When dining in New York, or living in New York, one cannot survive if it wasn’t for the deli. A fast paced life requires a meal that can be done in 20 minutes, so grabbing a bite at a New York deli is essential. This urban jungle is packed with restaurants, all with so much variation to offer, but all will not fit a typical New Yorker lifestyle. The delis epitomize New York culture in one small shop – busy, noisy and full of wisecracking.
The New York deli as recently gained popularity, and so much so that delis have become tourist attractions. Many people have been interested with the many versions of New York sandwiches, and how they have evolved throughout the years.
Here are some NYC delis and their famous sandwiches. Some can even be made at home. Get to know their concoctions and get a feel of NYC life, even with a busy schedule.
One of the more famous delis is Artie’s. This is the home of the classic New York sandwich, which is stuffed with pastrami in between two pieces of rye bread. They even have other combinations such as pastrami, corned beef and chopped liver, as well as beef tongue. The sandwich that is best-received is the Reuben, slapped with oodles of sauerkraut and Russian dressing.
Barney’s Greengrass Restaurant is called “sturgeon king” in NYC because New Yorkers in
Kat’z Deli is where they shot the famous scene in “When Harry Met Sally.” Their approach is old school, and similar to a cafeteria. At the front, the waitress punches your order and you pay before getting seated. The best deli sandwiches here are the lean corned beef and the hotdog sandwich.
The Carnegie at the Theater District is expensive but still packed with people because of their classic and delicious sandwiches, serving up till 2 am. This deli is another classic New York landmark, and their sandwiches are humungous. Frequent orders include the lean corned beef sandwich and pastrami.
If looking for a Kosher deli in NYC, go to Ben’s. This is a deli that is proud to serve sandwiches stuffed with chopped liver or Hungarian goulash.
At Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop, sitting at the counter will give you a nice feel of how a busy deli is all about. They are famous for their tuna and Reuben sandwiches. For so many years, Eisenberg’s have served so many customers with its small kitchen. In 1929, Eisenberg started as a small sandwich joint and now is one of the contenders in the deli restaurant industry.
For those who are looking for seafood, the best would be Sable’s Smoked Fish. This restaurant prides itself with salmon, sable, whitefish and kippers to tuna and eel. They also have fresh caviar and cold cuts. They have a famous lobster salad and shrimp cocktail. Their servings are generous and even have cold cuts and cheese platters that are good for parties.
At Fine and Shapiro, the deli selection is wide and deliciously healthy. It’s a kosher deli that offer a huge Romanian tenderloin steak sandwich with French fries and pickles. They also have tender turkey meatloaf, chicken fricassee; and juicy grilled lamb chops. It’s a deli that has been in NYC since 1927 and has never failed in delivering one of the best New York meals.
Finally, there is the Mile End. This is a fusion deli of Montreal and Brooklyn and even non- Quebecois love going here. They offer sandwiches with roasted Wagyu beef, green tomatoes and smoked paprika sour cream. Their bagels are cooked in Montreal style, meaning hand-rolled, par-boiled in honey-infused water, and baked.
With all these choices in NYC, you still have the option of just staying in and making your own version of a Big Apple sandwich. Remember to get fresh and quality deli meat from Walmart or Whole Foods, and cozy up on the couch with your own creation.
However, it is still undeniable that the deli business, which dates back to the 1920s, are here to stay. These establishments have made their mark of quality and flavor in making sandwiches and will continue to grow as the progress of the city remains unstoppable. The influx of expats, immigrants and tourists from all over the world will only make the delis more relevant than ever.