Katz’s Deli is a New York institution and rightly so. If you’ve not been to NY before you may not have heard of the place (unless you’re a fan of When Harry Met Sally) but it’s well worth putting on your list if you like NY deli style food. As they point out,
“It would not have been possible for Katz’s Delicatessen to survive three depressions, numerous recessions and two World Wars if Katz’s wasn’t the best deli in NYC”
and although several other deli’s in NY would argue the toss over their use of the phrase ‘best deli in NYC’, few can argue with its popularity and longevity at the top of the pile.
A traditional kosher Jewish delicatessen, Katz’s had it roots at the heart of the local community during the early days from the late 19th to early 20th Centuries where it was a meeting place for millions of newly immigrated families. Its slogan “Send A Salami To Your Boy In The Army”, which is still used today, further cements this reputation as a traditional, family oriented establishment by promising to put a smile on the face of soldiers abroad with a salami sent by their loved ones – and they remain of the few delis to do this.
Today Katz’s Deli is immensely popular with locals and tourists alike, selling 10,000 pounds of pastrami and 5,000 pounds of corned beef every week. Katz’s is not cheap – NY Deli food in Manhattan is different in style to deli food we have back home – so be aware you’re not picking up a sandwich from Gregg’s on your lunch break when you stop here. There are many other delis you can, and probably will, visit which may save you a few dollars, may be a little closer to your hotel, may be a little easier to understand and you’ll no doubt enjoy them. But you won’t be able to say you’ve been to Katz’s – and you won’t know what all the fuss is about.
Popular choices at Katz's Deli
- Pastrami Sandwiches
- Reuben Sandwiches
- Matzo ball soup
- Potato latkes
- Corned beef
- Beef brisket
- NY Cheesecake!
Be hungry. It’s around $16 for a pastrami sandwich and you won’t want to waste any. These aren’t like sandwiches you have for your lunch at work back home so don’t think you can just pop in and have it as a snack after your dinner.
The ticketing system here is a little difficult to understand for out-of-towners. Don’t be afraid to ask if you don’t understand what you’re doing, or look around and copy someone else! Make sure you keep every ticket you’re given and you won’t get caught out.
Finally, if you like pastrami or corned beef back home… prepare to have it ruined for you. This, my friends, is how it is really done.
While you’re there…