With a population of 1.6 million Jewish people, New York City represents the largest community outside of Israel. Thus, it’s no surprise that the Big Apple features some of the greatest Jewish-centric dining options in the U.S. Here are some of Hotels Above Par’s favorites that you should support now more than ever.
2nd Ave Deli has provided some of the city’s best Jewish fare for over 50 years. Abe Lebewohl, the deli’s late owner, moved to America without speaking a word of English, working his way through deli kitchens until he could open his own in 1954 in the East Village. On March 4, 1996, Abe was senselessly murdered on his way to make a bank deposit. His family keeps his dream alive, providing New Yorkers with thick deli sandwiches, chopped liver, chicken soup, and other Jewish delicacies.
Since its opening on the Hoxton Hotel, Williamsburg rooftop earlier this year, Laser Wolf has remained one of the most difficult reservations to secure. This concept from Israeli chef Michael Solomonov evokes a modern-day shipudiya (skewer house). Every dinner begins with salatim, is followed by selections “From the Grill,” and ends with Brown Sugar Soft Serve.
Husband-wife duo Nate Adler and Rachel Jackson teamed up with Chef Eli Sussman to create this neighborhood spot offering “Jew-ish” cuisine. From Relish Trays to Warm Challah Rolls, Eggplant ‘schnitzel’ to Smoked Fish Niçoise, this is the perfect place for a big brunch or solo nosh.
Born from the legendary shop of the same name, Russ & Daughters Café opened its doors in 2014 on the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Russ & Daughters. After waiting patiently in line at the store for decades, patrons now have a place to sit and kibbitz while noshing on their famed herring and white fish. Everything pairs perfectly with an egg cream or soda.
On Williamsburg’s Southside, Shalom Japan couples married chef-owners Aaron Israel’s and Sawako Okochi’s connection to their respective Jewish and Japanese roots. Dishes fuse flavors of their heritage to create standouts such as Sake Kasu Challah, Matzoh Ball Ramen, and Wagyu Pastrami Sando. Situated in a homey, intimate dining room, Shalom Japan is a testament to the celebration of different cultures and the magic created when working together.
Katz’s Delicatessen is synonymous with the societal framework of New York. In the early part of the twentieth century, Katz’s served franks and beans on Friday nights. During World War II, they encouraged families to “Send A Salami To Your Boy In The Army.” Years later, they catered to the actors, singers, and comedians during the height of Yiddish theater. Today, Katz’s remains the premier place to enjoy pastrami, corned beef, brisket, or roast beef piled high on rye bread, slathered with mustard or Russian dressing.
In 1908, Barney Greengrass opened his namesake restaurant with one desire: to operate a “food store for those who demand the best.” Over 100 years later, his family ensures that his legacy as “The Sturgeon King” lives on. This Jewish deli may not take credit cards, but it does offer the best bagels and sandwiches on the Upper West Side, piled high with smoked fish and, of course, sturgeon.
In Yiddish, “traif” refers to anything unkosher––namely, pork and shellfish. These ironically happen to be chef and co-owner Jason Marcus’ favorite foods. After honing his abilities at notable establishments such as Eleven Madison Park and Le Bernardin, Jason opened Traif in April 2010, furthering his philosophy to “cook what you love, not what you’re supposed to.” Enjoy shareable plates from an open kitchen in convivial indoor and garden settings.
Strictly Israeli cuisine is what you’ll find at Miriam. With locations on the Upper West Side and Park Slope, seasonal ingredients are flown straight from the motherland. Miriam serves as the crossroads for the array of unique cuisines hailing from Jewish people spread across the globe. Grab your loved ones and gather at either location for brunch, lunch, and dinner seven days a week.