Jewish dietary laws, known as kashrut, can be quite strict; when followed, the food or drink is considered “kosher,” a word that means “fit” in Hebrew (as in fit for consumption). There are quite a few restaurants in America that adhere to these laws and follow kosher guidelines under the supervision of a rabbi or kosher certification agency. Kosher guidelines can be a bit complex, but, among other parameters, pork and shellfish are not permitted, and the mixing of meat and dairy in the same meal is prohibited as well. While some kosher restaurants are classic Jewish delis serving sandwiches, matzo ball soup or high-quality bagels, many of America’s best kosher restaurants don’t specialize in traditional Jewish cuisine and are instead great restaurants that just happen to be kosher.
Ben’s Kosher Delicatessen Restaurant & Caterers/Yelp
In order to determine the top kosher restaurants in the U.S., we took a deep dive into existing rankings and user-generated reviews to get an idea of which spots have gained the most renown and admiration from locals as well as tourists. All the restaurants on this list are either listed as kosher by the Orthodox Union, the world’s largest kosher certification agency, as being kosher or have indicated that they keep fully kosher (and not just “kosher-style”) on their website. We took note of restaurants that have won awards and accolades, both within the Jewish community as well as among organizations and critics who aren’t necessarily kosher-focused. In addition to popularity, our list prizes the quality of food, level of service and presentation that allows these restaurants to compete with any of America’s top restaurants, both casual and upscale.
The menu at La Gondola primarily revolves around Northern Italian cuisine, but there are plenty of East Asian, Mediterranean and Californian dishes available as well. Popular items include barbecue beef ribs, candied beef bacon (baked with a sugar glaze and served with mango sauce) and chai steak (ribeye served with caramelized Spanish onion and jalapeño sauce). The wine menu lists 30 to 40 wines from around the world.
Char Bar is a great kosher option in the Washington, D.C., food scene, with a menu of steaks, barbecue, deli sandwiches, hand-cut onion rings and burgers (non-dairy cheese is available). Beer and kosher wines are also served, and there’s a lovely private room available to reserve.
Shallots Bistro provides Jewish sushi lovers with a completely shellfish-free environment so that they can enjoy their favorite Japanese dishes while keeping kosher. Guests can have their pick of approximately 100 different kinds of sushi along with traditionally American dishes such as chicken wings, brisket sliders, steaks and braised BBQ short ribs.
The plant-based diet trend has grown in recent years, and Plant Miami caters to those looking for an organic, kosher and plant-focused meal. The vegan dishes served at Plant Miami utilize seasonal, local ingredients, many of which come from the restaurant’s own farm, including nearly 70 types of edible flowers as well as specialty micro greens. Plant Miami is up there with America’s most vegan-friendly restaurants.
At Veggie Heaven, vegan and vegetarian-friendly proteins such as wheat gluten, soy and tempeh are used in kosher Chinese cuisine as well as dishes of Jamaican, Indonesian and Thai origin. Patrons can enjoy everything from sesame “chicken” to Thai basil “duck” or Jamaican “beef” patties and many tofu items, as well as a variety of organic juices, herbal teas and vegan cakes and ice cream.
Su Xing House/Yelp
Philadelphia is a great city for food, and it’s here that one can find another vegetarian option for kosher Chinese food. Su Xing House has a menu of traditional items, such as kung pao tofu and Peking-style noodles. Customers can also order various flavors of bubble tea, frozen drinks and teas.
Tierra Sur at Herzog Wine Cellars/Yelp
Located in a southern California winery, Tierra Sur takes pride in both the fresh, local sourcing of its ingredients and in their presentation. The farm-to-table menu includes brined and fried chicken that’s up there with the best fried chicken in America, parsnip gnocchi with a porcini-cauliflower sauce and eggplant-crusted fish-of-the-day.
Named after a Parisian neighborhood that’s historically been home to a large Jewish community, Le Marais is a cozy and casual restaurant with a classy vibe. It’s one of many great steakhouses that happen to be kosher, but the menu also contains creative salads, rotisserie chicken and dishes like smoked salmon, veal tongue tacos and spicy lamb chili.
Vegas is known for its casinos, shopping, nightlife and now cannabis tourism, but it’s also easy to keep kosher there too. One option is to dine at King Solomon’s Table, a restaurant with a full bar that has a menu of steaks, chops, fish and both Mediterranean and Chinese cuisine. Menu items include Mediterranean-style beef roast, a veal chop, kung pao chicken and matzo ball soup.
Soho Asian Bar and Grill/Yelp
Patrons of Soho Asian Bar & Grill can take their pick from Japanese, Chinese, American or Italian cuisine. In addition to dumplings, noodles and soups, the sprawling menu features items such as beef carpaccio, Mongolian beef and burgers. The restaurant also has a long wine list to compliment an expansive selection of steaks.
Ken’s Diner & Grill has a 1950s theme, giving it the vibe of a great old-school restaurant. In addition to a classic menu of hearty burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs, wraps, salads and more, Ken’s also offers a vegan menu featuring tacos, quesadillas, chili and burgers made with Impossible Meat, as well as vegan milkshakes.
