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  • Writer's pictureMark Vogel

Essen NY Deli Explored: A Taste of Tradition in Brooklyn's Kosher Scene

Brooklyn, New York City

Essen NY Deli in Brooklyn, New York
Essen NY Deli in Brooklyn, New York

Essen NY Deli, located in the heart of Brooklyn, New York, finds its home in the neighborhood of Midwood. This area, known for its diverse population and thriving Jewish community, sets the perfect backdrop for a traditional kosher deli. The streets of Midwood are lined with a variety of eateries, shops, and businesses, but Essen NY Deli stands out with its unique charm and authentic flavors.

“This deli is not just for those in the Jewish community but for anyone who appreciates quality, traditional deli fare in the heart of one of New York's most dynamic boroughs.”

The history of Essen NY Deli is deeply intertwined with the Jewish heritage of Brooklyn. Established several decades ago, the deli has been serving the community with a commitment to kosher dietary laws and traditional recipes. Over the years, it has become a staple in the neighborhood, not just for those adhering to kosher diets but also for those who appreciate quality deli food. Its longevity and reputation in the community speak volumes about its commitment to quality and tradition.

Essen NY Deli in Brooklyn, New York
Essen NY Deli in Brooklyn, New York

At Essen NY Deli, the menu is a delightful journey through classic Jewish delicatessen cuisine. The emphasis is on quality and authenticity, with each dish reflecting traditional cooking methods and flavors.


- Appetizers: The deli offers a range of appetizers, including classics like matzo ball soup, chopped liver, and gefilte fish. These starters set the stage for a traditional Jewish meal, prepared with care and a taste of nostalgia.


- Sandwiches: The sandwich menu is a highlight, featuring a variety of options like tongue, corned beef, pastrami, and turkey, all stacked high on rye or your choice of bread. Each sandwich is generously filled, offering a satisfying and hearty meal.


- Entrees: For those looking for something more substantial, Essen NY Deli serves up traditional dishes like brisket, roast chicken, and stuffed cabbage. These entrees are reminiscent of a home-cooked meal, filled with flavors that are both comforting and deeply satisfying.


- Sides and Salads: No meal at a deli would be complete without a selection of sides. Potato salad, coleslaw, and knishes are just a few options that perfectly complement the main dishes. For a lighter fare, the deli also offers a variety of salads.


- Desserts: To round off the meal, the dessert menu includes classics like rugelach, babka, and strudel. These sweet treats are the perfect way to conclude a traditional deli meal.

Essen NY Deli in Brooklyn, New York
Essen NY Deli in Brooklyn, New York

History of the Kosher Deli

Kosher delis have a rich history in New York City, deeply rooted in the city's Jewish immigrant culture. The rise of kosher delis in New York can be traced back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, coinciding with the mass immigration of Jews from Eastern Europe.


1. Early Immigration and Jewish Communities: The influx of Jewish immigrants, particularly from regions like Poland, Russia, and Lithuania, brought a distinct culinary tradition to the New York City landscape. These immigrants settled in neighborhoods such as the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, bringing with them traditional foods and dietary laws.


2. Adherence to Kosher Laws: Kosher dietary laws, known as kashrut, are a set of Jewish dietary laws that dictate what foods can be eaten and how they should be prepared. Kosher delis adhered to these laws, offering a place for Jewish communities to enjoy traditional foods like pastrami, corned beef, and matzo ball soup without compromising their religious practices.


3. The Deli as a Social Hub: These delis became more than just places to eat; they were social hubs where people gathered, shared news, and maintained cultural ties. They played a significant role in the cultural and social life of Jewish communities in New York.


4. Evolution of the Kosher Deli: Over time, the kosher deli evolved. Initially, they served primarily as butcher shops that sold prepared meats. Gradually, they expanded their offerings to include a variety of traditional Eastern European Jewish dishes. Delis began to offer dine-in services, with some becoming iconic establishments known for their ambiance as well as their food.


5. Iconic Dishes and Innovations: New York's kosher delis became famous for dishes like the pastrami on rye, a sandwich that has become emblematic of New York City's food culture. These delis were also places of culinary innovation, adapting traditional recipes to American tastes and ingredients.


6. Decline and Revival: In the latter part of the 20th century, the number of traditional kosher delis in New York declined due to various factors, including changing demographics and economic challenges. However, there has been a revival and renewed interest in recent years, with some delis gaining a cult following and new ones opening that pay homage to the traditional kosher deli while updating it for contemporary palates.


The history of the kosher deli in New York City is a reflection of the broader story of Jewish immigration and adaptation in America. It's a history that speaks not only to the preservation of religious and cultural traditions but also to the ways in which these traditions can evolve and become integral parts of the broader cultural fabric.


Essen NY Deli in Midwood, Brooklyn, is more than just a place to grab a bite; it's a culinary institution that pays homage to Jewish deli traditions. The menu offers a wide range of choices, from appetizers to desserts, all prepared with a commitment to kosher standards and authentic flavors. This deli is not just for those in the Jewish community but for anyone who appreciates quality, traditional deli fare in the heart of one of New York's most dynamic boroughs.



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