Let’s be honest, New York City delis are some of the very first foundations that established the massive food scene in our city’s history. From family owned sub shops to iconic delicatessens, the flavors our city’s delis serve up are next to none. Plus, with competition steep and loyalty so deep, some families will spend their whole lives perfecting their food, and serving smiles to regular customers. Whether you’re looking for a mouthwatering salami sandwich, or want to take in an integral part of NYC’s food history, we suggest checking out one of these 10 iconic delis in NYC.
1. Katz’s Delicatessen, Lower East Side
We’d be fools to not start with the most iconic deli not only in NYC, but maybe the world, Katz’s Delicatessen. An honorable New York institution since 1888, this fine establishment has been around since the time of your great-grandparents – and for good reason! Katz’s was originally a focal point of congregating for millions of newly immigrated families, making it a true home for brand-new Americans!
Serving as a place to fill your stomach, shopping bags, and your heart, Katz’s has remained a home for countless New Yorkers for over 100 years. We recommend their most famous dishes: the famous corned beef, pastrami, or brisket!
Where: 205 E Houston St
2. Sunny and Annie’s, East Village
If you’re looking for a bodega in NYC that is a little more low-key (and where you won’t have to fight the crowds), Sunny and Annie’s is a great pick. Their mouth-watering meals, like the Biden, the Godfather, and the Mona Lisa Sandwich are some of the most raved about in the whole city! Plus, they also have a breakfast special from 7 am – 4pm all day during the week.
Where: 94 Avenue B
3. Ess-a-Bagel, Multiple Locations
You’ve likely heard of an Everything Bagel – but the motto here is “Everything on a bagel!” This spot is one of the best delis in NYC for bagels of any kind! Operating since 1976, Ess-a-Bagel has been voted #1 in the Tri-State area by many – and within just two years of opening at that. Some of the menu highlights include A Signature Favorite (Slices of nova on a bagel w/ scallion cream cheese, freshly-sliced tomato, lettuce, onions + capers) and The Pepe (Hot roast beef + bacon smothered with melted cheese, freshly sliced tomato and onions).
Midtown – 831 3rd Ave
Herald Square – 108 W 32nd St
StuyTown – 324 1st Ave
4. Red Hook Food Corp (OCKY Way), Red Hook
Let me get a chop cheese…the OCKY Way! At this now TikTok viral deli and bodega in Brooklyn, Rahim Mohamed, aka General Ock serves up deli sandwiches and creations like you’ve never seen before. We’re talking bacon, egg and cheese on a red velvet pancake, chicken parm on a rice krispie sandwich, chicken shrimp chopped cheese, and a whole lot more!
If you’re for looking for something truly out of this world, and are interested in expanding your tastebuds, we suggest stopping by. And don’t forget the bev…never never never!
Where: 603 Clinton St, Brooklyn
5. Sarge’s Delicatessen and Diner, Murray Hill
Sarge’s Delicatessen and Diner’s claim to fame is their in-house cured corn beef, homemade matzo ball soup, and cheesecake. Of course their pastrami is the talk of the town, but they also are home to a famous food challenge of eating The Monster, a sandwich with five types of fresh-sliced meat layered between three giant slices of Thick Seeded Rye Bread. Be warned: It’s no quest for the faint-hearted or weak-hearted!
Where: 548 3rd Ave
6. Pastrami Queen, Upper West Side & Upper East Side
As you can guess by their name, the pastrami reigns supreme at this Uptown establishment that’s been in NYC for years and years. Their slices are juicy and cut thick, and the bread is always as fresh as can be. This kosher spot has just about everything you need anything too, whether it’s garlic fries or a whopping plate of latkes. Check out either one of their UWS or UES locations.
Upper West Side – 138 W 72nd St A
Upper East Side – 1125 Lexington Ave #2
7. Barney Greengrass, Upper West Side
Barney Greengrass has rightfully earned its name as The “Sturgeon King” here in NYC. They’re most known for their preserved fish, which is why we tend to recommend the lox and pastrami-cured salmon sandwiches. They also have a quality breakfast as well if you’re looking for something that’s not fish-focused.
Where: 541 Amsterdam Ave
8. 2nd Ave Deli, Midtown & Upper East Side
2nd Ave Deli is a traditionally Jewish deli that got its name from it’s original location back in the day. They serve many deli classics, including a pastrami sandwich that is out of this world, matzo ball soup, challah French toast, and a whole lot more. We also quite like their Pastrami deviled eggs and the Nova Sandwich.
Midtown East – 162 E 33rd St
Upper East Side – 1442 1st Ave (corner of 75th St)
9. Frankel’s Delicatessen, Greenpoint
If you’re in the Williamsburg/Greenpoint area, we suggest checking out this cute deli with a lovely modern interior and delicious deli classics! Whether you decide to stop in the morning for a breakfast sandwich, or want to come later on for a lunch sandwich (we suggest Anita’s Hot Brisket), this is the perfect place for a quick bite.
Where: 631 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn
10. David’s Brisket House, Bed-Stuy
Last but not least on our list is David’s Brisket House, where as you can imagine…the brisket is quite tasty. The Bed-Stuy staple offers its most famous item, the roast brisket on a roll with gravy for around $18, with their equally delicious pastrami and corned beef options available too. The best part though? You can even take some meat home with you since all three options are sold by the pound!
Where: 533 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn