The NYC Cafe That Changed Andrew Zimmern's Life

Though he is known for traveling the world in "Bizarre Foods," Andrew Zimmern is a native New Yorker at heart. Zimmern loves his Xi'an Famous Foods hand-pulled noodles and his Brooklyn thin-crust pizza, as he disclosed in his "Spilled Milk" blog post. In fact, the post goes into detail about the top pizza spots the TV chef recommends in NYC.

Like many New Yorkers, Zimmern is aware of the ever-changing food scene in his hometown. He finds magic in many New York City classics, rather than their outposts in new markets. He told AMNY, "I like the original locations for a whole variety of reasons, mostly having to do with the energy and the history that's in the building. You can feel those ghosts."  But, there is one classic eatery that Zimmern particularly loves visiting whenever he is back home and revealed the name of this life-changing restaurant in a recent "Spilled Milk," blog.

Andrew Zimmern's first visit to R&D transformed his life

Andrew Zimmern proclaimed Russ & Daughters in the Lower East Side of New York City as, "a second home," in his blog post published on September 13, 2022. It's been a Zimmern family favorite for four generations, and the celebrity chef is acquainted with the family that owns the establishment. "R&D," as it is sometimes referred to, is known for its variety of bagels, smoked fish, and other Jewish baked goods (via Russ & Daughters).

The origins of Russ & Daughters begin with Joel Russ' herring pushcart in the early 1900s. Now, over 100 years later, Russ' legacy has grown to two locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The company also launched its eat-in restaurant, Russ & Daughters Cafe, in 2014, 100 years after the opening of its brick-and-mortar store, according to its website. Like its parent establishment, the cafe is known for its variety of fish and breakfast items (via its menu).

In his blog post, Zimmern fondly recalls his first visit to Russ & Daughters when he was five years old. He remembered being served a hamentaschen, and his life "never was the same again."