New York-style cheesecakes are typically made with cream cheese as opposed to ricotta cheese. They are dense but smooth, with the same creaminess as the traditional bagel topping. You should feel full after a few bites, yet feel compelled to finish the slice if it's made right.
Serious Eats sat down with 14 cheesecakes in a head-to-head battle from all of the boroughs of New York and ranked everything from Sara Lee to Junior's in Brooklyn. No fruit toppings, no flavors, no fancy crusts. This was about which cheesecake could stand on its own flavor. The winner was Two Little Red Hens -- a Manhattan bakery on the Upper East Side -- known as much for its cupcakes as for its cheesecake.
Enjoying New York cheesecake in this day and age no longer requires you to venture to the city. If you have a serious sweet tooth and prefer creamier cake, S&S Cheesecake in the Bronx ships worldwide. Those who like a denser cake that requires a strong cup of coffee or a tall glass of milk alongside it should order Junior's -- it's the cake I've used to celebrate my birthday for the past decade.
[Image via Flickr: roboppy]