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The Best Latkes in NYC
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The Best Latkes in New York

Classic-Latkes-Applesauce-2-640x480Christmas may be the decidedly splashier holiday (we’re pretty sure we first started spotting decorations shortly after Halloween), but Jews are no slouch in the food department.  Which means that there’s lots to love about Hannukah; particularly the eight nights spent feasting on jelly-stuffed donuts and applesauce-topped potato pancakes.  And it’s not only Jewish restaurants that are taking advantage of the delicious holiday tradition; so here’s where to find some of the very best latkes in New York right now.  From the classics at Katz’s, to the refined, steak and egg-crowned patties at Café Boulud

Katz’s

Katz’s
205 E. Houston St.
Lower East Side,New York 10002
(212) 254-2246

The 1800’s-era Katz’s is essentially the be all and end all of Jewish delis in New York, so you know they’ve perfected most of the dishes in the beloved comfort food canon — from matzoh ball soup to noodle kugel to fat, creamy knishes.  They’re also the perfect place to get your potato pancake fix year round (they refer to their latke-loving customers as latke-aholics), simply served with sour cream and applesauce, or if you really want to go for broke, piles of their smoky, ruby-red pastrami.

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Café Edison

Café Edison
228 West 47th St
Midtown West,New York 10036
(212) 840-5000

Now’s the time to visit this beloved, 34-year-old theatre district perennial, before they get forced out by their landlord by the end of the month.  A longtime favorite of Broadway luminaries and blue collar locals alike, the come-as-you-are café (frequently dubbed the Polish Tea Room) excels at Eastern European specialties, such as whitefish salad, blintzes, brisket, and yes, latkes; crisp-yet-tender paragons of old New York.

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Baz Bagel

Baz Bagel
181 Grand St
Little Italy,New York 10013
(212) 335-0609

Baz may have built their year-old business around bagels, but they certainly know their way around latkes as well.  In fact, you can choose to swap out the bread for potato pancakes in a number of menu items, such as the Latkes Deluxe, topped with sour cream, smoked salmon and chives, or the Eggs a la Baz; two latkes stacked with runny-yolked poached eggs and salty ribbons of nova.

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Shelsky’s

Shelsky’s
251 Smith Street
Brooklyn,New York 11231
(718) 855-8817

Is the thought of latkes fried in schmaltz (rendered chicken fat) not decadent enough for you?  Try Shelsky’s infamous Dr. Goldstein Special; an unapologetically artery clogging sandwich, made by layering a mound of duck fat-laced chopped liver and apple horseradish sauce between two golden potato pancakes.

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Telepan

Telepan
72 W 69th Street
Upper West Side,New York 10023
(212) 580-4300

Bill Telepan regularly honors Hannukah at his Upper West Side institution, by putting latkes on his farm-to-table menu for all eight days of the holiday (December 16th-24th this year).  You can order them as a side dish, topped with apple sauce, to accompany items such as Butter-Poached Turbot with spiced squash and verjus, or in appetizer form, topped with quality smoked salmon.  And to further save yourself the time, energy, and oil-splashed walls, you can even purchase Telepan’s potato pancakes to go; at $16 for 4 latkes.

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Sticky’s Finger Joint

Sticky’s Finger Joint
31 West 8th St
Greenwich Village,New York 10011
(212) 777-7131

Here’s a fun way to depart from tradition (and get a much-needed dose of protein while you’re at it).  This temple of chicken fingers has devised an only-through-Hannukah special called The Latka Finger — poultry marinated in a buttermilk, onion and applesauce mix, coated in a batter of grated onions, shredded potato and matzoh meal, and served with sour cream, applesauce, and a piece of chocolate gelt.  And here’s an even better excuse to eat chicken fingers for Hannukah; 10% of proceeds will be donated to MAZON, an organization working to end hunger in the U.S. and Israel.

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Café Boulud

Café Boulud
20 E 76th St
Upper East Side,New York 10021
(212) 772-2600

Granted, they’re not called latkes, but “pommes rosti” at this unfailingly elegant French bistro, but hey, a shredded, fried potato pancake by any other name!  Order them during brunch, topped with confit tomato, meltingly rare slices of steak, sunny side up eggs, and a side of sprightly market greens.

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Café China

Café China
13 East 37th St
Midtown East,New York 10016
(212) 213-2810

We all know how Jews feel about their Chinese food, so ordering latkes at this Midtown restaurant is not as odd as it seems.  And besides, after eight days, you’ll probably need a break from your standard pancakes made with white potatoes, so try these crunchy, panko-crumbed discs formed with sweet spuds, delicious as part of a savory dim sum progression, or enjoyed as a not-too-sweet dessert.

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