On the Road Eats: Best Hanukkah Dishes

Have a happy Hanukkah at these delis and restaurants serving classic Jewish comfort food.
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Where to Have 8 Delicious Nights

For a feast that's worthy of the Festival of Lights, plan a trip to these eight Food Network-approved spots for Hanukkah dishes across the country. Checkout matzo balls, borscht, latkes, brisket and more. We’ve got a delicious destination for every night of the Hanukkah celebration.

Photo courtesy of Manny's, Chicago

Zabar's — New York

An Upper West Side institution since 1934, Zabar's is known for its huge selection of specialty Jewish foods, from freshly baked challah to handmade latkes to brisket. Giada De Laurentiis made it her mission to stop there on Giada's Weekend Getaways for a classic New York breakfast of bagels and lox. She selected Zabar's homemade smoked salmon paté to pair with the bakery's crusty bagels, and she declared that this breakfast is "the best way to start a Saturday." Zabar's always carries tons of ready-made favorites that reach far beyond breakfast, like chopped liver, matzo balls, stuffed cabbage, babka and honey cake.

Photo courtesy of Zabar's

B & H Dairy — New York

This East Village diner is an old-school neighborhood staple that opened in 1942, when the area was full of Yiddish theaters and delis. These days it's one of the last spots in the area to offer authentic Jewish fare like smoked whitefish, hot borscht and kasha varnishkes. On The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Duff Goldman said he always heads to B & H for the addictive blueberry blintzes. Similar to a crepe, each thin pancake is filled with blueberry preserves, folded and fried into a golden-brown package that’s "soft, melty and gooey inside." A little salty and a little sweet, the blintzes serve as a perfect treat at the celebratory Hanukkah table.

Photo courtesy of B & H Dairy

Honey's Sit 'n' Eat — Philadelphia

Nestled in Philly’s Northern Liberties neighborhood, this funky little spot blends Jewish classics with Southern comfort food. Guy Fieri stopped in to try the brisket frito platter (frito is Spanish for "fried"), which puts a twist on traditional beef brisket by cooking it with dried onion soup mix. Once roasted, the brisket is sliced and seared in a frying pan to develop a crispy crust, then served up with a lime juice glaze, onions and a tower of tortilla chips on top. Plated with rice and black bean puree, the twice-cooked brisket was "a little bit country and a little bit rock 'n' roll" with perfectly spiced and tender meat that's "even better than Bubby's," Guy said.

Photo courtesy of Honey's Sit 'n' Eat

Manny's Cafeteria & Delicatessen — Chicago

This family-run, fourth-generation cafeteria specializes in Jewish cooking that's served up quickly and in generous portions. While they offered special menu items for Jewish holidays on The Best Thing I Ever Ate, including crispy latkes with sour cream, gefilte fish, brisket, and borscht, Ted Allen swears by their noodle kugel, a standby at the Hanukkah table. Manny's serves a sweet version of the classic baked casserole, which features egg noodles with sour cream, cottage cheese and golden raisins. It's creamy and luscious, Ted says, and it's  so comforting that it's "like a hug from your bubby."

Photo courtesy of Manny's

Ben's Best Deli — New York

Located in the heart of Queens, this third-generation joint is one of the last original kosher delis left in New York. Guy was eager to sample the famous kreplach (a Jewish version of ravioli) and stuffed cabbage on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Guy compared the kreplach to giant pot stickers, but Ben's are filled with the traditional ground brisket that's been roasted with vegetables and spices until it's supremely tender. The brisket mix is hand-stuffed into thinly rolled noodle dough, which is then either fried until crispy or boiled and added to chicken soup. The stuffed cabbage features a ground chuck and rice stuffing with raisin sauce that Guy called "on point."

Photo courtesy of Ben's Best Deli

Edmart Deli — Pikesville, Md.

For an authentic Jewish deli experience, Duff revealed on The Best Thing I Ever Ate that he always heads to his hometown hangout Edmart for its world-famous brisket sandwich. Edmart's kosher top-cut brisket is seasoned with garlic powder and paprika, and it's roasted for hours until meltingly tender. Once it's sliced paper-thin, it's sandwiched between slices of rye bread smeared with a simple mayo and horseradish sauce. The locals also swear by Edmart's sliced Nova lox and hot knishes. Order one up for the holiday, along with the signature challah rolls, and hit the road with Hanukkah fare from what Duff called "the best deli on the planet."

Photo courtesy of Don McClure

Flakowitz of Boynton — Boynton Beach, Fla.

For a taste of New York way down South, head to this 50-year-old "real-deal deli," according to Guy, that's serving up mile-high deli sandwiches, stuffed cabbage (pictured) and smoked fish platters. On Fridays you'll find Flakowitz's famous potato knish on the menu, which Guy learned to make on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. The savory pastry begins with skin-on boiled potatoes that are mashed with sour cream and seasonings, wrapped in a flaky phyllo dough package, then baked until golden brown and crispy. Try the crackly edged knish on your next visit and you’ll soon be one of the "Flakowitz people," just as the Florida regulars call themselves.

Photo courtesy of Claire Perez

The Bagel Delicatessen & Restaurant — Denver

This Denver-based deli has been serving up traditional Jewish delicacies for 44 years. Guy stopped in just for a bowl of their original matzo ball soup, which is so popular that the kitchen churns out 15 to 20 gallons of broth a day. The matzo balls are "super light and tender with a great texture" and complement the comforting ginger-infused broth. Guy also got a kick out of the restaurant's kishke, a sort of Jewish meatloaf made with matzo meal, vegetables and flavorful schmaltz. Spiced with the house au jus mix, the ground veggie mixture is shaped into a large log and baked into what Guy deemed "a matzo ball gone wild."

Photo courtesy of The Bagel Deli

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