The 15 Best New York Delis for the Hoagie, Sub or Sandwich of Your Dreams

No matter what you call it—a delicatessen, sandwich shop, bodega or corner store—there’s nothing like one of NYC’s 13,000-plus delis for a well-made hero, wedge or grinder (put simply, a sandwich), or pretty much any other ready-to-eat food. There’s about one deli on every block in the five boroughs, so no matter where you are, a great sandwich is never far away. For your convenience (pun intended), we’ve rounded up the best delis in New York for snacks, refreshing beverages, ice cream, bagels and sandwiches. And, if you’re lucky, you might even spot a kitty who calls the shop home.

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best delis ny frankel s delicatessen appetizing
Courtesy of Frankel’s

1. Frankel’s Delicatessen & Appetizing

  • Location: Greenpoint

Is your mouth watering yet? For all the hand-rolled bagels, classic sandwiches and deli sides you’ve been craving, you’re going to want to stop by Frankel’s while it’s open from Tuesday through Sunday. Though it opened just a few years ago, the New York-style Jewish deli has already made a name for itself (and its pink, fatty pastrami and smoked fish) on its high-traffic corner right by McCarren Park. The best part? All of the bagels, spreads, salads, sides and sweets can also be taken to-go. Beware that if you plan on stopping by on a weekend morning, the line will likely be out the door, so be sure to plan ahead.

631 Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn; (718) 389-2302

best delis ny katz s delicatessen
Katz’s Deli

2. Katz’s Delicatessen

  • Location: Lower East Side

Most people who visit Manhattan make a pitstop at Katz’s Delicatessen, and rightfully so. Serving up the finest cuts of beef—pastrami, corned beef, brisket and more—plus Jewish favorites like latkes, matzoh ball soup and kosher Franks since 1888, it’s no wonder folks come from around the world to wind around the old-timey institution. While you might spend a chunk of cash (and time in line), Katz’s is more than a well-built sandwich, a rowdy crowd and a handful of cinema cameos: It feels like a slice of history. If you haven’t tried one of the mile-high, no-frills sandwiches (or had one delivered), step inside and grab a number. It’s really that good.

205 E Houston St; (212) 254-2246

3. Anthony & Son Panini Shoppe

  • Location: East Williamsburg

For your classic New York-style Italian sandwich shop, Anthony & Son is the best in the business. Step into Brooklyn’s East Williamsburg to visit the 25-year-old, family-run-and-operated shop that lives where old school meets new school. Try a signature hero—many of which are named after local people or sights—panini, wrap, salad, cheeseburger, breakfast special or one of the sides, like cheese and gravy waffle fries or fried avocado. You can also stop in for merch or anything you’d find at your typical convenience store, like soda or chips. (Just make sure you don’t ask for any substitutions, because it’s not happening.)

433 Graham Ave, Brooklyn; (718) 383-7395

best delis ny pj bernstein
Courtesy of PJ Bernstein

4. Pj Bernstein

  • Location: Upper East Side

While it isn’t as well-known as its downtown compatriots, PJ Bernstein, bought in 1983 by a Russian-born cab driver, is a favorite spot for locals and celebs alike. For a towering pastrami sandwich, smaller bites or mouth-watering soup made fresh daily, this Jewish deli and full-service restaurant has it all—plus a side of coleslaw, pickles and locally-made Eli’s Bread. If you’re extra hungry (or extra ambitious), you might go for the Cardiologist Special, featuring hot pastrami, tongue and chicken liver pâté, or the “Jewish Whopper,” a fried potato knish stuffed with pastrami and sauerkraut.