An eco-conscious restaurant with a vegetarian and heart-healthy menu, Claire’s Corner Copia puts a big emphasis on sustainability and organic ingredients. Gluten-free and vegan options are also available for customers, who can order one of many different sandwiches, salads, quesadillas, burritos, nachos, flatbread pizzas and veggie burgers.
Liebman’s is a family-run kosher delicatessen that has been open since 1953 and claims to be the only Jewish deli of more than 100 in the Bronx that still exists from that era. The menu at Liebman’s is quite extensive, including hot dogs, knishes, cold cuts, fried and roasted chicken, meatloaf, knockwurst, brisket, corned beef and, of course, deli sandwiches of all kinds.
A wonderful barbecue spot where you can also keep kosher, Dougie’s BBQ & Grill offers hot-off-the-grill steaks and chicken platters, as well as salads, hot dogs, wings, soups, burgers and wraps. Customers can also order Mexican entrees such as burritos and tacos, sushi, shish kabobs, brisket or pulled beef sandwiches, as well as dishes like a chicken-and-waffles sandwich or the “Beehive,” a blooming onion topped with steak, fries and house-made sauces.
At Jeff’s Gourmet Sausage Factory, burgers, deli sandwiches, hot dogs and house-made sausages are on offer. Order a Polish or Italian-style sausage sandwich, or make it more interesting by ordering a spicy Moroccan beef and lamb merguez sausage on a French roll with Mediterranean salad on top. Burger meat is freshly ground every day, and other specialties include a hot corned beef sandwich and a schnitzel sandwich.
Giddy’s Pizzeria & Restaurant/Yelp
New Jersey has arguably some of the best pizza in the country, and with a sizeable Jewish population, it’s no surprise that one of the best kosher options in the state is an artisanal pizza spot. Not only is the menu at Giddy’s Pizzeria extensive, but much of it is also made from scratch, including the pizza, mozzarella sticks, bread, french fries, soup, hummus, dips and sauces.
26 Sushi & Tapas/Yelp
Miami is a great place for Latin cuisine, and 26 Sushi & Tapas stands out not for its solid kosher options but also for its Japanese and Peruvian influences as well. In addition to both hot and cold tapas, the menu also offers various ceviches, tiraditos (raw fish dishes originating from Peru) and sushi rolls.
One of the most famous Jewish delis in New York City, 2nd Ave Deli is fully kosher-certified and boasts a fully “authentic Jewish culinary experience.” 2nd Ave Deli has multiple signature dishes, such as matzo ball soup, pastrami deviled eggs, gefilte fish, Nova lox sandwiches and pastrami sandwiches. There’s also a selection of creative cocktails.
Ben’s Kosher Delicatessen Restaurant & Caterers/Yelp
“We cure our own corned beef, our chicken soup cures everything else,” Ben’s Kosher Delicatessen cheekily states on its website. The menu features classic New York-style deli fare as well as a large variety of sandwiches, soups and salads. There are six New York State locations (including one in Manhattan), and another in Boca Raton, Florida, and the menus vary slightly across locations.
A solid kosher option in the Detroit metro area, Kravings is a great place for hot dogs, sandwiches and burgers, as well as make-your-own sushi, tempura and sushirittos (burrito-style sushi). Fresh ingredients are prized at Kravings, so it should be noted that availability and pricing of items are subject to change with the seasons.
In close proximity to the Las Vegas strip, Ace of Steaks is a kosher steakhouse with a strong Mediterranean influence. In addition to prime American steaks, the restaurant serves beef and lamb burgers, starters such as hummus, barbecue pulled beef tacos, matzo ball soup and flatbreads. Lunchtime offerings also include teriyaki bowls, wraps and soft tacos with chicken, beef or salmon. It also offers a special take-out shabbat menu with Jewish favorites including challah, cholent, pastrami and brisket.
Milt’s Barbecue for the Perplexed/Yelp
The meat at Milt’s Barbecue for the Perplexed is smoked on-site, with pulled barbecue chicken, smoked brisket and salmon on the menu, as well as smoked turkey, burgers, hot dogs and sandwiches. There are also plenty of vegetarian items, such as potato skins, fried cauliflower and vegetarian chili fries.
The Mediterranean-focused Boca Grill has a menu of shawarma, falafel, kebab and hummus platters, but patrons can also get their hands on a good schnitzel too. Sandwiches, steaks and burgers are also on the menu, and Mediterranean appetizers and desserts include stuffed grape leaves, baba ganoush and baklava.
Reserve Cut owner Albert Allaham comes from a Syrian-American family that’s been in the butchery trade for more than 200 years, a heritage and level of expertise that’s apparent in the high quality of the steaks served at his restaurant. In addition to offering aged wagyu and signature fullblood wagyu steaks, all of Reserve Cut’s steaks are aged for at least 36 days in the restaurant’s dry aging room, putting them on the level of those served at America’s best steakhouses.
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