New York City is a food lover’s paradise, and if you’re a traveler looking to bring home some food souvenirs from New York City, you’re in for a treat!
From iconic bagels to mouthwatering pizza and everything in between, the Big Apple offers an array of flavors to satisfy every palate.
I’ve spent over 50 years living and eating in New York. Although some of the foods New York City is known for are available elsewhere, it’s never the same as getting it right from the source.
Don’t miss the chance to pack your bag with these delectable treats and share the taste of New York with your loved ones.
Let’s explore the best edible souvenirs for both air travel and road trips.
I’m sharing my list of what I miss most when I am away from New York.
We’ll not only include our favorites but some of the most iconic spots to get them. Here are the best food items to bring from New York.
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Best New York Food Souvenirs for Air Travel
Traveling with food can sometimes be tricky but don’t let that stop you from bringing home some tasty treats. Many of the iconic food establishments in NYC do ship their items nationwide. However, the cost is really high.
If you are able to package it up well to withstand the trip, it’s worth it just in cost alone. Follow all the TSA rules and customs and you won’t have any problems bringing home edible items in your luggage.
Bagels from H & H
When it comes to bagels, New York is king, and H & H Bagels is a must-visit spot for these iconic treats. Founded in 1972, this bagel institution has been serving up some of the best hand-rolled bagels in the city.
Grab a selection of bagels to take home, like the classic plain, sesame, or poppy seed varieties. The “everything bagel” is the most popular among everyone I know.
Indulge in a unique type of bagel called a bialy, which is a cross between a bagel and an onion roll.
We always pack a dozen bagels when we travel from New York as family and friends demand them. Bagels from New York are just different.
Some say it’s the water. Slice them and freeze them to pop in the toaster oven when you need one.
The cream cheese and Nova Scotia salmon is a must have. A portable freezer bag may just do the trick if your trip home is only a few short hours.
They do ship nationwide but the prices are steep.
Chocolate from Jacque Torres and Fine & Raw
For the chocoholics, Jacque Torres and Fine & Raw are the go-to spots for high-quality, artisanal chocolates.
World renowned pastry chef Jacque Torres, known as “Mr. Chocolate,” has been delighting customers since 2000 with his handcrafted chocolates made from the finest ingredients. You may recognize him from the Netflix baking series, “Nailed it!”.
Grab some Jacque Torres chocolates at the Grand Central Terminal or from the original location in DUMBO.
Or grab the link below to have it shipped home directly.
Are you a fan of the Netflix television show Nailed it! ?
Fine & Raw, on the other hand, is a Brooklyn-based chocolate company known for its organic, small-batch chocolates.
Visit the cafe and do not leave without purchasing a jar of hazelnut spread as your NYC food souvenir.
Here is a sneak preview of what to expect as you watch this video of Fine & Raw creating delicious chocolate treats by hand at their Brooklyn factory.
Martin’s Hand-Twisted Pretzels
Found at the Union Square Greenmarket, Martin’s Pretzels offer a delightful twist to the classic pretzel.
Hand-twisted and made with simple, all-natural ingredients, these pretzels are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
These handcrafted pretzels are perfect for munching on the road and are sure to impress anyone who tries them.
Sarabeth’s Spreadable Fruit
For a taste of a classic NYC brunch, pick up some of Sarabeth’s spreadable fruit.
Sarabeth’s, founded by Sarabeth Levine in 1981, is known for its high-quality jams and fruit preserves.
Their fruit preserves are the perfect addition to your morning toast or muffin, bringing a touch of New York flavor to your breakfast routine.
When you run out back home you can order more. You will never have to miss Sarabeth’s Blood Orange Marmalade ever again.
She has her shortbread recipe posted on her site but for additional recipes, consider getting one of her cookbooks.
Coffee from Brooklyn Roasting
For the coffee aficionados, Brooklyn Roasting Company is a must-visit destination. Founded in 2009, this small-batch coffee roaster is dedicated to sustainability and fair trade practices.
Head over to the iconic Strand Bookstore on Broadway and 12th in Manhattan for a chance to score a book along with that coffee. The three other locations are all in Brooklyn.
Grab a bag of their freshly roasted beans to brew some NYC goodness at home, reminding you of your memorable trip.
Levain Bakery’s Cookies
Levain Bakery is famous for its enormous, gooey cookies that have garnered a massive fan following.
