18 Best New York Fast Food Restaurants You Need to Try

New Yorkers are always on the go, so it’s no surprise that fast food is a popular option. There are so many amazing places to grab a quick bite to eat, but the eateries in this guide stand out with their innovative takes on classic fast food.

Ditch the usual McDonald’s and Burger King menus; these yummy spots will change your view about what fast food should look and taste like.

Here are the best New York fast food restaurants you need to try.

1. Bleecker Street Pizza

When it comes to pizza in New York, Bleecker Street Pizza is the best of the best. This no-frills spot has been serving up delicious slices for over 18 years, and there’s a reason why it’s still in business.

The secret to their success? Simple: they make a damn good pie. The crust is thin and crispy, the sauce is slightly sweet, and the cheese is always fresh. But what really sets Bleecker Street Pizza apart is their commitment to quality ingredients.

It may not be the cheapest slice in town, but it’s definitely worth every penny. So next time you’re in New York, be sure to stop by Bleecker Street Pizza for a slice (or three) of the best pie in town.

Tip: Try the Nona Marie Pie – it’s a customer favorite and what they’re famous for!

Bleecker Street Pizza
Photo by Bleecker Street Pizza

2. Dos Toros Taqueria

Specializing in San Francisco–style burritos, Dos Toros Taqueria offers a delicious and hearty meal that will fill you up without weighing you down.

Massive portions and packed with flavor, these burritos are made with all the classic fixings, including rice, pinto beans, salsa, guacamole, and crumbled queso fresco.

The Carne Asada is a particular standout, and it’s clear that the Kremer brothers know their way around Cal-Mex cuisine.

With locations dotted all over New York, Dos Toros is convenient no matter where you are in the city.

3. Chick Fil-A

It’s no surprise that Chick Fil-A, the southern-based fast food chain, has been making headlines for its original Chicken Sandwich since 1964.

In a city where space is at a premium and time is always of the essence, Chick Fil-A’s efficient service and hearty food make it a welcome addition to the fast food landscape.

The chicken sandwich is a classic for a reason, and the nuggets are perfect for sharing. The sides are also noteworthy, particularly the waffle fries.

With an endless demand for comfort food, there is no denying that the chain has quickly become a favorite among New Yorkers looking for a quick and tasty meal.

The lines can get long, but trust us – it’s worth the wait.

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4. Melt Shop

Say goodbye to your sad desk lunch, Melt Shop is here to save the day. This NYC-based chain is on a mission to make the best sandwich on the planet, and that’s exactly what they did.

Taking comfort food to the next level with their innovative sandwiches, your taste buds will be doing the happy dance.

The star of the show is their chicken sandwich, which comes in a variety of delicious flavors. But don’t stop there – the fries and soups are also top-notch.

Tip: Melt Shop also tops our list of best grilled cheeses in NYC!

Melt Shop NYC
Photo by Melt Shop NYC

5. Bāng Bar

New Yorkers are always on the go, which means that fast food is an essential part of the city’s culinary landscape.

For a truly delicious and satisfying breakfast or lunch, Bāng Bar is the place to go. This small grab-and-go spot located in the Columbus Circle mall offers a simple yet delicious menu centered around “bāng”, Korean flatbread wraps.

The wraps are hearty and filled with roasted meats, but still easy to eat on the go.

So next time you’re looking for a quick bite, be sure to swing by Bāng Bar and give their Korean wraps a try.

6. Jollibee

When it comes to fast food, New Yorkers are spoiled for choice. However, there’s one chain that stands out from the rest: Jollibee.

This Filipino chain has quickly become a cult favorite, thanks to its delicious food and friendly service.

The menu features a variety of mouth-watering options, from Chicken Joy (fried chicken bucket) to their Jolly Spaghetti.

And for those who want something a little different, the burger steak and Peach Mango Pie are both excellent choices.

7. Five Guys

In a city that’s known for its food, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. But Five Guys has managed to do just that, thanks to its delicious burgers and fries.

The chain has rapidly become one of the most popular fast-food spots in New York, and it’s not hard to see why.

Five Guys’ burgers are made with fresh, hand-pressed beef, and the fries are cooked in 100% peanut oil.

Add in the free peanuts that you can munch on while you wait, and it’s no wonder that Five Guys is one of the best new fast-food joints in town.

Rays Pizza New York
Photo by Ray's Pizza

8. Ray’s Pizza

This no-frills pizzeria has been serving up delicious slices since 1959, and it shows no signs of slowing down.

What makes Ray’s Pizza so special? It could be the secret sauce, the thin crust, or the perfectly proportioned toppings. Or maybe it’s just that the pizza is cooked to perfection in a coal-fired oven.

Whatever the reason, one thing is clear: Ray’s Pizza is the best New York fast food around.

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9. Halal Guys

Originally founded as a food cart serving halal meals to cab drivers, The Halal Guys has since grown into a nationwide chain with multiple locations.

