A Side-by-Side Comparison of NYC and LA’s Trendiest Foods

A Side-by-Side Comparison of NYC and LA’s Trendiest Foods
Staff Writer

Question is, which city has the better options? Let’s break it down. Trendy foods, come to the table.

Ice Cream

Whether it’s cold or hot (or hot all year round), ice cream is undeniably the go-to comfort food for any occasion. When we stress, it’s ice cream that keeps us sane. When we celebrate something, ice cream.

A photo posted by Diddy Riese (@diddyriese) on Oct 10, 2014 at 11:24pm PDT

In LA, one name might spring to mind and it isn’t Ben or Jerry. Diddy Riese, or ‘Diddy’s,’ is known for its ice cream sandwiches. The shop has been opened since 1983 and is extremely popular with the UCLA kids who no doubt feel that the long lines are worth the wait. Word on the street is that their white chocolate chip cookies with peanut butter ice cream is better than anything on the East coast (although pretty much everything on the menu is fair game).

  A photo posted by Go Find Alice (@gofindalice) on Oct 10, 2014 at 5:13pm PDT

But NYC has their own ice cream tradition that every blogger known to man has probably Instagrammed on their trip to the big apple. Momofuku Milk Bar is famous for its cereal milk soft serve, which is essentially a frozen version of the sugary milk left behind in a bowl of Frosted Flakes.

Macaron ice cream sandwiches
Photo by Net Supatravanij

Photo by Net Supatravanij

In NYC, Francois Payard Bakery sells their macaron ice cream sandwiches only during summertime but New Yorkers would probably agree that they’re so worth waiting for. They’re not traditionally shaped like macarons but more like sandwiches. The longer, more rectangular shape actually makes it a whole lot easier to eat—convenience and taste all rolled up in one.

A photo posted by angela (@heyimangela) on Apr 4, 2014 at 6:42pm PDT

In LA, Milk is the go-to place for macaron ice cream sandwiches. You can either make your own (for the same price) or try their Thai tea macaron ice cream sandwich, which is a fan favorite. One downside is that people have said it was a bit on the sweet side so if you’ve got an especially sweet tooth this is your place to be, otherwise NYC wins this overall round.

Photo courtesy of livecreatingyourself.com

Photo courtesy of livecreatingyourself.com

Less is more, at least according to NYC’s top cupcake spot, Baked by Melissa. These famous cupcakes are known for their miniature bite-size sweetness. Whether it’s peanut butter cup, s’mores, tie dye or red velvet you’ll be hooked in a matter of seconds. They’re only 50 calories or less per cupcake— pretty hard to beat that number don’t you think LA-ers?  

A photo posted by Cleo Anthony (@cleoanthony) on Jul 7, 2014 at 6:08pm PDT

In LA’s corner is Big Man Bakes. Their cupcakes also come in mini sizes, but you’re better off sticking to the regular because once you’ve had a bite of their famous carrot cake cupcake you won’t be able to stop. Moist and fresh, these cupcakes are truly “go big or go home,” which I can’t argue with.

Acai bowls

The acai (ah-sah-yee) bowl, the latest frozen health treat, is making its rounds in NYC and LA. It’s made up of a frozen, blended acai berry topped with granola or fruit depending on your preferences. It’s the perfect breakfast or snack, and nobody does acai bowl better than America’s cosmopolitan cities.

A photo posted by Liquiteria (@liquiteria) on May 5, 2014 at 10:21am PDT

You can find it in almost all juice bars in NYC, but Liquiteria has got the acai bowl down to a tee. Try their Mean Green Acai Bowl with almond butter on top, a combination guaranteed to send you straight to healthy heaven. 

A photo posted by My Closet Italia- Melrose (@mycloset_italia_melrose) on Oct 10, 2014 at 5:33pm PDT

Speaking of heaven, LA has their own version of the Acai bowl—the Maca bowl, sold exclusively from Liquid Juice Bar. The bowl is huge but you definitely feel like you’ve spent your money wisely —$9 to be exact, so make sure you try out the Cliff Hanger bowl or the Pitaya Bowl for local favorites.


It doesn’t matter if you’re on the east coast or the west coast, there’s something about ridiculously long lines that somehow make you want to stand in them and see what all the fuss it about.

A photo posted by Tito (@titoyaki) on Oct 10, 2014 at 11:43am PDT

Ippudo in NYC has people waiting outside of their East Village location constantly. The trick is to go at a random time—Tuesday at 3:30pm anyone? But when they’re closed, they mean it. The doors blend into the wall and you wouldn’t even know you just walked passed one of NYC’s hotspots. NYC might have the lead in this round just for their cool architectural designs alone. 

Photo courtesy of City Foodsters

Photo courtesy of City Foodsters

But over in LA, you’ll be met with another tempting choice—Daikokuya. The wait time is typically around 45 minutes to 1 hour, compared to Ippudo’s minimum 2-hour average wait time. Patience is a virtue but when you wait for food it’s not the same thing. You win this round LA.


Before we even mention their names, it’s pretty obvious that the rivalry between Shake Shack and In-N-Out Burger is one of the biggest food debates in the history of burger lovers everywhere. With so much hype, you’d think these places are way overrated. Nope.

A photo posted by @chris_paul_newton on Nov 11, 2014 at 3:22pm PST

Only in LA will you see a line of cars wrapped around an entire building late at night just for a burger or two. But the thing about In-N-Out Burger is that it’s not just a burger, it’s a cult. Even people from LA in NYC dream about the day they go back home for some comfort food.

A photo posted by @ediblemoments on Oct 10, 2014 at 12:35pm PDT

But NYC’s Shake Shack’s burgers, thick shakes and crinkle cut fries are to die for not to mention they have their special Shroom burger for vegetarians. You’ve got to give it up for a place that thinks of everyone’s dietary needs–this round goes to you NYC.

Agree? Disagree? Share your rants in the comments below.

The post A Side-by-Side Comparison of NYC and LA’s Trendiest Foods appeared first on Spoon University.

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