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20 Stellar Jewish Delis Around NYC

Where to find the best hot pastrami, gefilte fish, and matzah ball soup

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Jewish delis were once the backbone of the New York food scene; now their numbers are greatly diminished. Low-fat and anti-meat mania over the last couple of decades has had its effect, but so have newer and more faddish forms of food that make hot pastrami, gefilte fish, and matzah ball soup seem hopelessly old-fashioned.

Luckily, being in the New York City area, there are plenty of delis left. Here’s where to find them.

Note: This is an updated version of a map originally published in December 2015.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Liebman's Kosher Deli

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552 W 235th St
Bronx, NY 10463
(718) 548-4534
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This kosher Riverdale institution was founded in 1958 by the Dekel family and still flourishes under the same ownership. Eat to the tune of old-fashioned ambiance, including sea-blue naugahyde booths, pale beige walls, wood-grained formica, and copious neon in the front windows, through which one spies a luscious display of hot dogs and Liebman’s signature round knishes. Sandwiches are of the overstuffed variety, with both pastrami and corned beef cured on the premises. Be sure to get gravy on your fries.

The glass window of a storefront with neon letters that read: “Liebman’s Delicatessen, Caterers” Robert Sietsema/Eater

2. Barney Greengrass

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541 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10024
(212) 724-4707
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Styling itself as the “Sturgeon King,” this 1908 repository of preserved fish on the Upper West Side is also a fully functional meat deli, with notably normal-sized sandwiches (pastrami, tongue, turkey, salami, and chopped liver) at prices a bit below par. There are some crossover favorites, too, such as pastrami-cured salmon on a bagel and a tongue omelette. One of the best reasons to go here is the dining room, with nicely padded chairs and goofy retro wallpaper.

A small, empty restaurant with historical wallpaper Robert Sietsema/Eater

3. Fine & Schapiro

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138 W 72nd St Frnt A
New York, NY 10023
(212) 877-2874
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Founded in 1927 and looking every year its age, F&S is a long-lasting Upper West Side kosher fixture. The interior is a pleasant nest of wooden booths, and with the food available for ogling near the entrance. Much of the food is just decent-to-good, but thinly sliced pastrami on rye is a good choice. The chopped liver is a bit too sweet and made with calves’ liver instead of chicken. The roast chicken can be spot-on, while the knishes that languish by the front door are standard issue.

A woman walks by the front of a windowed storefront, whose yellow and red sign reads: Fine & Schapiro: Kosher Restaurant and Delicatessen” Robert Sietsema/Eater

4. Pastrami Queen

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1125 Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10075
(212) 734-1500
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This microscopic kosher deli has been an Upper East Side mainstay since 1998, when it moved from Kew Gardens, Queens to the present location, and underwent a sex change: swapping the name Pastrami King for Pastrami Queen. The pastrami is sliced thick and crumbly by machine — though it seems hand sliced — and the sandwiches on rye are of the overstuffed variety. Other recommendations: garlic fries and the epic potato pancake, but skip the matzah ball soup.

A sizable potato latke takes up a whole plate, next to a side of apple sauce Robert Sietsema/Eater

5. Brooklyn Diner USA

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212 W 57th St
New York, NY 10019
(212) 977-1957
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This Brooklyn-themed tourist trap has a core menu of Jewish deli favorites, including decent pastrami that’s better in a hash with eggs than it is in a sandwich. The matzah ball soup is top-notch, and so is the comically large all-beef hot dog, which weighs in at nearly a pound and constitutes a full meal. Chocolate babka and noodle kugel are other classic deli orders, at this place with an interior intended to evoke a 1940s diner.

A large ball of matzah sits in broth, topped with celery, carrot, chicken, and dill Robert Sietsema/Eater

6. Ben's Kosher Delicatessen

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209 W 38th St
New York, NY 10018
(212) 398-2367
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This kosher Garment Center fixture, a chain originating in Long Island, took over the humongous space (seating 360) two decades ago. The spaces was once a deli called Lou G. Siegel, which had been in this location since 1917. The combination of the two creates one of the oldest continuously operating deli premises in town. The sprawling menu here is sometimes hit or miss, but the hot tongue is superb. The pastrami is good but not fantastic. Don’t miss the glistening gefilte fish, but skip the too-sweet cabbage soup.

