Just as Christmas is celebrated with gingerbread and fruit cakes, the festivities of Chanukah include eating potato latkes, also known as delicious potato pancakes. We’ve taste-tested the best latkes in New York City for the holiday. Here’s where to find them. By Yvo Sin.
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For the absolute best potato pancake you’ll ever eat, head to East Village mainstay Veselka. We already know they make fantastic burgers and a mean bowl of oatmeal, but did you know that their potato pancakes are legendary? Properly browned, a loud crunch as you press the side of your fork through the crust, and a peppery interior to make your tongue pucker, there is no regret while one forks into the crust over and over again till every last potato bite is gone. Don’t bother ordering one to share: everyone deserves to have their own. It’s the holidays, after all.
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Another great potato pancake, Junior’s dish comes crisp with a creamy interior that makes everyone happy. Innovation renews the classic and offers potato pancake sandwiches, with the potato pancakes acting as the bread, holding your choice of meats within two fantastic potato pancakes. The sour cream and apple sauce on the side are optional, but you won’t need either as you lift the sandwich to your mouth and taste sandwich innovation nirvana.
Ben's Best Kosher Delicatessen
Queens’ local favorite kosher delicatessen, Ben’s Best, serves up a mean potato pancake alongside apple sauce. Fluffy potatoes encased in a shell of crisp happiness, forking into one brings pure joy to one’s mouth – with or without the apple sauce, which is unnecessary. Your choice: $3.95 for just the one, or three of them for $10.75, either way with a bowl of apple sauce. And because man cannot live on potato pancakes alone, enjoy the pastrami while you’re there – it can’t be beat.
Ben's Kosher Delicatessen
Not to be confused with Ben’s Best, Ben’s Kosher Delicatessen also offers delicious potato pancakes, with a crisp, chewy crust, and fluffy potatoes within – served, of course, with the traditional applesauce accompaniment. The potato pancakes are definitely worth a look, as are many of the other offerings – sandwiches piled high with pastrami or corned beef, salad platters with crisp lettuce… yum!
We’d be remiss to not mention Sarge’s, which routinely shows up on “best potato pancake in NYC” lists – with good reason. Potato pancakes that pass muster with even the pickiest potato pancake palates, giant patties of potato fried crisp, so thick it almost tastes meaty… absolutely delicious. Get your choice of deli meats stacked on it to make your own potato pancake perfect sandwich – but don’t forget the applesauce, the perfect complement to any good potato pancake.
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Yvo Sin is the founder and head writer of The Feisty Foodie.