A few weeks ago  I waited 3 hours to experience Blue Hill’s pop-up restaurant WastedNY. It was worth the wait, to say the least, and I would do it all again just to experience the genius and creativity of Dan Barber and Sean Brock. During this wait though, as I stood there cold and hungry, I got to thinking, what other long lines for food are worth the wait in this city?

Dominique Ansel Bakery

The Scoop: On May 10, 2013, chef Dominique Ansel introduced the Cronut™ to the world and trademarked the name shortly thereafter. Almost immediately, people went crazy for this half-croissant, half-doughnut hybrid, with some folks getting in line in front of his SoHo bakery as early as 4 a.m. Some often leave empty handed, or at least Cronut-less, but may “settle” for one of the 30 others items from Ansel’s menu. He makes only 200 to 250 Cronuts every morning (it takes three days to complete the process) and has been selling out within an hour.

Waiting in Line

Worth Waiting in Line?

Eh. Mixed reviews. Personally I think it was over-hyped. You’re better off by passing the line and going with one of the many other items on the menu. Lower expectations, higher satisfaction, in my opinion.


Trader Joes

Might seem like a silly one to mention, but if you’ve ever been during prime time, you know how insane the lines are. It’s the ultimate test of mind, body, and food. The line is so long they need a “line guide” to guide you to the end of the line as it weaves through the store like a winding maze.

A photo posted by @tmaxine on


Worth Waiting in Line?

Absolutely. I haven’t found better deals on produce anywhere else in the city, and the line actually goes surprising fast, even at prime time. Pro-tip: If the line is crazy long just hop on it right as you enter, collect your items from the periphery of the store, and as your in line make friends with the cart behind you and have them watch your stuff as you bop around the interior of the store for anything else you need. Also, if you’re lucky, a staff member may even come around to grab any last minute items you may have forgotten.


Di Fara Pizza

Still considered one of the best pizzas in the country, and one of the longest lines in NYC. But, once you actually get inside the shop to place an order, remember you’re on “Di Fara time”, so your pizza might come out in 6 minutes or 60 minutes – depending on how fast the owner can turn out his famous pies, all by his own two hands.

Worth Waiting in Line?

Di Fara is definitely worth the wait for absolute pizza lovers freaks. At $5 a slice though, it’s hard for me to tell you that you MUST go here, when you can get a $1 slice around the corner with the wait. Pro-tip: Go for the pie. At $25, that’s a 37.5% discount. Best time to go is weekdays around noon, or earlier if you can.


Shake Shack

Madison Square Park’s original location of Shake Shack is known for their juicy burgers, creamy milkshakes and long, long lines. Whether you’re waiting on your lunch break or visiting on a weekend, expect a line to order your burger, fries and shake.

Waiting in Line

Worth Waiting in Line?

If you have the time, and it’s nice out, why not? It’ll be just as good as you hoped it would be, if not better. If you really can’t wait, try using the app OrderAhead and have it delivered just when you’d like it.



East Village and Midtown West Locations

Coming straight from Japan, Ippudo has some of the best authentic ramen in the city. They also have ridiculously long waits if you try and go for dinner. Expect to wait at least an hour or a couple before slurping up those delicious noodles.

A photo posted by Ippudo NY (@ippudony) on


Worth Waiting in Line?

Absolutely! Hands down the best ramen I’ve ever had. While you wait, there are plenty of bar options in the are to grad a quick drink. When you’re table is ready, they’ll call or text you.

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About The Author

Resident Tourist

Born here. Lives here and never leaving. The nicest person to ever not speak in public. Loves New York