Bagels, pastrami, and matzo ball soup were all brought to New York by Jewish immigrants in the 19th century. Today, New York's many kosher Jewish delicatessens are popular meeting places and a defining aspect of life in "The City".
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"Sweetheart, are you saying you don't know what a pastrami on rye is?" Jenny, a slightly rotund, peroxide blond waitress at the Stage Deli on 7th Avenue, is perplexed. "That's a smoked corned beef sandwich, served hot, with sweet mustard. We make the best in the world. Why don't I just bring you one?"
It's nine o'clock in the morning. Wouldn't a toasted bagel with jam and butter be more like it? At the table next to me, two slender and very well-dressed ladies are chatting about a premiere at the Met. With a curt "Enjoy, ladies," Jenny thumps a plate with a single hot pastrami sandwich down on their table: a mountain of meat between thin slices of toast.
Jenny obviously disapproves of customers splitting a hot pastrami, especially when the persons in question are thinner than they have any right to be in the first place.
Lust for meat, gherkins and lemonade
Hungry for meat: New York delis can pack about a pound of pastrami or corned beef between two thin slices of toast
Sweet mustard is something no true deli is ever without. The mustard – and the pickles – go well with the giant sandwiches. At Artie's Deli, even the mustard is homemade …
… just like the lemonade that restaurant-goers find so refreshing. Artie's also has a whole slew of other wonderful traditional specialties to choose from
Katz´s Deli: where Harry and Sally ate
Katz's Deli is an institution in New York – and known around the world at least since the hit romantic comedy, When Harry Met Sally
"Delicatessen" in New York's fashionable SoHo neighborhood is modern in décor and always crowded. Traditional Jewish specialties are at most a source of creative inspiration for the cooks
Ambience, food, service – everything is authentic and tasty. A good choice for people with big appetites, for breakfast as well.
205 East Houston Street, Tel. +1-212-254-2246, www.katzdeli.com
A new generation deli: modern, youthful, trendy. Its cooks present new interpretations of various classical deli dishes.
54 Prince Street, Tel. +1-212-226-0211, www.delicatessennyc.com
A spacious and very elegant restaurant with a carry-out window, lots of old-fashioned specialties, and a congenial clientele composed mostly of locals.
2290 Broadway, Tel. +1-212-579-5959, www.arties.com
Ben’s Kosher Deli & Restaurant::
The restaurant's Art Deco interior is worth the visit just in itself; some of the food is a little heavy.
209 West 38th Street, Tel. +1-212-398-2367, www.bensdeli.net
Second Avenue Deli:
A very pretty restaurant, lively but not too loud, quite good service, and excellent hot pastrami and corned beef sandwiches.
162 East 33rd Street, Tel. +1-212-689-9000, www.2ndavedeli.com
Always full, caters to tourists, in part because of its superb location in Manhattan. Politicians and film stars like to stop here for a bite.
834 7th Avenue, Tel. +1-212-245-7850, www.stagedeli.com
The best known deli in the city, very good food. Celebrities drop by here from time to time.
854 7th Avenue (corner of W. 55th Street), Tel. +1-212-757-2245, www.carnegiedeli.com
pictures: Claudia Hehr