You can probably count on your hands the number of real-deal, old school, authentic Kosher delis that are still standing in the same place where they started decades if not centuries ago. Ben’s Best is one of those places.
Located out in Rego Park, Queens, it lacks just one thing that places like Katz and Carnegie have in spades: a massive line of tourists that trails out the door and down the block. This place is a small, quaint neighborhood spot that has withstood the test of time and NYC real estate economics for over 70 years, since 1945.
But more importantly, Ben’s Best is serving some really high quality deli fare. This was, hands down, some of the best pastrami I have ever tasted.
Better than Katz, better than Carnegie, better than 2nd Ave. They use a proprietary secret blend of spices to make it their own and differentiate their product from other delis, but the execution is really where it shines. It was juicy, thinly sliced, not fatty and super fucking tender.
I usually prefer corned beef over pastrami, any day of the week, but this place flipped my preference on its head. In fact I even put together a sandwich with both on it, because I was so torn:
Pastrami on top, corned beef on bottom:
Absolutely magnificent, and it wouldn’t be a meal without some pickles and cole slaw:
And if that’s not what gets you going at a deli, then check out this platter of beef cold cuts:
On the far left (above) is rolled beef, something you really can’t find anywhere else that I know of. It’s a deli meat made from shoulder and rib meats that are rolled into a log and then sliced for sandwiches. It’s amazing. Going from left to right (below) we also have thin sliced brisket, roast beef and beef tongue.
That tongue was outstanding, by the way. It almost tasted like really good ham. So for all you Jews out there who keep Kosher but often wonder what ham tastes like, it tastes like Ben’s Best beef tongue.
This joint also does BBQ brisket sliders, which rival any smoke house I’ve been to in the city. Crazy good.
Ben’s is clearly a meat lover’s wet dream, but let me drop some other shit on you guys too. This is a plate of cabbage stuffed with chopped meat. It has an almost sweet flavor from the tomato and carrot sauce in which the meat is stewed.
Beef goulash on egg noodles. Simple and delicious. The meat was so incredibly tender.
A mix of sweet potato and regular french fries:
And of course Jewish Penicillin, aka matzoh ball soup:
I was invited here for an Instagram influencer event, so I ate for free, but I wholeheartedly recommend this place. It was a quick 30 minute subway ride on the R from midtown Manhattan, and the subway stop is directly below the restaurant. Not too bad. I’ll definitely be back for that amazing pastrami.
BEN’S BEST KOSHER DELI
96-40 Queens Blvd
Queens, NY 11374