No place in New York does smoked fish better than Russ & Daughters and, finally, the century-old walk-in shop has expanded to a sit-down, Jewish, comfort-food café, serving all the favourites, from caviar to matzo ball soup. The casual but beautiful luncheonette space has lots of vinyl booths good for families. Start with small dishes (knishes, latkes) and polish off the meal with sweets (babka french toast, blintzes). While they’re open until 10pm, brunch is prime time; if you’re with three or four people, spring for the platter of smoked fish or stick to your own classic smoked salmon board, which will arrive with one of their signature bagels and cream cheese.
Previously an epicentre of immigrant culture, the Lower East Side has shed some of its gritty past and is now a prime place to go out, with plenty of bars, nightclubs, and dining options.
Russ & Daughters Cafe
127 Orchard Street (near Delancey Street)