Mon-Fri, 8am-8pm; Sat, 9am-7pm; Sun, 8am-5:30pm
F, V at Lower East Side-Second Ave.; J, M, Z at Essex St.
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To understand how a slab of smoked salmon lying across a bagel became the symbol for an entire city, you have to come to Russ & Daughters. This immaculate boutique has served lox, herring and caviar from the same landmark Lower East Side location since 1914. The fish, salads and shmears are lovingly arranged and meticulously labeled inside the old-fashioned glass cases, with an expert staff happy to act as docents in this museum of Eastern European Jewish cuisine. Across the aisle, handmade chocolates, dried fruit and many varieties of halvah—including a sumptuous pistachio—tower invitingly, a reminder not to fill up only on the salty stuff. Although the rich and famous clamor for the caviar, all New Yorkers can renew their faith in the city with one of the hand-rolled bagels topped with whipped cream cheese and a pile of Wild Western Nova, a lean, lightly salted wild salmon cured with wood smoke.Featured In