Jack & Freda, Johannesburg South Africa, 1980
“If you were going to give the cuisine a long and unwieldy name, it might be South African Israeli Jewish Grandmother Cuisine.”
—New York Magazine
Jack’s Wife Freda is an immigrant love story, times two. Freda and Jack met and married in Johannesburg circa 1930. Years later, their grandson Dean packed his few belongings and found himself in New York City, where he met Maya. She too had emigrated to New York to find that special something. Sparks flew, and another immigrant love story was born. They were married in Maya’s homeland of Israel, at their spiritual center of the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
With a passion for hospitality and great food, they worked separately and together in many downtown establishments before opening the doors of Jack’s Wife Freda in 2011, on Lafayette Street in SoHo – they settled on the name of Jack’s Wife Freda- invoking the memories of being welcomed home again by loved ones. Dean’s grandmother Freda was a wonderful host, gracious and warm with family, friends, and strangers alike—and she always made sure there was lots of food.
Freda was a Jewish grandma, and like her, nothing gives us more pleasure than happy and well-fed guests. Jack’s Wife Freda is renowned for greeting everyone like family, with staff and servers who have as much fun as our customers, and food that is as good to look at as it is delicious to eat. Our complete menu is served all day–come for lunch and stay for dinner!
The menu at Jack’s Wife Freda tells the story of the dishes we know and love from our childhoods in Israel and South Africa, as well as New York’s Jewish food and culture, emphasizing bright, fresh ingredients and beautiful presentation. Our love for our adopted hometown is reflected in everything at Jack’s Wife Freda, from our lively atmosphere, all-day dining hours, effortless ambience and joyful sense of community.
You can still find us here in SoHo, or visit one of our locations on Carmine Street in the West Village and West 16th Street in Chelsea. A visit still invokes the age-old delight of people-watching in New York, and turns a simple meal into a special event. Guests come from all walks of life and all over the world, sitting shoulder-to-shoulder in our cozy banquettes, enjoying breakfast, lunch, brunch, cocktails and dinner. Jack’s Wife Freda defines the quintessential New York restaurant, where people gather to eat with family, friends, and strangers alike.
Jack’s Wife Freda is open all day, seven days a week. We can’t wait to see you soon.