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Dec 6, 2008 12:52 PM

Carnegie Deli -- ever no line out the door?

Was thinking about having a deli sandwich on a recent New York City visit, so headed to the mid-50s. The line at the Carnegie Deli was mind boggling, or I'd have gone there. Ended up at the Stage Deli, where the line was not as long and it's easy for a party of one to head right in and sit at the bar to eat. Got some stuff at the Stage Deli you can't get at all or isn't done all that well in my hometown: sandwich combo #3 (pastrami, corned beef, swiss -- especially nice with their mustard or 1000 island dressing, tried both on different bites), vanilla egg cream, cheesecake. Thought the sandwich and drink were excellent, the cheesecake good.

But would still like to do a more recent visit to the Carnegie since the time I ate there many, many years ago.

Two questions:

-does the Carnegie have a bar area like the Stage Deli's where single diners can get in easily?

-is there a time when the line at the Carnegie isn't outrageously humongous? How is it, for example, around mid-afternoon (say 3 PM or so)?

A search here with appropriate keywords gave no answers. Many thanks.

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  1. No bar area at the Carnegie. I only go there late at night, and there's no line then. The proximity to Rock Center probably makes things extra crazy at this time of year. Before someone comes on and sneers that the Carnegie is for tourists, I find their corned beef sandwich superior to 2nd Avenue Deli's. There, I said it.

    I also get takeout at Carnegie, and avoid all the minimum order/sharing charge/rude waiter issues.