While some of that cost may be because these places are historic and they know they can charge that much because tourists will always visit, you’re also paying for a whole lot of meat. Like a tower of meat. Any time I’ve gotten a pastrami sandwich at one of these establishments I’m always only able to eat half.
Carnegie Deli is no exception to any of this. If anything, it’s even more populated by tourists because of it’s location in Midtown close to Times Square, all the theaters, and Central Park. And oh yeah, right across from Carnegie Hall of course. It was established in 1937 and prides itself in the fact that it “cures, pickles and smokes” their own meat at their factory in New Jersey, setting them apart from other delis. Like some of the other well-known NYC delis, it stays open late, until 4 AM to be exact.
While their corned beef and pastrami sandwiches are probably their most popular items, they have a pretty extensive menu with soups, salads, sides, burgers, and other signature “American” dishes like chicken tenders and mac & cheese. But what you really want to focus on are the things on their menu under the heading “New York’s Best.” That’s where you’ll find the corned beef, pastrami, brisket, roast beef, beef tongue, turkey, chopped liver, bologna, salami, BLT, and liverwurst sandwiches. All of these are around $18 and theres a $3.00 sharing charge. But all of these sandwiches are also huge. And if for some reason you still wanted even MORE meat you can get “the Woody Allen,” which is a little bit more expensive and seriously one monstrosity of a sandwich.
I went here with my friend after we got out of a movie pretty late and just wanted to grab something close by for dinner. While there was a line to get seated even when we went at around 10 at night on a weekday (there’s often a line here), our food came out almost immediately once we ordered. The tables here are pretty close together and they often put different parties right next to each other so be prepared for close quarters. You get a little dish with two pickles when you sit down, and yes there was enough meat on my sandwich to last me a whole week of regular sandwiches. Don’t forget you can always ask for more bread if you want to level the proportions a bit more!
If you’re in Midtown and in need of somewhere to eat that’s a little more authentic New York than all the chains like Red Lobster and T.G.I. Friday’s around you then Carnegie is a safe bet. I’m sure friends visiting from out of town would appreciate getting to try a true New York pastrami sammie. And the place also happens to be famous for their cheesecake so that never hurts.
854 7th Ave
New York, NY 10019