Best kosher restaurants and cafes in New York City

Whether you keep kosher or are entertaining observant Jewish pals, these New York kosher restaurants will please a mixed crowd.

Photograph: Marlene Rounds
Tiffin Wallah

Observant Jews don’t have to settle for falafel in New York City, where there are plenty of kosher restaurants to suit religious gourmands. Under careful rabbinical supervision, these kosher eateries abide by orthodox Jewish policies ensuring that their standards are never compromised, even in the busiest of kitchens. From delis and bistros to world-class Indian food, here are our favorite kosher restaurants in NYC. Did we miss your favorite New York kosher restaurant? Let us know in the comments.

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The Prime Grill

(Supervised by OU)
Owner Joey Allaham tries to operate his meat emporium like a proper midtown steakhouse first, kosher steakhouse second. That means serious waiters, a clientele of glatt gourmands who are comfortable bringing nonkosher guests here, and a safe, classy wood-heavy interior. You won't find filet mignon (too close to the back to be a kosher cut), but slabs of dry-aged rib eye and sirloin are richly satisfying.

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Midtown West

Le Marais

Critics' pick

(Supervised by OU)
Relinquish your Times Square restaurant prejudices. Unlike its megachain neighbors, this kosher French bistro does most things well (dessert can be skipped) and some things superbly. Thank the on-site butcher for the piquant steak au poivre. The house frites are crisp and satisfying, and will have even gentiles plotzing.

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Midtown West

Blossom Vegan Restaurant

(Supervised by Lev Schwartz)
For cautious carnivores, Blossom offers one big surprise: All the eggless pastas and mock meats actually taste pretty good. For vegans, it's a candlelit godsend. Guiltily dreaming of veal scaloppine? Try the pan-seared seitan cutlets, tender wheat gluten served with garlic mashed potates.

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Chelsea

Tiffin Wallah

Critics' pick

(Supervised by OKS)
This bright, clean Curry Hill standout makes a great date place—especially if your date is vegetarian, Jewish or homesick for India. Start with the samosa chaat ($4)—two flaky pockets stuffed with potato and peas, covered in a colorful tamarind, cilantro and yogurt sauce. Then sample one of three $14 thalis—multiple servings of rice, curries, chutneys and more served on a single tray. A fresh lunch buffet, offered from 11:30am to 3pm on weekdays, overflows with South Indian standards like a creamy saag paneer and Gobi masala (cauliflower and spiced onions)—all you can eat for $7.95.

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Gramercy & Flatiron

Mike’s Bistro

(Supervised by OU)
The menu items at Mike's Bistro on the Upper West Side don't sound especially Jewish, but the food is 100 percent glatt kosher. Since graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in 1997, Brooklyn native chef-owner Michael Gershkovich has dreamed of opening his own kosher restaurant—one where the food is as important as the biblical dietary regulations. After a stint at the upscale kosher steakhouse Prime Grill, he's now running his own show with dishes like braised duck gnocchi, barbecue-glazed short rib and sautéed duck breast.

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Upper West Side

Pongal

(Supervised by CUPK)
If you're used to North Indian fare, the casually elegant Pongal will fill in a few blanks with dishes from the South. Staff at this kosher vegetarian spot provide a brief culinary geography lesson and realistically assess how scorching the "hot spices" really are. The dosa are big and finely seasoned. The truly great tuver baingan has refreshingly unmushy eggplant, pigeon peas and an unforgettable bite that just might bring you back for more.

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Gramercy & Flatiron

Sacred Chow

(Supervised by IKC)
This small, quiet vegan cafe and bistro offers most of its seitan, tofu and vegetable dishes as small plates—a good idea, as there are many options. There's wholesome sunflower- and lentil-pate on crostini, and a shiitake mushroom salad with toasted sunflower seeds. If you're willing to commit to a full-size entree, the soy-meatball sub is a satisfying choice, slathered in a savory tomato-onion sauce and topped with melted vegan cheese. Organic wines and draft beers can be paired with all dishes.

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Greenwich Village

Chennai Garden

(Supervised by OKS)
The sparsely decorated Gramercy cafe serves some of the tastiest Indian food in Manhattan—and it's kosher and vegetarian to boot. Channa chat, cold chickpeas in a yogurt and smoky-sweet tamarind sauce, and lentil chat, lentil flour fritters drenched in mustard-seed-and-chili yogurt, are among our new favorite comfort foods. Curries include undhiyu, an unusual combination of yam, eggplant and snow peas in a rich, mildly peppery butter sauce.

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Gramercy & Flatiron

Maoz Vegetarian

Critics' pick

(Supervised by Steinberg)
This falafel joint offers chickpea patties with unlimited fixings—serve yourself at the salad bar. Once you've scored your fill of seemingly endless toppings, such as shredded cabbage and carrot medallions, experiment with seven different sauces, including a mild traditional tahini or a worth-the-wait garlic sauce, which does the rather soggy pommes frites a world of good.

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Gramercy & Flatiron

Hummus Place

Critics' pick

(Supervised by UKS)
If you want to know how good hummus should taste, check out this slender East Village restaurant (there are two more locations, one in the West Village and one on the Upper West Side). We're particularly fond of the supersmooth traditional hummus. It's rich enough to be called "vegetarian chopped liver" and comes with a smart selection of condiments including pickles, olives, raw onion and chewy, bubbly pita for scooping.

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East Village

Comments

1 comments
Regina P
Regina P Spammer

I consider myself a foodie, but I have never tried Jewish food. I am visiting New York this summer with my husband and we have both been talking about the food there. These dishes make me even more excited about going! http://Koshergourmet.biz