With restaurants, there’s often pressure to keep up with the times, follow the trends, but on the heels of its 50th anniversary, Ben’s Kosher Delicatessen has managed to thrive by sticking to the classics.
With seven locations (including three on Long Island, two in New York City, one in Westchester, and one in Florida), the Jewish deli serves exactly what you’d expect - hot open-faced and overstuffed sandwiches, fresh soups and salads, eggs, steaks, knishes, and pickles - with a few unique dishes sprinkled in.
Among the less standard menu standouts at Ben's Delicatessen are the BBQ Brisket Burger, Israeli Hero, and Ben’s own Chicken Fricassee.
Loyal diners keep coming back, especially for the Hot Pastrami and Corned Beef Combo, Stuffed Derma, Matzo Ball Soup, and Lean Pastrami on Rye.
Yelp foodie Shon F. of Brooklyn said if you’re at Ben’s, you must try the knish (baked balls or fried squares of dough stuffed with potatoes and onions).
“I happen to work a few blocks from Ben's Deli. And every time I pass by I just get the urge for some of their Great Pastrami and Knishes,” Shon F. said. “Ben's has such a great selection of deli that you could stay and eat for hours..... They have such good Pastrami and the sandwich has enough meat for two, very fresh and taste Incredible. The potato salad and coleslaw are A + and try their Knishes... With the spicy brown mustard and you won't be disappointed. The staff is great and the guys behind the counter are very friendly and courteous. Definitely, a deli that Pastrami lovers should visit. Highly Recommend.”
Ben’s Deli was established in 1972 with the first location in Baldwin, said owner Ronnie Dragoon. Ten years later the second location opened in 1982 in Greenvale. More locations were opened in 1988, 1989, and 2004.
In 1996, Ben’s opened at the old Lou G. Siegel’s on West 38th Street. Siegel’s was another Jewish deli. This one started in 1917 and moved to its current Manhattan location on West 14th Street in 1997.
While Ben’s has stayed fresh by staying classic, it would be untrue to say nothing has changed. In particular, COVID-19 restrictions are observed and the staff is careful to accommodate food allergies.
Yelp foodie Bronze P. of Fort Drum said they were relieved at the level of attention Ben’
"Wow, they are fast, friendly, and got a good vibe," Bronze P. said. "I put in my allergy and they actually followed up with it. The nice thing was they added it to every item. But I was ordering for other people without my allergy so when I clarified that, they proceeded. It was a perfect break for a warm Aug day! The guys working were nice and I enjoyed a quick chat with them.”
Ben’s Kosher Delicatessen Restaurant & Caterers, 209 W. 38th St. (between 7th and 8th avenues), Midtown West is open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Closed Saturday-Sunday. There are also Ben’s locations in Bayside, Queens, as well as Carle Place, Greenvale, and Woodbury on Long Island and in Scarsdale, and Boca Raton, Florida.
Contact the Manhattan location at (212) 398-2367. To find other contacts or learn more about the other locations, visit bensdeli.net.
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