Katz's Delicatessen

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Katz's Delicatessen
Lozupone katz2.png
Restaurant information
Food typeJewish kosher style delicatessen
Dress codeCasual
Street address205 East Houston Street
StateNew York
Postal/ZIP Code10002
CountryUnited States
Coordinates40°43′20″N 73°59′15″W / 40.722327°N 73.987422°W / 40.722327; -73.987422Coordinates: 40°43′20″N 73°59′15″W / 40.722327°N 73.987422°W / 40.722327; -73.987422
WebsiteOfficial website

Katz's Delicatessen, also known as Katz's of New York City, is a kosher-style delicatessen at 205 East Houston Street, on the southwest corner of Houston and Ludlow Streets on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City.[1]

Since its founding, it has been popular among locals and tourists alike for its pastrami on rye, which is considered among New York's best.[2][3][4]

Each week, Katz's serves 15,000 lb (6,800 kg) of pastrami, 8,000 lb (3,600 kg) of corned beef, 2,000 lb (910 kg) of salami and 4,000 hot dogs.[5] In 2016, Zagat gave Katz's a food rating of 4.5 out of 5, and ranked it as the number one deli in New York City.[1]


According to Katz's chronology, brothers Morris and Hyman Iceland established what is now known as Katz's Delicatessen on Ludlow Street in New York's Lower East Side. Upon the arrival of Willy Katz in 1903, the establishment's name was changed from Iceland Brothers to Iceland & Katz. Willy's cousin Benny joined him in 1910, buying out the Iceland brothers to form Katz's delicatessen. Their landlord Harry Tarowsky bought into the partnership in April 1917.[6] However, according to food writer Robert F. Moss, records at Ellis Island indicate that Morris and Hyman Iceland immigrated to the United States in 1902. Moss states that the "Iceland Hyman delicatessen" had only opened by 1911.[7]

The construction of the New York City Subway's Houston Street Line in the 1930s required the deli to move to the present side of the street, although the entrance remained on Ludlow Street. The vacant lot on Houston Street was home to barrels of meat and pickles until the storefront facade was added in the period 1946–1949.[6]

In the early part of the twentieth century, the Lower East Side was home to millions of newly immigrated families. This, along with the lack of public and private transportation, forged a solid community such that Katz's became a focal point for congregating. On Fridays, the neighborhood turned out for franks and beans, a long time Katz tradition.[6]

During the peak of the Yiddish theater, the restaurant was frequented by actors, singers and comedians from the many theaters on Second Avenue as well as the National Theater on Houston Street. During World War II, the sons of the owners – Lenny Katz and Izzy Tarowsky – were both serving their country in the armed forces, and the family tradition of sending food to their sons became established as the company slogan "Send A Salami To Your Boy In The Army".[6] The slogan was coined by Izzy's mother Rose Tarowsky, whose son served in the South Pacific as a bomber pilot.[8]

The next change in ownership took place with the death of Willy Katz, when his son Lenny took over. In 1980, both Benny Katz and Harry Tarowsky died, leaving the store to Benny's son-in-law Artie Makstein and Harry's son Izzy. In 1988, on the 100th anniversary of its establishment, with no offspring of their own to leave the business to, Lenny, Izzy and Arthur sold Katz's to long-time restaurateur Martin Dell, his son Alan – who was a chef and a manager at a neighboring deli – and Martin's son-in-law Fred Austin. Alan's son Jake joined the business in late 2009 and as of 2020 is in charge of major operations.[6][9]

The restaurant celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2013 marked by the restaurant opening a pop-up art gallery next door. The gallery featured original art by local New York City artists with Baron Von Fancy and Ricky Powell among the first displayed and others rotated on a monthly basis.[10]

In 2017, Katz's opened its first auxiliary location, in the City Point development's DeKalb Market Hall in Downtown Brooklyn,[11][12] and also instituted mail-order sales.[13]

in September 2021, it was announced that Katz's Delicatessen would be partnering with Hendrick's Gin to make gin inspired pickles. Master Distiller, Ms. Lesley Gracie collaborated with Katz's owner Jake Dell, to create a brine that featured gin standard juniper and cubeb berries, with an additional emphasis on coriander, a botanical shared by both Katz's pickles and Hendrick's Gin.[14][15]

Early morning at Katz's, before the crowds


Sign at Katz's encouraging parents to send salami to their sons in the military during World War II

During World War II, Katz's encouraged parents to "Send a salami to your boy in the army" which became one of the deli's noted catchphrases. It is part of the lyrics of a song in the 1950 Martin and Lewis film At War with the Army, and referenced in the Tom Lehrer song "So Long, Mom (A Song for World War III)" in the following lyric: "Remember, Mommy, I'm off to get a Commie, so send me a salami, and try to smile somehow". Katz's continues to support American troops today: the deli has arranged special international shipping for U.S. military addresses only and has been a source of gift packages to the troops stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq.[16]

Another of the deli's catchphrases is "Katz's, that's all!", which came about when a signmaker asked Harry Tarowsky what to say on the deli's sign, and Harry replied "Katz's, that's all". This was misinterpreted by the signmaker, who painted the sign as it stands today on the side of the building.


