Katz's Delicatessen is the first place everything thinks of when it comes to the best pastrami in New York City. Katz's might be royalty in the eyes of New Yorkers but it doesn't mean that good pastrami can't be found all over the city. It's a wild notion to consider - but it's the truth.

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Pastrami has become a rite of passage for native New Yorkers and visitors alike, and while one deli comes to mind, there are many places that are serving up some of the best sandwiches in the country. This Jewish deli specialty goes above and beyond that of a typical sandwich, though, and has fulfilled its role as one of New York City's most iconic dishes. As such, it should have equally iconic delis that are producing pastrami that's bold in flavor, comforting in taste, and absolutely addicting in its juicy, salty, meaty glory. Next time you're in the market for a classic pastrami sandwich, know that it's okay to experience the dish in a multitude of ways, and you can start with these delicious New York City stops.


Hometown Bar-B-Que Industry City

Go figure, one of the best pastrami sandwiches in New York can be found at none other than a joint that's serving up Texas-style barbecue. Hometown Bar-B-Que Industry City was voted as having the best sandwich after coming neck in neck with Katz's, according to Eater.

This also happens to be the smokiest pastrami in the city, with a classic Texas-style BBQ touch. Not only does the brisket have a beautiful crust around the outside, but it's also perfectly pink and tender on the inside, a result you want from both the corning and smoking processes.

Pastrami Queen

Pastrami Queen has hopped around the city quite a few times before finally landing in the Upper East Side, and there's now a shop on the Upper West Side, as well. No matter which location you're visiting, you're sure to be treated to a dream of a sandwich.

The key to Pastrami Queen's sandwiches si that beautiful fatty layer that lends moisture, flavor, and tenderness to each bite. The flavor is unreal on its own but it's that texture that really has people falling in love.


Sarge's holds the title of having the most overstuffed sandwiches in the state. This is made pretty easy due to the thinly sliced pastrami that the deli is cooking up which might not be up everyone's alley, but its flavor makes up for its thinner thickness.

This tender sandwich requires a serious wind-up in order to get one full bite, making it a hefty lunch or dinner - and that's exactly what people love about it.

Frankel's Delicatessen & Appetizing

This delicious sandwich (and awesome deli) can be found in Williamsburg and it's worth the trip. Not only is the pastrami absolutely decadent, but it's also sliced by hand which gives it a truly rustic feel and texture.

Slathered thick with mustard and served simply, there's nothing not to love about this sandwich... except maybe when the empty sandwich wrapper is all that's left.

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Liebman's Deli

The pastrami from Liebman's Deli is unique because it's not as fatty as most other pastrami slices. Whereas it wouldn't be uncommon to find an entire fatty streak in each slice of pastrami, at Liebman's, the meat is sliced leaner.

Don't let that fool you, though - this pastrami doesn't lack flavor by any means. Its lean slices only mean a more meaty sandwich, giving those true pastrami flavors a chance to shine through.


Usually known for their cheesecake rather than their pastrami, Junior's is whipping up a mean sandwich of their own. This pastrami is piled high between two buns as opposed to rye bread, which is a nice alternative for those who don't necessarily enjoy the classic bread flavor.

The difference in sandwich bread doesn't affect the flavor of this pastrami at all and makes for a nice contrast to the classic sandwich.

Second Avenue Deli

Second Avenue Deli can now be found in Murry Hill but originally got its start in the East Village. This is yet another sandwich that features thinly sliced pastrami which is what some people might prefer, without lacking any of the classic flavors.

There's also just enough fattiness in Second Avenue Deli's pastrami to allow it to get away with such thin slices and makes for an altogether delicious and addicting bite.

Next: Eat Your Way Through New York, Part II: Long Island