A large neon sign in red lettering sits on the side of the building and reads: “Ben’s Restaurant: Chicken Soup Cures Everything” Robert Sietsema/Eater

7. Sarge's Delicatessen

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548 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10016
(212) 679-0442
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Founded in 1964, this Murray Hill deli named after a police officer is open 24/7, a real rarity these days. Sporting Tiffany lamp shades, dimpled Naugahyde booths, and hanging salamis, it was closed by a grease fire in 2012 and remained closed until early 2014. The pastrami is fine-grained and mild, and sandwiches arrive extravagantly stuffed. Tongue, rolled beef, hot brisket, and turkey pastrami are also worth considering. But think twice about the sandwich known as "the Monster," piled to absurd heights with corned beef, pastrami, roast beef, fresh turkey, and salami, and maybe a bargain for two at $45.45. Full range of breakfast items and burgers are always available.

A piece of rye bread is precariously placed on top of a heap of pastrami Robert Sietsema/Eater

8. 2nd Ave Deli

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162 E 33rd St
New York, NY 10016
(212) 689-9000
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This old-fashioned kosher deli was founded in 1954 by Abe Lebewohl in the East Village, along a strip of Second Avenue known as the Yiddish Broadway for all its Jewish theaters. In 2006 a landlord dispute forced the neighborhood fixture to move to Murray Hill. There is now also an Upper East Side branch. While the pastrami is good, the corned beef is better. The place has long been celebrated for its cholent — a bean stew — and derma, also known as kishka, a creamy sausage incorporating grain and meat in a cow intestine. If breakfast is in order, the challah French toast is a longtime East Village classic.

A woman stands under a blue awning with the words: “2nd Ave Deli” Robert Sietsema/Eater

9. Eisenberg's Sandwich Shop

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174 5th Ave
New York, NY 10010
(212) 675-5096
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Not so much a Jewish deli as a Jewish sandwich shop, Eisenberg’s (founded 1929) turns out admirable versions of all the classic sandwiches, on rye or a club roll: pastrami, turkey, egg salad, and tuna salad, the last two improved with bacon at your request. The space is narrow, but you can almost always find a spot at the counter, where the lunging and dancing of the sandwich makers is balletic.

A tuna sandwich on rye is cut in half on parchment paper beside two whole pickles Robert Sietsema/Eater

10. Hobby's Delicatessen

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32 Branford Pl
Newark, NJ 07102
(973) 623-0410
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Located on a side street in downtown Newark, and open only during the daytime — except on hockey game days — Hobby’s is one of the country’s greatest Jewish delis, in the same family since 1962. Just inside the front door, a gray-haired woman sits doing the accounts like a scene out of Dickens. Adjacent is a large dining room lined with reminders of the city’s history. The pastrami is gloriously greasy and smoky, with tongue the second-best meat choice, and roast brisket the third. All three come on a sandwich called the "Hat Trick," with coleslaw also tucked inside. For appetizers, try the outsize latke or the mushroom barley soup.

Customers sit together in pairs and small groups in a diner featuring with leftover holiday decorations and American flags Robert Sietsema/Eater

11. Frankel's Delicatessen

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631 Manhattan Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11222
(718) 389-2302
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It was something of a modern miracle when Frankel's appeared in Greenpoint, just above the Nassau stop on the G. It perfectly captured the spirit of an old-fashioned deli from early in the last century, with its gleaming interior, counter ordering, neon sign, and white enamelware trays. The pastrami is of the slightly newfangled sort — hand sliced, smoky, and intensely flavorful. Appetizing fish also available, and don’t miss the hot dog.

