Anthony Bourdain's Favorite Late Night Spot Was The Iconic Katz's Deli

Anthony Bourdain loved a good pastrami sandwich. And if the mood struck in the evening, he would head over to his favorite late-night spot, the iconic New York City Katz's Delicatessen, to chow down on one. The late chef loved this spot so much that he featured it in an episode of his 2008 show "No Reservations." In a video posted on YouTube of his visit, Bourdain expressed his feelings about this iconic U.S. Jewish deli, stating, "This is an institution in the best sense of the word. If you think of New York, you think of pastrami, you think of Katz's."

So, what was it about Katz's Deli that had Bourdain swooning over a little rye and meat? In an essay he penned for "Lonely Planet's A Moveable Feast" (via The Guardian), Bourdain was pretty succinct, writing, " ... because it's damn good pastrami. Period." To wit, when you get a sandwich at Katz's, the pastrami — which has been pickled in a secret brine solution for three weeks, seasoned, rubbed, smoked, boiled, and steamed — the meat is carved by hand. Meaning, don't worry about getting paper-thin slices because Katz's gives you thick, succulent pieces of pastrami that are quite tasty.

Bourdain had a big love of pastrami

Katz's Deli, which has been a New York staple since 1888, serves its pastrami sandwiches warm. Anthony Bourdain liked his with a spread of house-made brown mustard that packs a little bit of zest, and, naturally, a sour pickle to complement and balance this rich and fatty meat. And when it came to his beverage of choice to drink alongside it? Cream soda. 

You can also order this sandwich with mayo or even the in-house Reuben dressing, which is reminiscent of a Russian dressing. While Bourdain was a bit of a purist, enjoying his sandwich in its simplicity, you can also add coleslaw or sauerkraut to your Katz's Pastrami Sandwich (pictured) if you desire. However, while Katz's Deli was one of Anthony Bourdain's favorite dining spots in New York City, it wasn't the only place in NYC that he frequented for pastrami. 

In an interview with Variety, Bourdain revealed that he also liked the sandwiches from the Pastrami Queen on Lexington Avenue. He described this pastrami sandwich as, "... if not the best, among the very best. Just a good, nice mix of fat and lean. It's the real deal, served warm on fresh, soft rye bread with the right kind of mustard. Good pickles." He also liked the fact that they delivered.