Stuff Yourself Silly at Harold’s New York Deli

I know deli food.

I love the aroma of garlicky pastrami, the noisy clatter of knives being dropped as knishes as big as footballs crowd them off plates, and the sight of sweet grandmothers stuffing crackers into purses “for a bite later.”

Please don’t tell me it was just mine who did that when I was a kid.

more pix 062 Harold’s New York Deli in Edison, NJ, is a first rate deli. 
more pix 063 Harold Jaffe, who opened this, spent years managing Carnegie Deli and took everything he learned and applied it to his own namesake deli…
more pix 064 starting with cakes the height and weight of a toddler.

A very tall, chubby toddler.

more pix 067 The space is pure family – plastic chairs, laminated menus, and paper napkins. Once the server takes your drink order, feel free to help yourself to the pickle bar while you mull over your dining choices.

What pickle bar, you ask?
more pix 071 Why, this pickle bar, of course. The world’s largest. Take a look, why don’t you? You are allowed to eat as much as you want.

more pix 072 Sour pickles, half sours, garlic, and dill.

more pix 073 Pickle chips, pickled tomatoes, hot pickled peppers, and sauerkraut.

more pix 074 Rye bread, butter, and a wonderful oil and vinegar salad called health salad.

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how crunchy the pickles are, how tangy the kraut is, or how wonderfully caraway flecked the rye bread is.

Be careful of those cherry peppers – they pack a really lip-tingling punch.

more pix 075 Chicken salad sandwich

This is the small order. It feeds between one and three very hungry people who have already embarrassed themselves by stuffing their faces at the salad bar. The chicken salad is almost as good as my mom’s. Mild, creamy but not mushy with juicy chicken, crunchy celery, and enough pepper to make the tiny dices of onion pop. It’s homestyle to be sure and not for a dieter, but it is the chicken salad of every kid’s dreams.

You will definitely need that extra rye bread from the pickle bar for this one.
more pix 076 Corned beef with coleslaw, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing

I wasn’t gonna try the pastrami, because why would I cheat on Katz’s like that? The corned beef, though a little dry, fits the bill. It has that uniquely hearty corned flavor and is thickly sliced. It is bolstered by the exceptionally tangy Swiss cheese and the thick, relish flecked Russian dressing. The slaw is crisp and piquant, dotted with poppy seeds, and if you are smart you will layer some of the slaw on the sandwich.

I’m obviously quite smart.

more pix 077 No matter how much food you order at Harold’s, you will always be left with this site at the end of your visit. The food is served in enormous portions, but it’s also really tasty. If you order like we did, you will eat for $15 per person until you are full to bursting. The service is so sweet (NOT always the case in a classic deli), the value is good, and the food is up to my discerning standards.

Now, turn away while I pocket some rye bread for later. 

Harold's New York Deli on Urbanspoon


  1. HOLY ISH Batman.
    My BF loves stuff like this. I think he would cream himself.
    Looks fab!
    Is Edison easy to get to if one is a NYer and cant drive?

  2. Ttrockwood says:

    I would pay them $15 just for that! Suddenly edison NJ is on my places i must go soon……