Celebrate Rosh Hashanah in NYC: Delicious Food for the Jewish New Year | Tracy's New York Life | A New York City Lifestyle + Travel Blog Tracy's New York Life | Best Lifestyle, Culture, and Travel Blog in NYC

Celebrate Rosh Hashanah in NYC: Delicious Food for the Jewish New Year

by Melissa Kravitz

Tables around NYC will be set to celebrate --credit

This year, the Jewish High Holiday season begins September 4 with Rosh Hashanah. Whether or not you’re celebrating, there’s still plenty of traditional food to dig into in New York City.
Apples and Honey is a traditional snack or dessert on the holidays, symbolizing a sweet and happy new year.  For farm-fresh apples, check out your local farmers market or even go apple-picking near NYC.  Fishkill Farms – in Hopewell Junction – is a fun spot just 90 minutes north of Manhattan.  For a modern twist on the traditional food, check out delicious juice by Red Jacket Orchards  – available at Whole Foods as well as NYC Greenmarkets – made from pressed Upstate New York apples and various fruits like apricots or cherries. For sweet and local honey, check out Andrew's Honey, also available at NYC Greenmarkets. 

A selection of Red Jacket's juices
Challah is the traditional braided bread served on the Jewish sabbath, but for the holidays, it's round, not braided, to symbolize the circle of life.  The bread is sweet, often with raisins, and makes awesome French toast.  Moishe's Bake Shop is renowned throughout the East Coast for its challahs, so order any time of the year. Uptown, Silver Moon Bakery also makes a sweet and fluffy loaf, along with other holiday treats.  

Excellent round challah from Silver Moon

Gefilte Fish is that Jewish food that makes most everyone question: "What is a gefilte fish?"  Well, it's not a breed of fish, but rather a mix of ground whitefishes; pike is a popular choice. Though the smell may be a little funky, one bite and you'll be hooked.  Gefilteria creates awesome fish products available throughout New York.  And of course, this cold fish patty is best enjoyed with a little spice, traditionally horseradish.  Find ISH Horseradish condiments at Smorgasburg and start your fishy feast. 

Gefilteria's tantalizing Gefilte fish
Chopped Liver is another one of those mysterious Jewish foods.  Debated among Jews young and old stuffing their faces with liver on rye, Murray's Sturgeon Shop, Sable's, Barney Greengrass, and 2nd Avenue Deli are rumored to have some of the best. 

A lot of love for kosher chopped liver from 2nd Avenue Deli --credit

On any holiday, Matzo Ball Soup is a Jewish staple.  Excellent to open a big meal or even to cure a cold (Jewish Penicillin), the soup isn’t rare to find on deli menus all around NYC. Some of the best vegetarian matzo ball soup is found at B&H Dairy.  For the more traditional chicken broth version, Ben's Kosher Deli serves up a delicious bowl and Katz's Deli features one large matzo ball in their homemade soup.

Matzo Ball Soup/Jewish Penicillin from B & H Dairy
Kugel, a Jewish casserole, is yet another star at holiday dinner.  Noodle Kugel, a sweet pudding dish, is best at Brooklyn Diner in Midtown, where the sweet, rich, crispy, and chewy dish is truly a treat worthy of celebration.  

Homemade Noodle Kugel --credit

Manischewitz Wine is certainly one way to get through those long family meals.  It's fruity, sweet, and a bit sticky. Cough syrup may come to mind, but if you've never had a glass (or a bottle) of this 60-year-old Brooklyn wine, I'm not sure you can consider yourself a New Yorker.

All the fruity Manischewitz flavors! --credit

Though Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is a fast day (meaning Jewish adults cannot eat or drink anything for 24 hours), the celebration to "break the fast" is always extravagant, and often requires ordering giant lox & bagel platters from Zabar’s or Russ and Daughters in advance.   

Perfect after a day without food! --credit

Happy New Year to those who celebrate and happy eating to all!  

*Note: the foods mentioned in this post are from Ashkenazi, or Eastern European Jewish traditions; Jewish people from other regions have different customs and dishes to celebrate the holidays. 

**Most food mentioned in this post is not certified Kosher. 
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