2/07/2012 04:21:00 PM

The 9 Most Overrated NYC Food Icons

Which Ray's Pizza is any good? 
Last week, we took a look at some edible New York City icons - there's no doubt that goodies like bagels and burgers define the Big Apple in culinary terms. But there are plenty more foods and neighborhoods associated with the NYC food world, and many of them don't have such a stellar reputation. The below slideshow chronicles culinary icons that certainly garner a lot of attention, but we have to ask - is their reputation deserved in today's diverse culinary scene? Take a look, and let us know if you think they are overrated in the comments.

32 comments :

  1. Question: Is grease on pizza unhealthy?

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  2. Why in the world would you group Joe's dumplings with Vanessa's? Those are two completely different creatures.

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  3. Magnolia is totally overrated, BILLY'S is where it's at

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  4. Ray's was my favorite pizza in high school, but it's heyday is long gone. Even a standard Famiglia slice is a better option now...

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  5. you know what else is overrated, SHAKE SHACK

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  6. I have to defend the lowly street pretzel! It's a cheap, quick snack that you can get while in your pjs AND it tastes just like the one your elementary school cafeteria served (just bigger), so it's the perfect comfort food when you want to pretend you're not really an adult.

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  7. Restaurant Row = the worst!

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  8. Don't be a hater. There are a few good pubs on restaurant row. Just avoid the food.

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  9. Agreed. Magnolia is total hype. If I'm in the mood for a cupcake (rare occasion) Billy's is great.

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  10. banana bread pudding from magnolia is where it's at... other than that it is not worth visiting.

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  11. Street pretzels are only good when you waited too long to eat and feel too hungry to notice that they taste like dry cardboard!

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  12. Ardesia pretzels are AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  13. Wait a minute wait a minute wait a minute! Arthur Ave RESTAURANTS are overrated, yes, the food is meh-tastic. But you don't go to Arthur Ave for the restaurants, you go for the amazing shops: salami (curing in the shop like a giant meat chandelier), mozarella (they make it to order), ravioli (best thing I ever ate), bread (can you say prosciutto bread?), fantastic butchers, great fishmongers, OMG.

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  14. New York street pretzels are gross! You are better off hitting up a German biergarten to get a good one.

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  15. Stay away from Arthur Avenue. It's a gem and I love the fact that I can go to the best Italian restaurant this side of the Arno and get great food, great service at a fair price.
    Willie D.

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  16. No, pizza grease is actually made from a special blend that's loaded with omega-3s and antioxidants.

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  17. BINGO! pizza grease is not bad for you.

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  18. pizza is not healthy grease or no grease

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  19. eleven madison park is overrated

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  20. You haven't lived until you've taken home a pound or two of the fresh SPINACH PASTA from BORGATTI'S PASTA SHOP at Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. This shop is not to be missed for its fresh-made pastas, ravioli, cavatelli and manicotte.

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    1. I agree with you, Arthur Av is by far much better than the restaurants in "little Italy" which has been a tourist trap for years now. You can get the best fresh, warm homemade mozzarella on
      Arthur Av.

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  21. Bill and Gabi are right. If you want to stock your house with fantastic Italian food, Arthur Avenue is where it's at. Cheeses, pork products, pastas, breads...prosciutto bread is a food group in our house. Kalamata olive bread is also killer. I have been dreaming about a freshly made box of raviolis from Borgatti's since the last box I had. Mozzarella, sopresatta...ahh. So NOT overrated. Walk through the market place, say hi to the cats and pick up some DOP San Marzano tomatoes and bronze cut spaghetti alla chitarra and you will know what I mean...

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  22. Apparently you haven't really eaten on Ninth Avenue in Hell's Kitchen because there are alot more restaurants than just Thai and Italian. Kyotofu and Kashkaval are both great places to eat...

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  23. I'm a street vendor in midtown. The number #1 food I'm asked directions to (by far). Magnolia. In other words, tourist central.

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  24. The pretzel vendor in the St George Staten Island ferry terminal is pretty good.

    Otherwise, go to Philadelphia if you want a good soft pretzel.

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  25. There is an assumption from native NYers that just because it is from NY, it is THE BEST -- No matter how crappy!

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  26. Prosperity Dumpling is better than Vanessa's dumplings.

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  27. If you can score a pre-theater reservation at Restaurant Row's Orso you will be a lucky diner. The food is excellentand you may find yourself seated across from the likes of John Lithgow, as I was recently. On Ninth try the way above par seafood at Pier 9, there's nothing "hellish" about their crab fritters.

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  28. Dead wrong on Arthur Avenue. Robertos restaurant is probably one of NYCs top 3 Italians, way , way outclassing anyting in Manhattan. Places like Parm and Torrisi and the other so called red sauce renaissance hipster bs havens are rubbish tourist traps and the other Manhattan Italians dont even hold a candle to what you can get in Nassau county for half the price.
    Plus the Belmont section has an outstanding array of food and specialty shops: Addeoa and Terranova outclass any bread bakeries remaining in Manhattan, Borgattis has the best ravioli and Manicotti in town, Calandra cheese has melt in your mouth perfect fresh ricotta, scammorza, pecorino with peppers Calabrese style and Reggiano at a fraction of Manhattan prices, Calabria pork store has their own homemade cacciatore sausage and spicy cappicola and Cosenzas shellfish and streetside clam bar are worth the trip alone.

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  29. Very much agree. New York's immigrant communities set up shop at a time when available ingredients differed widely from those in their home countries. Hyphen American (Italian-American, Greek-America) cuisines resulted. For a time these were acceptable, but today simply don't make the cut. The only reason why I speculate Italian-Americans still consider places like Arthur Ave so good is because they probably have never eaten anywhere else. There are a ton of SIGNIFICANTLY better Italian restaurants in Manhattan (and I don't mean Little Italy).

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