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What's especially good to buy at Zabar's?

Zabar's virgin here. There seems to be so much of everything here I don't know where to start. Are they known for anything in particular? What do YOU love to buy there that you don't get anywhere else? If you were a visitor there from out of town, what would you be sure to get? Please be specific, not just 'breads' or 'cheeses'.

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  1. smoked salmon, sable, herring in cream sauce, whitefish, whitefish salad... all the jewish soul food.

    1. Lox, best cut to order. As the previous poster mentioned, it's also a great place for other kinds of smoked fish.

      Among the breads, I like the big (really big) round hearth bread that they cut into chunks of around 1-2 lbs.

      The Russian Coffee Cake is excellent, which you can usually find right as you walk in on your right by the cheese counter.

      Best deal in town: Go to the Zabar's Cafe next to the store and order the Nova Special--nova lox on a bagel with plain or chive cream cheese, a big kalamata olive, small fresh squeezed orange juice, and a coffee for around $6.

      1. Loose Rugelach, best in the city (and therefore by definition, in the world).
        Nova- I'm in the minority who prefer it to R & D. But ONLY cut to order, thin. There may have been a tiny bit of slippage in recent years though. Don't think they do better on other fish.

        1. I second the Rugelach. Also, I love Zabar's coffee section. My preference is the ZAbar's specific blend of coffee. A friend of my grandma's has been going Zabar's every week (traveling in from NJ) for at 30-40 years to get her Ethiopian blend of coffee.

          1 Reply
          1. re: emgoodman

            There's a vast selection of prepared foods which, I'm sorry to say, should be avoided at all costs - consistently disappointing.
            Upstairs, check out the gadgets/housewares/pots & pans, etc. Great selection and usually the best prices in the city.
            Zabar's Coffee? Ask for this blend...70% French/Italian+30% Mocha. I like it ground on #1, even for a Melita-style coffee machine. Delicious, rich cup of joe. Yum.

          2. In addition to all mentioned - salmon roe, the cherry-cheese strudel (you'll find it at the end of the prepared food section, by the rotisserie), hard-to-find-anywhere-else smoked cod liver.

            1 Reply
            1. re: RedVelvet

              love their strudel...any flavor

              Also, a delicious chunky gazpacho (found across from the strudel counter)
              I put it over pasta shells - - delicious for a quick and tasty dinner