Ben Parker in front of Now & Then Deli in the Bronx, before he relocated to Rego Park.
Ben’s Best delicatessen is an outstanding restaurant and catering business in Rego Park, New York. Benjamin Parker started this very successful endeavor in 1945. He learned the business from his father who was also in the deli business. Benjamin's first deli was located at 163rd Street and Southern Boulevard in the Bronx and subsequently moved to Rego Park.
In 1984 Benjamin passed away and his son, Jay Parker, who at the time was 33 years old took over the deli and became a third generation deli owner. Jay holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Harpur College in Binghamton NY, and a master’s in finance from the University of Massachusetts. He became a successful municipal bond trader on Wall Street and changed careers when his company was sold in the late 1970’s. Jay worked intermittently for his father while trying to find work in the financial arena. Luckily, Jay, who likes people and cares about doing the right thing, enjoyed being the best he could at the deli. He could buy the best merchandise, hire the best staff and treat his customers with kindness, caring and respect.
Throughout the years, Jay’s Ben’s Best Deli has continued to flourish and has reaped endorsements from many high profile personalities within New York state, as well as from many areas from within the United States. Why? Because New York is the pastrami capital of the world and Ben’s Best deli offers delicious, old fashioned, dark and spicy pastrami that is still cured by hand and in barrels. Ben’s Best fresh rye bread is custom baked daily. And if that’s not enough, Ben’s Best matzo ball chicken soup is superb. In 1986 Ben’s Best survey 110 grandmothers and found 104 stand behind chicken soup as opposed to over-the-counter remedies. Jay’s attention to matters such as this, ensures the continued success of his restaurant. Parker says, "We've been dealing with the same vendors almost since the place opened. Ask me what I paid for corned beef yesterday, I won't know. The price isn't important, it's the quality."
through the years
Ben's Best Kosher Gourmet Delicatessen opened in Rego Park, NY.
Catered Congressman Gary Ackerman's fundraiser in Washington D.C. for 400-500 people.
Jay Paker at age 33 took over the deli becoming a third generation deli owner.
Ben’s Best surveyed 110 grandmothers and found 104 stand behind chicken soup as opposed to over-the-counter remedies.
Jay Parker receives plaques from the Central Queens Regular Democratic Club as "Business Man of the Year" and from The Rego Park Jewish Center for his generosity, resourcefulness and untiring efforts.
Receives a plaque for the NYC Police Department for his support and the donation of a horse.
For recognition of his commitment to the betterment of the community the Community Counsel, 112th Pct presented him with plaque.
During the Clinton adminstration Ben's Best fare was catered on Air Force One.
13 years catered at the JCC of Rockville Maryland for the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame awards for 500 people
The bet between Gov. Pataki and Gov. George W. Bush during the National Basketball Association Championship was paid off by Ben's Best flying chopped liver platters shaped like the Empire State Bldg., pastrami shapped like New York State and knishes to Austin for a group of 500 people.
Since 2003 we have continued to sponsor a Little League team in Queens, NY
Presentation of the gift to His Holiness, Pope John Paul II by the Pave the Way Foundation Board. Jay was with the group that traveled to Rome to say thank you to Pope John Paul II for his "acts of love of all mankind and his implacable pursuit of peace and reconciliation of all faiths."
Ben's Best was selected by Martha Stewart as having one of the 14 best Hot Dogs in New York.
Diner's Drive-Ins and Dives came to Ben's Best. Featured items were Chicken in the Pot, Fried Kreplach and Stuffed Cabbage.
The knishwich debuts.
The Avrind Mini Knaidel debuts in honor of the Scripps National Spelling Bee competition winner, Avrind Mahankali. He won the contest by correctly spelling the word "knaidel."
Ben's Best is in the movie "The Deli Man" which premiered in Boston November 12th.
Ben's Best is one of 13 New York City businesses and nonprofits to be recognized as finalists for the 2015 Age Smart Awards.
The Wall Street Journal named Ben's Best, in their "Pastrami on Rye" article as one of the 6 best places to eat New York's signature sandwich.
Ben's Best Deli was rated #3 by Foursquare, in "The Best Jewish Delis In America."
In 2017 you will be able to see Ben's Best in the movie "The Comedian"
in the news
Ben’s Best was a favorite stop for Jerry Lewis, Governor Nelson Rockefeller, Senator Jacob Javits, Governor Pataki, and Mayor Ed Koch. It was in an episode of “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” is featured in Deli Man, a documentary by Erik Greenberg Anjou that chronicles deli owners across the country who maintain the tradition and in early 2017 will be in "The Comedian" featuring Robert DeNiro and Danny DeVito. You can also read an (excerpt from the Queens Ledger, May 28, 2014: "Ben's Best is Simply That" by: Michael Perlman)
- Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives "Crepes to Kreplachs"
- DeliMan the Movie
- The Comedian
- Queens Ledger "Ben's Best is simply that"
Curated. and Edible Queens teamed up to bring you this intimate story about the beauty of tradition in food...classic Jewish delicatessen food.
Meet Jay Parker, owner of Ben's Best Delicatessen, a 3rd generation deli owner in Rego Park, Queens - and one of the last remaining Kosher delis in the industry. Jay took over the family business from his father over 30 years ago knowing that the key to success was leaving his 100+ year old family recipes unchanged. Enjoy this feel-good peek into the life of a passionate deli operator. The food looks so good, you can almost taste the hot pastrami and corned beef being shaved off the meat slicer... This video is made available through www.foodcurated.com.