An icon open since 1888, Katz’s Delicatessen [205 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002] is the place to get Jewish comfort food in NYC. Be sure to hold on to your ticket as you walk in the door, it’s bound to be busy, but the line moves quickly.
You can sit at a table with wait service or order at the deli counter. Either way, you’re going to love the pile of pickled things placed in front of you. So what to order? The institution is known for its melt in your mouth mile high pastrami sandwich, of which they make 15,000 lbs a week. It is expensive, but can easily be split due to its size.
If you pair it with refreshing coleslaw,
Tasty matzo ball soup,
and a pillowy knish you’re in for a classic meal.
Guzzle down with a Dr. Browns soda and that is what I truly call perfection. For a spot that veers a bit from the traditional, head to Russ & Daughters Cafe [127 Orchard St New York, NY 10002]. Don’t confuse the café with the original grab and go deli location like I did. Thankfully it’s just around the corner. The family business started in 1914 and built a reputation as one of NYC’s best Jewish delis and a hundred years later in 2014, the café was born and the people had a place to sit. It’s an intimate and classic atmosphere with elevated deli cuisine, absolutely timeless. I can never pass up a matzo ball soup, this one was chocked with hunks of chicken and plenty of veggies.
We sampled the Super Heebster which was incredible, bagel toast with whitefish and baked salmon salad, wasabi roe, and horseradish dill cream cheese.
The hearty Pastrami Russ packed some serious flavor, pastrami cured salmon, munster, sauerkraut on a bagel.
Their desserts sounded amazing: chocolate babka French toast, challah bread pudding, halvah ice cream…but I couldn’t get their gorgeous soda fountain off of my mind.
I had to have an egg cream, simply the perfect end to a beyond lovely meal.
An additional location in the Jewish Museum opened up in 2016 if you’re looking for a place to dine uptown.