This deli circa 1888 is NYC history between two slices of rye. But before I brag about the food, let me explain the intimidating ordering process. When you first enter you will be handed a ticket while passing through a turn-style. You then head on over to the long counter and place your order. If you're ordering a sandwich, you will be given a small sample of the meat. Make sure you leave a tip in the cup and you might receive a few more slices in your sandwich. At this time the counterperson will ask for your ticket so he can write the price on it. Then slide down the counter to order drinks. When you are ready to leave, you must have your ticket when paying or they will not let you out. Now for the food. You're here for only 1 reason and that's the Pastrami on rye. Thick cut and house-cured, like no other pastrami you've ever had. The brisket and corned beef are also known for causing "orgasmic" (When Harry met Sally was filmed here) reactions. And wash it all down with a Dr. Browns Black Cherry soda.
Founded in 1888, Katz's Deli is an institution and you have not really seen New York until you have tried it. Would you believe many New York residents have never even tried Katz's? We were in New York last November 2008 and we said we had to try this famous deli, made even famous by the film "When Harry Met Sally". The East Village is not exactly the most pleasant place to walk around in, especially at night, but the trip to Katz's is worth it. We came by 6 Train from the Bleecker St. station and walked a bit west on Houston St.. When we got in, the fellow at the door gave us one ticket each and we proceeded to the food counter. We ended up with one of the more "senior cutters" and I ordered a salami to-go. He gave us a choice of bread, pickles etc. and even made us try the salami before he made the sandwich. When he was done, boy was the sandwich big! The VT tip was right, it is made for 2 persons. While we were there, we decided to wander around the deli, looking at the photos. On the way out, we presented our ticket and the paid the cashier. Since everyone else took photos of the place, I decided to post the bag of my salami sandwich for a change.
Favorite Dish: Since we were on the go, we ordered to-go so it had to be a cold sandwich. Otherwise I would have tried maybe the hot pastrami. Thus we settled for the salami sandwich and it's meat was twice as thick as the bread it was on. It was huge too, we split the sandwich and it was just right. But there is always another trip - next time it will be hot pastrami or hot dogs.
In relatively recent years Katz has become famous as the place “where Harry met Sally” in the film, but its original claim to fame came during the Second World War when this Lower East Side deli established a mail-order business for its traditional meat products with the slogan “Send a salami to your boy in the army”. The slogan still appears on all their merchandise, staff uniforms etc, and has unfortunately acquired a new relevance in recent years, with a steady stream of salamis finding their way to Iraq and Afghanistan.
In fact Katz’s can truly claim to be that often over-used entity, a “New York institution”, dating back as it does to 1888. Whether its other claim, to be the best deli in the city, is quite so justifiable I’m less sure, but a meal here is certainly an experience and should certainly be on your New York itinerary.
We came for lunch and shared a Reuben sandwich (portions are very large), which with a couple of sodas cost us $11. To be honest it wasn’t the best Reuben either of us has ever had, by some way (and Chris considers himself to be a bit of a connoisseur of Reubens!) and the accompanying pickle was also a disappointment, but that’s not really the point. Coming to Katz’s is much more about the experience and the setting than it is about the food, and there’s no denying the setting is worth seeing. It’s also arguable that this is deli food as it was traditionally intended to be, and we’ve got too used to the more refined offerings at trendier joints!
Do check out the website, by the way. There’s an interesting history of Katz’s and a gallery of famous stars who have eaten here (a much more comprehensive gallery lines the walls of the restaurant). Look at the photo under the heading “… worth a 1,000 words” to see just how big a Katz’s sandwich can be!
Nostalgic deli from 1888; filled with mementos of the era. U.S. Presidents, stars of stage and screen and local and international political, social, and arts figures. Katz's has been featured in the movies. When Johnny Depp met with his FBI contact in "Donnie Brasco," it was at Katz's. When Meg Ryan displayed her orgasmic skill in "When Harry Met Sally" (I'll have what she's having) it was at Katz's.
During World War II, the three sons of Katz's owners were all serving their country in the armed forces, and the family tradition of sending food to their sons became sealed as the slogan "Send a Salami To Your Boy In The Army." Today, we'll arrange to ship the best of Katz's, anywhere, anytime.
One side of Katz's has waitress service. We prefer taking a ticket, going to the cafeteria counters were prices are written down. We seat ourselves & pay on the way out.
Favorite Dish: Pastrami is hand sliced, warm & incredible. The hot dogs & fries are pretty memorable. We enjoy people watching.
although the pastrami was good, the portions on a sandwich are a joke.
don't believe what you see on television. the sandwiches were over-stacked for hype. what i got everyone i saw got half the size what i expected to see. ordering system is so stupid. certain lines for ordering sandwiches, another line for other than sandwiches, yet another line for drinks
what a tourist trap
oh yea...$14.00 for a sandwich.
I didn't actually eat at this restaurant however thought I would still put this tip up because I am not sure if it is more famous because of its deli sandwiches or because its the restaurant where Meg Ryan had an orgasm in the movie When Harry Met Sally and the parton next to her said, "I'll have what she's having". Billy Crystal is the other popular actor that was in that movie.
Apparently you hand a ticket, along with a tip to the counterman and receive a generous serving of the only hand-carved meats in the city. The delicious food makes up for a sparse decor and the ticket system.
when you go up to the counter which you must to order they will give you a taste of corned beef and pastrami.I have been here numerous times and always ordered corned beef and never tried the Pastrami but this time I did.Was I wrong...the pastrami is far superior and I would urge all corned beef lovers to just try it.
Favorite Dish: PASTRAMI on rye with guldens mustard.
They do a great, huge pastrami on rye. Order a half, and a bowl of matzoh ball soup, and you're set for the rest of the day. Order from the counter, and the dude carving the pastrami will give you a hunk to try while you're waiting. There are tables round the side for counter service, the ones at the front of the deli are waited on, but then you do get your plate of green tomatoes and dill pickles there.
Favorite Dish: Matzoh ball soup, coz it's just great, this huge doughy dumpling floating in chicken broth...good for whatever ails you.
Authentic New York Deli. Ask any cab driver for one of the best delis in NYC and they will say Katz's Deli. The Hot Pastrami is smoked to juicy perfection and hand carver to your specifications. The carvers will let you sample all the meat choices before you decide what you want. Almost a meal itself. Try the New York Egg Cream. One of my favorites. You get a ticket when you enter, give the ticket to the carver when you order, and pay when you leave. A great staff who are very helpful and friendly.
Favorite Dish: Hot Pastrami, Katz's Knoblewurst (Garlic Beef Sausage). and Potato Latkes with apple sauce.
Is Katz's the best deli in New York City? Is it just because numerous U.S. Presidents and world figures are known to drop in for a bite? Or is it the many, many stars and famous folk who have showed up?
I walked into Katz's many years ago with my family. The guy behind the counter looked at my father and reminded him, "You were in here about a year ago with your daughter. And you ordered (such and such a thing that I can't remember right now)." The funny thing is, the guy was right.
The popularity of this place is no doubt due in big part to it's history and also that it has been heavily promoted and gets a lot of tourists in. It is also the place that coined the term "Send a salami to your boy in the army." You can order salamis and have them shipped to soldiers overseas; something that was started during WWII.
Oh yeah. One more thing. Remember "the scene" from "When Harry Met Sally"? You know...the one where Meg Ryan faked...(wink, wink). This is where that scene was filmed.
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