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Jun 21, 2008 07:59 AM

Carnegie Deli or Katz's?

I want to get some really good deli sandwiches when I visit NYC, should I check out Carnegie Deli or Katz's?

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  1. Katz's, hand down. Their food is better, more authentic type of old New York deli service, the prices are better, note, deli is always pricy. Don't do waitress service, get on line for the deli men, the prices are better and the portions seem bigger. The deli man will give you tastings of what he has in front of him, don't ask, they just give. I suggest you get on the Russian's line- he is the oldest one there, white hair, rolling his eyes sometimes but he gives the most generous portions. Make sure you have a couple singles visible to tip. We always order(for two)- pastrami on rye, half corned beef with matzoh ball soup, round kinish, and two sodas with mixed pickles, mustard on the side. It is plenty of food and you get good taste of deli.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mslex

      Yes... what mslex said. My thoughts exactly, though I favor the half sour pickles and always get a Dr. Browns black cherry soda. And Katz's does take credit cards, FYI, but you pay in the back near the cakes.

    2. No contest. Carnegie Deli is a tourist trap - has been for years. Wildly overpriced and underwhelming.
      Katz's on the other hand, is the real thing. In my humble opinion, the best pastrami in the known universe (and for heaven's sake, DON'T ask for it lean- that misses the point of eating pastrami).
      Another option, is the Second Avenue Deli- also the real thing. Their meat is kosher and to me, not as tasty as Katz's.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Ann900

        I agree with you, Ann900.
        KATZ'S is in a category of its own.
        IMHO, 2nd AVENUE DELI used to be # 1 years ago, when Abe was alive and it was on 2nd Avenue, and 10th Street. It is no longer the same in quality and taste and ambience, and Katz's blows them away.
        Cole slaw and mustard on the fatty pastrami sandwich makes my mouth water as I write this.
        Can't leave out Cel-Ray celery tonic and thick French fries for my husband,

        1. re: MiFamilia

          When moone of my brothers lived on East 10th, years ago, the 2nd Ave was our go to place-steps away from his apartment. When my dad was with us, Abe would put us at the front of the line.
          For me, the (down) turning point at the Carnegie was in the mid-'80's, right after "Broadway Danny Rose" came out.The crowd seemd to change. they renamed the "Deli Double" (corned beef and pastrami) as the "Danny Rose", and, to my mind, it was never the same after that. For a few years, my brothers and I amused ourselves by going in and ordering the "Deli Double" and getting the waiters annoyed; now, no one there probably even knows who Danny Rose is, let alone the original sandwich name.

          My 17 year old son still likes the Carnegie, but for me now, there's only one place for pastrami or corned beef: hand-sliced, NOT lean, at Katz's.

      2. I am a fan of the carnegie deli unlike most here but it does not compare to Katz's.

        1. Definitely Katz's. Curiously, the "Carnegie Deli pastrami" they serve at places like Murray's Bagels is better than the stuff you get at the Carnegie Deli itself.

          1. Katz's. The pastrami, tongue, and matzoh ball soup are phenomenal.