Celebrate the New Year at Cafe Edison

Tonight is Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year), and if you don’t have your Mom in town to cook for you (mine is flying in this morning), then you may want to consider Cafe Edison for lunch.  I don’t eat at too many sit down restaraunts, but they don’t have good matzoh ball soup at too many places that specialize in quick lunches.  Luckily Cafe Edison, despite being a sit down diner, is cheap enough (the prices probably haven’t changed in 20 years) to be included as a bonafide Midtown Lunch.

Situated in the Edison Hotel on 47th btw. B’way & 8th, Cafe Edison is a relic of the Old Times Square.  Stepping inside is like stepping into a time warp, and it doesn’t matter how old you are, chances are- if you are reading this blog, you will be the youngest person there.  Their ever changing list of daily soups are easily the stand outs of the menu, but they also have great blintzes, matzoh brie (I’ll be back for Passover!), a real nice corned beef sandwich, and kasha varnishkes (if you don’t know, you probably don’t want to know).

The best Matzoh Ball soup in Midtown, more old school deli porn and a +/- after the jump…

Both the Matzah Ball soup and the Borcht (cold red beet soup, topped with sour cream) are great, and I’ve heard good things about the rest of the soups which alternate every day.

It may not be the best corned beef sandwich in the world, but you get good homemade corned beef, and the old school New York Deli feel, without having to pay $17 for a rediculously oversized sandwich that you can’t finish, and aren’t allowed to share (without paying even more).  It’s also a great place to spend your hour lunch break, getting a piece of what the old Times Square was like, before Spotlight Live, ESPN, & Hawaiian Tropic set up their respective “Zones”.

So, if you’re craving Jewish food on this Rosh Hashanah, and don’t mind eating it in a dirty old NY Diner, Cafe Edison is the place to go.  Who knows?  You might see someone famous.  I don’t know if Neil Simon hangs out there anymore, but truthfully, I don’t think I’d recognize him if he did.

THE + (what people who like this place would say)

  • Cheap food, in an old school New York atmosphere
  • You can get a regular sized Corned Beef or Pastrami Sandwich for under $10 (No Sharing Charge Necessary, and no lines of tourists)
  • Awesome soups
  • Did I mention how cheap it is?

THE – (what people who don’t like this place would say)

  • It’s old and dirty
  • The Corned Beef can be a little dry
  • The food is hit or miss
  • The service is not 5 Star
  • It’s sit down, so you have to pay tip- making the really cheap prices, a tad bit more expensive

Cafe Edison, 228 W. 47th St. (btw. B’way & 8th), 212-840-5000


  • You can’t finish Katz’s or Carnegie’s cold cut sandwiches? And to think I trusted you! I usually eat my own pastrami and nosh on half of my wife’s corned beef. You broke my heart, Zach. Never again.

  • Happy new year, Zach. I love the Edison. I love the gold paint on the ceilings. Pretty good fishburgers, too.

  • Having lost my ticket in Katz one day i was hunted by mossad for 3 years.

  • Are the matzoh balls sinkers or floaters? I’m a sinker fan as that is what I grew up with.

  • Zach – perhaps you confusing kasha varnishke with kishke? Kasha varnishke is just kasha (a nice healthy whole grain) with lots of fat (used to be schmaltz (chicken fat, but who uses that anymore) making it not so healthy after all), sauteed onions, and bow tie pasta. A perfectly respectable, tasty dish. Now kishke…that’s another story…

    No… I know what it is. We ordered it at the Edison. I guess what I meant to say was, if you don’t know what it is, chances are you are not going to like it. I find it to be an acquired taste. Never met a first time Kasha eater who was like “Mmm… now that’s tasty!” -zach

  • Those aren’t sandwiches at Katz’s & Carnegie’s… those are monstrosities… if you can’t fit your mouth around it the experience of eating it isn’t as fun…

    Damn that soup looks good… maaaatzah for me please

  • I’m a club bread fan over rye myself…and derma… mmm…

    Damn that soup looks good too…how’s the pastrami?

  • I’m heading home to Miami tonight for the holiday, and can’t wait for my grandmother’s homemade chopped liver – my asbolute favorite. Happy New Year to Zach and my fellow midtown jewish foodies.

  • Loved the matzoh brei there the time I tried it. Kasha varnishkes hardly seem to need apology, though. That’s one of the more bland, unobjectionable foods I can think of.

  • You can go to the counter at the Edison and get take-out if you don’t feel like sitting down (or tipping). Yesterday I went out for my coworkers and had a burger and two sandwiches ready to go in under 10 minutes. Not bad for a “real” restaurant!

  • Thank you, Adam. I’m terrible at tipping etiquette and was never sure if I was supposed to tip the guy who hands you your takeout.. Your consensus will help me rest easy! ;-)

  • I discovered Edison last year and have been going ever since. As a native brooklyn jew, this place reminds me of the way this city used to be. Sure, it’s old, dirty, and tacky, but I smile every time I walk in.

    I typically get the pastrami sandwich…very good, especially for 7 bucks.

    As for celebrity regulars…my best sighting was Jackie Mason, sitting alone in the front room, slurping a big spoonful of matzo ball soup! Classic.

  • Matzoh balls are definitely sinkers . . . and the soup is salty enough (a good thing) to counter their massive softness. The brisket was also great when I visited last time -

    Part of the pleasure was the sheer uniqueness of sitting in a pre-touristification delicatessen-type restaurant in Midtown of all places.

    Berger’s in the Diamond District was supposed to be the other Midtown holdout against the glitz and gigantism, but there was no longer any building there at the address that was listed!

  • Just had a really yummy hot pastrami sandwich here. Good spot!

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