Maya Jankelowitz and her husband Dean are the proud owners, and creative minds behind the New York restaurant establishments, “Jack’s Wife Freda.” The name emerged as a way to commemorate Dean’s grandparents, and is also connected with that feeling of being welcomed home by your loved ones; something they try to convey in each of their exquisite dishes.

They currently have three establishments located in the best areas of New York. The main restaurant is located at 224 Lafayette Street, between Spring and Kenmare Street, while the other two are located at Carmine Street in the West Village, and West 16th Street in Chelsea.


This quirky restaurant is one of my favorite places in Manhattan, so today I want to talk to you about what makes Jack’s Wife Freda so unique and why I think you should visit one of its venues.

The History Behind Jack’s Wife Freda

Dean, originally from South Africa, and Maya from Israel, met in 2003, both had emigrated to New York in search of finding that unique magic offered by the city that never sleeps. They got married and had two children, and on the way they decided to open their own establishment, due to their passion for the hospitality and restaurant trade.

The first restaurant was opened in January 2012, and quickly began to gain popularity due to its delicious dishes that combine the best of Israel and South Africa cuisine, mixed with those typical American flavors. In addition, this restaurant is best known for its vintage decoration, that offers a cozy space to enjoy exquisite dishes with friends and family.

Maya Jankelowitz Has Been A Fashion Blogger Before It Was Even A Thing

Maya started working in restaurants at 21, but with a schedule of 60 hours per week, she had little time to go out. So, she started getting dressed up for work and taking photos of her outfit as a way to keep a personal style journal.

If you check out Jack’s Wife Freda’s Instagram you will find several photos of Maya showing her particular style. According to the restaurant owner, New York has played a decisive role in her style, which is why she feels that fashion is an essential part of her daily life and routine.

In fact, her style has been characterized by mixing patterns, textures, and colors. Maya has also stated in interviews that she loves combining vintage pieces with some designer items, but she has explained in several interviews that she tends to choose clothes based on if she likes it, which it’s why she is usually open to everything.

What to Expect From This Quirky Restaurant?

When it comes to Jack’s wife Freda, their owners have managed to create an experience that exalts food. Its vintage and cozy decoration invites you to learn more about the place. 

Although, any of its dishes seems like a work of art, capable of leaving you wanting another bite. Two of the most popular dishes on the menu are the Green Shakshuka and Madame Freda, due to the combination of textures, colors and flavors.

In fact, when you flip through the menu, you will notice the influence of the owners’ roots on each of their dishes. But the three details that complete the whole experience are the music, the good service and decoration.

Their  playlist is very personal, the songs they play are from certain times in their lives. So, they have lots of different soundtracks, including from their waiters’ bands. While  the decoration of the tables, walls and even the lamps have that European and quaint vibe that makes it a cozy place, perfect for enjoying a brunch or Mediterranean dinner with your loved ones.

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