HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >


Best Lox?

  • p

Looking for some recommentdations for the best lox in the city?

Generally, I prefer less smoky tasting...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. My favorite is at Russ & Daughters, on Houston St.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Nina

      I think that the best lox for the money is Fairway. I agree that Murray's is The Best (and I've been to all of the others).

      1. re: Nina

        i think the best are zabars, murrays, and russ and daugters. I still remember murrays western nova being top notch but i havent been there for a long time.

      2. Have you tried the Norwegian gravlax at Balducci's ? (don't forget to ask for the dill-mustard sauce)

        1. Zabar's is my favorite.

          1. I'm surprised no one has recommend "Barney Greengrass" on the Upper West Side. (82nd and Columbus I think.) I've only been there once, but I've been under the impression that they are renowned for their fish, especially their Nova and true, salty, Lox.


            2 Replies
            1. re: Insatiable

              I'd agree with your recommendation, but that address is waayyy off. Barney's is on Amsterdam between 86th and 87th. And yeah, they're on vacation at the moment.

              Murrays is on b-way between 89th and 90th...or was it btwn 88th and 89th? I don't remember...one of the two.

              1. re: Insatiable

                Barney Greengrass is renowned for its salmon and apparently was once very good. Maybe thirty years ago. It isn't any more. Try Murray's at 90th and Broadway.

              2. Murray's Sturgeon on Broadway in the 90s

                1 Reply
                1. re: LParis

                  murray's sturgeon,2429 broadway ia the best

                2. There's a place on 108th Street in Rego Park/Forest Hills called The Bagel Baron. Their bagels suck, get your bagels on 63rd Rd at the corner of 98th Pl, those are good. They should be called the Lox Baron because the stuff I get there is the best I have found. The chopped herring salad is also very good, and mom just loves the whitefish (esp. the whole chubs).

                  Just remember: fish good, bagels bad...and you will be fine.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Jill-O

                    do you have an exact address for "the bagel baron"

                    i tried yellow.com and google..

                    this place sounds like a gem.

                    (mostly for the herring salad)

                    1. re: gtuo

                      Bagel Baron: 6401 108th St. Queens,(718)-459-3596

                      And I remembered that the place on 63rd Road at 98th Place with really good bagels is called La Bagelette.

                  2. I ended up on the UWS yesterday, so I managed to check out murrays--the smoked salmon was delicious. For those who are interested, I also walked by Barney Greengrass and a sign in the window said it's closed until August 13.

                    1. I think all the places so far mentioned (with the exception of Fairways - i'm always disappointed with the quality -maybe that's why its cheaper) are great. I usually go to R&D but that's because it is more convenient for me. So I think you can be guided by convenience, as all the mentioned places have top-notch salmon. Also, since you don't like it too smoky just tellyour slicer and make sure they give you a taste!

                      1. There seems to be some confusion on this message string regarding lox. Some seem to think it is smoked salmon.

                        It isn't.

                        Lox is salmon that has been brined, and only brined. It's very salty. Not smoky, because it hasn't been smoked.

                        Now, if you want Nova (Nova Scotia salmon), that's smoked salmon: salmon that's been brined, then smoked. But it's not lox, even if the sign in the case says it's "Nova lox".

                        At least, that was the difference when I was growing up in the 1950s. In recent years, people have tended to refer to almost any cured salmon as "lox", whether or not it was smoked. It is natural that languages and usage evolve, but I regret when practical verbal distinctions are lost.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Bob Libkind

                          hmm an intersting disctinction. I always thought it was a generic reference to Salmon, as i recall in Sweden the word for Salmon was Laks ( as in the McLaks burger at McDonalds). Similarly, i think the German word is "lahs" or something like that.

                          Sounds like yours was a local neighborhood distinction. (?)

                          i am reminded an old James Bond movie... Sean Connery discovers secret plans with purchase orders for LOX.