1215 3rd Ave; (212) 879-0914

best delis ny liebman s deli
Courtesy of Liebman’s Deli

5. Liebman’s Deli

  • Location: Riverdale

Like many Jewish delis in NYC, Liebman’s is totally kosher and totally delicious. Like the brisket sandwich topped with Russian dressing pictured above, this deli has been serving up soups, sandwiches, salads, knishes, smoked fish and meats since 1953. Because they’re in the Bronx and not Manhattan or Brooklyn, they don’t get the same hours-long touristy lines that visit the likes of Katz’s and Frankel’s. In fact, when it first opened, it was one of over 100 Jewish delis in the Bronx—and today, it’s the last one standing in the borough. Oh, and did we mention they give a generous serving of coleslaw and pickles with every meal?

552 W 235th St, The Bronx; (718) 548-4534

best delis ny lite bites
Courtesy of Lite Bites

6. Lite Bites

  • Location: Greenpoint

Now for something a little different. If you’re looking for a deli that has it all, Lite Bites is just the ticket. Just a hop, skip and a jump from Frankel’s, this shop combines all of the classic deli favorites with Carribean food, inspired by the owner’s upbringing on the island of Trinidad and Tobago. That means you’ll find fresh salads, burgers, gyros, wraps, quesadillas and specialty sandwiches plus roti, curries, spiced chicken and other foods with East Indian, Creole, Chinese and Spanish influences. The best-seller is a local favorite: the “Hashwich,” with two eggs, cheese, hashbrown and bacon or sausage on an English muffin or brioche bun with homemade spicy mayo.

700 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn; (718) 383-2820

7. Sarge’s Delicatessen & Diner

  • Location: Midtown East

Founded by a police sergeant in 1964, Sarge’s is known for having likely the most overstuffed sandwiches in the city. Boasting in-house cured corned beef and pastrami, homemade matzoh ball soup, breakfast dishes, cold cut platters and cheesecakes to die for, come to this Midtown joint hungry. If you’re up for a challenge, quite literally, try the “Monster,” a 12-inch-tall sandwich consisting of pastrami, corned beef, roast beef, fresh roast turkey, salami, lettuce, tomato, coleslaw and Russian dressing on three giant slices of thick seeded rye bread (that comes with a t-shirt). While it used to be open 24/7 pre-pandemic, Sarge’s is now operating nearly all-day seven days a week for indoor dining, delivery and pick-up.

548 3rd Ave; (212) 679-0442

8. Ariemma’s Italian Delicatessen

  • Location: Staten Island

For a true New York experience, swing by this classic Italian deli run by the same family for 66 years—that’s five generations strong. Known for various $5 hero specials, chicken lulu, prosciutto balls, eye round roast beef, tuna and chicken salad, vodka sauce, calzone egg rolls, creamy potato and macaroni salad, coleslaw, and hundreds more items made fresh to order, Staten Islanders know Ariemma’s is the real deal. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, stop in for breakfast, lunch or dinner for a sandwich made from scratch that’ll blow your mind.

1791 Hylan Blvd, Staten Island; (718) 979-2630

best delis ny david s brisket house
Courtesy of David’s Brisket House

9. David’s Brisket House

  • Location: Bed-Stuy

Yep, more pastrami! This family-run Bed-Stuy staple has quite the unique 70-plus-year history: after passing ownership from a Russian Jew to a Romanian Jew to a Yemenite Jew to a Yemenite Muslim, the deli went from being run using kosher principles to now being treated according to the halal tradition. The quaint nook is known for its old school roast brisket sandwiches on a roll with gravy, as well as (shocker!) their classic pastrami and roast beef. If you want to build your own sandwich or dish at home, all of their delectable meats are also available by the pound.

533 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn; (718) 789-1155

best delis ny barney greengrass
Jonathan Bumble

10. Barney Greengrass

  • Location: Upper West Side

Sometimes, New Yorkers get a craving that only smoked fish can satisfy—that’s where Barney Greengrass comes in. Open since 1908 (you read that right!), Barney Greengrass, “the Sturgeon King,” sells countless breakfast dishes, like Nova Scotia salmon scrambled eggs with caramelized onions, smoked fish platters like the sturgeon, Nova Scotia and whitefish combo, specialty sandwiches with toppings like house-cured gravlax, plus bagels, caviars, salads, sides and more. If you like juice, try the fresh-squeezed orange juice—and beware that they don’t take credit cards.