A woman stands at the counter of a small cafe, bagels are hung on the wall, as are a series of neon signs that read: Nova, Caviar, Latkes, Chopped Liver, and Bagels Robert Sietsema/Eater

12. Katz's Delicatessen

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205 E Houston St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 254-2246
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Located at the heart of what’s left of the “Jewish Lower East Side,” Katz’s is quite simply the city’s — and maybe the nation's — best deli. Hand-cut behind a glass counter in thick, steaming slices, the pastrami is the superior deli meat, with roast brisket coming in second, while the corned beef lags a bit in tenderness but not flavor. The sausage called knoblewurst is absolutely delicious and garlicky as all get out, and the hot dogs are a delight, too. Don’t miss the green tomato pickles, but skip the soggy French fries — the sandwiches are so big that they're not necessary anyway. Marvel at the interior, at least partly dating to the 1880s.

A thick pastrami sandwich on rye is cut in half on a plate. Robert Sietsema/Eater

13. Russ & Daughters Cafe

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127 Orchard St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 475-4880 ext. 2
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This spin off from Russ & Daughters offers deli classics like chopped liver, matzah ball soup, and potato knishes. The emphasis is on preserved fish, of course, as it is at Barney Greengrass, but the pastrami smoked salmon on a pretzel roll more than makes up for the the lack of actual pastrami. The serpentine space, cheerily decorated in white and powder blue, extends from Orchard to Allen streets, and seems as old as its predecessor.

Two mini potato knish sit on a plate next to a metal side serving cup on a ceramic plate Robert Sietsema/Eater

14. Gottlieb's Restaurant

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352 Roebling St
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 384-6612
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Located in the Satmar Chassidic neighborhood of Southside Williamsburg, Gottlieb’s is a venerable classic, clad in wood and looking like the '60s. Available in two sizes, the sandwiches here run to pastrami, corned beef, tongue, turkey breast, salami, and roast beef. The place also has a sub-specialty in Chinese-Jewish fare. The Hungarian goulash is good, as is the gefilte fish.

The front of a restaurant with faded neon lettering in the windows. The sign reads: Gottlieb’s Restaurant, Delicatessen, Catering Robert Sietsema/Eater

15. Junior's Restaurant

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386 Flatbush Avenue Ext
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 852-5257
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A Downtown Brooklyn stalwart since 1950, Junior's has a jazzy and brightly-lit façade shining late into the night, and it's handy to the Manhattan Bridge. Junior’s was once mainly a more purely Jewish deli, but in the intervening years it has added diner food and neighborhood specialties to its menu, like jerk chicken to catfish fingers to eggplant parm. These are of indifferent quality, so stick to the Jewish deli stuff for a fine meal, including the pastrami and corned beef on twin onion rolls, the split pea soup, the chopped chicken liver, or the dense and delectable cheesecake, which is one of the city’s best.

Groups of people sit at tables and waiters take their order in a busy diner Robert Sietsema/Eater

16. Mile End Delicatessen

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97A Hoyt St
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(718) 852-7510
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As if it had been picked up in Quebec and brought here by a cyclone, Mile End (named after a Montreal neighborhood) specializes in hand-sliced smoked meat, the Canadian answer to pastrami. It’s got a slightly different constellation of spices, a bit more sweetness and ruby color, and, in general, less smokiness. Other sandwiches — such as the salami-based Ruth Wilensky — reflect Jewish-Canadian food attitudes. Schnitzels and matzo ball soup round out the menu.

A charcoal-colored building with the word “DELICATESSEN” painted above its large windows. Robert Sietsema/Eater

17. David's Brisket House

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533 Nostrand Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11216
(718) 333-5662
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This place was once an ancient Jewish deli — until it was taken over, first by Jamaicans and then by Yemenite Muslims. The latter kept the menu mainly intact, proving that kosher and halal are in nearly perfect accord. Today, David’s constitutes a beacon of warm deli meats in Bedford-Stuyvesant, and visitors of all stripes drop by for its specialty: roast brisket on a roll with gravy. Mmmmm! The pastrami and corned beef are also quite good, too, as are the cheese-dressed fries. In December, a new branch opened in Williamsburg.

