Russ & Daughters Café
Since 1914, four generations of the Russ family have been selling smoked fish, cream cheese, bagels, caviar, and other kinds of "appetizing" (as such culinary staples are known in New York's Jewish communities) from a bustling counter shop on the Lower East Side. To mark the centennial, in 2014, a sit-down, table-service café was opened a few blocks away, quickly earning the number-two spot on The New York Times's best-restaurants list. Servers in white jackets bring comforting noshes like potato latkes with trout roe, smoked sturgeon on buttered pumpernickel, and matzo-ball soup that's even better than your Bubbe's. Don't skip the equally good drinks menu for the best house sodas in the city (the cucumber with jasmine, aniseed, and dill is a must). A hand-painted sign preserved from the original store hangs in the back, and says it all: "It's for what you have been waiting!"