Katzs Delicatessen New York, also known as Katz’s of New York City, is a kosher style (not kosher) delicatessen restaurant at 205 Houston Street, on the southwest corner of Houston and Ludlow Streets on the Lower East Side in Manhattan, New York City.
Since its founding in 1888, it has been popular among locals and tourists alike for its pastrami sandwiches and hot dogs, both of which are widely considered among New York’s best. Each week, Katz’s serves 15,000 pounds (6,800 kg) of pastrami, 8,000 pounds (3,600 kg) of corned beef, 2,000 pounds (910 kg) of salami and 4,000 hot dogs.
In 2016, Zagats gave Katz’s a food rating of 4.5 out of 5, and ranked it as the number one deli in New York City,.
In 1888, the Iceland brothers established what is now known as Katz’s Delicatessen on Ludlow Street in New York’s Lower East Side. Upon the arrival of Willy Katz in 1903, the establishment’s name was changed from Iceland Brothers to Iceland & Katz. Willy’s cousin Benny joined him in 1910, buying out the Iceland brothers to form Katz’s delicatessen. Their landsman Harry Tarowsky bought into the partnership in April 1917.
The construction of the subway system required the deli to move to the present side of the street, although the entrance remained on Ludlow Street. The vacant lot on Houston Street was home to barrels of meat and pickles until the storefront facade was added in the period 1946-49.
In the early part of the twentieth century, the Lower East Side was home to millions of newly immigrated families. This, along with the lack of public and private transportation, forged a solid community such that Katz’s became a focal point for congregating. On Fridays, the neighborhood turned out for franks and beans, a long time Katz tradition.
During the peak of the Yiddish theater, the restaurant was frequently full of actors, singers and comedians from the many theaters on Second Avenue as well as the National Theater on Houston Street. During World War II, the two sons of the owners – Lenny Katz and Izzy Tarowsky – were both serving their country in the armed forces, and the family tradition of sending food to their sons became sealed as the company slogan “Send A Salami To Your Boy In The Army”. The slogan was coined by Izzy’s mother Rose Tarowsky, whose son served in the South Pacific as a bomber pilot.