And it’s easy to see why they’re so popular – their chicken and rice is flavorful and filling, and their famous garlic white sauce is the perfect finishing touch.

Head to the original location in Midtown Manhattan or one of their other spots across the city to get your fix! They’re open until 4:00 AM every day so you can grab a bite after a night out on the town.

10. Shake Shack

This popular burger chain started as a humble hot dog cart in Madison Square Park, but it quickly became one of the most popular spots in the city.

Today, Shake Shack has locations all over the world, but New Yorkers still flock to the original location for a taste of hometown nostalgia.

The burgers are juicy, the fries are crispy, and the shakes are thick and creamy. In other words, Shake Shack is everything you could want in a fast food restaurant, and more.

In addition to the amazing food, Shake Shack also has a great atmosphere, with vibrant lighting and fun décor.

Shake Shack
Burgers photo by Shake Shack

11. Wafels and Dinges

Craving something sugary and sweet? Wafels and Dinges is here to the rescue.

This Belgian import has quickly become a New York staple, serving up delicious Liege-style waffles with a variety of sweet and savory toppings.

The secret to their success is simple: quality ingredients and creative toppings.

The waffles are made with imported Belgian pearl sugar, which caramelizes on the outside when cooked, resulting in a crispy exterior and a light, fluffy interior.

And the toppings are anything but ordinary, with options like chocolate hazelnut spread, dulce de leche, and spekuloos ice cream.

So if you’re craving sweets, be sure to stop by and see what all the fuss is about; you won’t be disappointed.

12. Sweetgreen

If you’re in a hurry and looking for a fast and healthy option, Sweetgreen is the place to go. This counter-serve chain specializes in organic salads and bowls, made with truly fresh ingredients that are locally sourced.

The menu changes seasonally, so there’s always something new to try.

The line can be long, but it moves fast – you won’t be waiting longer than 5 minutes.

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13. Luke’s Lobster

If you’re looking for the best lobster rolls in New York City, you won’t find it at one of the big chains. Instead, head to Luke’s Lobster.

The lobster is fresh and delicious, and the bun is perfectly toasted. The mayo and lemon butter add a nice touch of flavor, and the secret seasoning gives it a little bit of a kick. The side of chips and pickles are a nice touch, too.

The lobster rolls are obviously the star of the show, but the crab and shrimp rolls are also excellent.

Skip the McDonald’s and Burger King and head to Luke’s Lobster for a truly satisfying meal!

Lukes Lobster New York City
Photo by Luke's Lobster

14. Gray’s Papaya

In a city that never sleeps, it’s only fitting that we have a culinary scene to match. New York is home to some of the best restaurants in the world, serving up everything from Michelin-starred fare to street food from around the globe.

But sometimes, you just want a simple hot dog. That’s where Gray’s Papaya comes in.

This chain of all-night hot dog stands has been a New York institution since the 1970s; the dogs are grilled to perfection and served with your choice of toppings, all for a bargain price.

And don’t forget to try one of their famous Papaya juices – they’re the perfect way to wash down your meal.

Whether you’re looking for a late-night snack or just a cheap bite to eat, Gray’s Papaya is always a good choice.

15. Xi’an Famous Foods

Xi’an Famous Foods is a fantastic eatery specializing in authentic Western Chinese cuisine, and they do it right.

From their savory hand-pulled noodles to their juicy handmade dumplings, everything on the menu packs a flavor punch.

One word of warning though – the Midtown locations can get pretty crowded, so be prepared to wait in line.

16. Tony’s Pizzeria

Tony’s Pizzeria has been a North Brooklyn staple for over 40 years, and it shows no signs of slowing down.

The family-owned spot has been churning out delicious pizzas since 1975, and its ever-changing menu means there’s always something new to try.

If you’re really feeling daring, order the Stuffed Bacon Double Cheeseburger Pizza – just don’t be surprised if you end up with a little sauce on your shirt.

While there are plenty of new kids on the block when it comes to New York pizza places, Tony’s Pizzeria is still one of the best.

Crif Dogs NYC
Photo by Crif Dogs NYC

17. Crif Dogs

In a city where hot dogs are as unique as stoplights, it can be hard to stand out from the pack. But Crif Dogs has managed to do just that, serving up creative takes on the classic American staple.

These handmade beauties are made with smoked beef and pork and the menu features classics like the Chili Dog (topped with mustard, chili and diced onions) as well as more inventive options like the Everything Dog (cream cheese, everything bagel seeds, and scallions).

The stand also offers a build-your-own option, allowing you to create your own perfect hot dog.

18. Nathan’s Famous

When it comes to finding the best new spot for a quick bite, Nathan’s Famous is always a top contender.

This iconic chain has been serving up hot dogs since 1916, and today it has locations all over the world.

While Nathan’s is best known for its hot dogs, it also offers a delicious selection of burgers, fries, and shakes.

And thanks to its convenient locations, you can enjoy a quick meal without having to wander far from your sightseeing itinerary.

So whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a classic New York experience, be sure to add Nathan’s Famous to your list.