12. Katz’s Delicatessen (1888)
Anyone who’s been around the Lower East Side has either seen, or heard of Katz’s Delicatessen. That’s not to mention its roles in multiple films, most notably When Harry Met Sally, but also Across the Universe, Donnie Brasco, and Enchanted. Silver screen appearances aside, they still make what is renowned as the best pastrami sandwich in the city.
Back in 1888, the Jewish run diner was “Iceland Brothers,” until it merged with the Katz family and became “Iceland and Katz,” and then just “Katz’s” when the latter bought the Icelands out. Its original location on Ludlow was next to the National Theatre, where it gained the business of Yiddish actors on Friday nights because most other nearby Jewish delis were closed for Shabbat. Katz’s look today is due to the influx of money it received from a WWII campaign it launched called “send a salami to your boy in the army,” which was later used in the 1952 film At War with the Army. Its first film role was in the Frank Sinatra film Contract on Cherry Street, and from then on, it’s been the enduring icon of Jewish New York delis and quality sandwiches alike.