Two halves of a brisket sandwich on a club roll with gravy, accompanied by four pickle spears Robert Sietsema/Eater

18. Mill Basin Kosher Deli

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5823 Avenue T
Brooklyn, NY 11234
(718) 241-4910
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Ever seen a deli that doubled as an art gallery? This kosher deli in the Mill Basin neighborhood of Brooklyn does just that. The hot dogs are particularly fine and can be enjoyed while eyeballing Lichtenstein and Calder prints, and original paintings, most far less distinguished. (Warning: there’s a particularly scary clown.) While the stuffed derma is a bit gluey, the garlicwurst is excellent. The pastrami could use a little more oomph, but the matzah ball soup is good, especially with noodles.

Two halves of a pastrami sandwich sit on a plate, with a bowl of pickles in the background. Robert Sietsema/Eater

19. Jay & Lloyd's Old Time Brooklyn Delicatessen

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2718 Avenue U
Brooklyn, NY 11229
(718) 891-5298
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A personified neon frankfurter (the bun is his overcoat) poses in the window, and a much bigger one hangs by chains over the cash register at this kosher deli in Homecrest. Young in deli — open since 1993 — Jay & Lloyd’s shows it with a fun-loving outlook, emphasizing pigs-in-blankets and knishes in addition to the usual deli meats. The pastrami is particularly good here, but even better are the hot dogs, zucchini pancakes, stuffed cabbage, noodle pudding, and fried kreplach (stuffed meat or potato dumplings) with onions.

A sign in the shape of a hotdog hangs above a cash register and a colorful menu with food soups and sandwiches. Robert Sietsema/Eater

20. Pastrami House Delicatessen

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832 Washington St
Hoboken, NJ 07030
(201) 683-4123
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This offshoot of a Lincroft, New Jersey Jewish deli recently set down on Hoboken’s main drag, with a very full deli menu, including some invented surprises. That means all the usual square and round knishes, split pea and matzah ball soups, kasha varnishkas, bagel and lox, and potato latkes, in addition to some stranger menu additions like a mini Reuben in a hot dog bun and pastrami chili con carne. The pastrami, by the way, is quite good, while the corned beef verges on the rubbery. Sandwiches come in three sizes. No seating yet, so you’ll have to find a place to down your goodies.

Two halves of a pastrami sandwich rest in a to-go container beside a half-pickle and side of coleslaw Robert Sietsema/Eater

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1. Liebman's Kosher Deli

552 W 235th St, Bronx, NY 10463
The glass window of a storefront with neon letters that read: “Liebman’s Delicatessen, Caterers” Robert Sietsema/Eater

This kosher Riverdale institution was founded in 1958 by the Dekel family and still flourishes under the same ownership. Eat to the tune of old-fashioned ambiance, including sea-blue naugahyde booths, pale beige walls, wood-grained formica, and copious neon in the front windows, through which one spies a luscious display of hot dogs and Liebman’s signature round knishes. Sandwiches are of the overstuffed variety, with both pastrami and corned beef cured on the premises. Be sure to get gravy on your fries.

552 W 235th St
Bronx, NY 10463

2. Barney Greengrass

541 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024
A small, empty restaurant with historical wallpaper Robert Sietsema/Eater

Styling itself as the “Sturgeon King,” this 1908 repository of preserved fish on the Upper West Side is also a fully functional meat deli, with notably normal-sized sandwiches (pastrami, tongue, turkey, salami, and chopped liver) at prices a bit below par. There are some crossover favorites, too, such as pastrami-cured salmon on a bagel and a tongue omelette. One of the best reasons to go here is the dining room, with nicely padded chairs and goofy retro wallpaper.

541 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10024

3. Fine & Schapiro

138 W 72nd St Frnt A, New York, NY 10023
A woman walks by the front of a windowed storefront, whose yellow and red sign reads: Fine & Schapiro: Kosher Restaurant and Delicatessen” Robert Sietsema/Eater

Founded in 1927 and looking every year its age, F&S is a long-lasting Upper West Side kosher fixture. The interior is a pleasant nest of wooden booths, and with the food available for ogling near the entrance. Much of the food is just decent-to-good, but thinly sliced pastrami on rye is a good choice. The chopped liver is a bit too sweet and made with calves’ liver instead of chicken. The roast chicken can be spot-on, while the knishes that languish by the front door are standard issue.

