The 10 Best Appetizing Counters in NYC

The 10 Best Appetizing Counters in NYC

Photo of Village Voice

Here are the 10 best appetizing counters in NYC, perfect for noshing on some nostalgia.

10 Places
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    You'll find eight different kinds of caviar, thirteen kinds of salmon, and an assortment of sturgeon, sable, various herrings, chubs, and trout. Not to mention the display fridges along the western wall, which are filled with soups and prepared foods.
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    New York's oldest surviving appetizing restaurant, this Upper West Side institution opened in 1908. You can sit in the dining room eating lox & eggs while the wait staff barks orders, grabbing straws for cans of Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray celery soda.
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    Narrow and staid under a fluorescent glow, the counter -- & its trays of pickled salmon, creamed salads, & bronze-and-silver-skinned fish -- is the domain of Ira Goller.
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    Smoked salmons fold with softness and fluffy whitefish salad gets scooped onto bagels, but it's the namesake sable that's most impressive. Provided they're not too busy, the counter staff will offer up tastes of the shop's proprietary lobster salad.
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    There are latkes, blintzes, and matzoh brei to share, and a selection of signature sandwiches, including the Mooch, a garish stack of Scottish salmon and sable topped with cream cheese, tomato, onion, and chives on an onion-garlic bagel.
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    They offer their charming take on nibbles and noshes, including a take on pastrami salmon that uses Szechuan peppercorns and fermented bean paste. Check out the specialty sandwiches; boutique versions of rugelach and babka are available for dessert.
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    The appetizing section features numerous deli salads, 5 kinds of caviar, olives and cheeses from all over the world, and several varieties of in-house smoked fish. Zabar's also has a great bakery section, carrying babkas, rugelach, bagels, & bialys.
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    The oily fish comes pickled, cured in wine, & swimming in oniony cream sauce for shtiglitz herring. The interior is spare & the owners are moody -- but flash a smile towards the counter, & chances are you'll walk away happy.
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    Fairway is a New York supermarket at heart, at least, and it runs a commendable appetizing section, with buckets of pickles and olives, a formidable smoked fish counter with kippered salmon, whitefish, sturgeon, and multiple varieties of Nova lox.
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    In addition to freshly baked bagels, the narrow space -- with glass counters that run the length of the shop -- is brimming with smoked and cured fish, juicy pickled herring, and an array of prepared salads, chopped liver, and other spreads.
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