11 of the Best Pastrami Sandwiches in New York (2023)

We can thank Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal for spreading the good word about itthe cateverywhere, but longtime New Yorkers know this Jewish deli on Manhattan's Lower East Side has been a neighborhood institution for nearly 130 years. Despite the attention given to this family business, with numerous appearances in books and travelogues glorifying the pink and mysteriously oily and smoky meat, Katz's remains true to its roots. Fatty navel brisket, which can last a long time in the smoker, is cured with sodium nitrite-enriched salt for up to four weeks. It is then rubbed with a top-secret spice blend and smoked for two to three full days. In the final stage, the meat is boiled and steamed, preserving the fatty juices that need to be drained. (That's where the rye comes in.) Top it off with a touch of Katz's homemade spicy brown mustard, but don't you dare ask for ketchup. Or mayonnaise. Or yellow mustard, for that matter. There's only one way to eat Katz's hot pastrami sandwich, and that's it.

Harry & Idas Meat and Supply Co.

In 2015, this East Village sandwich shop and general store opened its doors amid the launch of other sandwich giants: Superiority Burger and David Chang's Fried Chicken Sandwich Place Fuku, to name a few. However, the humble deli has quickly carved a niche for itself on Sammich Row with its homemade, locally-sourced Jewish fare. Despite the store's very modern focus on food sustainability, a deep vein of tradition runs through the entire operation. It's named for the great-grandparents of the store's owners, Hungarian immigrants who opened a kosher deli in Harlem nearly a century ago.Harry and Idauses recipes based on Uptown Deli originals. Hands down the best thing to order here is the pastrami sandwich: ultra-thick slabs of smoked and salty breast served with buttermilk-fermented borage, split rye berries, mustard with anchovies and fresh dill on a long bun and soft.

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Unlike the other pastrami hotspots on our list, this Bedford-Stuyvesant gem tucked between beauty shops and Chinese food counters is owned and operated by Muslim immigrants from Yemen. Dave, the original owner and namesake, ran a kosher deli, but since the business is under new management, the meat is treated according to Halal tradition. And despite the appeal of the chest of the same name, the real masterpiece inby DavidIt's the pastrami sandwich. Warm, tenderly marbled meat with the tangy black pastrami crust is stacked between standard slices of rye with hints of yellow mustard and classic pickle.

2nd Avenue Deli

An East Side legend for over 50 years, the beloved original2nd Avenue DeliIt closed in 2006, a decade after the devastating (and still unsolved) murder of its sympathetic owner, Abe Lebewohl. A year later, Abe's two nephews reopened the store on East 33rd Street and opened another on First Avenue. We're happy to report that both locations have retained the spirit and look of the original, with retro tile floors, Yiddish theater signs and exceptionally friendly waiters - everything but the original neon Deli sign. (You'll have to take the train to Brooklyn to see this; it's in the City Keeps in Williamsburg.) Another thing that hasn't changed is the outstanding pastrami sandwich, with deliciously marbled navel cut and smoked and cured by kosher meat products from A to Z. It comes with a generous plate of pickles and crunchy, not-too-sweet coleslaw (best, let's be honest).

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There really is something for everyoneSergeant, a 24-hour restaurant whose history has been preserved in its Old World decor. (Think leather-covered booths, actual Tiffany stained-glass lamps, and, of course, a wall of celebrity photos.) The menu of over 200 items includes the usual suspects: homemade blintzes, cured cheese boards, and a velvety slice of New York cheesecake to slip into the will force knees. Pastrami is no laughing matter either. Try it diced in a tortilla, wrapped around a hot dog, or in a triple-decker sandwich along with other meats like salami or tongue (perhaps an acquired taste). You can even order it baked in puff pastry along with mashed potatoes and corned beef, a creation known as Deli Wellington. If you're drinking on the traditional side, stick to the basics and order Hot Pastrami from Sarge's Sandwich Board.

