The best deli in NYC: 11 delicious delis you NEED to try in New York City!

July 23, 2021

If you’re looking for the best deli in NYC – this list of 12 incredible delis in NYC will you plenty of inspiration!

Feeling hungry? Fancy finding an amazing deli in NYC…? Then this list of choices for the best deli in NYC is going to give you loads of ideas and inspiration.

The truth is – there are so many incredible delis in NYC, it might be hard to choose! So pinpointing the deli in NYC can be tricky! Everyone has their own unique check-box when looking for the best deli in NYC. Maybe you’re looking for a classic Jewish deli with plenty of history and heritage, or maybe you’re searching for an Instagram-worth deli in NYC with big portions!

Whatever the kind of deli you’re looking for, we’re hoping this list of options for the best deli in NYC will have something you’ll love! So let’s get into it!


What is the best deli in NYC? Let’s discuss our top 11 choices!


Katz’s Delicatessen

If you’re looking for the best deli in NYC that just so happens to have a famous history, then grab a table at Katz’s Delicatessen. If you don’t recognize it right off the bat, then you may be interested to know that this deli was featured in the popular movie When Harry Met Sally!

Despite being a famous spot, this place is still humble and is considered the best deli in NYC to visit for a pastrami sandwich. Each pastrami sandwich is packed full of thick deli meat and features a generous spread of mustard. Perfectly tender and brimming with flavor, it’s no surprise that visitors just keep coming back to this deli in NYC!

If pastrami sandwiches aren’t your bag, then why not sample of their famous hot dogs? The portions here are huge, so come with a sizeable appetite so that can truly get your money’s worth.

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The décor here will also keep you entertained… Each wall is plastered with photos of the most famous people to eat there (and trust us, there are many!). So take a seat, enjoy your sandwich, and see how many celebrities you recognise on the walls! This is a classic choice for the best deli in NYC and a favorite with locals and tourists.


Zabar’s

Next on our list of options for the best deli in NYC, it’s Zabar’s. This is a gourmet emporium – perfect if you’re looking to get lost in an amazing treasure trove of fresh food and delicious deli combinations. Zabar’s specialize in smoked fish, caviar, coffee, cheese and other deli-counter goodies.

Seriously, you could spend hours in there just strolling around and filling your shopping cart. This deli is famous for it’s baked goods, and smoked fish – and you’ll find the counter0workers are absolute perfectionists when it comes to building the perfect smoked salmon bagel!

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What we love about this amazing deli in NYC, is that you can buy stuff to easily take away (back to your apartment or hotel room). There are even special food kits you can buy too to take-away which is really unique and fun. They also do INCREDIBLE gifts for people too – so if you’re looking for a fun food-related gift for someone, then Zabar’s where you want to head. Their Zabar’s Deli Sampler box is epic. This place is definitely one of the best deli in NYC.


Mill Basin Kosher Deli

Mill Basin Kosher Deli certainly deserves to be called the best deli in NYC. Not only do they have an extensive menu, but they serve up fresh food that always hits the spot. The portions aren’t quite as large as those served by some of the other delis on our list, but the flavors are delicious – so we doubt you’ll notice!

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The pastrami sandwiches here are packed with flavor, and it’s one of the cheaper delis around if you’re looking to grab a cheap midday bite. If you’d like a change from the classic sandwiches, why not give Mill Basin’s chopped liver a try? Or perhaps the gefilte fish or beef tongue?

Some of the options on their menu are out there, so if you’re looking to try something new, be sure to check this place out. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough to convince you, all sandwiches are served with a side of delicious pickles. Seriously, who doesn’t love a side of pickles in NYC? This is a great choice for the best deli in NYC.


Barney Greengrass

Next on our list of where to find the best deli in NYC, it’s Barney Green Grass. Barney Green Grass is one of those amazing establishments in NYC that is an experience in itself, in fact, this place has been around for over 100 years, and they’re especially famous for their sturgeon dishes! This place is a truly Jewish deli institution (since 1908!) so if you’re looking to find an amazing Jewish Deli, then is the place for you.

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Any one of the smoked salmon platters or sturgeon dishes are a must-order, but if fish doesn’t float your boat, perhaps you’ll be more taken by the omelets, soups or salads on offer? Before you leave, be sure to sample some of their incredible desserts. The Large Loaf of Chocolate Babka is one of the cult favorites here, but the New York Cheesecake and Rice Pudding are equally good.

Realistically, you know this is the best deli in NYC, as these guys have been in the business since 1908! Practice makes perfect after all, and the folks at Barney Greengrass have had plenty of time to perfect their recipes. 


Ben’s Deli

Ben’s Deli is next on our list of options for the best deli in NYC. Ben’s Deli is a kosher deli located in Manhattan, and it’s a great location to try! This place isn’t just a deli, it’s also a restaurant too (and they do catering!). You’ll find all the deli classics at Ben’s Deli, which is why it’s definitely one of the best delis in NYC!

One of their most well-known dishes, is the Stuffed Cabbage Honogroise, which is a generous cabbage roll filled with lean ground beef, a little rice and their own special seasonings. It’s a classic pick!


