There’s a famous line from probably the best New York City movie of all time, that goes: “it’s a long trip… I’ll need a snack.”
When Vincent D’Onofrio’s character Edgar–a cockroach-like space alien draped in a rural farmer’s peeled-off human flesh–utters those iconic words near the end of Men in Black, he is alluding to bringing a woman with him for sustenance during a long, intergalactic flight.
The same sentiment holds true in the context of the NYC Marathon.
26.2 miles is a long way to run without a snack! And while you may be tempted to choke down some nutritional cubes, goops, or liquids, just remember that you’ll be trouncing along the streets of one of the world’s top culinary destinations, and you owe it to yourself to eat well while in the Big Apple.
So here are some recommendations on where to grub out along the course, when your tummy starts rumbling and you need a breather.
Stop 2.5 miles into the race
The best part about NYC for a foodie? You can chow down on literally any sort of food–even pizza from Chicago! About four kilometers into the race, in Bay Ridge, weary travelers can veer slightly off course to grab a table at Uno Pizzeria & Grill–a casual chain restaurant serving Chicago-style deep dish pies in a family friendly atmosphere.
Stop 5 miles into the race
If you zoom past Uno but find yourself struggling two and a half miles later, you’d better have worked up an appetite for some authentic Latin cuisine. Mile five lands smack dab in the middle of Sunset Park, a Brooklyn neighborhood long boasting a robust community and South and Central American immigrants. That said, mix things up with a trip to Savoy #4–a delightful Chinese-style bakery!
Stop 7.5 miles into the race
Welcome to Park Slope! You’ve just arrived in the beating heart of Brownstone Brooklyn. Time to treat yourself to one of the borough’s best racks of ribs at Dinosaur BBQ–a neighborhood favorite and a bonafide southern-style purveyor of smoked meats.
Stop 10 miles into the race
Reaching double digits on the day’s mileage calls for a snack–and you’ve stopped in a wonderful spot for a true taste of New York: Southern Williamsburg. While the northern segment of the neighborhood is a hotbed of hipsters and gentrifiers, this area is home to the Hasidm–a subset of Ultra-Orthadox Judaism. Saunter over to Steinberg’s Bakery for a traditional baked good.
Stop 12.5 miles into the race
Just shy of halfway you’ll find yourself on Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint, a still-very-much Polish enclave in the northern reaches of Brooklyn. Bring cash and grab a few donuts at Peter Pan Donuts. You won’t be let down.
Stop 15 miles into the race
Last call before leaving Brooklyn! If you’re feeling peckish ahead of the Queensboro Crossing, there’s a perfectly placed Checkers in Long Island City that’ll let you fuel up before entering a real food desert in the form of a suspension bridge.
Stop 17.5 miles into the race
You’ve reached the 1st Avenue Corridor–the loudest segment of the course, where cheering Upper East Siders’ voices echo throughout a canyon of 20+ story apartment towers. Celebrate by grabbing a sushi roll or two from Sushi of Gari.
Stop 21 miles into the race
You’re only in the Bronx for a bit, but the first thing you’ll pass upon entering the only landlocked borough is the McDonald’s at the corner of Willis Ave. and Bruckner Blvd. If you’re not lovin’ the race, you can take a stab at lovin’ it (a hamburger).
Stop 24 miles into the race
If you can make it here, with just two miles to go in the race, you can make it anywhere, and if you can make it anywhere, you can certainly indulge in a little Genny Tso’s chicken in a stapled-shut styrofoam box from the proudest of NYC institutions–the Chinese takeout spot. Shun Cheong Chinese Kitchen has you covered for your late-race hunger pangs.