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Heather Cross

The Best Delis in New York City

By April 16, 2013

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Enjoying a delicious corned beef or pastrami on rye at a New York City deli can be a wonderful NYC dining experience. I've put together my list of New York City's Best Delis -- including my two personal favorites 2nd Ave Deli and Katz's Delicatessen. Katz's offers great hand-sliced sandwiches in a bustling cafeteria-style environment on the Lower East Side, while 2nd Ave Deli has a more traditional restaurant environment and outstanding homemade soups. Both are New York City institutions that would be a great choice for any visitor to New York City.

Have you been to some New York City delis? Do you have a personal favorite? Share your favorite New York City deli and what to order with other About.com readers.

More: Classic NYC Foods
More: NYC's Best Pizza

Photo of 2nd Ave Deli © Dan Cross, licensed to About.com, Inc.

April 13, 2009 at 5:07 pm
(1) Roni says:

I personally did not care for Katz. I think Carnegie Deli is much better – like pastrami there so much better and you get a tremendously big sandwich – which somehow I managed to eat in only one sitting. Most of my dining companions brought home doggie bags.

April 14, 2009 at 3:43 pm
(2) Rita says:

I personally don’t care for Katz. I’m a native New Yorker and Katz is over rated.

April 14, 2009 at 7:43 pm
(3) marla says:

My favorite is the Italian grocery in Little Italy. We had the best Italian sandwich there. I am not sure of the exact name, maybe someone could help me with that. I also think that Carnegie Deli is good.

April 14, 2009 at 9:39 pm
(4) Shirley R says:

Born and bred on the lower east side Katz was well known to me. Now a native Long Islander I recently visited Katz – was very disappointed; Also visited the 2nd Avenue deli and was quite pleased. Sorry but Katz went over like a lead baloon. My heart is still down there but my taste buds are not.

April 16, 2009 at 1:03 pm
(5) Dan says:

Bahhh… Katz’ pastrami is still as good as ever. It’s not exactly a pleasant eating experience, and the prices have continued to skyrocket, but I’ll defend that pastrami sandwich any day!

October 30, 2009 at 9:11 am
(6) Itchak says:

Katz’s Pastrami and corned beef are both top notch (I usually get the combo). 2nd ave. also has top notch pastrami and corned beef, sandwich prices at the two places are comparable although the entire dining experience at 2nd avenue is better.
try both deli’s you shouldnt be disappointed.

April 24, 2010 at 11:43 pm
(7) WhtNxt? says:

I wish I had known about these places when I was in New York. I pretty much stuck to pizza… but pastrami on rye is one of my favorites. I will have to remember that for my next trip! http://www.wallstreethotels.com

April 29, 2010 at 8:04 pm
(8) Susan says:

I found a whole list of good delis and reasonable comments at

I kind of agree with the other commentators about Katz’s but my husband loves it because it is a real NYC institution. I actually like Sarges alot (found out about it at the website I listed). They have great food and they are clean.

March 5, 2013 at 3:17 pm
(9) roberto lana says:

How could tell that these pastrami sandwiches are not horse´s meat??? That is a real question now!!!!!!!

March 8, 2013 at 6:18 pm
(10) Susan Mary says:

hands down .. Carnegie deli is the best
a good mix of people .. food always good .. great staff ..
you never leave hungry

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