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Best NY Jewish Deli

Forgive me if this has been discussed recently-- but I couldn't find it.
Native New Yorker visiting next week with my boyfriend and daughter, who definitely want exposure to New York (need I say, Jewish) Deli. Cranky waiter or old time waitress and all. Please advise!

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  1. If you want them to have an old time deli exposure then go to Katz's on Houston street.
    Its the same as it was from the 50's and 60's. Some of the food is great and some is just ok. It all depends on that you order. Have the corn beef. They also have a garlic kosher sausage called knubbleworsh. (sorry about the spelling). Great, it reminds me of my grand parents every time i eat it.

    11 Replies
    1. re: Jcohen552003

      I second Katz's. It's definitely the most authentic. The sandwiches are massive but good and no frills - just bread and meat. Old school. And, there is a sign on one of the tables that says "This is where Harry met Sally" from the famous scene in that movie.

      1. re: Jcohen552003

        Sounds like how I remember-- I'm going to want chopped liver ( reminds me of my grandmother and dad) and a knish and my guy is going to want pastrami-- I have no idea what my daughter will want. How are the liver and pastrami?

        1. re: withabandon

          I have never had the liver, but the pastrami is excellent.

          1. re: withabandon

            You want to go to Sarge's (Third Ave. between E. 36 & 37 Sts.). I love their pastrami (IMHO Sarge's is better than Katz's). Sarge's also has the best chopped liver and noodle pudding. Wonderful matzoh ball soup--they have a soup called the "Super Soup" that has matzoh ball, noodles and kreplach-- very yummy! Sarge's has a wonderfully large menu, so there should be something for everyone.

              1. re: foodwhisperer

                The souper soup is my favorite chicken soup every. I had it for dinner last night...as I do about once a week. I think they jacked up the price though...and the delivery minimum on seamless web went from $5 to 12. Whatever, the souper soup is still outstanding.

              2. re: ellenost

                agree and a lot more reasonably priced than the others

                1. re: ellenost

                  After a disappointing trip to Katz for their pastrami sandwich (too thickly cut, rubbery texture, old rye bread), i had a fantastic experience at Sarge's. Their Pastrami on Rye is the best i've ever had - thinly sliced, melt-in-your-mouth, piled on high, perfect fat-to-lean ratio.....the Best. And the rye was fresh, warm and just awesome. I was highly impressed.

                  1. re: jdross19

                    I'm glad that you enjoyed Sarge's. I've been a big fan of theirs for almost 18 years; I tried Katz's only one time, and had the same experience as yours.

                    1. re: ellenost

                      I like both, but Sarge's delivers and has souper soup (matzoh ball, noodles, beef kreplach).

              3. re: Jcohen552003

                Knoblewurst, and I've never had it, but the two best things I've had at Katz's are their pastrami and their brisket. I prefer my pastrami juicy (last time I asked for fatty and it was actually a bit fattier than I wanted!), but it's really a necessity to order the brisket "juicy," or it will be too dry. The corned beef, as Jcohen mentioned, is also good.

              4. My vote is for the CARNEGIE !! Get the pastrami !!
                Plenty of old time food servers there, who will tell you "Pay the cashier up front, and leave the tip on the table".....

                1. Katz's. While standing in line is really the way to go, you can get waiter service. No idea if they are cranky or not. You can then get good NY appetizing at Russ and Daughters down the street.

                  Carnegie is good for the cranky waitstaff (and I mean that in the best possible way, since that's what you want in a place like this) but they are a bit more expensive and IMHO not *quite* as good as Katz's. Search either of the 2 restaurant names on this board and you will see SOOO many opinions on this subject.

                  1. I think the 2nd Ave. Deli is soooooo good every time. It is on 33rd between 2nd and 3rd.

                    4 Replies
                      1. re: taboo

                        No, it's between Lexington and 3rd, and I agree with travpard.

                      2. Katz's is best known for pastrami (I think it is the best in NY, others differ)

                        I think 2nd Ave Deli may be best deli experience, I agree that Sarge's is the best deli overall and Carnegie is perhaps the least authentic

                        1. I'm a little disappointed that all the recs are of the same few places as always, but I guess that's what it is. I love Katz's for everything it does - although my derma was just a deli derma heated up....
                          But 2nd ave deli is the complete experience. cranky wait staff and all.
                          Sarges is great too, although 2 notches down for the experience. either one is great.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Jeffsayyes

                            sadly there are only a few places to recommend because they are the last of a dying breed...

                            1. re: Jeffsayyes

                              I've found the staff at 2nd Av. Deli very courteous, not cranky.

                              1. re: Pan

                                I agree. Management and staff has been sooooooo nice and they always give me extras to try.

                            2. I think Carnegie is worth going to just to see the look on people's faces when they see how big the sandwich is. I actually like the pastrami and corned beef, not the best, but good. I'll never forget the look on my daughter's face when her turkey club arrived.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: saeyedoc

                                Thanks for all the recommendations. We ultimately went to Kat'z. The food was great. The service was both cranky ( an old time guy in a blue coat) and friendly ( the young waiter and the owner). Clearly frequented by locals, not a tourist trap. We were in Deli Heaven! Our entire trip was great. Forgot how much i love and miss NY ( my home town! ).

                                1. re: ronshapley

                                  i place can attract people from outside the city , ie tourists, and not be a tourist trap.

                              2. For future reference: Liebman's Deli in Riverdale, or Mill Basin Deli in Brooklyn.