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The best kosher restaurants in NYC

Whether you keep kosher or are entertaining observant Jewish pals, these kosher restaurants in NYC will please any crowd

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Taim

Observant Jews don’t have to settle for plain falafel in New York City, where there are plenty of kosher restaurants to suit religious gourmands. These kosher eateries abide by orthodox Jewish policies, ensuring that their standards are never compromised, even in the busiest of kitchens. From jazzed-up vegan and vegetarian restaurants to world-class Indian restaurants and old-school deli counters slinging pastrami sandwiches, here are our favorite kosher restaurants in NYC.

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Kosher restaurants in NYC

Ben’s Kosher Delicatessen

Knishes, hot pastrami, chopped liver—you'll find deli classics and much more at Ben's, proud sponsor of an annual matzo-ball-eating contest. The granddaddy of seven statewide locations, Ben's Gotham branch features a loud, 250-seat dining room and even louder colorful menu, chock-full of exclamation points. Half an overstuffed sandwich, served on soft, tangy rye or wheat, is thicker than War and Peace, and the beef, turkey and veggie burgers are bursting out of their buns. There are also steaks and chicken livers, plus lighter choices such as a Caesar salad.

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Midtown West

Blossom Vegan Restaurant

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

Hummus Place

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 super smooth 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

Le Marais

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 fries are crisp and satisfying and will have even gentiles plotzing.

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Midtown West

Maoz Vegetarian

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

Noi Due

“This place is kosher?” will be your first question walking into Noi Due. There’s nothing frum-looking about this intimate café, a terrific date spot for anyone—observant or otherwise. Start with antipasti (we liked the pastry cigars filled with ricotta and spinach), but save room for the pizza. Cooked in a brick oven, the pies are topped with palpably fresh ingredients on a crunchy yet chewy crust.

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Upper West Side

Pongal

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 (cheese, spinach) are big and finely seasoned, and a selection of warm potato subji (spinach, cauliflower) come with aromatic basmati rice and mild spices.

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Midtown

The Prime Grill

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 East

Sacred Chow

This small, quiet vegan café 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 Greek salad with cucmber, red onions and toasted feta-almonds. If you're willing to commit to a full-size entrée, the grilled nama gori plates tofu steaks steeped in a rich mustard-garlic sauce with steamed collard greens and an herbaceous dill-mayo spread.

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Greenwich Village

2nd Ave Deli

The onetime East Village institution, now located in Murray Hill, brings its chopped liver, corned beef and pastrami to the Upper East Side. Brothers Josh and Jeremy Lebewohl, the founder's nephews, stay true to the original with the same menu of Jewish standards at this 70-seat location.

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Lenox Hill

Taïm

Falafel doesn’t usually come in different flavors—unless it’s made by an Israel-born chef who’s worked under Bobby Flay. At her falafel and smoothie bar, Taïm, Ludo chef Einat Admony seasons chickpea batter three ways: traditional green (with parsley and cilantro), red (with roasted red pepper) and harissa (with Tunisian spices and garlic). She pairs the terrific falafel with tasty salads like marinated beets, spicy Moroccan carrot salad or baba ghanoush and three dipping sauces. The smoothies are exotic, too—date-lime-banana, pineapple–coconut-milk and a refreshing cantaloupe-ginger—and can be made with whole, skim, soy or no milk.

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West Village

Tiffin Wallah

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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Midtown

William Greenberg Jr. Desserts

Legend has it that William Greenberg Jr. started his first family bakery in 1946 with money he won playing cards. Over the years, several of his uptown shops came and went, and this is the latest iteration, still serving all of the man's signature kosher cookies, cakes and brownies. Dive into favorites like schnecken, shortbread linzer tarts filled with raspberry preserves, apple strudel, black-and-white cookies and cinnamon babka (coffee cake covered with streusel crumbs).

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Upper East Side

Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery

Born from the namesake rabbi’s pushcart in 1910, the soft, house-made knishes at this time-honored LES favorite, baked in a basement brick oven and hoisted upstairs via dumbwaiter, are a taste of bygone New York. The old-world nosh, a thin dough shell filled with potato, comes savory (kasha, red cabbage) or sweet (blueberry, chocolate) or filled with cheese. Make it a meal with a pickle and coleslaw, and wash it all down with a fizzy cherry-lime rickey.

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Lower East Side

Comments

12 comments
samantha n
samantha n

Hello?  Clearly you people are all new to TONY.

The last time I took one of their restaurant recommendations, I got a case of food poisoning

Who cares if it's actually 'kosher' or not....the question is are ANY of the restaurants listed even good

The answer is no

Stop getting all whiny about the level of kashrus

Elli M
Elli M

For shame. This is poorly researched and misleading. MOST of the places listed are of dubious Kosher certification. Kosher style and Kosher are two different things. You also missed almost all of the reliably Kosher eateries in NYC - all boroughs.

Tamar W
Tamar W

LOL this is a hilarious piece of linkbait coming from "Time Out Contributors and Don Q Dao." Well, do any of them actually keep kosher? Let's not confuse kosher style with kosher. 


Next time you write a piece on kosher restaurants, please, enlist in someone who keeps strictly kosher because the kosher community of NYC (and beyond) is offended by this poorly researched piece.


Also, NYC includes four other boroughs that are outside Manhattan. Brooklyn has some of the finest kosher cuisine. Guess your writers didn't consider that when they did their half-assed research, did they? 


Finally, since when is a bakery a cafe or a restaurant?! 


Oy, Time Out, you disappoint me.

Drunk G
Drunk G

@Tamar W Be careful about getting offended so easily - especially when someone is just trying to be helpful.  You might end up like a campus Social Justice Warrior.

Tamar W
Tamar W

@Drunk G I don't speak for myself. This thread was brought to the attention of people on a kosher group...one that serves nearly 20,000 people who, you know, actually keep kosher.


Being helpful while ignoring most of the kosher strictly foodie world is offensive, whether you agree or disagree (and you're entitled to disagree). It's not helpful at all to sell non-kosher eateries as kosher and to ignore half of the real kosher gems in the city. But thanks, Drunk. You clearly know much about this. 

Ira K
Ira K

Too many veggie and you missed Mike's Bistro,maybe the best and ,Abigail's

Cary C
Cary C

While these foods are Jewish, the restaurants are not kosher. Please understand the definition and not insult your Jewish readers.

Robert S
Robert S

@Cary C ..I work at Kosher Supermarket..and I agree..not a lot of research went into this...their quote,

 "but slabs of dry-aged rib eye and sirloin are richly satisfying." 

is downright false for two reasons ..The Sirloin cut is not Kosher, and "The Prime Cut" 's menu doesn't have..

Drunk G
Drunk G

@Cary C Be careful about getting insulted very easily - especially when someone is just trying to be helpful.  You might end up like a campus Social Justice Warrior.

Simon D
Simon D

Only the three restaurants under the OU would be considered reliably kosher by most Orthodox Jews.  Please think about getting a little research help the next time you this sort of roundup.

Tamar W
Tamar W

@Regina P With all due respect, if you've never tried Jewish food, why are you link dropping a kosher restaurant in Orlando? Most of us can see through that SEO spam. Is your employer going to disavow this link by contacting Time Out in the future after Google penalizes that link?