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The Best Jewish Foods for the High Holidays


Ess-a-Bagel’s High Holiday Bagel Brunch
Ess-a-Bagel’s High Holiday Bagel Brunch

The Jewish High Holidays are a time of celebration and reflection, of looking ahead to the future and thinking about the past. It’s made up of two holidays several weeks apart: Rosh Hashanah, the New Year according to the Hebrew calendar; and Yom Kippur, a day of fasting and prayer in which Jews repent for the previous year’s sins and ask to be inscribed in the Book of Life for another year. 

Like most Jewish holidays, the High Holidays are all about tradition. Specifically, the tradition of spending time with family, and the tradition of eating! Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur both have different traditional Jewish High Holiday foods that are enjoyed on the holidays. No matter what your family’s specific holiday food traditions are, they’re all shipping to your door, along with a wide variety of perfect desserts for the occasion.

Best Rosh Hashanah Food

Every family’s High Holiday food traditions are different, but for many, the Rosh Hashanah meal is meat-based. The Yom Kippur meal, which is eaten after the sun sets and the day’s fast is over (hence the meal’s name, Break-the-Fast), is dairy (according to kosher law meat and dairy cannot be combined in the same meal).

For Rosh Hashanah, many families celebrate the New Year with a feast of braised brisket and gravy (or another large-format meat) with starchy side dishes including kugel and kasha varnishkes. Apples and honey are also usually eaten to signify a sweet new year, and these also become the main ingredient in traditional desserts, like honey cake.

Liebman’s Kosher Deli’s High Holiday Dinner

Liebman’s Kosher Deli’s High Holiday Dinner

This is a full Rosh Hashanah feast from Liebman’s, which has been going strong for 60 years. This is the only kosher Jewish deli left in The Bronx. It includes: 

  • matzo ball soup to start, 
  • thick-sliced brisket with gravy as a main course, 
  • and on the side, your choice of kasha varnshkes or egg barley with mushrooms and potato or noodle kugel.

Russ & Daughters’ Rosh Hashanah Gift Pack

Russ & Daughters is New York’s most iconic appetizing store, going strong on the Lower East Side for more than 100 years. This Rosh Hashanah Gift Pack includes:

  • round challah with sweet plump raisins
  • a jar of Champlain Valley Apiaries Crystallized Bee Honey,
  • rich and delicious honey cake, 
  • famous and decadent cinnamon babka, 
  • and a box of traditional rugelach.
Russ & Daughters’ Rosh Hashanah Gift Pack
Lido Kosher Deli’s Complete Deli Dinner

Lido Kosher Deli’s Complete Deli Dinner

The founder of Long Island’s Lido Kosher Deli’s grandfather supplied kosher house-cured deli meats to hundreds of kosher delis and shops in the Tri-State Area for decades. This Complete Deli Dinner keeps his recipes alive, with dishes including: 

  • pastrami and corned beef sandwiches, 
  • potato knishes, 
  • matzo ball soup, 
  • and rugelach.

The Goddess & Grocer’s Rosh Hashanah Dinner

Melbourne native Debbie Sharpe opened Chicago’s The Goddess & Grocer in 2004, and it’s been a critically acclaimed restaurant and bakery since. Sharpe has been cooking up High Holiday feasts inspired by her Ashkenazi and Sephardic background since it opened, and her Rosh Hashanah Dinner includes: 

  • a whole Chicken Marbella, 
  • slow-braised brisket with mushroom gravy, 
  • garlic mashed potatoes, 
  • brussels sprouts, 
  • tzimmes,
  •  and chopped liver.
The Goddess & Grocer’s Rosh Hashanah Dinner
Liv Breads’ Round Celebratory Challah

Liv Breads’ Round Celebratory Challah

Round challahs are traditionally eaten on the High Holidays instead of the more common long loaf, and Liv Breads Round Celebratory Challah – a New Jersey bakery-cafe founded by an Israeli baker – is big enough to feed a party! It’s about 13 inches across and weighs over four pounds.

Best Foods for Yom Kippur Break-The-Fast

Because it’s technically the first meal of the day (after a full 24 hours of fasting) the traditional Yom Kippur Break-The-Fast meal is, well, breakfast! Many families will enjoy a large spread of bagels along with cream cheese and “appetizing,” the term given to lox, smoked fish, and other foods that traditionally go on top of bagels, along with some fruit. There’s no mandatory menu, however, so some families will eat a meal just like any other day, or prepare some deli sandwiches.

Ess-a-Bagel’s High Holiday Bagel Brunch

Ess-a-Bagel has been one of New York’s most beloved bagel shops for more than 35 years, and its bagels are big, chewy, crusty, hand-rolled and kettle-boiled the old-fashioned way. This High Holiday Bagel Brunch includes: 

  • six bagels, 
  • nova, 
  • cream cheese, 
  • white fish salad, 
  • a babka, 
  • and mini black and white cookies!
Ess-a-Bagel’s High Holiday Bagel Brunch
Zucker’s Break-the-Fast Bagel Kit

Zucker’s Break-the-Fast Bagel Kit

Zucker’s is another New York bagel staple, going strong for more than 20 years. This Break-the-Fast Bagel Kit is all about the options: You can choose your: 

  • bagels,
  • three cream cheeses, 
  • choice of Nova (plain, everything, or pastrami), 
  • whitefish or baked salmon salad, 
  • babka or honey cake,
  •  and mini black & whites!

