• 212-879-0914
  • 1215 3rd Ave, New York NY 10021

Whether by Phone or Online, That Rich Pastrami Taste (And Anything Else) is Just a Finger Tap Away

PJ Bernstein opened the 3rd Avenue Deli in 1965 and customers spread the wildfire word about corned beef and matzoh ball soup tasting just like food made by a million or more Jewish mothers. That free advertising eventually made the classic NY Deli famous even beyond the Upper East Side.

Back then, the take-out business was a small operation, welcome, but sometimes difficult to package.

Click forward to 2018, when happy patrons often are using their laptops and smartphones to tell family and friends about the gustatorial glory at PJ Bernstein.  “It’s a great place to eat, but you can order all this stuff online for home delivery.”

Fact is, the deli now delivers food 13 hours a day to businesses and homes within the region, AND each month that goes by the online ordering business grabs a larger percentage of the delivery business that once was all telephone all the time.

There’s never a busy signal online (unless you’re swiping the neighbor’s bandwidth) and GPS technology means the delivery server will find your location with ease.  Of course, phone orders are welcome (212-879-0914) and the increasing delivery business is handled by an efficient operation with modern packaging to keep oomph in the herring and snap in the pickles.

What can you order online?

PJ Bernstein’s longest-serving waiter (working in 50 years), known to all as Landi, answered:

“You can order anything on the menu, but I will tell you that almost every order starts with a consume or a matzoh ball soup,” he said, with a grin. “It’s almost like a law.”

Grab a Table for REAL Jewish Deli Food or Grab Your Phone and Order Delivery!

Order Online Now
or call us at 212-879-0914

How to Stop Pickles Halfway to Sour, And Other FUN FACTS from PJ Bernstein

Why Do Chickens Cross Third Avenue?

Alka-Seltzer is funny …. Tomato is not funny.... Cleveland is funny. Maryland is not funny. Then, there's chicken. Chicken is funny…. —From Neil Simon’s The Sunshine Boys

At PJ Bernstein we are serious about making chicken so delicious that it puts a smile on the face of every customer who chooses one of many chicken dishes – a roasted half chicken, chicken salad, chicken soup with matzoh ball, and chicken liver pate. Oh, and our chicken dishes do cross Third avenue – just order them and we’ll escort them to your place.

Can a Half Sour Pickle Bring Happiness?

That’s easy. We don’t let our pickles anywhere near dreaded vinegar, a reliable source of sour pusses.  Like any pickle, our half-sours start out as cucumbers, but they are immediately refrigerated after being placed in brine.  This non-vinegar brine keeps them green and crispy.  Chomp on them and they snap. The perfect complement to a dreamy, hot corned beef sandwich.

What Does the PJ Stand For?

Who remembers? If you need an answer, just think “Pastrami Junction.”

What do celebrities eat at PJs?

Sharon Stone favors chicken soup and turkey sandwich.  The late Lucille Ball went for kosher hot dogs. And triggering a blitz of national TV newspaper coverage in 2016, Ohio Governor John Kasich famously turned down a pastrami sandwich at what the NYC Daily News called “the renown PJ Bernstein.” BUT, he already had eaten a pickle and kreplach and finished off his presidential campaign appearance with a pastry. He pleaded: “I can’t eat any more, I’ve eaten so much.”

About that Kreplach?

Many cultures have created a lump of dough that seals inside a small amount of ground meat, cheese or potato, all of which is boiled or fried. They call it pierogi, for example, or ravioli, or in the Jewish version served at PJ Bernstein, kreplach.  Our kreplach can be eaten alone, or served in a bowl of chicken soup. Our Triple Delight is a chicken soup containing kreplach, noodles and a matzoh ball.

Are Pastrami and Corned Beef Cousins?

They are at PJ Bernstein, because they both start out as the same cut of meat, a beef brisket, which is cured with salt.  Corned beef got its name from the type of curing salt used, which had grains shaped like corn.  After curing, corned beef is boiled pretty much as is. But beef pastrami usually is coated with a dry rub of spice and then smoked.  Keep in mind the word pastrami refers to the process of curing, coating and smoking, not the meat, so there are such items out there as turkey pastrami.

Delicatessen, What About That Name?

Originally in France, it was delicatesse, meaning specialty prepared foods, then theGermans embraced and altered it to Delikatessen, same meaning. German immigrants brought the word and their food stores to the U.S. in the massive late 19th century migration. 

What is PJ Bernstein Best Known For?

Even if you don’t order our pastrami, you will see it floating by and watch others dig in.  It’s one of the items that best symbolizes a real New York City Jewish restaurant. If we can make that the best pastrami anyone has ever had, that push for quality enhances every other dish we offer. That’s why we challenge   ourselves every day with our motto:
“PJ Bernstein -- Where Pastrami Meets Perfection!”

First-Timers Love PJs, One of NYC’s Few Surviving Jewish-Style Delis

We usually can spot out-of-town folks who visit PJ’s for the first time, folks who come here after a long visit at the nearby Metropolitan Museum of Art, for example. It’s easy.


Their eyes linger on the colorful and tempting foods in our deli case – piles of fresh fish salads, potato latkes, lox, stuffed cabbages, potato knishes, etc. Their heads swivel as smiling servers whisk by with trays loaded with a dizzying array of meals, including steaming soups with aromas that fill the aisle.


They scan the photographs of celebrities and movie/TV stars who have partaken in the scrumptious selections of authentic, handmade, and traditional Jewish favorites.


And sometimes they need assistance working their way through the menu items that may not be all that familiar. How does a kreplach differ from a knish? Our servers explain the difference, may even make a recommendation or two.


The menus are substantial because the tastes of our clientele are varied. Old-time Jewish customers may never think of ordering a matzoh ball soup with anything other than consumme. But newer generations and non-Jewish customers may prefer our matzoh soup with noodles.


At PJ Bernstein, our menus reflect the traditions of the past, but include new trends in taste.