no good reason and no excuse for eating there. It's chaos -- get out as quickly as you can!
  • 5
    You order Cosmopolitans to fit in.
    Leslie Thomson via Getty Images
    Just because the girls on "Sex in the City" drank them, doesn't mean real New Yorkers do.
  • 6
    You eat in Little Italy.
    davidpc_/Flickr
    Little Italy may be one of the saddest places to eat in New York. We wish it wasn't so, but it is.
  • 7
    You go to Serendipity for Frozen Hot Chocolates.
    Facebook/Serendipity
    We'll admit frozen hot chocolates are pretty awesome, but Serendipity 3 is really just for tourists.
  • 8
    You think 4 dumplings for $1 at Vanessa's is the best deal you're gonna find.
    star5112/Flickr
    New Yorkers eat at Prosperity.
  • 9
    You walk over the Brooklyn Bridge just for Grimaldi's pizza.
    AP
    Over-hyped.
  • 10
    You think the Cronut™ is worth the hype.
    Andre Maier via Getty Images
    If you're willing to stand in line for two hours to wait for a Cronut™, we're not sure we should even let you in on this little secret. But... croissants and doughnuts are perfect foods. Combining them doesn't make them any better. Also, Dominique Ansel's DKA is FAR superior.
  • 11
    You visit the M&M store.
    david.nikonvscanon/Flickr
    No New Yorker has EVER gone inside the M&M store, unless he or she works there. We're sure it's fun, but we've never been, so we have no idea!
  • 12
    You think going to Smorgasburg in Williamsburg is adventurous.
    Facebook/Smorgasburg
  • 13
    In fact, you think going anywhere in Brooklyn is adventurous.
    smcgee/Flickr
    Tourists need to spend way more time in Brooklyn and ALL the outer boroughs. That's where all the best food is!


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