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Revising the Classic Deli at Russ & Daughters

At the top of my list of restaurant requests in Buffalo is a legitimate Jewish deli. Yes, we have the incredible menu and hospitality at Risa’s on Delaware, those giant matzo balls, and recipes from Stumpy’s—Risa’s father’s Hertel deli from before my time. But I’m talking about more than the food; the whole deli experience, from the lunch counter to the deli case. And a true bagel, which does not currently exist in town. A boy can dream.

Check out the beautiful branding for Russ & Daughters, an old-fashioned and re-branded deli in New York. Look at those beautiful lighted signs for pickled herring and smoked fish. Look at the typographic work on those placemats, and the handsome window vinyl announcing the storefront. Those printed takeout handle bags, walking billboards for the brand. This is how you do throwback in the 21st century. It’s both a diner and a museum. A relic and a hotspot. Their website is also really well done, with fantastic images (above) and an easy navigation.

Russ & Daughters is at the top of my list for my next trip downstate. Save me an everything with a veggie schmear, please and thank you.