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“Quite the experience”
Review of Katz's Deli

Katz's Deli
Ranked #492 of 14,817 Restaurants in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: USD 1 - USD 20
Cuisines: American, Deli
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, After-hours, Lunch, Breakfast, Delivery, Takeout
Neighbourhood: Lower East Side
Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

It's on many a New York itinerary and it is definitely an experience.
The place is heaving - pretty much at all times it appears.
You can either do self-service, queue at the counter, then grab a seat with your food; or you can get a waited table.
You are also handed a ticket, which you use for paying with at the end. Losing the ticket incurs a $50 charge (and people lost their ticket while we were there).
We couldn't face the chaos at the counter so waited about 30 minutes for a waited table. The staff at the front were really upbeat, joking with the customers and keeping everyone motivated to persist with the wait.
Overall atmosphere was that of a busy train station but with retro furnishings (and yes, there is a large sign pointing to the "When Harry met Sally" table).
When we got a table we were asked to share with another couple. This would have been fine for us except that the other couple was so appalled at the idea of sharing with us, they audibly voiced their disgust, then started to build a wall made from menus to block out the sight of us. Not satisfied with heir work, they got more menus to build an even bigger wall.
The waiter was only marginally more welcoming, and did not wait for my husband's drinks order and just walked off. However, he was equally gruff with our reluctant table neighbours, so there was a sense of fairness. Dishes were unceremoniously thrown on the table, thumbs half inside the food, and questions were answered with the least possible effort - Katz really did live up to its reputation for theatrical rudeness.
The food was very good deli fare. The pastrami looked great but too large for me to even consider an attempt. I had the knockwurst, which was really tasty and served with heaps of different pickles. The macaroni salad was good too. Fries were perfectly golden and more akin to British chips.
Our waiter became a bit friendlier when he brought our bill and pointed out that a 20% tip is customary (he even did a partial Spanish translation of this advice for the people behind us).
Overall, great food and quite an adventure. I'd definitely recommend it for an interesting experience rather than a relaxing lunch / dinner.

1  Thank smilgaki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

We visited here on recommendations. I have never seen the film When Harry Met Sally but apparently this is the diner which appears in the film, hence why it is so popular.

There was a small queue when we got there which I was surprised at as the diner doesn’t look anything special, infact, it looks quite run down.

The queue went down quite quickly and you are given a ticket and told to go to the counter to order...it is carnage! There are different queues, limited seating and then you have to queue again on the way out to pay. If you do manage to get a table, be prepared to share with strangers as people will literally squeeze in anywhere there is a seat!! I felt like I was in a school canteen!!!

The food...disgusting!!!! We paid almost 50 dollars for 2 sandwiches (no drinks, sides etc) and they were vile. I am not a fussy eater and will pretty much give anything a go but I literally could not stomach my tasteless, dry corned beef sandwich! We went to a lovely Italian restaurant in the evening, had lovely food and drinks and it came to less than what we paid here!

Do not waste your time or money!!!

1  Thank emmalouisethomas84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2018

At first we were shocked by that long line thinking oh no... we would starve. By just like our taxi driver said, it DID move very quickly. We have a baby and young kid in toll, so we know long line sometimes discourage family to try something. But not this one! Daddy was eager to take pictures of the full exp. so he lined up to get the food, while I went to get seats with the kids. They do have highchairs, but they do not have change table in bathrooms. The pastrami sandwich was really flavorful, tender and juicy. I was worried it would be too salty but it wasn't. Kids loved the matzo ball soup and potato pancakes. They do live up to the hype. So when you are in NY, go try it!

    • Value
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Thank genkiippai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2018 via mobile

This place was wonderful. We walked about 2 miles from the 911 Memorial with a group of friends.
We live in California and four people who formerly lived in New York suggested Katz delicatessen as the first place to go. I figured that was a good sign. We had the pastrami sandwich which was excellent and my wife ate the matzoh ball soup. I would recommend making reservations before coming in because we had to wait about half an hour on the side before sitting down.
Still, it was worth the wait.

Thank Richard G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2018

There's a multiple places that you will want to eat when visiting New York, from high end to dives. However IMO KATZ DELI is the best food experience.

You'll have read in guide books how it hasn't changed and the ticket - queuing system is as it was years ago. This is just part of the overall experience and it makes the anticipation of the food coming your way even better.

We had a classic pastrami and brisket sandwiches both come with a big plate of pickles, while waiting the cutter gave us a taste.

The sandwich I recommend is the pastrami, it is melt in the mouth and abs moreish.

The sandwiches are big but i was not leaving any of it and really worth the money.

You'll be sat at tables next to pictures of former presidents and many celebrities.

The food is out of this world and was the best we had over 4 days of dining out

Go go go!!

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank darrensullivan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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