Every year, as the calendar draws to a close, we marvel at how quickly it flew by. Was this really the year of coronation quiche? Yes. And it was also the summer of Barbenheimer, Beyoncé and Taylor Swift.
In 2023, conversation hearts joined TikTok, candy corn courted respect and “The Last of Us” and “The Bear” kept mushrooms and Italian beef sandwiches top of mind. An influencer disrupted the world of pizza, and a top-rated (but nonexistent) Upper East Side steakhouse came to life for one glorious Saturday night service.
J. Kenji López-Alt spent months formulating a tavern-style pizza based on those distinctive pies from Chicagoland and beyond. Yewande Komolafe reminded us that a rolex can do more than tell time. Brett Anderson and Priya Krishna traveled throughout Texas to find the best barbecue. Eric Kim offered up sandwich philosophy, and Melissa Clark gave her advice for breaking up with diet soda. And a recipe for “Marry Me Chicken” found new fans thanks to Christina Morales and Naz Deravian.
We learned how to win a reservation and what to look for in a bottle of weed wine. And we lost some luminaries, like the chef Raghavan Iyer and the cheeseburger bard Jimmy Buffett.
Through it all, food provided a distraction the news cycle. . Cooking was our nourishment and comfort, our entertainment and delight. These are the 12 food stories that resonated most with readers this year.
12. Premium Pizzas Are Filling the Freezer Aisles. How Do They Taste?
Just about everyone eats frozen pizza, even if they won’t admit it. Our staffers Julia Moskin, Cathy Lo, Vaughn Vreeland and Eric Kim sampled 11 frozen pies to arrive on a favorite. Readers were quick to share their frozen pizza hacks.
11. 14 Easy Breakfast Ideas to Jump-Start Your Morning
Many of us went back to the office more frequently this year and needed some breakfast inspiration. Krysten Chambrot came through with these New York Times Cooking favorites, like Eric Kim’s microwave-steamed eggs and a perennial favorite, Jordan Marsh’s blueberry muffins.
10. The Star of Half Baked Harvest Inspires Loyalty — and Controversy
This fall, Julia Moskin traveled to Colorado to meet with the food blogger Tieghan Gerard, who has cultivated a massive following through her blog, Half Baked Harvest. But she has also been “entangled in issues that have galvanized the food world in the last decade: cultural appropriation, intellectual property, body shaming, privilege and racism.”
9. 17 Foods You Should Buy When They’re on Sale
We’re all trying to save money. These smart tips from Margaux Laskey help stretch your pantry staples (freeze that butter and cheese!).
8. Our 20 Most Saved Recipes of All Time
These are the recipes New York Times Cooking readers return to again and again. Margaux Laskey compiled this deep bench of weeknight standbys like vegetarian skillet chili, Marcella Hazan’s Bolognese sauce and creamy braised white beans.
7. Soup’s On
With two dozen recipes and so many styles (creamy, thick and chunky, and brothy), Krysten Chambrot’s story was a veritable stone soup of ideas for combating the chill of winter and the dinnertime boredom that often comes with it.
6. 16 Dishes to Make for Someone Going Through a Hard Time
One of the best ways to treat your friend or neighbor with kindness is with a meal. Margaux Laskey compiled this list of New York Times Cooking recipes that will soothe the soul when it’s in desperate need of a hug.
5. A Centuries-Old Fiber Supplement Entices the Ozempic Generation
Psyllium husks have long been a digestive aid, but, as Priya Krishna wrote in August, the supplement is finding new fans with gluten-free bakers and those looking for an appetite suppressant.
4. 100 Easy Dinner Recipes for Right Now
Emily Weinstein’s Five Weeknight Dishes newsletter has long been a source of dinner inspiration, and, in September, she compiled the greatest hits and some new favorites with this compendium, which includes options for chicken; pasta; rice; fish and shrimp; beef and pork; vegetables, beans and tofu; and eggs and dairy.
3. The Restaurant List 2023
Our staff’s third annual list of the 50 places in the United States that we’re most excited about right now, from In Bocca al Lupo in Juneau, Alaska, to Birch in Milwaukee.
2. The 100 Best Restaurants in New York City
In April, Pete Wells ranked his favorites “into a pattern that captures the diversity and character of dining in New York. This was the fun part because it gave me a chance to see the dining landscape differently.” And of course, readers weighed in, too.
1. Noma, Rated the World’s Best Restaurant, Is Closing Its Doors
In January, Julia Moskin broke the news that René Redzepi will close Noma, in Copenhagen, at the end of 2024. “We have to completely rethink the industry,” he said. “This is simply too hard, and we have to work in a different way.”
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