Launched in 1914 in a tenement building on NYC’s Lower East Side, Russ & Daughters is a stalwart of Jewish food in America—even the Smithsonian Institute designated it “a part of NY’s cultural heritage.” Ever since opening over 100 years ago, customers have visited this iconic appetizing counter to have smoked fish sliced in front of them by masters. It is the go-to shop for bagels & lox, smoked fish, caviar, herring and babka for locals, visitors and prominent chefs. Essentially, if there’s ever been an icon of Jewish food in NYC, this is it.
Starting out from just a pushcart, Joel Russ, an Eastern European immigrant, taught his three daughters the business and made them partners. It’s considered to be the first business in the U.S. to have “& Daughters” in its name. Now, this fourth generation family-run appetizing shop is one of the last of its kind—a true taste of old New York.