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Chopped Liver

With the Jewish holidays coming up I've been craving some of my childhood favorites. I know DC is seriously lacking from any sort of decent Jewish delis (someone PLEASE do something about this!!)...the best I've been able to find is Morty's in AU area.

But since I'm going to spending the holidays away from my family I would like to find some really amazing chopped liver. I know they had some in the prepared food section at Whole Foods in Logan Circle but it didn't look that great (I'll have to sample it tonight when I go grocery shopping). I had some a long time ago at So's Your Mom that was pretty good.

Any other suggestions? It MUST be in DC and metro accessible (I know that probably rules out a bunch of places in MD but I don't have a car and won't be able to get all the way out there before the holiday. I would rather not give my hopes up).


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  1. Yikes, I usually get mine from Balducci's...

    3 Replies
    1. re: caphill2320

      Where exactly is Balducci's located? I've actually never been but always see people carrying around their bags and have been curious to check it out.

      I also sometimes pick up some food for the holidays at Dean and Deluca in Georgetown (not metro accessible but the acception since I can take the blue bus from Dupont and a street away from my apt.) Haven't tried their chopped liver...not even sure if they have it but curious if anyone else has.

      1. re: Elyssa

        The Balducci's I go to is on New Mexico Ave right near AU. If you are willing to bus it, I think the N8 stops there. You can usually pick that up around Tenleytown. I think there are others in VA though, maybe they are accessible via Metro?

        1. re: caphill2320

          Thanks caphill. Perhaps I'll check it out this weekend when I have a litte more time.

    2. Awww...Elyssa! You really need to get a car! Even Zipcar! 'Cuz Chutzpah has some excellent chopped liver!! There's a Tyson's branch, but that's as close as it gets.

      2 Replies
      1. re: FoodieGrrl

        I know...I've been hearing great stuff about Chutzpah.

        1. re: Elyssa

          You know, the Tyson's Chutzpah is probably accessible by Metro bus from the West Falls Church Metro. You could probably get there, but you'd have to leave some time. Good luck. Oh. Now, I really want some.

        1. re: Steve

          That's where my holiday chopped liver is coming from! As a matter of fact, it always comes from Wagshall's, no matter which the holiday.

        2. Snider's in Silver Spring.

          1. Oh, dear Elyssa, stop wandering in the desert!
            Buy Molly O'Neill's New York Cookbook and make Grandma Dora's Chopped Liver. You can pick up wonderful fresh livers and eggs at Market Poultry at Eastern Market right near your office. O'Neill calls the recipe "extraordinary" and when I've fixed it, even my Jewish friends have agreed. It's easy, makes a lot and you can eat to your heart's content.
            Lots of good traditional Jewish recipes in the book. You'll enjoy it.

            6 Replies
            1. re: MakingSense

              Hahaha! You sound like my Mom! She has told me to just make our friend David's recipe which we eat every year with fresh raw chopped onions on top. Maybe someday I'll just go ahead and do it on my own...but my planning hasn't been that good this year, so I have some time restraints.

              I'm thinking I might just get a little bit from Sos Your Mom. It was good when I had it a year and a half ago. Plus I miss that place dearly since moving out of the Adams Morgan area.

              1. re: Elyssa

                Loeb's, which is in the heart of DC, has some great chopped liver.

                1. re: mutant4

                  Ooooooooo never heard of Loeb's. Where is it!?!?!

                  1. re: Elyssa

                    Oh, I used to work right there! Their sandwiches are killer too. It's 15th and I, at one of the corners of Mt. Vernon Sq.

                    1. re: caphill2320

                      Loeb's sandwiches may be good but their chicken matzo ball soup is the worst I've ever had. If that is any indication, I'd play it safe and order from Sarge's in NYC -- they Fed Ex for the holidays!!!

                      1. re: caphill2320

                        You mean McPhereson Sq., Mt. Vernon Sq. is between 7th and 9th.

              2. So easy to make. Cooked Chicken livers, hardboiled eggs, onion, s&p, either chicken fat or butter. Put all in a FP and pulse untill desired consistency.

                14 Replies
                1. re: Mother of four

                  That's the same ingredients as in Grandma Dora's recipe from the NY Cookbook. The only TWO differences are: chopped by hand and a Jewish grandmother. LOL

                  1. re: MakingSense

                    Hay, I'm a jewish grandmother seven times over!!!

