New York, NYC, Travel Food, USA

12 EPIC food challenges in NYC – That you’re going to LOVE!

February 10, 2022

Are you looking for the best food challenges in NYC? If so, keep reading!

If you’re on the hunt for the most epic food challenges in NYC… Then this list is going to give you loads of inspiration and ideas for an epic time!

NYC is the ultimate city for foodies, and searching out the top food challenges in NYC is a pretty awesome way to spend your time in the city. Just make sure you have the appetite for it!

So, if you’re feeling hungry (and feeling confident!) then you’re going to love working your way through these epic food challenges in NYC.

So let’s get into it!

Top 12 epic food challenges in NYC!


Dobbs Dawg House

If you’re a hotdog fanatic, then you need to head down to Dobbs Dawg House for one of the most intense food challenges in NYC. Now, before you think that this will be a walk in the park, be aware that very few people manage to complete Dobbs’ challenge. 

Why is this, you ask?

Well, the challenge requires you to finish twelve hotdogs in 30 minutes. That’s right – TWELVE. To add insult to injury, the hotdogs at this joint are enormous, making this one of the most insurmountable food challenges in NYC.

If you feel you’re brave enough, you’ll go down in hotdog-eating history as one of the greats and earn a spot on the restaurant’s Wall of Fame. This is an epic choice for the best food challenges in NYC!

Read more NYC food recommendations: 15 best Japanese restaurants in NYC

Image credit: https://www.instagram.com/dobbsdawghouse/

Swingbellys Beachside BBQ

Are you a glutton at a barbecue? If so, you’ll want to check out Swingbellys Beachside BBQ for one of the most epic food challenges in NYC.

Swingbellys is one of those places that offers an authentic BBQ experience; think pulled pork, beautiful brisket, and racks of ribs. However, if you decide to embark on the Swingbelly Challenge, you’ll have to consume much than a typical plate. 

There isn’t a specific menu that you’ll be presented with for this food challenge in NYC, but you will have to eat every single morsel placed in from of you by the chefs within an hour.

It’ll probably be a conglomeration of meats, but we can’t say for sure – it’s down to the restaurant! If you manage to chow down on everything, you’ll be awarded a place on their Wall of Fame, a commemorative shirt, and a free meal. 

This is a great pick if you’re looking to try out some of the best food challenges in NYC!

Image credit: https://www.instagram.com/swingbellyslongbeach/

St MarkBurger’s Slider Record Challenge

Next on our list of the best food challenges in NYC, it’s the MarkBurger’s Slider Record Challenge. If you’ve got a craving for sliders, and you think you could eat a fair few of them, maybe this is the food challenge for you.

The challenge itself? To eat as many sliders as you possibly can in one sitting. If you eat enough to make the wall of fame, then you’ll get a free meal, and you’ll get that coveted place on their wall of fame.

This is such a cool choice if you’re looking for food challenges in NYC.

Read more NYC food recommendations:15 amazing places to find cheesecake in NYC

Image credit: https://www.instagram.com/markburgernyc/

Brick Lane Curry House

If you have a penchant for spicy food, then the next spot on our list of the top food challenges in NYC may pique your interest. At Brick Lane Curry House, you’ll have the opportunity to try the Phaal Curry Challenge. Costing a mere $20, this challenge involves consuming an average-sized bowl of curry. The catch? It’s incredibly spicy. 

There are several options available for various palates, but we guarantee that you won’t be able to taste the intricate flavors, as your tongue will be burning. Seriously.

As one of the toughest food challenges in NYC, this is certainly one that you’ll be able to brag about if you make it.

Not only will you win a place on their coveted Wall of Fame, but you’ll get a certificate proving your prowess and a free pint of beer to cleanse your tastebuds. We love this place for food challenges in NYC, because it’s slightly different to the rest!

Read more NYC food inspiration: What is the best bakery in NYC? Here are 10 options!


Clinton Hall

Clinton Hall has long been known for having one of the best food challenges in NYC. At this established joint, you’ll have to down a hefty burger featuring three beef patties, three slices of American cheese, two large buns, bacon, onion rings, and an enormous half-platter of fries.

If you thought that was doable, then hold on just a second – this is one of the food challenges in NYC that requires you to down an impressive pint of beer alongside your meal.

Costing $35 with the offer of a free meal at the end if you manage to polish everything off, the infamous Clinton Hall Burger Challenge is one of the food challenges in NYC worth conquering (if you dare!). 

Read more NYC food recommendations: 50 amazing places to grab breakfast in NYC

Image credit: https://clintonhallny.com/gallery/

Kenka

Kenka is a wonderful Japanese restaurant located on St Mark’s Place and is one of the most delicious food challenges in NYC. Although it’s still up there with the other entrants on our list in terms of difficulty, we feel the flavors are exceptional here.

The Kenka Jumbo Curry Challenge involves two pounds of curry and two pounds of rice. The rules are simple; simply consume the entire plate within 20 minutes and you’ll get a free meal, a free shirt, and earn a place on their Wall of Fame for this pick of food challenges in NYC.

It’s still a tricky challenge, but when compared to some of the utterly unbeatable ones out there, we feel Kenka offers one of the more reasonable food challenges in NYC for those just dipping their toes in the water. 

Read more about NYC food: Where to find the best lobsters in NYC!


Otto’s Tacos

Tucked away in the bustling East Village, Otto’s Tacos is a local hotspot that happens to be home to one of the most incredible food challenges in NYC.’

As you might expect, the eating challenge at Otto’s features tacos – and lots of them! The rules here are slightly different to what you might see at other establishments in the city; you have to consume one more taco than the previous record holder. It’s a cool pick for food challenges in NYC.

