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2nd Avenue Deli

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2nd Avenue Deli

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Address: 162 E 33rd St (Lex & 3rd Aves)
City: New York, NY
Zip: 10016
Phone: 212-689-9000
Fax: 212-689-9001
Site: Visit the restaurant site
Map: Map
Cuisine: Delicatessen
2nd Cuisine: Coffee Shops
Area: East 30s
Takeout: Yes


When the day is cold, the night is late or the appetite is ravenous, there is only one type of restaurant to frequent in NYC. That would be the Jewish deli, like the archetypical 2nd Avenue Deli .

The deli is classic old school NYC – dark, cavernous, with a lengthy menu and servers who are either gruff, old, sassy, or some combo of the three. And awesome in their own ways. For example, if you don’t order enough, you are likely to get told that there will be a mandatory order of  fries tacked onto your meal. And you will eat them, too…you don’t want to get yelled at.


Like any good deli, you get a plate of pickles and a plate of coleslaw. The vinegary slaw is a bit more sweet than I like, but the pickles are pitch perfect. Tangy dill pickles, crunchy new pickles, and delightfully sour pickled tomatoes. A plate of these will drive your blood pressure through the roof, but are heaven when paired with a Dr. Brown’s Cream Soda.

The #6: Turkey, Chopped Liver, cole slaw and Russian dressing is a sandwich. Fresh roasted turkey is juicy and flavorful, a good match for classic, mayonnaise-based slaw. The chopped liver is rich, minerally, a little sweet, and filled with the pungent crunch of finely diced onions. Served on musky rye bread with tangy Russian dressing, it is all good things that Jewish food is: heavy, comforting, and guilt laden. Stuffed Derma, or the Jewish version of stuffing,  is equally fantastic. Moist and soft, with texture of polenta, it is filled not only with garlic and onion, but with the liquid gold that is chicken stock. This makes it fatty but not greasy, rich but not overwhelming.
Served with  thick gravy, this is comfort food at its finest.

Each meal here ends with a tiny shot of a chocolate egg cream. There is neither egg nor cream in this old fashioned drink – just seltzer, milk, and a little chocolate syrup.
The 2nd Avenue Deli is a great representation of a classic NYC Jewish Deli.  The prices are high, but the quality is excellent and the portions are gargantuan.

Review By: Sarah Spigelman