                      1. re: Bob W

                        You don't have to persuade me, Bob! It's poor Elyssa, far from home, eating the terrible carry-out chopped chicken liver, who needs to listen to you!
                        Sooner or later, she'll get the message:
                        It's easy! There's lots of holidays. You can't keep doing this!
                        Make it, Elyssa!

                        1. re: MakingSense

                          Hahahaha! Well maybe next year around. Probably not this year...I have too much stuff going on to take the time to do this. Sorry folks! If I had the time and the energy to make it I wouldn't have posted looking for chopped liver to buy.

                          This is reason #520 of why DC needs a delicious and wonderful NY-style Jewish deli! (Open 24 hours in Dupont is the dream that I think about all the time!! lol)

                          1. re: Elyssa

                            No pressure from the hounds, but another vote for learning to make the food of your people. If you don't want to do it all at once or do not have the time to do it all at once, you can do it in stages and then it's hardly a lot of time. Cut the onions and sautee them the day before and boiling the eggs while you are cooking the onions. And on D-day, or rather L-day, all you will have to do is get the onions to room temp., cook the liver, cool it and chop everything. And once you master liver, it's on to chicken soup, brisket, then gefilte fish. Before you know it, the holiday meal is at your place! Remember, you don't have to wait until next Fall--Passover is in April!

                            1. re: Elyssa

                              Oh heavens, Elyssa! We should just make each other's acquaintance and I will *bring* you some Chutzpah chopped liver!

                              1. re: FoodieGrrl

                                LOL! Thanks so much for the out pouring of support everyone! I feel the pity of my ancestors through your postings. My Great Aunt Bess is probably rolling over in grave thinking that I ate chopped liver from Whole Foods. The woman made everything from scratch---horseradish, gefilte fish, chopped liver...you name it.

                                If I am away from home for Passover I PROMISE I will make my own.

                                1. re: Elyssa

                                  Is there some kind of religious rule that you can only serve this on Jewish holidays? I'm gentile, think it's delicious and make it pretty frequently.
                                  Why don't you just practice when you're not pressed for time?
                                  Passover's not until April for goodness sake! I'll probably make it four or five times by then!

                                  1. re: MakingSense

                                    No religious rule, but I think your cardiologist is just as happy as you are that you're eating it so frequently. :-D

                                    When my ex was diagnosed with high cholesterol, the first thing he cut from his diet was liver, which he adores. His cholesterol dropped right away.

                                  2. re: Elyssa

                                    It's not the pity of your ancestors, it's good, old-fashioned Jewish guilt!

                                      1. re: Shayna Madel

                                        I learned at the hand of the master (mistress). Hey, I also learned the traditional foods from her also, so she can't be that bad...

                        2. Balducci's, Particularly the Bethesda store has EXCELLENT Jewish foods for the holidays including chopped liver

                          1. Shalom’s Kosher Market. 2307 University Boulevard West, Wheaton, Md. 20902. Telephone: 301/946-6500. If you're willing to take the metro to Wheaton, it's a few blocks away but worth it. I get my chopped liver and whitefish salad from Wegmans. It's not New York but its good. I'll have to try Balducci's to see how they compare.

                            1. So just as an update I should tell you that I ended up getting my chopped liver at Whole Foods. I was pressed for time and was getting my roasted chicken there so decided to pick up a small sampling. BIG mistake...the stuff was disgusting!!! I don't know if their mock chopped liver is any better...but the real stuff was horrible. Just wanted to warn people in case they were planning on getting it there for Yom Kippur. Bleck!

                              Next time around I'll get it at Morty's or if in a pinch So's Your Mom since that was at least pretty good.