Sable’s Smoked Fish’s Upper East Side Sampler

Sable’s Smoked Fish has been a beloved appetizing shop on New York’s Upper East Side since 1992, and this Sampler Pack features all of their greatest hits: 

  • smoked salmon, 
  • whitefish salad, 
  • smoked sturgeon, 
  • smoked sable, 
  • baked salmon, 
  • lobster salad, 
  • crab salad, 
  • and cream cheese.

Also included are four H&H Bagels, bagel slices, and a pack of rugelach.

Sable’s Smoked Fish’s Upper East Side Sampler
Junior’s Restaurant’s Cheese Blintzes

Junior’s Restaurant’s Cheese Blintzes

Junior’s is one of Brooklyn’s most famous delis, a must-visit for tourists and locals alike since the 1950s. This is a pack of their famous cheese blintzes, sweet crepes rolled up around sweet, creamy cheese with blueberry and strawberry sauce on the side. Choose to add on some of their famous mini cheesecakes for the full experience!

Yonah Schimmel’s Knishes

While we’re on the topic of legendary New York places, it doesn’t get more famous than Yonah Schimmel, a Lower East Side landmark since the 1890s. It’s America’s oldest knishery, and they still make them the old-fashioned way — hand wrapping a filling of potatoes or kasha (buckwheat grain) with a thin layer of dough before sending it to the oven to bake. Their Best Sellers Knishes includes six of their most popular knish flavors: 

  • Potato,
  • kasha, 
  • sweet potato, 
  • mushroom, 
  • spinach, 
  • and mixed vegetables.
Yonah Schimmel Knishes

Best High Holiday Desserts

No matter what you eat for the High Holidays, there’s one hard-and-fast rule: don’t forget about dessert! Babka, honey cake, black & white cookies, rugelach, and other traditional Jewish treats and kosher sweets make for great options, but you really can’t go wrong. 

Read More: The Best Kosher Desserts in NYC & Beyond

Green’s Bakery Babka

Green’s Bakery’s High Holiday Dessert Pack

Green’s Bakery has been New York’s go-to for babka since 1980, and many of its recipes are based on ones brought over from Eastern Europe. This High Holiday Dessert Pack includes:

  • two of those famous babkas (choose chocolate, cinnamon, or both) 
  • along with a honey cake, 
  • black & white cookies, 
  • rainbow cookies, 
  • and hamantaschen.

William Greenberg Desserts’ Giant Blue & White Cookies

William Greenberg founded his eponymous bakery after returning from World War II in 1946, and today it’s best-known for its black & white cookies, cakey cookies topped with vanilla and chocolate fondant. This holiday blue & white cookies special swaps the usual dark brown chocolate icing for one that’s royal blue.

Read More: Black and White Cookies: What are They?

William Greenberg Desserts’ Giant Blue & White Cookies
Michael’s Mandel Bread

Michael’s Mandel Bread

Mandel Bread pairs perfectly with coffee, and it’s usually of a similar texture to Italian biscotti – hard and crunchy. The version made by Michael’s Mandel Bread is much softer, more tender, and cookie-like, and it makes for a perfect dessert or breakfast, in a variety of flavors. This Variety Bread Pack includes three flavors: 

  • Chocolate Chip, 
  • Rainbow Sprinkle, 
  • and Chocolate Chip Banana.

Breads Bakery’s Rosh Hashanah Babka & Cake Combo

Breads Bakery is the gold standard of New York Jewish bakeries, and it’s widely regarded as being the home of New York’s best babka (Don’t just take our word for it; New York Magazine bestowed them with the title). This High Holiday Dessert Pack includes: 

  • one of their legendary chocolate babkas ,
  • their seasonal special apple babka, 
  • a honey cake (with a jar of marzipan honey for drizzling),
  • and a Safta Cake (a moist cinnamon honey cake with chunks of apple inside).
Breads Bakery’s Rosh Hashanah Babka & Cake Combo
Blue Owl Bakery’s Levee High Apple Pie

Blue Owl Bakery’s Levee High Apple Pie

Blue Owl Bakery’s Levee High Apple Pie isn’t just great for the High Holidays – it’s a true showstopper any time of year! One of Oprah’s Favorite Things, this pie from the famous homespun bakery in Kimmswick, Missouri, is loaded with 18 Golden Delicious Apples, piled high in a made-from-scratch crust. It ships frozen and ready to bake with easy-to-follow baking instructions.

Whether you’re sticking with foods that have been enjoyed by your family over the High Holidays for generations or looking to start some traditions of your own, America’s best Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur foods are shipping straight to your celebration with Goldbelly! Happy New Year, and happy eating!