Second Avenue Deli

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Second Avenue Deli
Second Avenue Deli.jpg
Restaurant information
Established 1954
Current owner(s) Jeremy Lebewohl
Food type Kosher delicatessen
Street address 162 East 33rd Street (between Lexington and Third Avenues), in Murray Hill, Manhattan
City New York, NY
County New York County
Postal/ZIP Code 10016
Country United States
Coordinates 40°43′46″N 73°59′12″W / 40.72954°N 73.98674°W / 40.72954; -73.98674Coordinates: 40°43′46″N 73°59′12″W / 40.72954°N 73.98674°W / 40.72954; -73.98674
Other locations 1442 First Avenue (at East 75th Street), in Upper East Side, Manhattan, NY 10021
Other information

The Second Avenue Deli (also known as 2nd Ave Deli) is a certified-kosher delicatessen in Manhattan, New York City. In December 2007, the deli relocated to 162 East 33rd Street (between Lexington Avenue and Third Avenue) in Murray Hill.[1][2] In August 2011, it opened a second branch at 1442 First Avenue (East 75th Street) on the Upper East Side. In November 2017, it opened a cocktail lounge called 2nd Floor above its Upper East Side branch.[3]


The delicatessen originally opened in 1954 on the southeast corner of Second Avenue and East 10th Street in the Yiddish Theater District in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan.[4] By that time, most of the Yiddish theaters of the prior half-century had disappeared.[5][6] The Yiddish Walk of Fame is on the sidewalk outside of its original location, honoring stars of the Yiddish era such as Molly Picon, actor Menasha Skulnik, singer and actor Boris Thomashevsky (grandfather of conductor, pianist, and composer Michael Tilson Thomas), and Fyvush Finkel (born Philip Finkel).[5][7]

It closed briefly following the murder of its founder Abe Lebewohl, a survivor of The Holocaust, during a robbery on March 4, 1996. The crime remains unsolved.

On January 1, 2006, new owner Jack Lebewohl closed the delicatessen at its original location in the East Village after a rent increase and a dispute over back rent that the landlord had said was due.[8] (The East Village location later became a Chase Bank branch.) On July 31, 2007, Lebewohl announced that the delicatessen would reopen at a new location in the fall of 2007. It reopened on December 17, 2007, at the Murray Hill location with Jeremy Lebewohl, the nephew of its founder, as its new proprietor.[9]

The sidewalk outside the old Second Avenue location is the home to what is known as the Yiddish Walk of Fame, where the names of about fifty stars of the old Yiddish-theatre era are embedded in plaques on the sidewalk, similar to the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[10][11]

The delicatessen's specialties include matzoh-ball soup, corned beef, pastrami, knishes, gefilte fish, cholent and other notables of Jewish cuisine. Despite the deli being under kosher supervision,[12] most Orthodox Jews will not eat there because the restaurant is open on Shabbat.[13]

The original restaurant had a separate room decorated with memorabilia of Yiddish theatre actress Molly Picon, including posters, song sheets, photographs, etc. The new location has pictures of her on the walls for approximately one half of the dining area.[10][11] The deli's original iconic neon sign is now installed in the City Reliquary in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.


In 2013, Zagat gave it a food rating of 23, and ranked it the 9th-best deli in New York City.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Thorn, Bret (2007-12-12). "Return of a Classic". The New York Sun. Retrieved 2009-09-16. 
  2. ^ Chan, Sewell (2007-08-01). "Something to Nosh On: Here's the Skinny on Jewish Delis". the City Room blog at The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-16. 
  3. ^ "A Deli Where Rye Comes in Slices and in a Glass". Retrieved 2018-07-24. 
  4. ^ "Article about the closing of the former location". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ a b Adrienne Gusoff (2012). Dirty Yiddish: Everyday Slang from "What's Up?" to "F*%# Off!". Ulysses Press. Retrieved March 10, 2013. 
  6. ^ Horn, Dara (October 15, 2009). "Dara Horn explains how ethnic food goes from the exotic to the mainstream. Then the nostalgia kicks in". Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on October 2, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2013. 
  7. ^ Andrew Rosenberg, Martin Dunford (2012). The Rough Guide to New York City. Penguin. Retrieved March 10, 2013. 
  8. ^ Witchel, Alex (October 21, 2007). "A Counter History". The New York Times Magazine. Article access requires website registration.
  9. ^ Sullivan, Eve (December 17, 2007). "Back for 2nd's — Famed Deli Reopens" Archived December 20, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.. New York Post. Accessed September 16, 2009.
  10. ^ a b Simonson, Robert (March 19, 2006). "Where Have You Gone, Molly Picon?". The New York Times. Article access requires website registration.
  11. ^ a b Siegel, Jennifer (March 24, 2006). "Stars Still Shine on 2nd Avenue Walk of Fame Survives Deli’s Demise but Its Fate Is Unclear". The Forward. Archived November 23, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ "Kosher Certification". 2nd Ave Deli. Retrieved August 3, 2011. 
  13. ^ Staff writer (undated; circa 2008?). "Why Is the 2nd Avenue Deli Not on 2nd Avenue in New York City?" Archived December 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.. Top Restaurants New York.
  14. ^ "2nd Ave Deli". Retrieved May 12, 2015. 

External links[edit]