My search for the best pickles in New York continues….

There was a lot of buzz around Dekalb Market when the giant trendy food court opened earlier this summer in downtown Brooklyn. My father in Florida even texted me asking if I had heard about it.
Understandably the biggest press went to the announcement of a new location of Katz’s and the expansion of the heralded Arepa Lady from Queens. Every article mentioned these and other exciting food vendors got attention, like Pierogi Bros, Steve’s Key Lime Pies, and Wilma Jean. But I didn’t read a single word about Guss’ Pickles.
So when I finally made it to the giant market, I was shocked to see a legendary pickle company hiding in the back corner.

This is indeed a legendary company and one I thought I would not be able to fully visit on my pickle journey. Guss’ was one of the most popular pickle stands in the old Jewish Lower East Side but they left the Lower East Side back in 2009 moving to Borough Park, Brooklyn.

By the time I tried to find my way out to the shop in Brooklyn, that one had closed and they moved their facility to the Bronx, but did not open to the public. Let’s hope this new location is here to stay.

Sadly, pickles do not seem as big of a hit with millenials compared to BBQ, fried chicken, or jianbing. I might have been one of the few customers the stall saw all day.

I grabbed my usual trifecta (kosher dill, half sour, and full sour). They were all put in the same container, which I applaud for environmental reasons, but could make it trickier to determine which one was which. Especially since they were all the same reptile green color.
Unfortunately, I think I started with the most intense (full sour) thinking it was the kosher dill. It was bold and intense and might have overwhelmed the other two. Along with a surprisingly firm crispness, there was a very salty brine and a funky finish.
From there, things mellowed out with a fresh juiciness coming from the half sour. There were a few crunchy salt crystals throughout (which I don’t find so pleasant) but the experience was mild and a solid snacking pickle.
I like to end with the Full Sour but since I think the specimen got switched, Kosher Dill was the grand finale. It was covered with garlic and had a softer texture. Flavorwise, there was a slight sweetness (perhaps from clove?) and a savory salty balance. I’m surprised this one wasn’t crisper, but it had the most interesting flavor of them all.
Guss’ might be the most undersung vendor at Dekalb Market but it’s a real gem and just like Katz’s and the Arepa Lady, here’s a unique new chance to try some classic New York food. Just make sure you get there soon because if there is pattern, they’ll soon close up shop and move somewhere like New Jersey.
Does Guss’ Pickles make the best pickles in NY? I had been wanting to try these legends for so long and their masterful pickles live up to the historic hype. Complex, crunchy, and full of salt. Just what you’d want in a pickle. 9 out of 10.
GUSS’ PICKLES
Inside Dekalb Market Hall,
445 Albee Square West (between Willoughby Street and Dekalb Avenue),
Downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn
gusspickle.com
If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

Category: Pickles

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.

One Response to PICKLE REVIEW: Guss’ Pickles

  1. Ttrockwood says:

    I love guss’s pickles! ! I would visit the lower east side shop when i was in the area and had to switch to the pickle guys once guss’s moved. They just need some new marketing to attract millenials- something about how they’re probiotic fermented all natural gluten free paleo friendly low carb vegan local artisinal and small batch homemade should work :))

Connect with me

Link to our Youtube Page
Link to our Facebook Page
Link to our Rss Page
Link to our Twitter Page

WATCH

LOCALS KNOW: BITES & SIGHTS FOOD TOUR in BUDAPEST AROUND THE WORLD IN ONE CITY: IRAN AROUND THE WORLD IN ONE CITY: PERU AROUND THE WORLD IN ONE CITY: GREECE
EMPIRE PLATES OF MINE A DAY IN THE LIFE
EAT THIS BOSTON: IN THE SOUP SOMETHING BORROWED, SOMETHING BREWED


DREAM A LITTLE CREAM CHEESE


BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINATOWN


ICE CREAM


KOSHER MEAT MARKET


PIZZA DAY


Instagram Feed