Harold’s New York Deli Restaurant – Edison, NJ

Harold’s New York Deli Restaurant
3050 Woodbridge Avenue
Edison, NJ 08837-3460
(732) 661-9100

To summarize my Katz’s Deli experience, I would put it this way. Top quality pastrami, low value. As much as i love top quality experiences, deep down, I’m a sucker for value. Let me introduce you to value – Jersey style.

When people talk about the best NY deli’s now existing outside of Manhattan, they usually mean Brooklyn, not Edison. Harold’s New York Deli Restaurant has been called one of New York’s best delis, even though it is in New Jersey. I first heard whispers from a friend, who, after one of our Katz’s experiences, stated that she was fed up with the high prices and mediocre value.  “Harold’s is so much better value… you have to see it to believe it”.

Harold’s is run by the former operator of the Claremont Diner, and the Carnegie Deli. Harold’s is his personal vision of a super diner/deli, where he has combined the menus from both establishments into one enormous restaurant. Located just off the I-95, it can be a bit tricky to get to. It took me two passes before i got it right.

Attached to a hotel, I would use one word to describe Harold’s. Enormous. It’s classic Jersey Diner meets New York deli, this place has two enormous sections and the world’s largest pickle bar. You could probably seat half the city of Edison in this establishment, while the other half waited in line.

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Katz’s Delicatessen – New York City, NY

Katz’s Delicatessen
205 East Houston Street
New York, NY 10002-1098
(212) 254-2246

I’m a little suspicious of places that call themselves the best. The boast never seems to ring true, and more often than not, it’s a testament to ego, or the past, more than it is to what’s true today.

However, when 90% of the people who live in, or visit New York, say Katz’s is the best pastrami sandwich in New York, you have to take notice. New York is known for its pastrami, and to be the best in New York…well, as they like to think, it means you are the best anywhere.

Katz’s Deli has been around since 1888. Located on the Lower East Side, it’s part of an interesting chain of old school, high quality establishments that dot East Houston Street – Russ & Daughters, and Yonah Shimmel’s Knish Bakery are located nearby as well. The building definitely is a distinctive landmark on the south side of E. Houston – but if you don’t notice the signage, you’ll notice the lineups out the door.

Upon entering the premises, you will find very little has changed in the decor, and the menus for the past 60 years. There is typically two types of service – in theory, there is table service, but for a true Katz’s experience, take a ticket, and head to the deli counter to order your own sandwich. When you finally end up with sandwich in hand, you’ll need to pounce on one of the self serve tables that seem to free up every 20 seconds.

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