2nd Avenue Deli N.Y.C.

The Second 2nd Avenue Deli

As the rest of the city continues to go delirious over new fried foods and cured meats, the 2nd Avenue Deli marches on, content in knowing that this has been its focus all along.

Originally opened at its hallowed East Village location in 1954, the deli was reincarnated in Murray Hill in 2007. Now, a second location has sprouted on the Upper East Side. It already beats with the heart and soul of a New York institution.

During our visit, shatterable curls of gribenes (deep-fried chicken skin; $8) came topped with deeply caramelized onions. The bowl was heaping enough for leftovers destined to be eaten over scrambled eggs the next day.

Wide bowls of chicken-noodle soup ($7.50) feature one munificent matzoh ball–but also benefit from a shake of the saltshaker.

Families bunch around tables while the fabled–and still stellar–hot pastrami ($16) and whitefish ($13.50) sandwiches are delivered to seemingly every table.

Meals end with complimentary chocolate egg-cream shots, harkening to the late founder Abe Lebewohl, who got his start as a Coney Island soda jerk.

This location will soon add a cocktail list and expanded selection of pastries, tipping its hat to the neighborhood's brunch tradition.

For making us feel at once at home and like happy tourists in our own city, we salute you, 2nd Avenue Deli.

2nd Avenue Deli, 1442 First Ave. (at E. 75th St.); 212-737-1700 or 2ndavedeli.com