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Jun 20, 2009 07:23 PM

Best Authentic Jewish Deli

Please what is the best authentic Jewish deli for bagels and lox in Manhattan please?

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  1. Russ & Daughters.

    Russ & Daughters
    179 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

    1. I agree with Russ. But just be aware that is is not considered a deli. It is an appetizing store. (Can be referred to an "appetizing." ) A Jewish deli serves meat, as in 2nd Avenue Deli. which happens to be the best of the Jewish Delis.

      19 Replies
      1. re: erica

        When you say "best of the Jewish delis," do mean *kosher* delis? Even though they are not kosher, Katz's and Sarge's are considered Jewish delis, and they are, imo, superior to the 2nd Avenue Deli. As far as how 2nd Avenue stacks up against other *kosher* delis, again imo, the Mill Basin Deli, in Brooklyn, is far superior.

        I do agree that Russ & Daughters is #1 when it comes to appetizing (though I'm not sure about the bagels since I've never tried one from there). It should be noted that it is take-out only.

        1. re: RGR

          we could not get into Russ's...packed..easily got into Katz's. Had my first red meat in a LONG time. The pastrami was juicy and huge. I could barely eat one half. Later we tried to eat the other half at the Battery Park and realized it was juicy because it was all fat. My teen had lox and bagels and was disappointed they used Philly Cream Cheese. 34+ for breakfast. Once was enough.

          1. re: mrwynter

            What did you think the juice was, water? when was the last time any lean pastrami was juicy and tasty. Fat=flavor.

            1. re: mrwynter

              bagel and lox at Katz's?

              BOY! Their menu has changed over the years!

              1. re: Lettucepray

                I think they have always (at least last 15 years, not necessarily last 50) have had a bagel and lox and also Matzo Ball soup. I guess that's for the tourists who are looking for deli things, but no regular would ever think of buying those items here.

              2. re: mrwynter

                What cream cheese would you expect or prefer over Philly?
                Philly wins every taste test that I have ever seen, recently on America Test Kitchen/Cooks Country.

                I also think Second ave Deli is no good anymore. Ordered a bunch of catering after mom's funeral. Nothing good from there. If you do not need kosher, go to Katz's for pastrami. Do not get table service. That way you get to taste the meat before they make your sandwich. If it is not juicy enough they will get another pastrami ( or anything else) to carve for you. Guaranteed that you like it because you taste it first.

                1. re: mrwynter

                  Are you kidding about the "fat" in the Patrami at Katz's? C'mon. Fat is FLAVA, FLAVA, FLAVA. It is the quintessential Jewish Deli.

                  Katz's Delicatessen
                  205 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

                2. re: RGR

                  BTW: Russ & Daughters has excellent bagels!

                    1. re: erica

                      I don't know, but they are good traditional, chewy ones, not huge and inflated.

                      1. re: City Kid

                        Thanks! I will ask them next time I am in the area..

                        1. re: erica

                          I asked them about a month ago, and they told me that they have them made for them - either in Brooklyn or Queens - I don't remember which. I don't eat bagels regularly, so usually the only ones I have are from Russ' or Barney Greengrass when I'm buying lox or smoked salmon. I prefer the ones from Russ & Daughters.

                  1. re: RGR

                    RGR, when were you last at Mill Basin? I hear they used to be great, but when I went recently they were pretty forgettable. I think 2nd Ave is quite good, and much better than Sarge's. Katz's is one of the best, but I just don't like the vibe. In Brooklyn Jay & Lloyd's had fabulous pastrami and flavorless corned beef. Go figure.

                    And why so much talk about appetizing on a deli thread. They're totally different classes of food--in fact, in kosher terms they're antithetical classes of food.


                    1. re: Peter Cherches

                      I was at a Hannukah party catered by Mill Basin this past December and was rather disappointed. I didn't think it much better than Junior's, which is damning with faint praise. Although I admit one can't really compare catered platters with an in-house sandwich. I agree with you, too, about Sarge's. Finally went a couple of months ago because of all the praise it gets on this board and thought it about on a par with Carneigie. Still haven't made it to the new 2nd Ave. Will have to remedy that.

                      1. re: Peter Cherches

                        It has been quite some time since we last ate at Mill Basin. If the deli meats have taken a downward turn, that's regrettable, although I always order the knowblewurst, which is less likely to suffer.

                        1. re: RGR

                          I used to have an office 2 blocks from Jay and Lloyd in Brooklyn. Never cared much for it. Mill Basin was the choice, even if it meant driving a few miles instead of walking a few blocks. Sandwiches on garlic bread were a nice twist. Second ave Deli is way down compares to Katz's, even Stage.

                          1. re: phantomdoc

                            The pastrami I had at Second Av. Deli was near shoe leather dry, even after I specifically requested "very fatty." The pastrami at Katz's and Sarge's differ in style, but I've never had anything but superbly juicy, delicious pastrami at both.

                        2. re: Peter Cherches

                          «And why so much talk about appetizing on a deli thread. They're totally different classes of food--in fact, in kosher terms they're antithetical classes of food.»
                          Because the OP asked: "Please what is the best authentic Jewish deli for bagels and lox in Manhattan please?" The header might not be correct, but the OP was asking about an appetizing store, not a Deli. In fact he made the mistake of ordering Bagel and Lox at Katz's and was disappointed.

                          1. re: bobjbkln

                            You're right--that somehow went past me. In which case, as far as a sit-down place is there any better option than Barney Greengrass?

                    2. Tal bagels may not have the best bagels or the best lox in the city. But to get high quality lox and bagels at one place, it's a good choice. And they have a seating area, so you can eat there.

                        1. Although I love Russ and Daughter I find SABLES on 77th/2nd to be equally superior for my lox, crab salad or lobster salad and bagel fixes and always find thier service to be extremely pleasant especially with samples!! Not Cheap-but I am willing o pay for quality that good.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: UES Mayor

                            I have eaten appetizing from Sables several times, and I agree that it is superb!

                            1. re: RGR

                              My husband and I keep meaning to try Sables - I'm going to get him to stop by on his way home from tennis one morning this weekend! How are their bagels?

                            2. re: UES Mayor

                              Never knew an "authentic Jewish deli" (per the OP) to carry crab or lobster salad! :)

                              For that experience - in addition to Russ & D - I'd recommend Murray's Sturgeon Shop on the UWS.

                              1. re: Striver

                                Murray's is my # 1 but their bagels are terrible. If making your own sandwiches I'd say Murray's lox with H&H bagels, but if you need a sandwich on the go, R&D is the move. Along with lox, their "Super Heebster" with baked salmon and whitefish, wasabi infused roe and horseradish cream cheese is very good stuff.

                                In terms of delis, though it's in the Bronx, Liebman's on Johnson Ave. stacks up with the best.