My search for the best corned beef/pastrami in New York continues….

SADLY, CAFE EDISONĀ IS NOW CLOSED.

CAFE EDISON, 228 West 47th Street (between Broadway and Eighth Avenue), Theater District

I was amazed at how little Cafe Edison has changed in ten years. I used to frequent this old-school diner in the heart of Times Square quite a bit when I first moved to New York. It was near all my auditions and the hearty Eastern European Jewish food was affordable and nostalgic.

IMG_1633

My food adventures of late have taken me much further downtown to some of the hipper restaurant offerings and to the outer boroughs for some exciting and unexplored ethnic cuisines. But rarely do I get to eat an actual meal in the heart of Times Square. Nor would I want to, to be perfectly honest.

Hot Meat

However, I missed my old friend and realized I had never even tasted their corned beef and pastrami sandwich. While it advertises both on its window, I’ve always stuck more to their burgers, matzo ball soup, and Polish specialities like blintzes and kasha varnishkas.

The Best Deli Prices

Walking into Cafe Edison was the exact same experience as it was years ago. The waitress barely acknowledged me, the tables were cramped together, and I was overhearing girls complain to each other about their recent auditions. And amazingly, the prices also have not change.

Corned Beef/Pastrami Sandwich at CAFE EDISON

At just over $10, this corned beef/pastrami sandwich was one of the cheapest I’ve encountered in NYC. I can’t say it was the best in the city, but it was certainly worth it for that price.

Pastrami Fat

The pastrami was caked on with chewy fat (one piece was even completely void of meat) and lacked much smoke or spice flavor. I much preferred the corned beef which was nice and marbled and featured an unusual hit of sweetness.BFF's

Eaten together with a schmear of mustard on soft rye bread, it was hard to pick apart the imperfections. It had those unmistakable deli meat flavors – meaty, fatty, and garlicky.

If I was amazed at how Cafe Edison has stayed the same in the last decade, I can only imagine how pleased the regulars who have been coming here for 30 years are at its refusal to gentrify.

Does Cafe Edison have the best corned beef/pastrami in NYC? Probably not, but it’s certainly worth a visit for the ambiance, solid Eastern European food, and iconic NYC vibe. The corned beef saves the sandwich with a 7 out of 10.

CAFE EDISON
228 West 47th Street (between Broadway and Eighth Avenue),
Theater District
(212) 840-5000
http://www.edisonhotelnyc.com/cafe-edison
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About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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