Founded in 1994, the bakery is known for its thick and chewy cookies with creative flavors like chocolate chip walnut and dark chocolate peanut butter.
Fair warning, by watching this Levain cookie video you will not be able to resist seeking them out in New York City.
Grab a selection of their mouth watering cookies to enjoy during your travels and you’ll understand why these cookies have such a dedicated following.
This is one food souvenir from New York City that may never actually make it home.
Babka, Rugelach, and Black and White Cookies from Zabar’s
For some traditional Jewish pastries, head to Zabar’s, a beloved specialty food store founded in 1934.
Pick up one of their babka, a sweet braided bread with fillings like chocolate or cinnamon.
Enjoy this clip from an old Seinfeld episode where Jerry and Elaine help make the New York babka famous. Of course, you can’t leave the Big Apple without trying New York’s famous black and white cookies.
Rugelach is a small flaky pastry filled with sweet fillings like raspberry or apricot. They are easy to pack in your suitcase for air travel. These sweet treats are perfect for enjoying breakfast during your road trip.
A trip to Zabar’s on Broadway is truly a New York City must.
Best NYC Food Souvenirs for Road Trips
Road trips can make bringing home edible souvenirs easier than flying can. Packaging and liquid sizes aren’t as much of an issue. A large cooler or even a silver freezer bag may be all you need.
These food souvenirs from New York City are better suited for car travelers than those flying home or traveling internationally.
Pizza from John’s of Bleeker Street
New York-style pizza is famous worldwide, and bringing home a pizza pie from John’s of Bleeker Street will delight any pizza lover.
Founded in 1929, this historic pizzeria is renowned for its coal-fired brick oven pizza, crispy crust, and mouthwatering toppings. Their thin, crispy crust topped with tangy sauce and gooey cheese is a quintessential NYC experience that you can savor even after your trip.
You can order a pizza to go on the day of your departure. Just take note that they don’t open before 11:30 am. Transporting home a pizza in an insulated bag shouldn’t be a problem, especially if your drive is only a few hours.
Just so you know, John’s of Bleeker Street only sells whole pies. If you want just a slice and not an entire pizza try Joe’s Pizza in Greenwich Village. It’s another fantastic local institution. Joe Pozzuoli, originally from Naples, Italy, opened the restaurant in 1975 and is still running it today. At age 75!
Katz’s Delicatessen Delights
For a taste of old-school New York deli culture, head to Katz’s Delicatessen. This legendary establishment has been serving customers since 1888 and is famous for its hand-carved pastrami and corned beef sandwiches.
Watch this inspiring video of the famous Katz’s Deli for a sneak peak of what to expect as you walk through the doors of this New York legend.
Pick up some of their world-renowned pastrami, corned beef, or a knish to enjoy on your flight or share back home. And don’t forget to grab some pickles to add a zesty twist to your snacks. Deli items from Katz’s are easy to pack in a cooler when hitting the road.
If it doesn’t logistically work out for you to grab a Katz’s Reuben to go as you head out of New York, I have good news for you.
Like many of the establishments on this list, Katz’s Deli will ship across the U.S. What makes them stand out is the prices are really reasonable and fair. Plus the shipping is free!
Junior’s is a New York institution when it comes to cheesecake. Founded in 1950, this family-owned restaurant has been serving up some of the creamiest and most indulgent cheesecakes in the city.
The original location still operates in downtown Brooklyn on Flatbush ave. You can also visit Juniors in Time Square if you are planning to see a Broadway show. Grab your cheesecake souvenir after the show.
They freeze for up to 6 months, but honestly, is it really going uneaten for that long?
Bring a Junior’s classic New York-style cheesecake back home to enjoy.
Trust me, you’ll never want to go back to store-bought cheesecake again.
Hot Dogs and Burgers from Shake Shack
If you’re a hot dog or burger enthusiast, don’t miss the chance to indulge in a Shake Shack original.
Shake Shack, founded in 2004, has become an international sensation with its delicious burgers and hot dogs.
Stand in line at its original location in Madison Square Park near the Flatiron Building for an authentic New York experience.
New York’s culinary delights are as diverse and exciting as the city itself.
If you are a first timer to New York , this list is a great place to start.
With a tote bag packed full of these food souvenirs from New York City, you’ll have an array of flavors and memories to share with your friends and family when you return home.
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