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Foods I Miss From NYC

I am a fairly recent transferee from NYC. Does anyone know where in Montgomery/Chester Counties I can find GOOD (i) bagels, (ii) deli, (iii) half-sour pickles, and (iv) Manhattan Special Expresso Coffee Soda? Thanks.

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  1. a cut above deli (chester co i think, intersection of rtes 3 and 252) is the best deli i have EVER been to, new york included!! they use sarcone's bread and high-quality ingredients. take-out only. my work is a 20-min drive from there, and i find myself taking an extended lunch all the time to grab a hoagie from them. it's worth the 40-min drive. get there before noon to avoid the lunch rush.

    i still have yet to find good bagels, so if you do, let me know. i get mine from kaplan's at 3rd and poplar in phila, they are fine, but they are nothing to write home about.

    4 Replies
    1. re: rabidog

      The Bagel Spot in Cherry Hill has great NY bagels (boiled not steamed). In fact, some of my neighbors don't like them as they are too 'heavy', These are the same people that think that Dunkin Donuts bagels are the best bagels they have ever had!

      1. re: mschow

        Face it: H & H it isn't but a close second would be for you to find Manhattan Bagels. They are quite good even though they aren't H & H (what is??)
        In Montgomery County for the best of the best delis, you have the pleasure of Murray's or Hymie's.
        Yes, yes, I know -- not Katz', but a reasonable facsimile.

        1. re: mschow

          Hey Ms Chow,

          This boiled-bagel place sounds exciting. Where is it? Also - seems like a neighborhood that supports real bagels might have some other Jewish/Eastern-european treats as well. Anything else along those lines that we should know about in Cherry Hill? I'd love to find bialys, good jewish "appetizing" (herring, chopped liver, smoked fishes, etc.), pastrami, etc.

          1. re: GDSwamp

            The Bagel Spot is on Kings Highway in Cherry Hill:
            It's maybe 10 minutes from the BF Bridge. Pretty much strictly takeout, but they have table or 2 set up outside. It's a tiny little shop. Great bagels, though!
            Kibitz Room, in Cherry Hill is a sit down Jewish deli. In the reviews you hear some grumbles about the unfriendly service. True, but the food is good.

            Lots of people like the Short Hills Deli, which is only about a mile from the Kibitz Room. Again, service with a scowl, but the food is decent.
            Nothing's going to compare with a really good NY Italian or Jewish deli. Personally, I think Kibitz room is better than Hymies or Katz Deli. Not as much of a scene, however.

            I understand there is a kosher deli inside the Harry Katz Jewish Community Center (intersection of Springdale and Kresson Roads, Cherry Hill). A friend said she has gotten great whitefish salad there in the past. I haven't been, but it might be worth a call to check it out.

            Kibitz Room, Short Hills Deli, and JCC are within a minute or two of each other. Bagel Spot is 5-10 minutes from any of these places. Maybe you can make a day trip out of it. You can always save lots of money doing a 'liquor store run' while you're in NJ. (Don't you have those PA state stores!)

      2. Instead of giving the author of this post recommendations in Cherry Hill, why not read their request for MONTGOMERY/CHESTER COUNTIES?? That's PA people. Only one poster gave a Montgomery County rec - and they're good (Hymie's and Murray's). A Cut Above is in Newtown Square, that's DELAWARE COUNTY. Not Chester County.

        I'd recommend Pumpernick's in Montgomeryville on 309. That's Montgomery County. Good deli, decent pickles. Check out Michael's in King of Prussia - Montgomery County again.

        Bagels? A tough one. There's a decent bagel bakery in King of Prussia on Beidler Rd.
        As far as the soda goes, I'm not sure where you can find that but, I'd ask Paul Klein at Pumpernick's.

        1. We've enjoyed good deli (x-tra lean pastrami, corned beef), good rye bread and half -sour pickles at Ben & Irv's in shopping center off County Line Rd. Next to the Market Place in Huntingdon Valley.

          1. Though shipping jacks up the price considerably, both H & H (in Manhattan) and Bagel Oasis (in Fresh Meadows, Queens) ship. Also, I assume that other deli's do this, but Ben's Deli (mini-chain in Queens and Long Island) ships. I sent someone bagels through H & H as a gift a few years ago and was told the bagels were good even after shipping. I can vouch for the food at the other places, but can't tell you how the shipping works out with them. Of course, you could recruit family and friends to bring you food from "the old country," as I do when I travel from home in NYC to Dallas to visit cousins. Good luck.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Shayna Madel

              Russ & Daughters (which, all by itself, justifies the existence of New York City) also ships:


            2. My favorite Jewish deli is Hymie's in Bala Cynwyd/Merion- about 5 minutes off of the Belmont or City Avenue exits on 76. I love their bagels, whitefish salad and lox spread. Kind of pricy- but well worth it. A block away is Murray's - also very good.

              1. Moved here from the NYC area about 6yrs ago, so I know exactly what you're looking for!

                Half-sours - try any Russian supermarket in Northeast Philly. There's a good, really big one around Bustleton and Byberry. This is the only place where I've been able to find real, honest-to-goodness half-sours... they're fresh and really green. Lots of appetizing and stuff at these Russian markets, too.

                Best bagels I've found in the area by a landslide are from Fill a Bagel in Jenkintown. They are the only ones I have found in the area that are crisp outside and smushy inside, and have the right flavor... it's right on rte 611.

                For deli, I like Pumpernick's on Bethlehem Pike (rte 309) in Montgomeryville. They make their own corned beef and pastrami and I think it's really great. They only have round knishes, though.

                You didn't ask, but I'll tell you... the only place in Pennsylvania proper where I've been able to find square potato knishes is at Wegman's.

                Manhattan Special they sell at Taste of Italy on Bethlehem Pike (not rte 309) in Spring House. They also bring in bagels from Manhattan (overpriced and limited amounts) and Italian cakes, cookies, pastries, etc.

                Have fun!

                1. best bagels I have found are at Rolings in Elkins Park, 7848 Montgomery Ave, right across from the train station

                  1. Murray's closed up quite a few months ago (very sadly, my family had been going there for generations). There's a good bagel shop next to the Shop and Bag in Dresher, and Shop and Bag also gets very good bagels delivered.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: malkazanie

                      Murray's is still open. They closed their location in West Chester - not the one on Montgomery Avenue in Bala Cynwyd.

                      By the way, their second location is coming to the Devon/Wayne area.

                      1. re: cheesewit

                        Murray's Deli in Baederwood Shopping Center, Abington closed. That is most likely the one malkazanie was referring to.

                    2. Thanks for all the suggestions (even the one in Cherry Hill!). It's a little frustrating to have to travel all over for what I think are the essentials of life, but I suppose an ex-Philadelphian feels the same way looking for cheesesteaks and scrapple in NYC.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: CChaz

                        My strongest Philly-related craving ever was for an Italian hoagie. Maybe it's the bread? A "steak and cheese" in the Boston area (sometimes they even try to call it a cheesesteak) never tasted right, and I think it's partly because the bread isn't the same. But you know, any place has its specialties. Now that I'm back in Philly, I miss the Portuguese, Thai, and Taiwanese places I used to go to.

                        1. re: Dib

                          Murray's in Bala-Cynwyd must still be open otherwise what was that place where I got my cabbage soup and corned beef special on Sunday?