138 W 72nd St Frnt A
New York, NY 10023

4. Pastrami Queen

1125 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10075
A sizable potato latke takes up a whole plate, next to a side of apple sauce Robert Sietsema/Eater

This microscopic kosher deli has been an Upper East Side mainstay since 1998, when it moved from Kew Gardens, Queens to the present location, and underwent a sex change: swapping the name Pastrami King for Pastrami Queen. The pastrami is sliced thick and crumbly by machine — though it seems hand sliced — and the sandwiches on rye are of the overstuffed variety. Other recommendations: garlic fries and the epic potato pancake, but skip the matzah ball soup.

1125 Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10075

5. Brooklyn Diner USA

212 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019
A large ball of matzah sits in broth, topped with celery, carrot, chicken, and dill Robert Sietsema/Eater

This Brooklyn-themed tourist trap has a core menu of Jewish deli favorites, including decent pastrami that’s better in a hash with eggs than it is in a sandwich. The matzah ball soup is top-notch, and so is the comically large all-beef hot dog, which weighs in at nearly a pound and constitutes a full meal. Chocolate babka and noodle kugel are other classic deli orders, at this place with an interior intended to evoke a 1940s diner.

212 W 57th St
New York, NY 10019

6. Ben's Kosher Delicatessen

209 W 38th St, New York, NY 10018
A large neon sign in red lettering sits on the side of the building and reads: “Ben’s Restaurant: Chicken Soup Cures Everything” Robert Sietsema/Eater

This kosher Garment Center fixture, a chain originating in Long Island, took over the humongous space (seating 360) two decades ago. The spaces was once a deli called Lou G. Siegel, which had been in this location since 1917. The combination of the two creates one of the oldest continuously operating deli premises in town. The sprawling menu here is sometimes hit or miss, but the hot tongue is superb. The pastrami is good but not fantastic. Don’t miss the glistening gefilte fish, but skip the too-sweet cabbage soup.

209 W 38th St
New York, NY 10018

7. Sarge's Delicatessen

548 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016
A piece of rye bread is precariously placed on top of a heap of pastrami Robert Sietsema/Eater

Founded in 1964, this Murray Hill deli named after a police officer is open 24/7, a real rarity these days. Sporting Tiffany lamp shades, dimpled Naugahyde booths, and hanging salamis, it was closed by a grease fire in 2012 and remained closed until early 2014. The pastrami is fine-grained and mild, and sandwiches arrive extravagantly stuffed. Tongue, rolled beef, hot brisket, and turkey pastrami are also worth considering. But think twice about the sandwich known as "the Monster," piled to absurd heights with corned beef, pastrami, roast beef, fresh turkey, and salami, and maybe a bargain for two at $45.45. Full range of breakfast items and burgers are always available.

548 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10016

8. 2nd Ave Deli

162 E 33rd St, New York, NY 10016
A woman stands under a blue awning with the words: “2nd Ave Deli” Robert Sietsema/Eater

This old-fashioned kosher deli was founded in 1954 by Abe Lebewohl in the East Village, along a strip of Second Avenue known as the Yiddish Broadway for all its Jewish theaters. In 2006 a landlord dispute forced the neighborhood fixture to move to Murray Hill. There is now also an Upper East Side branch. While the pastrami is good, the corned beef is better. The place has long been celebrated for its cholent — a bean stew — and derma, also known as kishka, a creamy sausage incorporating grain and meat in a cow intestine. If breakfast is in order, the challah French toast is a longtime East Village classic.

162 E 33rd St
New York, NY 10016

9. Eisenberg's Sandwich Shop

174 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010
A tuna sandwich on rye is cut in half on parchment paper beside two whole pickles Robert Sietsema/Eater

Not so much a Jewish deli as a Jewish sandwich shop, Eisenberg’s (founded 1929) turns out admirable versions of all the classic sandwiches, on rye or a club roll: pastrami, turkey, egg salad, and tuna salad, the last two improved with bacon at your request. The space is narrow, but you can almost always find a spot at the counter, where the lunging and dancing of the sandwich makers is balletic.