Whether that’s 20 tacos or 200, we sincerely hope you’re up to the challenge. Should you succeed, you’ll get a free meal, a place on their Wall of Fame, and a belly full of tacos.

This is one of the food challenges in NYC with a more generous time limit, so pace yourself over the allocated hour and hope your stomach plays ball!

Image credit: https://www.instagram.com/ottostacos/

The Ainsworth

Next on our list of the coolest food challenges in NYC, it’s the Ainsworth. Everybody loves a good, old-fashioned burger challenge, and that’s exactly what’s on offer at The Ainsworth.

You may think this challenge would be a cakewalk, but wait until you see the SIZE of this burger and the sides that you’ll have to demolish within 45 minutes for a free meal, t-shirt, and $500 cash prize. To finish, you’ll need to polish off three Mac and Cheeseburgers, a large helping of fries, and a signature pickle. 

Do you think this is one of the food challenges in NYC you can beat? There’s only one way to find out…

Read more NYC food recommendations:15 amazing places to find cheesecake in NYC

Image credit: https://www.theainsworth.com/

A Salt & Battery

Fans of fish and chips will be pleased to know that one of the most prolific food challenges in NYC involves a hefty serving of the stuff. Located on 112 Greenwich Avenue, the cheekily-named A Salt & Battery challenges you to finish 1lb of cod, 1.5lbs of chunky chips, 8oz of mushy peas, a soft drink, and 2 large sides of tartar sauce.

It’s certainly not easy, but boy, it makes you feel like a veritable superhero if you manage to clear your plate. 

Available to diners for $35, you’ll receive a free shirt, free meal, and a spot on their Wall of Fame if you pull off this insane food challenge in NYC. This is an epic pick for food challenges in NYC!

Image credit: https://www.instagram.com/asaltandbatterynyc/

Lunchbox NYC

Next on our list of food challenges in NYC, it’s Lunchbox NYC. Lunchbox’s name may inspire images of a simple, home-cooked kid’s meal. However, you may be surprised to know that this place hosts three of the most difficult food challenges in NYC.

The restaurant is known for its incredible burgers and sandwiches, so expect these dishes to feature heavily on the challenge menu.

Depending on what you’re in the mood for, you can give the ‘Motherload’, ‘151’, or ‘Death Wish’ options a try. Known as some of the hardest challenges in NYC, you should probably know what you’re getting into before attempting to chow down. 

The ‘Motherload’ invites diners to pack away an 8lb Sloppy Joe, the ‘151’ involves an ultra-thick 151oz shake, and the ‘Death Wish’ is a fiery inferno involving six hellish hot wings. Whatever you choose to eat, we recommend coming with a hearty appetite if you plan on taking on one of these food challenges in NYC.

Read more NYC food recommendations: Where to find the best bagels in NYC


The Pullman Kitchen

Our next suggestion for the best food challenges in NYC, is The Pullman Kitchen’s Beast Sandwich Challenge.

Costing $25, this food challenge is an epic one for sandwich lovers. So if you think of yourself as a bit of a sandwich expert, then you’re going to be obsessed with this food challenge in NYC.

You’ll have to finish their Beast Sandiwch in one sitting (if you do, it’s free). The Beast Sandwich includes fried chicken, bacon, ham with melted pepperjack and cheddar, tomatoes, spicy cherry peppers, and two cornbread waffles drizzled with maple syrup between two pieces of grilled sourdough. Oh, and did we mention the side of waffles fries, and the side of house pickles too?!

This is one of our favorite options for food challenges in NYC.


Mojave

Are you heading to the Queens area during your trip to the Big Apple this year? If so, you’ll need to head to Mojave for one of the food challenges in NYC that will blow your mind – literally! 

The Mojave challenge is tough to beat as it’s just so spicy. We’d say that it isn’t so much a food challenge as it is a shot challenge, but as the potent concoction that you need to down at this joint is made from stewed habanero peppers, we’ll let it slide. 

Should you succeed at taking a shot of the deathly elixir and sit solidly for 5 minutes without running for a glass of milk or anything to dull the searing pain from the spice, you pass! You’ll love this option for food challenges in NYC.

Read more NYC food inspiration: What is the best pizza in New York City


John Brown BBQ

If you’ve got a soft spot for hot wings, then we recommend trying out one of the most infamous food challenges in NYC at John Brown BBQ. For a free meal, a $50 gift card, and a place on their coveted Wall of Fame, you’ll need to finish 10 super hot wings in less than 5 minutes. 

We feel that 5 minutes is a tough time limit for regular wings, let alone hot wings. This makes the ‘Satan is Real’ Spicy Wing Challenge one of the food challenges in NYC that remains hard to conquer!


Bonus suggestion! Katz’s Deli

Lastly on our list of food challenges in NYC, it’s Katz Deli. OK, so this isn’t an ‘official’ food challenge, but it’s worth visiting this epic food icon in NYC – because it’s amazing, and it’s certainly a challenge too!

When it comes to pastrami sandwiches, there’s no place better to head to in New York than Katz’s Deli. The regular portions are generous, but their famous Monster sandwich will take you by surprise, and certainly challenge you!

This may not be a crazy challenge, and you won’t get anything for free by completing it, but with layer upon layer of pastrami packed into a regular-sized sandwich, we’d say this is a meal that’s not for the faint of heart.

You won’t win anything for completing this one, but you’ll be able to give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back if this is one of the food challenges in NYC that you leave as a champion.

We hope this list of the best food challenges in NYC has given you loads of fun food ideas!

Whichever of these food challenges in NYC you decide to try, just make sure you’re feeling hungry! And good luck!

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