When thinking about iconic New York City eateries, many may point to Peter Luger Steakhouse, Patsy’s Italian Restaurant, or Wo Hop in Chinatown. But chances are, the first that comes to mind is Katz’s Delicatessen, open for (debatably) well over a century serving up classic pastrami on ryes and matzoh ball soups. But Katz’s, a Froelich Family favorite, is one of perhaps two dozen Jewish delis remaining in New York City and the nearby area, and Jewish delis continue to close each year. We take a look at the history of the Jewish deli in New York City, including some lesser-known spots keeping traditions alive.
The birth of the Jewish deli occurred in the late 1800s after waves of German immigrants settled predominantly on the Lower East Side. Many delis were opened by the second generation of immigrant families, while the first generation opened up more traditional delicacy shops or took to other industries to make a living. The deli possibly began as an offshoot of Jewish-German gourmet food stores, which were sometimes called Delikatessens.
Jewish delis are a part of the New York City landscape and are an enrichment to any neighborhood they reside in, as nothing is more important to most New Yorkers than their bagel or perhaps lox, or chicken soup. Please read the article below to appreciate the full history of the Jewish deli in New York City.
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