If there’s one thing New York does really well, it’s a bagel with cream cheese and smoked fish; historically known as “appetizing” in Jewish tradition. The semi-recent opening of Russ & Daughters Café has catalyzed a resurgence of this very nostalgic fare and we could not be happier about it. Here are seven of our favorites spots, new and old, in NYC:
This one’s a classic; Barney Greengrass has been serving up Sturgeon and all kinds of other fish specialties on the Upper West Side since 1908. And what’s even better is getting their legendary smoked fish on a fresh, chewy bagel. Just walk up to the counter and place your order with some of the friendliest staff in NYC. Head’s up, it’s cash only here and you’re gonna want to order everything, so come prepared.
Russ & Daughters Café
You’ve probably seen Russ & Daughters Café on Instagram more than once and there’s good reason for that: Josh Russ Tupper and Niki Russ Federman have totally nailed the smoked salmon brunch game. Watch in awe as chefs in white lab coats expertly slice smoked salmon into perfectly thin layers and dress them up on wooden platters. Enough said.
Need a great brunch on the UES? Give Sable’s a go and try any of their delicious fish or crab salads, smooth, buttery lox, smoked tuna, whitefish, or a little bit of everything. Seriously though, it’s the staff at Sable’s that makes the difference: they’re always happy to greet you, let you try samples, and are ready to answer any and every question that you’ve got about the fish.
Mile End is your classic NY Jewish deli meets Montreal-style cuisine, all with a modern twist. Just this past week they had Poutine Week where they featured Duck Confit Poutine and Corn Dog Poutine amongst many other unique offerings. But, our favorite here is their appetizing platter for two, complete with all the classic accoutrements.
Sadelle’s knows how to make a good bagel, and that’s by hand, and fresh every few hours (using New York tap water of course!) Top it with some fresh-sliced salmon from their tower of bagel fixings and you’re good to go. Enjoy a classy brunch in their super luxe dining room that seamlessly transitions from daytime-brunch to a lovely evening meal (we gave them a nod as a romantic place for Valentine’s day dinner, too). Beyond their bagels, their babka and other pastries are totally drool-worthy, if that’s more your speed.
Kirsh Bakery & Kitchen
Dan and Anat Kirsh, the couple in charge at Kirsh Bakery & Kitchen, are old pros in Israeli cuisine. They first opened Zuni, a beloved 24/7 brasserie in Jerusalem, and have recently brought their talents to the UWS. Come to Kirsh Bakery for your weekly German baked goods, house-smoked lox or their cooked-to-order French toasts – amazing.
Sarge’s is your very reliable, 24/7 Murray Hill shop for smoked fish platters, matzoh ball soup, pastrami and super creamy, dense New York-style cheesecake. Come for brunch or come for a late night meal at 3AM, you’ll leave feeling great every time.