Chanukah Potato Pancakes in the Super Secret “Diamond Dairy”

It’s Chanukah everyone!  And in honor of the Holiday, I decided on Friday to go out in search of some Latkes (or potato pancakes) for lunch.  I had gotten a few emails from people over the past week asking me where they could find these delicious fried patties of potatoey goodness in Midtown- but I was embarrassed to admit that I didn’t really know.  The last time I had latkes in Midtown was a billion years ago at the Stage Deli, and I don’t really remember them being that good.  But even if I had fond memories of those touristy, over-priced potato pancakes- I don’t think I’d be caught dead eating at the Stage Deli this time of year.  The same goes for the Carnegie Deli. 

Actually the same goes for every place within walking distance of the tree in Rockefeller Center.  Is there any worse place in the world to be in December then Midtown?  I’m pretty sure the answer is no.  So, to avoid the hoards of tourists, I decided to try and find this hidden Kosher place on 47th St. btw. 5th & 6th called the Diamond Dairy that I’ve read about a few times.  A Kosher luncheonette, hidden away in some Jewelry shop, with the best blintzes in town…  but this week it’s not about the blintz.  It’s about the latke.

More pics and the +/- after the jump…

The address is the best way to find the Diamond Dairy.  Walk down 47th between 5th & 6th looking for a restaurant sign, and you’re guaranteed not to find the place.  Instead, look for the National Jewelers Exchange at 4 West 47t St. and you’re halfway there.  The exchange is one of those gigantic Jewelry stores with different Jewelers selling stuff at individual kiosks.  Look up in the “Mezzanine” in the back of the store- and you’ll have found the Diamond Dairy Luncheonette.  Make your way to the back left or right hand corner of the store, and there are stairwells on either side to take you up to the diner.

I asked one of the waitresses if they had latkes, and she less than enthusiastically told me yes.  I believe that’s what is known as “no-nonsense” waitress’ing.  Either that, or she just hated me.  Maybe she saw into my soul and knew I’d rather be eating pork… or a fried shrimp po’boy (Is soft shelled crab considered shellfish?).  You see,  I was born Jewish, but I’m not really a good Jew… and it’s not just the pork and shellfish thing either.  It’s also hard for me to practice a religion where the most holy day of the year involves not eating.  I just can’t do it… it’s against my religion.  Anyway, at least I was semi-celebrating Chanukah by getting some delicious Latkes.  I ordered 2 for $5.40 (an order of 3 is $7.40), and took in the awesome surroundings.

They came out bare bones, two on an oval shaped plate, with apple sauce.  I heard two guys behind me order latkes and they were given the choice between sour cream and applesauce.  I guess their waitress liked them… they must have been good Jews.  I asked my waitress for some sour cream in addition to my apple sauce, which cost 50 cents extra.  I like the mix of sweet and sour (why do I feel like everything I say sounds like I’m talking about Chinese food?).  The latkes were nicely browned on the outside, and hot and moist on the inside.  No onions either, which could be a plus or minus depending on how you like your potato pancakes.  They were also the thinner variety, which I like.  Some places make these gigantic thick monstrosities that have no possible way of staying moist when fried. 

All in all it was a great first day of the first night of Chanukah lunch.  Delicious latkes, in an amazing hidden setting.  Next time I’ll try the blintzes… if I can hold back from ordering the Lo Mein!  (That’s right… they serve Lo Mein.)


  • It’s Chanukah… so if you want your Latkes, there’s no line at this jem
  • The locale is sweet if you like your places hidden
  • The latkes come out freshly made, and fried thin so they stay moist
  • They don’t make them with onions (if you don’t like onions)


  • Everything is ala carte… so even though it’s cheap at $5.50 you don’t get anything with it.
  • They don’t give you enough apple sauce (the little cup isn’t enough) and extra costs 50 cents
  • The latkes don’t have onions (if you like onions)

Diamond Dairy, 4 W. 47th St. (Mezzanine), 212-719-2694


  • Mmmm, latkes. I went to a holiday party over the weekend and was eating something, trying to figure out what it was when I blurted out “I think it’s a latke!” to the nearest person who smiled politely… so I rushed to add, “uh, I don’t know if I pronounced that right” and he just kept hte smile and said… “You got it right, you know my culture” and I was just stupidly standing there really embarrassed (it was bad for a potato pancake, as I’ve ever had, because it was thick and was about the size of a pie plate, we were cutting pieces off to eat it). But now I know, latke rhymes with vodka!

  • … continuing my stupidity, since my previous comment reeks of it and makes me even stupider than I really am!… it was a kugel, wasn’t it. Argh!!! :P

  • Today I ventured over there in search of latke… I sat at the bar, and ordered some latke, but then eight minutes later the bar-waitress said then didn’t have any more. It was strange that she didn’t volunteer a menu at that point, but I asked for it and got cheese blintzes instead. Mmm, were they yummy! The hidden setting was indeed amazing… if it wasn’t for your coverage of the area, I’d only relegate myself to Cafe Zaiya!

  • i think anyone who says the service is “no-nonsense” obviously hasn’t had Angie there. I went today for the first time, and she was the sweetest thing. Asking quiet often if I wanted more apple sauce or sour cream, and even bringing over an other customer at one point to see what a blintz was from the half finished one on the plate. She didn’t want them ordering something they might not like.

  • Latkes without onions sounds appalling! How are their blintzes?

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    i think Diamond Dairy may have closed down permanently

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    You know Zack…after you move? When you come back to NYC?


    You’ll have become the very thing you hate! bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha seriously, do you people realize as much as you hate them, tourists keep this city prosperous? Or do some of you actually pray for another terrorist attack so they’ll stop coming?

  • I just want to walk at a reasonable pace on the streets from Thanksgiving to Jan 1st. Otherwise I could care less about the tourists.

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