This past spring break I spent some time in New York City visiting my brother, and naturally the trip required extensive research on the food scene. I had three main targets on my list: pizza, cheesecake, and bagels. While my visit was short, I was determined to taste the best NYC had to offer on each of these three fronts. 


I started my NYC pizza search by looking online to find locals' favorite spots, and the results overwhelmingly sent me to the same destination: Joe's Pizza.

I was a little suspicious because oftentimes when certain places become popular they overshadow others that are just as good, if not better. While I don't know if there is better pizza out there, as the only pizza I tried on my trip was Joe's, I can confirm that it was delicious. I tried both the traditional cheese as well as the Margherita. While both were great, the classic cheese definitely won me over.

Sophie Packman

If numbers communicate anything, the line at Joe's speaks volumes. It is both intimidating and validating to walk up and see the line down the corner, which moves surprisingly quickly. At Joe's, they know the crowd they attract, so the operation is run very efficiently. Another notable feature of the pizzeria is the celebrity wall, where you can see framed photos of all of the famous people who have dined at Joe's.


As a baker myself, I hold very high standards for baked goods. Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts, and I have some strong opinions about it. I believe that with cheesecake, less is more. I think the more flavors you try to pack into a cheesecake, the worse it is. Nothing can top a traditional plain cheesecake, maybe with some fruit. 

My cheesecake hunt was very straightforward; after my cousin recommended Breads Bakery, I did some brief research and concluded that Breads was locally approved. There are locations all over the city, but I paid a visit to one just around the corner from Rockefeller Center. My mom and I shared a slice of the classic cheesecake, and it definitely delivered. It struck the balance of light and rich perfectly and had just the right amount of sweetness. 

Sophie Packman


My bagel search was not much of a search in reality. I had one destination in mind: Ess-a-Bagel. I've tried a few different New York City bagels, and Ess-a-Bagel was the clear winner (although Zucker's gets an honorable mention). Similar to Joe's, the line for Ess-a-Bagel was down the street. Since this wasn't my first time there, I decided to pass on the whole experience of waiting in line and just ordered my bagel online. I got the traditional lox bagel, which comes with capers, red onion, tomato, and lettuce. It was perfectly soft while baked to perfection on the outside.

Sophie Packman

Whether you're planning your own carb-tastic New York City adventure or you just want to live vicariously through my experience, I hope you enjoyed my roundup!