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Whether you are Jewish or not, Jewish delis play a huge part in the cultural fabric of New York City. Just like the New York Yankees, you cannot walk past a corner without seeing one of these restaurants warm the hearts of its beloved New Yorkers. But what makes them so great? What is so special about them? For many people, especially the delis themselves, these spots bring about a sense of tradition, nostalgia, and of course the Jewish culture. While some people may disagree with me or even go as far to fight me on this, below, I have listed the top four Jewish delis in all of New York.

Mile End Deli

Found in Brooklyn and Manhattan, Miles End Deli has captivated and allured much of New York with its superlative smoked meat and Montreal-flavored moxie. Its innovative take on traditional dishes has given many people a fresh new approach to their usual Jewish deli experience. For me, I was personally skeptical. But once I was able to experience the Canadian-Brooklyn dishes, I was arms wide opened as a new generation of deli lovers. Their fresh ingredients and smoked seasoned brisket has opened my eyes to what Jewish food could be. If you are even looking to cater a party, this place provides that service.

David’s Brisket House and Deli

Found in the heart of Brooklyn, David’s Brisket House and Deli is the home of the best pastrami on rye you will undoubtedly ever eat. Like a natural foodie, I usually analyze Yelp to see the good and the bad, the ups and the downs of a place. But for David’s Brisket, all you can find on their page is everything about its infamous pastrami and rye. Having finally tried it, I can wholeheartedly agree that this place holds the best pastrami and rye sandwich in all of New York City. The pastrami was moist and tasty. Overall presentation was stacked comfortably. But what really got me was the rye bread. The freshness of the bread is something to dye for. If you are luck to stop at this place I would highly recommended the pastrami on rye. If you are not a pastrami person, try the beef brisket on rye bread. It is soft, succulent, and incredibly savory.

Katz’s Delicatessen

Katz’s Delicatessen is simply New York history. This kosher style restaurant is found in the Lower East Side in Manhattan. Since 1888, Katz’s has become one of the most popular New York City Jewish delis for tourist and fans alike. Their excellent pastrami sandwiches, hot dogs, and corned beef are something to experience at least once in your lifetime. As they say on their website, “our corned beef and pastrami is cured using a slower method, which best flavors the meat.” This overall process takes up to 30 days to cure before serving right to the fans of New York. It is no one why this has become the fan favorite of the old and new city.

Second Ave Deli

The Second Avenue Deli is a certified kosher delicatessen in Manhattan. Currently, the deli is located on 33rd Street, between Lexington Avenue and Third Avenue in Murry Hill. If you are looking for heritage and culture, I would strongly advise you to check this place out. Their specialties include matzoh-ball soup, corned beef, pastrami, knishes, gefilte fish, and other Jewish cuisines. In 2013, Zagat gave it a high rating of 23, ranking it 9th best deli in New York City.