Ray's has a number of popular items, from cheese fries to beignets, but their most popular is the egg cream, particularly the chocolate egg cream. It makes sense. The egg cream is the classic New York, lower east side beverage. Ray claims he used to sell thousands of them a day, but I think he might have just been saying that. In any case, he definitely makes the best egg creams in the city.
The style is oft-imitated. Fancy, Michelin-recognized brunchery Untitled offered an egg cream using U-Bet (for $5 as compared with Ray's $2 -- honestly less of a markup than I would have expected). But no one mixes it like Ray. And I mean this literally. If someone else is behind the counter, you can taste the difference.
Bottom Line: It's rare for such a classic institution to make a product that is still as relevant and delicious as Ray's chocolate egg cream. I feel incredibly lucky to have it as a regular part of my life.