Among its many splendors, one of the things that makes NYC the best place in the world is that you can virtually eat anything you want here. Think of a nationality or ethnicity and its attendant cuisine and someone here sells it either in a restaurant or some kind of other eating establishment. And for the even more adventuresome, there are groceries stores galore where you can get all sorts of exotic ingredients and cook all sorts of non-traditional meals yourself.
Food is NYC.
Note that I said you can find all sorts of food in "some kind of other eating establishment." For the in the last few years, New Yorkers have been able to break free from the tyranny of either paying restaurant prices or undertaking the burdens of cooking. In the last few years there has been a boom in two things that have more great food more accessible and affordable: food courts and food trucks.
This article in the New York Press highlights the trend in upscale food courts like The Plaza Food Hall, FoodParc, the various food bars in Grand Central Terminal, as well as the recently opened Eataly of of Union Square. If you're looking for variety and communal dining experience, these are some of the places to go.
Food trucks have also surged in popularity in the last few years. It used to be that the only food New Yorkers would by off the street would be hot dogs and pretzels. Then Middle Easterners cooking kabobs, souvlaki, and gyros on food carts found a footing in the NYC diet. Now food trucks in NYC are a full blown New York phenomenon, selling such varied offerings as Kosher Falafel, tacos, bistro fair, even waffles. Some of the best trucks can be found all over the city, from Manhattan to Red Hook to Astoria. If you want to read a list of the best ones to be found around town, go here.
And have no fear. These food courts and food trucks are safe to in (or from). NYC health inspectors have been on a tear in the last few years, inspecting and fining with a vengeance. Never before have eating establishments been so closely monitored for cleanliness and the food grading system (forcing places to display their Department of Health awarded As, Bs and Cs in their window) has added an extra reassurance to customers.
So eat up NYC! In these trouble times, when things look like they couldn't be any worse, isn't it great to know that food in NYC has never been better?