Frankel's Delicatessen & Appetizers

Feast your eyes (and then your stomach) on the mountains of white fish salad, cold cuts and smoked salmon that beckon from behind a glass wall of cured meats inside the restaurantThis old school meets hipsteron the Greenpoint side of Brooklyn's McCarren Park. Warm pastrami on rye with mustard is a classic. But unlike previous generations of Jewish delis in New York City, who considered tinkering with the simple formula of pastrami, rye, and mustard bread the ultimate taboo (we're looking at you, Katz), this newcomer encourages customers to add a little melted Swiss Cheese. and make a Ruben out of it. Better yet, stop by for breakfast and try the succulent pink pastrami on rye bread, a challah bun, or a bagel with grilled eggs and cheese.

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This Sheepshead Bay gem recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, which means it's still young in its New York delicatessen years. The relative youth ofJay y Lloyd'sThis is reflected in the playful, kitschy furnishings: a neon sausage with a top hat and bow tie adorns the sign above the store entrance, another poses in the shop window and a third huge franchise hangs above the checkout. The pastrami cut, stacked and topped here is just as practical as pastrami. Smoked to succulent perfection, cured in-house by a team of experts, and with “just the right amount of lard,” say owners (and childhood best friends) Jay and Lloyd, the pastrami is sliced ​​to perfection and served stacked high between slices of rye bread. Honorable mentions go to the stellar stuffed cabbage, macaroni pudding, and zucchini pancakes.

Rus and his daughters

As the old adage goes, you have to know the rules before you break them, and few establishments understand the great taste of pastrami quite so well, an appetizing fourth-generation Jewish family business on East Houston Street. You won't find traditional pastrami behind the counter, so order a fresh bagel filled with smoked salmon and pastrami at Russ & Daughters, a marriage of two time-honored Jewish culinary traditions. This is no fish cheat: the salmon is dressed with a flavorful pastrami mix, then cold-smoked to lock in the flavors. Try the Pastrami Russ, which sees thinly sliced ​​fish piled on a soft pretzel bun along with Munster cheese, sauerkraut and mustard. First, you're hit by the bold notes of pastrami, but after a few seconds of contemplative gluttony, the clean-tasting smoked salmon takes center stage. If you're skeptical, consider the fact that Ina Garten called Russ and Daughters "the most amazing Jewish grocery store in all of New York."

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combine dr Sear with melt-in-your-mouth rye pastrami for a true New York experience at this Flatiron institution, which boasts on its menu cover that it has "raised New York's cholesterol since 1929." It's a wonder this old-fashioned eatery, where most menu items cost no more than $10, hasn't yet gone the way of the dinosaur, though it ranges between chic makeup counters on Fifth Avenue and newer and shiny ones yoga studios is hidden. Longtime customers feared the worst when the former owners of theEisenbergUnable to keep up with rising rental demands, he sold the humble restaurant in May 2018 to an aspiring restaurateur with a more entrepreneurial track record. But so far, this little slice of old-school New York has kept cooking up the best. Pastrami, pudding and the all-day breakfast that the neighborhood offers.

Pickler and Co

This busy lunch spot, just steps from Manhattan's Grand Central Station, is popular with Midtown East businessmen in need of a dose of caffeine and a healthy breakfast sandwich. There are more than 30 sandwich and wrap options on the store's menu, howeverPicklersTry a classic pastrami sandwich served on toasted rye bread with whole grain Swiss mustard, caramelized onions and pickles; It's popular with New Yorkers who really know what's going on. Preparing for an afternoon of marathon meetings? Avoid the inevitable bovine coma by ordering the Rachel. Includes Pickler's Lean Turkey Pastrami with Swiss Sauce, Thousand Island and Sauerkraut on Rye.

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No one observes tradition more carefully than kings, andPastrami Queenon the Upper East Side lives up to its name by serving up 150-year-old country recipes. (Think chopped liver sandwiches, pickles, knishes, macaroni pudding, and crumbled pastrami made on-site.) Space is limited and the table and chair situation feels like an afterthought. But thanks to the express drop-off counter, there's no better checkpoint to refuel after a stroll through Central Park or Museum Mile. The world famous hot pastrami is a stuffed monster that requires both hands on the deck. So when you get yours, be sure to find a porch or park bench to sit on before you take your first bite. If you're feeling extra savvy, garnish with a creamy homemade cole slaw or red onion for an extra bite. Most visitors order it the traditional way: with nothing more than a dash of hot mustard. Either way, expect a literal mountain of pink, salty meat on top of malted rye, sprinkled with cumin seeds.


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