We can’t deny that when we talk about America, people already have a lot of stereotypes in their heads. So, I guess we could do an exercise and not to generalize or say nothing without being sure, you know? Because this is the kind of subject that it goes like this: one talks to the other, and what was a thought becomes a truth. I say this because writing about New York more than three years ago and being in touch with travelers on social media, I see this kind of myth come up every day. One of the biggest misconceptions about the Big Apple is related to food. I believe that people that travel to the city need to have more information about it, so I decided to demystify some of the things people think about food in the city …
1. “There is only junkie food in New York”
It is a fact that the US has an alarming level of obesity and that yes, many Americans love fast food. It is also true that here is the paradise of this kind of place – there are countless chains of junkie food. But thinking that New York, the capital of the world, has its food options reduced to that, it is, at the least, lack of information. I would say that New York is the city where you can experience everything from fast food, to Mexican, Thai, Japanese, Italian, Brazilian cuisine … There are simple and sophisticated places – and even world-class restaurants. Seriously, there are thousands of options scattered throughout the city. There is a quote that says you can live your whole life here and eat in restaurants three times a day and you will never repeat a restaurant. My tip: download Yelp and Foursquare, they are great apps for searching restaurants in the city. They have reviews, photos, average prices, addresses and more .. Another thing: if you are a blog reader, you can not believe this myth. After all, on the Eating menu, you will find at least more than 60 posts with options of places to eat in the city.
2. “Eating in New York City is very expensive, that’s why I will go to MC Donald’s”
I swear: I die a little bit inside when I hear someone say that. This is not true. New York is full of cheap options – seriously, Mc Donald’s is far from the only option for budget travelers. Again, research and planning super help at those times. Right here on the blog, you will find several tips from cheap places to eat – again, I suggest exploring the Eating menu. There are many food chains (not fast food) with meals that go from $ 7 to $ 10, like IndiKitch, Chipotle and Fresh & Co. In addition, there are traditional restaurants whose menus are not super expensive. Another thing I think is worth remembering: 99% of the restaurant’s menus are outside. That is, you can evaluate and decide if the place interests you.
3. “It’s impossible to eat healthy in New York City”
Yes, there are many Americans who are sedentary and with poor eating habits, but New York definitely does not fit this question. People here are very healthy – most of them, of course, like everything in life, we can not generalize. However, the city reflects a lot of the lifestyle of the people who live here. There is a multitude of restaurants with healthy options – I even wrote a post here on the blog with some suggestions. There are restaurants specializing in salads, others that sell natural juices … Also, any other restaurant has some salad on the menu. Again, do not generalize: it’s not all about fast food!
4. “Food trucks are not good”
Another day, I was at the Rockefeller Center, at lunchtime. There are several food carts around and who waited in the queues? Office people. This area has many offices and a lot of people get their lunch in the street carts. Street food does not mean bad food. New York has even famous and award-winning food carts – like the Halal Guys. Also, these options are not expensive – that’s another reason not to think that you can only save money by eating MC Donald’s. Here’s a post with some food trucks suggestions – but do not forget that the city has endless options in this category!
Laura Peruchi is a Brazilian blogger, author, and entrepreneur. She has lived in Manhattan with her husband since 2014. Since then, she has shared on her blog varied content about the Big Apple. From travel tips, including unusual things to do, shopping tips, etiquette, restaurants, and a lot more, her blog has become a reference in Portuguese (also available in English) for anyone planning a trip to New York City.