Pastrami jugoso, rice rolls, cannoli.
“Here’s how you order a pastrami sandwich at Katz’s deli (205 E. Houston St., at Ludlow St.; 212-254-2246): Tip the counter guy a dollar, and he’ll give you a taste of the pastrami to make sure it tastes good to you. Tell him you want it jugoso, which is Spanish for ‘juicy’—all the counter guys there speak Spanish—and they give you pastrami that’s a little bit more marbled, with more moisture, fatter. That’s the pastrami you want to eat. If you’re down there, stop by Russ & Daughters (179 E. Houston St., nr. Orchard St.; 212-475-4880), which is just down the street, and get a bagel and lox. Ask them to wrap it up to go, sit on a park bench, and enjoy the quintessential New York bagel.” —Ed Schoenfeld, restaurateur
“On Eighteenth Avenue in Bensonhurst there are these great Italian bakeries; it’s this little enclave where everyone speaks Italian, and it’s more interesting than Little Italy. Go for old-school Italian pastries at Villabate-Alba (7001 Eighteenth Ave., at 70th St.; 718-331-8430). I like the cannoli, these cookies they have with sesame seeds, and the gelato. It won’t be too crowded on a Sunday at lunchtime, because that’s when all the Italian-American locals are eating.” —Najla Said, writer and actress
“When I have people visiting, I take them to neighborhoods. Period. One neighborhood is Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. Although it’s changing now, it’s still, when you walk through it, a unique place. Italian. Mike’s Deli (2344 Arthur Ave., nr. 186th St.; 718-295-5033) is one of these shops with salamis and prosciuttos hanging from the ceiling. When I was living in the Bronx, back when I was writing The Power Broker, Mike used to bring out special pieces of mortadella or prosciutto. And when he saw my wife, Ina, coming, he would always give her a glass of homemade grappa. Mike is still there every day.” —Robert Caro, writer
“My favorite lunch place in New York is at Harry Cipriani, the one next to the Sherry-Netherland hotel (781 Fifth Ave., nr. 59th St.; 212-753-5566). The specialty of the house is baked tagliolini; you can have it with ham or without. The service is old-world: A weekend lunch that should last an hour lasts three.” —Harvey Weinstein, film producer
“I went to Nom Wah (13 Doyers St., nr. Pell St.; 212-962-6047), a dim sum place in Chinatown, for the first time 34 years ago, when I was just married, and it’s still just as fabulous and old-fashioned. I usually get the vegetarian rice roll and the pan-fried noodles. My meat-lover friends love the house special roast-pork bun and the sweet-and-sour spareribs. And the dim sum sampler is great.” —Bob Balaban, actor