                              2 Replies
                                1. re: Jeserf

                                  If you cannot get it decently made in a store, definitely make it. "Recipe" is easy. Hard boil 5 large eggs and cool. Sautee about a pound of chicken livers in either oil or oil with a little chicken fat. (I know someone mentioned butter, but I do not like that flavor with the liver.) Set aside to cool. (If you do not let the livers cool down a little, the chopped liver comes out very pasty.) Sautee an onion or two in oil or oil with a little chicken fat, until the onions are translucent. If you have a meat grinder or you have a stand mixer with a grinder attachment, use that to "chop" the liver, alternating the liver, eggs and onions. I do 4 eggs and then decide if I need the fifth. If you use a food processor, you will get a smoother, more pate-like substance rather than the texture you are more likely used to. Season with salt and pepper. Though it takes you a little time, the whole deal costs less than $2.50 and you yield between 1 1/2 and 2 lbs. As to the chicken fat, if you cannot find it, you can make your own--whenever you make chicken, save the gobs of fat in a bag in the freezer, or make soup from necks and backs and save the fat from that. Then put the fat in a pot with some onions, salt and pepper and cook slowly for a long time. The fat melts, the onions cook and you have rendered chicken fat. Strain and then store forever in your freezer.

                              1. I know when u are pressed for time its a hastle to cook anything cuz u have to prep, cook, and clean up after ugh!!! In my fam liver is king. Always homemade or else!!! When the old Grandmothers could't cook any more the youngers learned how to make it. IMHO liver need s to be made all at once except for the eggs which I always make ahead. Old eggs peel better. For 1 lb of fresh liver..........5 eggs..1 very large onion...and.....CHICKEN FAT. Take a glob of fat saved from a chicken ...or 2 globs.or 3, place in large frying pan. Add the onion and saute afew minutes. Add livers that have been cut into small piece so they cook fast. Salt and pepper to taste. Put eggs,onion and liver mix in a food processor,and watch the miracle happen. When my grandmother made liver she chopped everything by hand in a wooden bowl. Every time I make liver I think of her slaving to make it. Its sssssssssssooooooo easy. Prep time to chop onion wash and slice liver and peel eggs is 10 minutes, cook time 10 minutes processer time 30 seconds[don't processs long]. Clean-up 10 minutes. Total time to make a little slice of heaven.30 minutes 30 seconds. Chicken fat,nectar of the Gods, is easy. Next time u make chicken soup and put it in the fridge scoop the fat off the top.and use it in chopped liver. The fat globs just melt into the liver. either one or both is ok for liver.

                                1. I know this is a day late and a dollar short but for future reference Grovesnor Market in Bethesda has some great chopped liver. I'm a chopped liver snob and this is the only place I've found that makes a good version of it (my aunt used to make it at home for the longest time).

                                  It's easily accessible from the Grovesnor Metro Station.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: MarcDC

                                    Another place I found with good chopped liver in Bethesda is at Bradley Food and Beverage. It was very respectable, and I'm from Northeast Philly where good chopped liver was easily found. I'lll have to try Grovesnor Market now.

                                  2. So you might think, "What does a black chick living in DC know from chopped liver?" Welll, I grew up in NYC and I know quite a bit about it, and love it. Here's the smaltz... if you want to eat the best of it in DC in a restaurant, go to Bucks Fishing & Camping. I ate the most amazing chopped liver appetizer there tonight. The real deal!

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: janetdwms

                                      Loeb's Deli makes their own daily. I know because we order it for our Christmas party. Very good.

                                      1. re: ktmoomau

                                        I'm with those who say make it yourself, but disagree with the traditional recipe. My Jewish ex Mother-in-law, may she rest in peace, had the best. Very simple. NO EGGS. Just saute up 1 lb each of chicken and beef liver, and about half to 2/3rds that much chopped onions, all in lots of oil. Saute gently--there should still be some pink in the liver and the onions should soft but not be brown. Let it all cool. Throw it in a food processor in batches as required, and process to desired consistency, adding additional oil as needed to achieve a somewhat soft consistency. Don't over process--it's best to have some texture. Salt to taste. Enjoy. There is no better chopped liver for my money.

                                    2. Elyssa:
                                      you easily can make semi-homemade chopped liver. My wife is best described as dangerous in the kitchen and even she pulls this one off. At any kosher butcher such as Shalom in Weaton, MD or Kosher Mart in Rockville, you can purchase a 1 lb tub of frozen ground cooked chicken livers. Just defrost it and saute till brown chopped onion and add to the chopped liver, if desired add some chopped hard boiled egg, and finally although it sounds bad it is what makes this go.........add a few tablespoons of Mayo and stir to encorporate. Add salt and pepper, and if needed, onion powder to taste. Mazol Tov, in 5 minutes you have made world class chopped liver. Serve with mini pumpernickle and rye bread slices, crackers or what ever