541 Amsterdam Avenue; (212) 724-4707

best delis ny cat
Courtesy of Edith’s

11. Edith’s

  • Location: Williamsburg

With two locations, a sandwich counter and an eatery/grocery hybrid, Edith’s isn’t your typical NYC deli. Rooted in Brooklyn, history and tradition, stop by the counter for sandwiches made with bagels, pita or housemade bread, plus pastries for breakfast or lunch any day of the week, and take your meal to go wherever the day takes you. For a sit-down dinner or brunch, the eatery is a must-visit, stocked with a full bar and Edith’s twists on Jewish classics. Our recommendation: the BEC&L (bacon, egg, latke and cheese) sandwich with the iced coffee slushie.

495 Lorimer St, Brooklyn;

best delis ny ben s kosher delicatessen restaurant
Courtesy of Ben’s Deli

12. Ben’s Kosher Delicatessen Restaurant

  • Location: Multiple Locations

If you find yourself in Manhattan’s Garment District or Bayside, Queens, you’ve got to try Ben’s. Whipping up the finest authentic New York kosher delicatessen and Eastern European comfort foods since 1972, this family-owned-and-operated business has even expanded into both Long Island and Florida. Try the traditional specialties, Franks, specialty burgers, turkey and steak burgers, sandwiches, soups, desserts, sides and cold cuts for a decadent taste of kosher goodness. After all, their saying is: “We cure our own corned beef, our chicken soup cures everything else!”

Multiple locations; (212) 398-2367

best delis ny 2nd avenue deli
Courtesy of 2nd Avenue Deli

13. 2nd Avenue Deli

  • Location: Multiple Locations

Another local favorite Jewish deli, 2nd Avenue Deli’s two locations, plus a speakeasy above the Upper East Side location, make up a true NYC institution. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. for dine-in, delivery, pick-up and takeout, stop by for one of their signature dishes: the pastrami deviled eggs, the Nova Lox sandwich, matzoh ball soup, gefilte fish, stuffed kishke, and even chopped liver. Want something a little meatier? The “Instant Heart Attack Sandwich,” with two large potato pancakes on top of your choice of corned beef, pastrami, turkey or salami is not for the faint of heart. For a special family meal, look to get 2nd Avenue Deli to cater your Passover Seder dinner, which has its own menu.

Multiple locations; (212) 689-9000

14. Mile End Delicatessen

  • Location: Boerum Hill

What’s better than Grandma’s cooking? Not a whole lot. Unlike the rest of the Jewish delis on this list, Mile End is a Montreal-style Jewish deli, meaning their dishes have a touch of French-Canadian influence. Small but mighty, this Brooklyn shop is known for signature smoked meats and sandwiches, homemade hotdogs with tangy kraut, fresh whitefish salad, baked goods and more, all inspired by the owners’ grandmothers’ recipes. And don’t forget the poutine!

97 Hoyt St, Brooklyn; (718) 852-7510

15. Pastrami Queen

  • Location: Multiple Locations

With storefronts on both sides of Central Park in the Upper East and West Sides of Manhattan, Pastrami Queen is known for, you guessed it, pastrami. Open since 1956, it hasn’t changed all that much. Formerly known as “Pastrami King,” they’ve perfected serving up hot and cold kosher sliced meats on sandwiches, platters, burgers and by the pound—and was even a favorite eatery of the beloved late celebrity chef and author Anthony Bourdain. Swing by seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. for a slice of NYC’s finest.

Multiple locations; (212) 877-2874

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Freelance PureWow Editor

Quinn Fish is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer covering all things New York City, from the tastiest espresso martinis to the best amusement parks to the perfect weekend getaways...