Sam Sifton (born June 5, 1966) is an American journalist who is the Food Editor of The New York Times. He was previously the paper's National Editor. Sifton has also worked as deputy dining editor (2001); dining editor (2001–04); deputy culture editor (2004–2005) and culture editor (2005–2009).
Sifton graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College with an A.B. degree in history and literature in 1988. He began his journalism career as assistant editor for American Heritage magazine in 1988. From 1990 to 1994, he taught social studies in the New York City public school system.
Sifton held a number of positions at the weekly New York Press during his tenure there from 1990 to 1998, including restaurant critic, contributing editor, senior editor, media critic and managing editor.
Sifton was a founding editor of Talk (magazine) in 1998. He came to the Times in 2001.
Sifton is a son of the Hon. Charles Proctor Sifton, a senior district judge (from 1995 until his death in 2009) of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, and Elisabeth Sifton, a senior vice president at Farrar, Straus & Giroux and author of The Serenity Prayer (2003). Elisabeth Sifton's father was the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr. Her mother was Ursula Kepple-Compton Niebuhr, graduate of Oxford University, author of "Remembering Reinhold Niebuhr" (2001) and founder of the Barnard College Religion Department.