Pastrami Queen

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82 Good

Pastrami heaven on the Upper East Side.

1125 Lexington Ave., New York, NY, 10021


Known For

The lowdown

Pastrami Queen, like the Jewish people themselves, has clung to its traditions while being uprooted time and again. Born Pastrami King in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the deli eventually relocated to Kew Gardens, Queens, before changing gender and settling into its current cramped quarters on the Upper East Side — little more than a chrome display case, a handful of tables, and a TV on the wall to keep the solitary fresser company. Big flavors emerge from the tiny kitchen: jumbo knishes; fries showered with garlic chips; a bright, crunchy, and unusually appealing “health” salad, sweet and vinegary at once. But who are you kidding? You’re not here for the salad. You’re here for the pastrami. Insist on having it hand-cut, and the resultant slices are juicy, crumbly, and fiendishly good, with a satisfying balance of smoke and spice. The sandwich is further distinguished by the seeded Orwashers rye, which is several cuts above today’s deli standard.

Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld

What you need to know

Recommended DishesPastrami sandwich.

DrinksNo Alcohol