174 5th Ave
New York, NY 10010

10. Hobby's Delicatessen

32 Branford Pl, Newark, NJ 07102
Customers sit together in pairs and small groups in a diner featuring with leftover holiday decorations and American flags Robert Sietsema/Eater

Located on a side street in downtown Newark, and open only during the daytime — except on hockey game days — Hobby’s is one of the country’s greatest Jewish delis, in the same family since 1962. Just inside the front door, a gray-haired woman sits doing the accounts like a scene out of Dickens. Adjacent is a large dining room lined with reminders of the city’s history. The pastrami is gloriously greasy and smoky, with tongue the second-best meat choice, and roast brisket the third. All three come on a sandwich called the "Hat Trick," with coleslaw also tucked inside. For appetizers, try the outsize latke or the mushroom barley soup.

32 Branford Pl
Newark, NJ 07102

11. Frankel's Delicatessen

631 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222
A woman stands at the counter of a small cafe, bagels are hung on the wall, as are a series of neon signs that read: Nova, Caviar, Latkes, Chopped Liver, and Bagels Robert Sietsema/Eater

It was something of a modern miracle when Frankel's appeared in Greenpoint, just above the Nassau stop on the G. It perfectly captured the spirit of an old-fashioned deli from early in the last century, with its gleaming interior, counter ordering, neon sign, and white enamelware trays. The pastrami is of the slightly newfangled sort — hand sliced, smoky, and intensely flavorful. Appetizing fish also available, and don’t miss the hot dog.

631 Manhattan Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11222

12. Katz's Delicatessen

205 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002
A thick pastrami sandwich on rye is cut in half on a plate. Robert Sietsema/Eater

Located at the heart of what’s left of the “Jewish Lower East Side,” Katz’s is quite simply the city’s — and maybe the nation's — best deli. Hand-cut behind a glass counter in thick, steaming slices, the pastrami is the superior deli meat, with roast brisket coming in second, while the corned beef lags a bit in tenderness but not flavor. The sausage called knoblewurst is absolutely delicious and garlicky as all get out, and the hot dogs are a delight, too. Don’t miss the green tomato pickles, but skip the soggy French fries — the sandwiches are so big that they're not necessary anyway. Marvel at the interior, at least partly dating to the 1880s.

205 E Houston St
New York, NY 10002

13. Russ & Daughters Cafe

127 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002
Two mini potato knish sit on a plate next to a metal side serving cup on a ceramic plate Robert Sietsema/Eater

This spin off from Russ & Daughters offers deli classics like chopped liver, matzah ball soup, and potato knishes. The emphasis is on preserved fish, of course, as it is at Barney Greengrass, but the pastrami smoked salmon on a pretzel roll more than makes up for the the lack of actual pastrami. The serpentine space, cheerily decorated in white and powder blue, extends from Orchard to Allen streets, and seems as old as its predecessor.

127 Orchard St
New York, NY 10002

14. Gottlieb's Restaurant

352 Roebling St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
The front of a restaurant with faded neon lettering in the windows. The sign reads: Gottlieb’s Restaurant, Delicatessen, Catering Robert Sietsema/Eater

Located in the Satmar Chassidic neighborhood of Southside Williamsburg, Gottlieb’s is a venerable classic, clad in wood and looking like the '60s. Available in two sizes, the sandwiches here run to pastrami, corned beef, tongue, turkey breast, salami, and roast beef. The place also has a sub-specialty in Chinese-Jewish fare. The Hungarian goulash is good, as is the gefilte fish.

352 Roebling St
Brooklyn, NY 11211

15. Junior's Restaurant

386 Flatbush Avenue Ext, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Groups of people sit at tables and waiters take their order in a busy diner Robert Sietsema/Eater

A Downtown Brooklyn stalwart since 1950, Junior's has a jazzy and brightly-lit façade shining late into the night, and it's handy to the Manhattan Bridge. Junior’s was once mainly a more purely Jewish deli, but in the intervening years it has added diner food and neighborhood specialties to its menu, like jerk chicken to catfish fingers to eggplant parm. These are of indifferent quality, so stick to the Jewish deli stuff for a fine meal, including the pastrami and corned beef on twin onion rolls, the split pea soup, the chopped chicken liver, or the dense and delectable cheesecake, which is one of the city’s best.

