Zabar's - A New York Institution


Zabar's Welcome Zabar's_interior Zabar's_Parents

There are few institutions in New York that are really still worthy of the name. Mostly the once great names would be unrecognisable to those who in the past lifted them to iconic status .. like the great department stores which once sent a shiver of excitement at the mere mention of their name have been gutted and become indistinguishable emporia, their ground floors all smelling like the boudoirs of eighteenth century Paris. Only the names and the shell hint at their past glory.

Yet one great institution stands out, an affront to the relentless modernisers of todays world (but boy would they like to own it!) and a perfect example of how the public knows when it's got a gem. Zabar's is not a building that really stands out, perhaps the mock tudor looks a bit odd on 81st and Broadway but that's about it. Yet any self-respecting New Yorker knows it and has shopped there. And, I'll bet, not one would change a single heaving shelf of its homely decor. And what other shop would have a sign dedicated to a long dead employee that reads "Sam's Corner"? In an age when huge conglomerates try to hoodwink us into believing they are just at heart a family concern, Zabar's is the real thing, an unalloyed joy and a hymn to great food. Saul Zabar and his family have owned this jewel for 75 years and it's still run pretty much on the same ethical lines as when his father, Louis, first opened his little counter. Occasionally, very occasionally, things are what they used to be.

  • Guest (Nicole Koukou)

    Hey... great mini documentary on one of my favourite food places- Really Loved the atmospheric music...
    Nicole - Boulder , Colorado-

  • Loved it. Well done Sami and Zee

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