As each customer enters Katz's, a door attendant hands them a printed, numbered ticket. As they receive their food from various stations/areas throughout the deli (separate for sandwiches, hot dogs, bottled drinks, fountain drinks, etc.), employees compute a running total of the pre-tax bill. If several people's orders are combined on a single ticket, a cashier collects the blank tickets.[17]

Katz's has instituted a "lost ticket fee". If a customer loses a ticket, an additional $50 surcharge is added to the bill. The fee's purpose, as stated by the management, is to encourage patrons to go back and find the lost ticket in the hopes of preventing theft (substituting a smaller ticket for a larger one).[17]

In popular culture[edit]

The sign at Katz's Delicatessen commemorating the film When Harry Met Sally...




See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b "Katz's Delicatessen" on the Zagat website
  2. ^ New York City Travel Guide: Katz's Deli, accessed September 24, 2006
  3. ^ Schmalbruch, Sarah; Dreyfuss, Jeremy (January 9, 2016). "Katz's Delicatessen serves New York City's best pastrami sandwich". Business Insider. Retrieved November 14, 2020.
  4. ^ Levine, Ed. "Katz's Deli: Beyond the Pastrami". seriouseats.com. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  5. ^ Schapiro, Rich (May 31, 2013). "Katz's Deli celebrates 125 years of doing sandwiches right". Daily News. New York. Retrieved November 14, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Our Story". Katz's Delicatessen. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  7. ^ Moss, Robert F. (May 9, 2017). "How Old is Katz's Deli?". Robert F. Moss. Archived from the original on January 21, 2018.
  8. ^ Hamburger, Philip (March 18, 1944). "Profiles: The Bard in the Delicatessen". The New Yorker. pp. 32+.; see also New York Historical Society video
  9. ^ "Meet the 29-Year-Old Running New York City's Katz's Deli". Vice (video). Retrieved November 14, 2020.
  10. ^ Leveritt, Tom (November 25, 2013). "Classic New York: Katz's Delicatessen". GrandLife Hotels. GrandLife Hotels. Archived from the original on May 7, 2015. Retrieved August 10, 2014.
  11. ^ Settembre, Jeanette (June 12, 2017). "Katz's Deli to open first-ever outpost in Downtown Brooklyn's DeKalb Market Hall". Daily News. New York. Retrieved May 7, 2018.
  12. ^ Sportelli, Natalie (February 13, 2017). "How The 29-Year-Old Owner Of Katz's Deli Is Bringing The NYC Landmark Into The 21st Century". Forbes. Retrieved April 15, 2019.
  13. ^ Passy, Charles (May 10, 2017). "Katz's Delicatessen to Launch World-Wide Shipping Service". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 27, 2021.
  14. ^ "Pickles". www.hendricksgin.com. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  15. ^ Fabricant, Florence (September 27, 2021). "Two Institutions Come Together for a Briny Collaboration". The New York Times. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  16. ^ Severson, Kim (May 31, 2006). "For Soldiers' Appetites, Reinforcements". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 14, 2020.
  17. ^ a b Morabito, Greg (May 17, 2010). "Katz's Management Explains the $50 Lost Ticket Fee". Eater NY. Retrieved November 14, 2020.
  18. ^ Penenberg, Adam L. (May 22, 1991). "Salamis to Fend Off Military Blandness". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 14, 2020.
  19. ^ "When Harry Met Sally Deli Orgasm Scene in Pop Culture". Peoplemag. Retrieved November 14, 2020.
  20. ^ "The deli that became a film star". www.thejc.com. Retrieved April 21, 2022.
  21. ^ a b Schonfeld, Zach (July 14, 2014). "Twenty-Five Years After 'When Harry Met Sally,' People Still Fake Orgasms in Katz's Deli". Newsweek. Retrieved November 14, 2020.
  22. ^ "Sidewalks of New York". popmatters.com. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  23. ^ "Sidewalks of New York Film Locations - On the set of New York.com". onthesetofnewyork.com. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  24. ^ Levin, Robert (March 6, 2015). "7 things 'Deli Man' taught us about a fading NYC institution". amny.com. Archived from the original on August 18, 2016. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  25. ^ "DeliMan - The Official Movie Site copy". delimanmovie.com. Archived from the original on March 24, 2017. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  26. ^ "Looking for Kitty Film Locations - On the set of New York.com". onthesetofnewyork.com. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  27. ^ "Off Beat Film Locations - On the set of New York.com". onthesetofnewyork.com. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  28. ^ Morgan, Richard (October 24, 2013). "Paintings Pop-Up Next to Pastrami". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved November 14, 2020.
  29. ^ "Photo of Deli". MovieMaps. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
  30. ^ "Jim Gaffigan Shows Lower East Side Love in his New TV Land Sitcom". boweryboogie.com. August 4, 2015. Archived from the original on November 25, 2020. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  31. ^ Niemietz, Brian (June 19, 2016). "Eat like Jim Gaffigan: the comedian's top 10 restaurants in NYC". Daily News. New York. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  32. ^ "Let's Talk Food: Katz Deli completes Big Apple experience". naplesnews.com. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  33. ^ "Pranks At The Pastrami Shop". trutv.com. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  34. ^ "The NY Definition of Deli". travelchannel.com. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  35. ^ "New York - Man V. Food - TravelChannel.com". travelchannel.com. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  36. ^ Adam Richman returns with another gastro-quest on 'Best Sandwich in America' on Travel Channel

External links[edit]