386 Flatbush Avenue Ext
Brooklyn, NY 11201

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16. Mile End Delicatessen

97A Hoyt St, Brooklyn, NY 11217
A charcoal-colored building with the word “DELICATESSEN” painted above its large windows. Robert Sietsema/Eater

As if it had been picked up in Quebec and brought here by a cyclone, Mile End (named after a Montreal neighborhood) specializes in hand-sliced smoked meat, the Canadian answer to pastrami. It’s got a slightly different constellation of spices, a bit more sweetness and ruby color, and, in general, less smokiness. Other sandwiches — such as the salami-based Ruth Wilensky — reflect Jewish-Canadian food attitudes. Schnitzels and matzo ball soup round out the menu.

97A Hoyt St
Brooklyn, NY 11217

17. David's Brisket House

533 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216
Two halves of a brisket sandwich on a club roll with gravy, accompanied by four pickle spears Robert Sietsema/Eater

This place was once an ancient Jewish deli — until it was taken over, first by Jamaicans and then by Yemenite Muslims. The latter kept the menu mainly intact, proving that kosher and halal are in nearly perfect accord. Today, David’s constitutes a beacon of warm deli meats in Bedford-Stuyvesant, and visitors of all stripes drop by for its specialty: roast brisket on a roll with gravy. Mmmmm! The pastrami and corned beef are also quite good, too, as are the cheese-dressed fries. In December, a new branch opened in Williamsburg.

533 Nostrand Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11216

18. Mill Basin Kosher Deli

5823 Avenue T, Brooklyn, NY 11234
Two halves of a pastrami sandwich sit on a plate, with a bowl of pickles in the background. Robert Sietsema/Eater

Ever seen a deli that doubled as an art gallery? This kosher deli in the Mill Basin neighborhood of Brooklyn does just that. The hot dogs are particularly fine and can be enjoyed while eyeballing Lichtenstein and Calder prints, and original paintings, most far less distinguished. (Warning: there’s a particularly scary clown.) While the stuffed derma is a bit gluey, the garlicwurst is excellent. The pastrami could use a little more oomph, but the matzah ball soup is good, especially with noodles.

5823 Avenue T
Brooklyn, NY 11234

19. Jay & Lloyd's Old Time Brooklyn Delicatessen

2718 Avenue U, Brooklyn, NY 11229
A sign in the shape of a hotdog hangs above a cash register and a colorful menu with food soups and sandwiches. Robert Sietsema/Eater

A personified neon frankfurter (the bun is his overcoat) poses in the window, and a much bigger one hangs by chains over the cash register at this kosher deli in Homecrest. Young in deli — open since 1993 — Jay & Lloyd’s shows it with a fun-loving outlook, emphasizing pigs-in-blankets and knishes in addition to the usual deli meats. The pastrami is particularly good here, but even better are the hot dogs, zucchini pancakes, stuffed cabbage, noodle pudding, and fried kreplach (stuffed meat or potato dumplings) with onions.

2718 Avenue U
Brooklyn, NY 11229

20. Pastrami House Delicatessen

832 Washington St, Hoboken, NJ 07030
Two halves of a pastrami sandwich rest in a to-go container beside a half-pickle and side of coleslaw Robert Sietsema/Eater

This offshoot of a Lincroft, New Jersey Jewish deli recently set down on Hoboken’s main drag, with a very full deli menu, including some invented surprises. That means all the usual square and round knishes, split pea and matzah ball soups, kasha varnishkas, bagel and lox, and potato latkes, in addition to some stranger menu additions like a mini Reuben in a hot dog bun and pastrami chili con carne. The pastrami, by the way, is quite good, while the corned beef verges on the rubbery. Sandwiches come in three sizes. No seating yet, so you’ll have to find a place to down your goodies.

832 Washington St
Hoboken, NJ 07030

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