Joel Russ was a Polish immigrant who started selling herring from a pushcart, and after seven years saved enough money to open a store at 179 Houston Street. He brought his daughters into the business, and the rest is New York City history. The store’s still there, still specializing in fish, and they’ve since broadened out into caviar and salmon. Whether Irish, Scottish, or Norwegian, you can order it smoked, pickled, kippered, or cured, and sliced thin enough to read through. And it’s still run by the Russ family. What’s amazing about Russ & Daughters—beyond the fact of its persistence—is how narrow their specialty is: owing to the Jewish prohibition on mixing meat and dairy, a division sprang up between the meat stores (delicatessens) and fish and dairy (appetizing stores). As ubiquitous mouth-about-town Anthony Bourdain says: ‘Forget the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, New York City’s greatest living institution is very likely Russ & Daughters.’
You can find Russ & Daughter’s famous smoked salmon at 179 Houston St, or you can pop by our Sunday Brunch at Tribeca Grand and give it a try for yourself.
For more on Russ & Daughter’s, click here to check out our feature on GrandLifeHotels.com