NYC’s 5 Best Restaurants For Latkes

NYC’s 5 Best Restaurants For Latkes

With Chanukah around the corner, it’s a great time to begin your latke taste test. We’ve kicked things off by detailing our five favorite restaurants for potato pancakes below. ‘Tis the season to get chunky . . . By Jessica Allen.

 Ben's Best)

(credit: Ben’s Best)

Ben’s Best Kosher Delicatessen

96-40 Queens Boulevard
Rego Park, NY
11374

(718) 897-1700
bensbest.com

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You’ve got to be pretty confident in your abilities around a slicer, a fryer, and a stovetop to put “best” in your name, but this Queens restaurant has the, uh, chops to back up the assertion. Since 1945, this deli has been making Jewish specialties like chopped liver, kreplach, and matzo ball soup, as well as both regular-sized and mini potato pancakes, served with a liberal dollop of applesauce.

 Garrett Ziegler)

(credit: Garrett Ziegler)

Cafe China

13 East 37th Street
New York, NY
10016

(212)213-2810
cafechinanyc.com

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OK, OK. We can hear the groans from here. Latkes? At Cafe China? Well, yeah, sort of. Latkes are potato pancakes, and Cafe China offers crispy, crunchy sweet potato pancakes that just might haunt your dreams. They’re orange and circular, perfectly fried, and full of big flavor. Consider spending at least one of Chanukah’s eight nights here, dining on dim sum in a romantic room that evokes old school Shanghai.

 Katz's Delicatessen / Facebook)

(credit: Katz’s Delicatessen / Facebook)

Katz’s Delicatessen

205 East Houston Street
New York, NY
10002

(212) 254-2246
katzsdelicatessen.com

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It’s up to you whether you want to act out the famous scene from When Harry Met Sally, but you’ll definitely want to pony up to the counter and get an order of potato pancakes, along with your pastrami and corned beef, at this popular Jewish deli on Houston. Top your latkes with applesauce or sour cream, just like Nana used to. One of the oldest delis around (Katz’s opened in 1888), and still one of the city’s best.

 NORMA'S at Le Parker Meridien, New York / Facebook)

(credit: NORMA’S at Le Parker Meridien, New York / Facebook)

Norma’s

Le Parker Meridien
119 West 56th Street
New York, NY
10019

(212) 708-7460
www.parkermeridien.com/eat/normas

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Decidedly more fancy than the other establishments on this list, Norma’s offers a version of potato pancakes so good, the James Beard Foundation gave its recipe an award. Served with carrot crème fresh payasam and cranberry apple chutney, the dish ain’t cheap. But it is marvelous. Round out your breakfast with an order of Crunchy French Toast, drenched in caramel sauce, and freshly squeezed orange juice.

 Veselka)

(credit: Veselka)

Veselka

144 Second Avenue
New York, NY
10003

(212) 228-9682
veselka.com

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Veselka opened in 1954. Over the years, the East Village has transformed, but the potato pancakes and other specialties at this Ukranian restaurant have remained the same. And we mean that in the best possible way. When so much about this city is change, change, change, finding something that’s the same, same, same is a great gift. Bonus: Veselka is open 24-7. Hanging out here at 3 a.m. or 3 p.m. feels like a New York rite of passage.

Jessica Allen blogs at We Heart New York.