                          When questioned to what it is, he says "it's an American name for smoked salmon. But it's also the technical name for liquid oxygen. Which makes rocket fuel." in this case it was the rocket fuel sense.

                          1. re: gtuo

                            Lox is salted. Nova is smoked.
                            The "local neighborhood" that you referred to is the Jewish community in New York City who introduced lox into the United States.

                            1. re: Richard W

                              just curious , is gravlax smoked or salted? either way i think that most people don't make a distinction.
                              Webster's and Am. Heritage (my preference) both say "smoked salmon" citing yiddish and german as sources.

                              i know that lox is an common among eastern european jews but i just assumed it was common among other folk from there.. or northern european countries where i have had excellent lox. places like Iceland (truly fantastic)

                              did these people also bring lox/smoked salmon here as well?

                              I will say that THE LOX, the rap group must be avid fans of smoked salmon er salted salmon..either way.
                              actually, their name is not a tribute to the fish, but stands for "Learned Off eXperience"

                              1. re: Richard W

                                My local neighborhood was Tabachnick's in Elizabeth and Newark, and that's the distinction we made there. Sometimes you might say "Gimme a half a quarter (two ounces) of belly," meaning from the belly flap of the brined lox.

                                As for gravlax (gravad lax and a few other variant spellings), it's cured with sugar and salt, not smoked, usually with a few branches of dill and occasionally enhanced by the addition of botanical spirits, aquavit being the epitome of Scandinavian style, but equally tasty with tequilla or even gin. I cure mine with a 2:1 sugar/salt mix, using brown sugar. And if you're going the tequilla route, omit the dill and instead use just a tiny bit of fresh chopped chili pepper of one type or another, depending on your heat tolerance.

                                (PS: I just made gravax from a Pacific sockeye for the first time. not bad at all, but to my taste, I prefer the farm-raised Atlantic salmon for gravlax, though for roasting or grilling, I'd rather have the wild sockeye or, if I can get it, king salmon.)

                                As for the linguistic derivation from lachs and other spellings, well, sure, all those words are related. But just because a word is derived from another does not mean it has precisely the same meaning in all languages.

                                No matter what you call it, though, and whether you eat it brined, cured and/or smoked, we can all agree on one thing: it's the sea's greatest gift!

                          2. Best I have ever had, by far, is the stuff they sell at Petrossian but at that price you can't call it lox it's "Salmon Fume'"

                            1. can't vouch for it, and have been meaning to go down there for a long time, but apparently there is some smoke fish FACTORY! in Greenpoint, Brookyln. Here's the info, and a link to an article about the place . . you get there early, it's really cheap, and really good . .

                              Acme Smoked Fish
                              30 Gem St. (betw. N. 15th St. & Meserole Ave.)
                              Brooklyn, 718-383-8585

                              if you, or anyone has the chance to go, how about a report?

                              Link: http://www.nypress.com/15/32/food/foo...

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: bigjeff

                                Acme's Fish Friday outlet should be everyone's first stop on Fridays. (8am - 1pm - don't have to get up too early...) They offer significant discounts on their smoked fish, including their awesome smoked salmon (best in NYC!) trout, sable, whitefish and salads including baked salmon spread and chunky whitefish spread (this is to die for!!!) Its well worth the trip for both price and variety!
                                This is no fish tale! See you there!

                                Link: http://www.acmesmokedfish.com

                              2. I know that this is a late reply, but try:

                                REGO Smoked Fish CO Inc
                                6980 75th Street, Middle Village, NY 11379
                                (718) 894-1400

                                I've been getting lox there since I was a kid (30 years+).

                                The place is actually a smokehouse--a concrete bunker surrounded by auto body shops--and a little hard to find. The fish is very very fresh.

                                Great belly lox (salty!) and excellent nova. Good sable fish. Immense samples handed across the counter on waxed paper sheets. Grouchy, cash-only service. Odd hours for the retail counter--call ahead.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Josh

                                  rego will soon have much better service, hours, and product.