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Classic New York–An Egg Cream Soda

Classic New York–An Egg Cream Soda

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In New York City, you can’t go wrong by sticking to the tried and true. The same goes for souvenirs– the best New York City souvenirs are those that evoke a New York of a different era, the “classic” New York we all want to find.  So I skip over the latest foodie trends (like the two-hour wait for nutella cronuts) and find my best New York souvenirs by looking back in time.

An Egg Cream Soda– a must-try treat in New York, and one of the best New York City souvenirs.

I’m a long-time New Yorker, but I only tried my first egg cream soda recently because I assumed, naturally, that an egg was involved. Call me crazy, but eggs and soda together? I’ll pass. When I finally figured out that the classic New York egg cream contains neither egg nor cream, I tried one and have been a convert ever since.

What’s in a New York Egg Cream Soda?

A New York egg cream soda only has three ingredients– cold milk, seltzer (preferably from a fountain) and the essential ingredient (and our NYC souvenir), Fox’s U-bet syrup. Before you recreate your own New York egg cream back home, try an expertly made one in the city that made them famous.

I recommend visiting an old haunt of mine on the Upper East side– Lexington Candy Shop, a real luncheonette dating back to 1925.  For years, I lived right around the corner from Lexington Candy and headed there many weekend mornings ( it’s the perfect spot for a “restorative” diner breakfast after a late night out). Though I’ve since moved, I revisited recently to make sure their egg cream soda was still up to snuff.

luncheonette nyc Lexington Candy Shop soda fountain

Once upon a time, soda fountains and luncheonettes were the staple of every neighborhood– Lexington Candy Shop is one of the last few still standing.

Inside lexington candy shop luncheonette nyc

Shockingly, even though Lexington Candy Shop is practically an historic landmark, it’s usually tourist-free. Instead, you’ll find dressed down Upper East siders, often with families in tow.

Walking into Lexington Candy Shop is like entering a time warp– I love the old school counter, stools and booths (and vintage appliances). The menu offers classic diner options like burgers, club sandwiches and omelettes– all satisfying on their own– but come here for the main attractions, the creamy milkshakes and fountain drinks.

If you’re trying the classic New York egg cream soda, I recommend sitting at the counter and watching the soda jerk whip up your egg cream right in front of you.

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best New York egg cream soda chocolate

The perfect New York egg cream. A fizzier, lighter version of a chocolate milkshake.

DSC07867Once you’ve experienced the expert version of a New York egg cream soda, you can now try to replicate your experience back home.

Before you leave New York, get your hands on one of the best New York souvenirs– Fox’s U-bet Original syrup (chocolate is the preferred flavor). You can find Fox’s U-bet at various spots throughout the city, but Economy Candy on the Lower East Side always carries a full stock (and is a great place to find all your favorite childhood candies).

Egg cream enthusiasts will differ on the proper way to make an egg cream (debating everything from which order to add the ingredients to stirring techniques). But we will skip the debates and provide the basic recipe here so you can experiment on your own:

New York Egg Cream

1 16 oz. glass
Fox U-Bet Chocolate syrup
Cold Whole Milk
Seltzer water

Combine 3 tablespoons of the Fox U-Bet chocolate syrup and 1/4 cup of milk  into a 16-ounce glass. Beat vigorously with a fork, then continue beating and slowly add seltzer until the glass is almost full. Drink with a straw.
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Souvenir Finder Shopping Tip Sheet

  • What to buy: Fox’s You Bet Syrup
  • Where to get it: Economy Candy, 108 Rivington St, New York, NY
  • What to Know: Taste test your egg cream first at Lexington Candy shop, 1226 Lexington Avenue (close to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the famous black and white cookies at William Greenberg Desserts)

Pin it!

Best Egg cream in NYC Lexington Candy Shop

Have you ever had a New York egg cream soda? Share in the comments below!

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Tuesday 1st of July 2014

My parents are from NY and love egg creams! I've been to Economy Candy, and there is everything you could ever want there!

Kristin Francis

Tuesday 1st of July 2014

I love Economy Candy-- already photographed it for a future post!


Monday 23rd of June 2014

So pleased to learn that these do NOT involve drinking egg ;)

Kristin Francis

Friday 27th of June 2014

haha I can't believe I thought they were made with eggs for sooo long!


Monday 23rd of June 2014

I've lived on the other side of the Hudson River (in NJ) my entire life. I consider myself a part-time New Yorker and I've never even heard of this. I love this

Kristin Francis

Monday 23rd of June 2014

I was really surprised not to see any tourists, considering how close it is to the Met, the park, and other museums.

SJ “Mrs Chasing the Donkey” Begonja

Monday 23rd of June 2014

How have I been to NYC three times, and never once had this??? I must get back there and give this a go!!

Kristin Francis

Monday 23rd of June 2014

Yes, it's very much a New York "experience"!

Sue Slaght

Sunday 22nd of June 2014

So the question is how do the egg get involved. Looks delicious. Can you send me one? :)

Kristin Francis

Monday 23rd of June 2014

Sue, I did some research and it looks like some original version may have had an egg-- but I couldn't get a clear story on it. They are yummy and a nice alternative when a milkshake is too filling.