New York City is famous for its Jewish delis, bagel shops and black and white cookies, but we have a special place in our heart reserved for latkes, the crispy, fried potato pancakes of our dreams. And luckily, there’s no shortage of purveyors slinging the best of the best during the Hanukkah season and year-round. Whether you celebrate or not, this holiday staple is basically impossible not to love. Read on for 15 spots that are home to the best latkes in NYC.
The 15 Best Latkes in NYC, Whether You Swear by Katz’s, Shelsky’s or Veselka’s
This NYC mainstay has been using the same latke recipe for decades, and it’s no secret why—they’re positively flawless. Russ & Daughters makes their potato latkes by hand in small batches daily. If you visit one of their three locations, you can slather them in everything from crème fraiche to caviar. But if you’re outside the Big Apple, you can order them below from Goldbelly.
This bakery is arguably most famous for its chocolate and cinnamon babkas, but come the holiday season, they churn out potato latkes with the best of ’em for a limited time, along with sufganiyot, Linzer tarts and stollen. While you can order certain treats (like rugelach and babka) online here, you’ll need to be in the NYC area to try one of Breads’ latkes, which come with both sour cream and applesauce. Available December 15 through December 25.
This iconic spot does so much more than smoked fish. And luckily for out-of-towners, Shelsky’s ships many of their goodies nationwide, so you can sink your teeth into a latke crowned with crème fraiche and Grandma Yetta’s chunky applesauce no matter where you live. (P.S.: There are gluten-free and sweet potato-celeriac latkes available as well, if you’d like to branch out.)
Home to some of the city’s most delicious smoked fish (particularly sturgeon), Barney Greengrass also knows how to make a mean latke. Shipping is available to most major cities, and the shop offers same-day delivery to most Manhattan locations and other boroughs, as long as you call ahead.
Founded in 1954 by Ukrainian refugees, Veselka is now an NYC institution, serving comfort food, diner classics and old-world dishes late into the night. Their latkes are particularly craggy and large compared to some others on this list. Go to one of two locations in person for a $6 single or $16 three-piece, or order 12 latkes online from anywhere in the country.
No self-respecting Jewish deli lover or New Yorker hasn’t heard of Katz’s. Thankfully, even out-of-state spud stans can get their hands on their latkes, as the shop ships their fare nationwide. If you’re hungry for more than their mini potato pancakes, the latkes are also included in the Hanukkah Dinner Package—complete with matzoh ball soup and hand-sliced pastrami—and Katz’s Chrismukkah Package, which includes everything from knishes to sour pickles.
Named for the Canadian-style Jewish delis in Montreal’s Mile End neighborhood, this resto has made its mark on Brooklyn since opening in 2010. Their latkes are made from russet potatoes, onions and chives, then fried to crispy brown perfection. Pair them with classics like smoked salmon and sour cream, or go the extra mile with tobiko (aka fish roe) crème fraiche. And if you go in person, you simply need to try a latke, egg and cheese on a brioche roll.
Liebman’s has been a Bronx landmark for nearly 70 years, thanks to their next-level kosher menu offerings like pastrami reubens, pickled herring and stuffed cabbage. But our favorite item is no doubt the giant potato latkes, which are 4½ inches across and irresistibly crunchy. Order eight or 16 of them from anywhere in the country on Goldbelly, or visit the shop if you’re in the area.
Started by Romanian immigrant Yonah Schimmel, this spot is the oldest knishery in the United States. Their menu includes spinach, jalapeño-cheddar and even pizza knishes, but most importantly, the shop also sells latkes—and their website dares to claim that they’re “better than your grandmother’s.” Bubbe is shaking in her boots.
If you only have one shot at breakfast in NYC, Zucker’s won’t disappoint. Both a bagel with schmear and their loaded breakfast sandwiches (our favorite is The Delancey, which is piled high with eggs, corned beef or pastrami, a potato latke, sauteed onions and Swiss cheese) are sure to please. You can try their bagels, hand-sliced nova salmon and even smoked fish salad from anywhere in the country if you order on Goldbelly, but their latkes are only accessible to locals.
Based in Midtown, Murray’s opened in 1946 and has received plenty of accolades since. Its selection of fine caviar and smoked fish (mostly sourced from different varieties of sturgeon) is its claim to fame, but the shop has been known to fry up seriously delicious latkes too. Might we suggest pairing yours with a fluffy knish or mouth-puckering sour tomatoes?
With six locations under its belt, Friedman’s offers a ton of dine-in deliciousness all over Manhattan. Select stores offer over-the-top eggs Benedicts, such as the Nova Benny that comes on a hulking potato latke instead of an English muffin, but all their locations offer plain potato latkes with applesauce and sliced scallions as a side.
14. 2nd Ave Deli
Whether you visit the Midtown East or Upper East Side location, one thing’s for sure: Your meal will be incomplete without a crispy latke. Nosh on a few of 2nd Ave Deli’s famous potato pancakes with a side of applesauce or tackle the Instant Heart Attack sandwich, stuffed with two large potato pancakes and your choice of corned beef, pastrami, turkey or salami.
This gourmet emporium’s reputation precedes itself, as it sells literally every Jewish comfort food or kosher craving you can imagine—including potato pancakes, which are made by hand on site. Zabars also sells zucchini latkes if those are more your speed, or if you’re celebrating, you can splurge on the Lot ’A Latkes Box, which includes a whole pound of latkes, applesauce, Hanukkah cookies, chocolate coins and dreidels.
Taryn Pire is PureWow’s associate food editor. A former bartender and barista, she’s been writing about all things delicious since 2016, developing recipes, reviewing restaurants and investigating food trends at Food52, New Jersey Family Magazine and Taste Talks. When she isn’t testing TikTok’s latest viral recipe, she’s having popcorn for dinner and posting about it on Instagram @cookingwithpire.