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New York City’s ethnic diversity makes it a treasure trove for both neighborhood ethnic restaurants and finest, most varied, and famous haute cuisine restaurants in the United States such as Le Cirque.

These fine establishments are in a constant state of flux as they struggle to keep up with the discerning New York sophisticats’ palettes. What is the latest craze one week is outdated the next, so the competition is fierce and keeping an inventive and fresh menu is an all-consuming task for the city’s greatest chefs.

On the other hand, New York’s immigrant heritage has left an indelible mark upon its cuisine with some classics that are widely known. The New York Deli is a fixture that is recognizable around the world for Italian and Jewish meats, breads, and cheeses. Perhaps the most famous of these is Lindy's which was featured in the musical Guys and Dolls and renowned for its New York cheesecake. Little 24hour New York Pizza joints sell New York-style pizza by the slice and other staples like bagels, hot dogs and pretzels.

New York is also filled with street and park vendors which feature a variety of convenience foods and refreshments affectionately dubbed "street meat". There are over 4,000 such street food vendors in the city. Many of these businesses are immigrant-owned and feature Middle Eastern food such as falafels and kebabs with the traditional hot dogs and pretzels.

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