Sarge’s Deli

If you’re looking for the best deli in NYC, then you needn’t look further than Sarge’s Deli. This is one of the most popular delis in the city as the food is reliably good and the prices are great. If you decide to pay this place a visit, then you need to try the corned beef and pastrami sandwich.

Look, we get it – delis literally specialize in this dish, so you’ve heard it all before. However, you probably won’t find a pastrami sandwich quite like the one at Sarge’s elsewhere in the city. Not only is it huge, but the pastrami and corned beef just melts in your mouth. It’s lush, trust us. This is another fantastic choice for the best deli in NYC.

If you’re feeling brave, give The Monster a try. As terrifying as it sounds, this deli sandwich stands at 10 to 12 inches tall and is New York’s biggest sandwich. You’ve got to hand it to them, this is the best deli in NYC when it comes to guts! 


Mile End Deli

Mile End Deli is possibly the best deli in NYC and is a staple for both locals and visitors. The first Mile End deli was opened in 2010, and this deli’s mission was to spread the joy of Jewish comfort food to the people of New York.

Featuring the owners’ grandmother’s recipes as the base for their menu, we feel that they well and truly succeeded with bringing their vision to life. Everything here is cooked from scratch, so expect fresh food that’s made to order. 

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If you’re not sure what menu items are standout, let us fill you in. The hotdogs with kraut are excellent, as well as the poutine and fresh whitefish salad. Interestingly, this is seen as the best deli in NYC for some as it incorporates Canadian-style food too! Hey, we’re certainly here for it! 


Frankels Delicatessen

If you’re looking for the best deli in NYC that has an incredible Jewish feel, then head to Frankel’s Delicatessen. It’s one of the newer delis in NYC, having opened in 2016, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t made its mark. Specializing in small batch cooking, Frankel’s food is always fresh.

It’s a great location, and it’s a perfect choice if you’re looking for the best deli in NYC. Expect all the classic choices here – including speciality bagel sandwiches, hot pastrami sandwiches, and other delicious sandwich combinations. Our favorite though? You have to try the Brunch kits when visiting this deli in NYC!

The brunch kits serve between 4-6 people, and have everything you need for an epic NYC deli brunch. They’ll include 1/2 Dozen Assorted Bagels, 1 lb. Scallion Cream Cheese, 1/2 lb. Pastrami Salmon, Pint of Dill Cucumber Salad… It’s everything you’d want!


2nd Ave Deli

Truly authentic Jewish food is at the heart of the menu at 2nd Ave Deli. This place is possibly the best deli in NYC, and it’s been established for over 50 years.

The founder of 2nd Ave Deli originally arrived in the USA unable to speak the language and worked his way up the restaurant business from the ground up. The story behind this deli is truly inspiring and knowing the hard work that went into creating this place makes the glorious food taste even more satisfying! This is a classic choice for the best deli in NYC.

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If you’re looking for somewhere to dine during Passover, then this is the best deli in NYC for just that. They have a special Passover menu that’s packed with delicious grub like Chopped Liver, Red Horseradish, Potato Kugel and Brisket. You can order everything for pickup or delivery, so it’s totally seamless! 


Liebman’s Kosher Delicatessen

Located in the Bronx, this quaint little spot deserves to be called the best deli in NYC. Since its opening in 1953, Liebman’s has been churning out incredible food that’s perfect for the whole family.

You’ll find classic Jewish favorites on its rather large menu, including chopped chicken liver, sandwiches on deli rye and of course, hot dogs and knishes! If you fancy something slightly different, why not try one of their house specialities?

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The Hungarian Goulash and Stuffed Pepper Dinner are both delicious and well worth ordering. What we love about Liebman’s is their careful addition of the Liebman’s Lite menu. It’s ideal for those with smaller appetites. Another brilliant choice for the best deli in NYC.


David’s Brisket House

The final contender for the best deli in NYC is David’s Brisket House. As you might expect, these guys serve some incredible brisket. The brisket here is cooked fresh and seasoned in house daily, so you just know it’ll fall apart as you eat it! If you want a sandwich to fill you up for a day of sightseeing, go for the Large Reuben Sandwich.

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It’s slightly pricier than the other sandwiches on the menu due to its size, but it’s incredibly satisfying. If you fancy something more ‘American’, why not go for one of their famous burgers?

You can either keep things simple with a cheeseburger or spice things up with a jalapeno burger! Whatever you choose, you certainly won’t be disappointed. This is a great choice for the best deli in NYC.


Junior’s

Most people search high and low for the best deli in NYC so that they can experience the joy of a pastrami sandwich. Junior’s does feature some truly amazing sandwiches, brisket, and eggplant parm (as well as the most delicious brisket), but what makes this place special is its incredible cheesecake.

They claim that their cheesecake is “world famous”, and we must confess, we’ve got to wholeheartedly agree that it’s worthy of that title. Made with an amazing sponge cake crust, the signature Junior’s cheesecake recipe hasn’t changed since the deli opened back in the 1950s.

Deliciously creamy and moreish, the cheesecake at Junior’s certainly makes it the best deli in NYC for dessert lovers. 

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Hopefully this list of places to find the best deli in NYC has been helpful!

As you can see, there are so many options for finding the best deli in NYC – and there are plenty of amazing delis in NYC to try out! We hope you have fun deciding which to pick!

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