The Second Avenue Deli (also known as 2nd Ave Deli) is a certified-kosher delicatessen in Manhattan, New York City. In December 2007, the deli relocated to 162 East 33rd Street (between Lexington Avenue and Third Avenue) in Murray Hill. In August 2011, it opened a second branch at 1442 First Avenue (East 75th Street) on the Upper East Side.The delicatessen originally opened in 1954 on the southeast corner of Second Avenue and East 10th Street in the Yiddish Theater District in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan. By that time, most of the Yiddish theaters of the prior half-century had disappeared. The Yiddish Walk of Fame is on the sidewalk outside of its original location, honoring stars of the Yiddish era such as Molly Picon, actor Menasha Skulnik, singer and actor Boris Thomashevsky (grandfather of conductor, pianist, and composer Michael Tilson Thomas), and Fyvush Finkel (born Philip Finkel).
It closed briefly following the murder of its founder Abe Lebewohl, a survivor of The Holocaust, during a robbery on March 4, 1996. The crime remains unsolved.
On January 1, 2006, new owner Jack Lebewohl closed the delicatessen at its original location in the East Village after a rent increase and a dispute over back rent that the landlord had said was due. (The East Village location later became a Chase Bank branch.) On July 31, 2007, Lebewohl announced that the delicatessen would reopen at a new location in the fall of 2007. It reopened on December 17, 2007, at the Murray Hill location with Jeremy Lebewohl, the nephew of its founder, as its new proprietor.
The sidewalk outside the old Second Avenue location is the home to what is known as the Yiddish Walk of Fame, where the names of about fifty stars of the old Yiddish-theatre era are embedded in plaques on the sidewalk, similar to the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The delicatessen's specialties include matzoh-ball soup, corned beef, pastrami, knishes, gefilte fish, cholent and other notables of Jewish cuisine. Despite the deli being under kosher supervision, most Orthodox Jews will not eat there because the restaurant is open on Shabbat.
The original restaurant had a separate room decorated with memorabilia of Yiddish theatre actress Molly Picon, including posters, song sheets, photographs, etc. The new location has pictures of her on the walls for approximately one half of the dining area. The deli's original iconic neon sign is now installed in the City Reliquary in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.In 2013, Zagat gave it a food rating of 23, and ranked it the 9th-best deli in New York City.