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“Easily Baffled?!”
Review of Katz's Deli

Katz's Deli
Ranked #505 of 15,768 Restaurants in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$ 1 - US$ 20
Cuisines: American, Deli
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, After-hours, Delivery, Takeout
Neighbourhood: Lower East Side
Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

We came here as a large party of eight - ages from 7 up. The place was heaving and there was an hour long wait for table service. The other option is to order at the counter and find your own table which we were lucky enough to do. It’s very overwhelming and the ordering system is baffling but, once you have navigated it and are sat down with your food, you won’t regret being here! You will be greeted (not too politely but I think that’s part of the experience) and given a small ticket per adult. DO NOT LOSE ANY OF THESE!! You go to the counter - they are different sections to order different types of food and drink and you make your way along it. Order your food and, when you have it, give a ticket to the server and they write on it and give it back. Once you have everything you want PUT ALL THOSE TICKETS IN A SAFE PLACE and enjoy the most amazing food. I will never eat what we call ‘pastrami’ in the UK again! When you have finished take ALL the tickets you have (one per adult) and give them to the cashier who you pay with CASH ONLY. You have to return all tickets, used or not. We did but, because there were so many of us, there was some confusion and the doorman did call us back!! You will be charged for unreturned tickets. All in all a great authentic NYC experience - appreciated more by the adults in the party - but definitely not to be missed.

1  Thank KLN321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

We arrived and they were queuing outside but the line moved quickly. Once inside the atmosphere was amazing but it looked crazy, so we opted for waiter service as there were 3 of us and we weren’t confident in what we were doing. Waiter service here was a mistake.

The sandwiches were amazing and huge! Pastrami was the best we’ve every had and the Reubens was amazing.

The guy who greeted on arrival was great, the girl who showed us to our table was lovely, our waiter was sour and grumpy and acted as if everything was a hassle. (I’ve waited on tables I know it can be stressful) so we asked for the check he worked it out told us to go to the cashier and then told me I needed to leave a 18% - 20%. I always tip well because I’ve done the job and these guys aren’t paid well. However, I’m at the table sorting out the tip and he stands there offering me change. Unfortunately the Brit in me surfaces and I politely hand over the first note I find a $20. If he splits it with kitchen staff I’m happy but his service was worth $20

So my tip is be brave split up your party, someone find a table for you all. Someone get the drinks and decide what you want beforehand and someone get in line, don’t bother with waiter service.

Thank Clare P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2018

If you go to New York Katz's Deli has to be on your list of places to eat. The queue was around the corner when we got there and approx 40 min wait but it move pretty quickly and we were inside within 30 min but because we wanted a table we had to wait in a holding area but again we were surprised how little time we had to wait. Now this place is nuts... soooo many people but run super efficiently so it isn't as bad as it appears. The food is amazing and the Ruben Sandwich is huge and delicious... Super old school deli experience and not to be missed... Loved it..

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank Pam C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2018

After doing some research before coming to New York from the UK we decided to visit Katz’s, the place did not disappoint, friendly staff, helpful the place can look quiet daunting but the staff put us at ease and the food was fantastic, a must visit when in New York.

Thank Jazzyjeff041
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

It's on many a New York itinerary and it is definitely an experience.
The place is heaving - pretty much at all times it appears.
You can either do self-service, queue at the counter, then grab a seat with your food; or you can get a waited table.
You are also handed a ticket, which you use for paying with at the end. Losing the ticket incurs a $50 charge (and people lost their ticket while we were there).
We couldn't face the chaos at the counter so waited about 30 minutes for a waited table. The staff at the front were really upbeat, joking with the customers and keeping everyone motivated to persist with the wait.
Overall atmosphere was that of a busy train station but with retro furnishings (and yes, there is a large sign pointing to the "When Harry met Sally" table).
When we got a table we were asked to share with another couple. This would have been fine for us except that the other couple was so appalled at the idea of sharing with us, they audibly voiced their disgust, then started to build a wall made from menus to block out the sight of us. Not satisfied with heir work, they got more menus to build an even bigger wall.
The waiter was only marginally more welcoming, and did not wait for my husband's drinks order and just walked off. However, he was equally gruff with our reluctant table neighbours, so there was a sense of fairness. Dishes were unceremoniously thrown on the table, thumbs half inside the food, and questions were answered with the least possible effort - Katz really did live up to its reputation for theatrical rudeness.
The food was very good deli fare. The pastrami looked great but too large for me to even consider an attempt. I had the knockwurst, which was really tasty and served with heaps of different pickles. The macaroni salad was good too. Fries were perfectly golden and more akin to British chips.
Our waiter became a bit friendlier when he brought our bill and pointed out that a 20% tip is customary (he even did a partial Spanish translation of this advice for the people behind us).
Overall, great food and quite an adventure. I'd definitely recommend it for an interesting experience rather than a relaxing lunch / dinner.

1  Thank smilgaki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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