Kenny & Ziggy’s New York Delicatessen Restaurant

Who We Are

Who are these guys and why do they do it?

Serving great food takes a lot of work — something we embrace. Learn more about why we do what we do.

My name is Ziggy Gruber and I’m a third-generation Deliman.

In the early 1900’s, at the age of 16, my grandfather, Max, migrated from Budapest to New York in search of a better life. Since that time, my family has continually owned delis in and around New York City as well as Los Angeles and now, Houston.

Here is our story…

It all started in 1927 with Max, my grandfather, who along with his brothers-in-law opened The Rialto — our family's first delicatessen. The Rialto was the first deli to open its doors on Broadway Street in New York! Walter Winchel, Milton Berle, Ethel Merman, The Marx Brothers, and other famous celebrities came to taste traditional deli food at The Rialto. Max and the boys were not one-hit wonders. In fact, they opened some of New York 's most renowned delicatessens: Berger's on 47th, Wally's Downtown, and the Griddle on 16th.

At the age of 12, my father, Eugene Gruber, started the 2nd generation of “Gruber Delimen.” He apprenticed with Max in the deli business for many years before he opened up the famous Genard's on Madison Avenue. He, along with help from his brother — my Uncle Seymour — built Genard's into a three-decade long success story for the Gruber family.

At the ripe age of 8 years old, I quickly learned that typical past-time activities for young boys were not for me! By this time, my family had moved from New York City to Spring Valley, NY, where my father and my Uncle Seymour owned the Cresthill Kosher Deli. One day, from behind the deli counter, my grandfather came to me and said, “Come with me. It's time to make a living!” The 3rd generation of “Gruber Delimen” was born! My grandfather spent the next five years teaching me the traditions of Jewish deli food. Like my father and grandfather, I learned the deli business from the ground up!

At the age of 15, my grandfather Max suddenly passed away. It was hard working in the deli without my grandfather, but with my family's support and encouragement, I enrolled at the Cordon Bleu in London, England. The next two years I immersed myself in my academics and learned the trade from some of Europe 's best chefs. I graduated top of my class, and spent the next two years working in London 's only three-star Michelin restaurants: Le Gavroche and The Water Side Inn. Those years in London were amazing! I cooked for the Queen of England, heads of state and many celebrities. Despite all of these opportunities, my heart was still in New York.

I returned to the Cresthill Kosher Deli and my Uncle Seymour handed me keys to the restaurant and said: “It's all yours, kid.” My father and I built that store into another family success, our reputation for traditional deli food had become so strong that West Point Military Academy approached us to become their official kosher caterer.

The early 1990's took me to Los Angeles were I opened Ziggy G's on Sunset Boulevard. This store was critically acclaimed and quite the spot to star gaze the celebs of Hollywood. Stars like Johnny Depp, Warren Beatty, Leonardo De Caprio, and Dennis Hopper — just to name a few — were loyal customers and true supporters of our traditional deli food.

In 1999, my good friend and legend in the New York deli world, Freddy Klein, approached me with an opportunity to partner with a self-made man from the Bronx , Lenny Friedman, and his son, Kenny Friedman. Kenny had experience in the restaurant business and Lenny had an unfulfilled dream. Lenny wanted to bring a favorite past time of his childhood — New York deli food — to Houston, Texas.

So a restaurant was born and Kenny and Ziggy's hit H-Town like a tropical storm! A storm of pastrami, corned beef and softball sized matzo balls!

Thank you to the people of Houston who have welcomed Kenny and Ziggy's with open hearts and empty stomachs!

Kenny and Ziggy’s strives to achieve the highest level of customer service by making you and your dining experience our top priority. The moment you walk through our front door, you become a part of our family.

Be sure to watch the short video we put together to introduce you to our family!

At Kenny and Ziggy’s, we make it our mission to give Houstonians the ultimate dining experience by combining traditional New York deli food with contemporary cuisine.

Our goal is to please you and we don’t cut corners in the process. We take the painstaking time to make sure everything is “just what the customer ordered!” We do everything the old fashioned way, including baking our breads and cakes in house and pickling and curing our own meats. We do it all!

Kenny and Ziggy’s handpicks only USDA choice meats to serve to our customers. We are so meticulous about what we use, that we even have a personal jobber select all of our smoked fish from New York and overnight it to our store in Houston. Our fish have more frequent flyer miles than any we know! We hand slice our fish in the European tradition, ensuring its silkiness and gorgeous texture. We are proud that Kenny and Ziggy’s has five Certified Master Slicers who daily prepare the Nova for all of our customers. Now that’s care!

The portions at Kenny and Ziggy’s are huge! The signature, cut-to-order pastrami and corned beef sandwiches are unparalleled, our deserts are divine, and not one customer has ever left our restaurant hungry! Our menu includes everything from traditional Hungarian Goulash, Romanian Chicken Fricassee, Blintzes, Stuffed Cabbage and Latkes, to Apricot Glazed Salmon, Grilled Mediterranean Tuna, Chicken Astoria, Black Walnut Chicken Salad and Sweet Potato Pancakes! Are you hungry yet?

Our commitment to provide our customers with more than just food has and will be the reason Kenny and Ziggy’s continues to achieve national acclaim.

“If I knew anyone went hungry after eating at Kenny and Ziggy's, it would break my heart.”

Ziggy Gruber