New York Diaries: Katz’s Delicatessen

Katz's Delicatessen

When we started telling people about our New York holiday, we were inundated with recommendations for places to eat – many of them for Katz’s Delicatessen.

Katz's DelicatessenWhen we started telling people about our New York holiday, we were inundated with recommendations for places to eat. Everyone who’s been there has their favourites, and are very passionate about them. My list became so long and unmanageable that I scrapped it – twice – and in the end just decided to work it out it when we arrived, on the assumption that there would be probably be plenty of great places wherever we ended up. One of the reasons it’s taken me so long to start work documenting our trip is that there’s just so much to tell.

Two popular potential destinations were Shake Shack and Katz’s Delicatessen. Shake Shack was at the very top of my personal to-do list, and will be the subject of another article – after all, we ate at four of them – but I’m starting with that famous location from When Harry Met Sally, and every TV show about eating in New York ever.

It’s an obvious choice, but sometimes there’s no harm in that.

Katz's DelicatessenEstablished in 1888, Katz’s Delicatessen is the iconic New York deli, and needs very little introduction. Every week they serve around 4,500kg of their famous pastrami and 12,000 hot dogs.

Like pretty much everywhere else in New York, Katz’s is busy. If you don’t know where to go, or what you want to order, then you’d better work it out fast because dithering about just isn’t on. The locals aren’t rude about it, but you work out pretty quickly that everyone is in a hurry.

Katz's DelicatessenKatz’s is obviously used to an endless stream of tourists, and they’ve constructed “in” and “out” lanes. You’re given a ticket on the way in, what you order is noted on it, and there’s no leaving without handing it to the cashier or security.

Presumably this deals with those who just come in for a look, and those who try to take advantage of the crowds to avoid paying.

Katz's DelicatessenThere are multiple counters to order at, depending what you want. It’s quite confusing, and like much of New York intimidating for outsiders.

Katz's DelicatessenIt’s not classy, either – but that’s not why you come here.

In saying that, Katz’s has a very polished website and plenty of merchandise for the tourist (no, I didn’t buy any). They deliver in their local area, and even ship their iconic meals across the USA.

Katz's DelicatessenTo the amazement of some I didn’t order a Reuben. No, we went there for the hot dogs, which consistently appear on lists of New York’s finest. How were they? Simple, but delicious. A chilli dog is one of my favourite things in the whole world, and this is one I won’t forget in a hurry.

I do wish I’d tried the Reuben, but it costs over $30 (Australian) including tip, and I knew that most of it would end up wasted (especially since we were just a few minutes from our next destination, but that’s another story…)

Katz's DelicatessenI wish I had what she’s having.

Katz's DelicatessenWe weren’t at Katz’s for very long, but I’m glad we got visit such an iconic location – more importantly, we tried some of the best hot dogs in New York.

Sometimes a great food memory is all that you need.

Katz's Delicatessen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

About the author


Martin was born in England but now lives in Perth, Western Australia. He has a passion for breakfast, coffee, hot curries & fast food, and is a cat & Dalek person.

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