State-by-State Sandwich Showdown: Iconic Delis Serving up a Taste of America
Ah, behold the humble sandwich—the unsung hero among snacks that manages to bind us together! It’s the versatile culinary virtuoso, emerging in every nook and cranny of small-town America. Craving the harmony of bread, meat, cheese, and an array of dressings? Look around, and there it is! Delis sprinkle the landscape like confetti, beckoning with their delectable offerings.
Jewish delis wield the enchantment of pastrami marvels, while Italian establishments ambitiously stack meats taller than a Jenga tower. Yet, the journey doesn’t stop there! German, Polish, and the innovative “new wave” delis throw a flavor extravaganza that’ll set your taste buds on a lively cha-cha.
But hold onto your appetite! This article isn’t just a celebration of diverse deli cultures; it’s a roadmap across the United States, revealing a quintessential deli per state. Each deli not only offers the finest sandwiches but also represents the taste of Americana. From coast to coast, these delis aren’t mere sandwich shops; they’re symphonies of flavor directed by culinary virtuosos. Brace yourself for a deli-hopping escapade because these sandwiches are far from your ordinary bread-and-butter fare!
Main Street Deli: Evanston, Wyoming
Main Street Deli is an establishment that exemplifies the American dream. Starting from humble beginnings, it has now become a pillar of community. Handmade soups are prepared fresh daily, and their cupcakes are the best in the area (and that’s no exaggeration!).
Notable, fan-favorite offerings at the Main Street Deli include the Via Mazzini pizza (pepperoni with marinara sauce and cheese), the Rodeo Drive BBQ bacon cheeseburger, and the Liberty Lane (turkey breast, cheddar, bacon, tomato, Swiss, lettuce, and mayo on delicious wheat bread).
Stalzy’s Deli & Bakery: Madison, Wisconsin
If you love a good breakfast like Ron Swanson, then Stalzy’s is the place to be. That’s because breakfast is served here all day (you must try their smoked brisket hash). At Stalzy’s, in-house deli meats like corned beef, pastrami, bacon, and smoked salmon are made daily.
The same goes for bread items like bagels, sourdough, rye, challah, baguettes, and brioche buns. Not only are their burgers amazing, but on Fridays, you can have a fish fry made using walleye or haddock served alongside potato pancakes. Now, doesn’t that make your mouth water?
Hermosilla’s Deli Market: Fairmont, West Virginia
Over twenty types of meat products, 25 types of cheese, and over a dozen garnishes and toppings are available for customers to pick and choose from at Hermosilla. If that sounds overwhelming, you can order one of their famous sandwiches.
Famous sandwich options include the Deluxe Italian, which consists of Genoa salami, capicola, sopressata, and provolone; Kickin’ Roast Beef, which consists of green onion cheese and horseradish sauce; Pastrami or corned beef with their homemade Russian dressing; or homemade chicken, tuna, or ham salad.
Tat’s Delicatessen: Seattle, Washington
Located at the center of Pioneer Square in Seattle, there’s an East Coast-style deli that draws crowds of people early in the morning to try its breakfast sandwich selection and during lunchtime for its enormous assortment of hoagies, Philly cheesesteaks, and hot subs.
That place would be Tat’s. While you’re here, if you crave something spicy, try their Italian roast pork, hot beef, hot pastrami, meatballs, chicken parmesan, or crispy chicken bacon ranch sandwiches. Their Italian sandwich is just out of this world, and one bite is enough to make you a fan.
Perly’s: Richmond, Virginia
Perly’s is a unique, retro-style Jewish deli located a short distance from downtown Richmond (the state capitol). This establishment prides itself on serving excellent bagels containing smoked fish, latkes, and knishes, but their standout offerings are their distinctive specialized sandwiches.
The most popular ones are the Jewish Sailor (pickled red cabbage, hot pastrami, red onion, smoked beef sausage, chopped liver, and deli mustard on toasted rye) and the Jewbano (beef tongue, zucchini pickles, brisket, yellow mustard, Havarti cheese, and cherry pepper relish hot on a pressed sub bread).
Gill’s Delicatessen: Rutland, Vermont
Grinders go by many names in many states (heroes, subs, or hoagies). But one thing is sure: Gill’s is the best spot in Vermont to get grinders. It’s no wonder Gill’s has grown to be a well-liked institution in Vermont.
All the bread rolls used are prepared fresh daily by a neighborhood bakery. Next, an array of meats (salami, tuna, meatballs, or Maine crabmeat) is arranged into the rolls. Then shredded cabbage, cheese, pickles, tomatoes, onions, mayo, or seasoned oil are layered high on it.
Feldman’s Deli: Salt Lake City, Utah
Feldman’s Deli is a classic Jewish deli in Salt Lake City. It has been winning awards since 2012 for its delectable fare. All their sandwiches include a half-pound of freshly sliced meat. Their sloppy Joes (pastrami, corned beef, coleslaw, and Thousand Island on Jewish rye) are amazing!
In addition to their sandwiches, they make the greatest bagels on this side of the Hudson Valley. Their bagels are ideal for stuffing with lox and whitefish salad. Other notable menu items include brisket, chicken paprikash, stuffed cabbage, and homemade pierogi.
Weinberger’s Deli: Grapevine, Texas
Given its enormous collection of incredibly imaginative examples, Weinberger’s has grown to be a cherished fixture in Texas. Their signature Dagwood sandwich is something you must have if you find yourself in Grapevine. The same goes for their Italian beef sandwiches.
Apart from the Dagwood, they offer seven different types of Rueben, Vietnamese banh mi, smoked pot roast, as well as Jersey-style sloppy Joes. Of course, you have the choice of making your own sandwich, but you can never go wrong with any of their signature sandwiches.
Mitchell Delicatessen: Nashville, Tennessee
Mitchell Delicatessen is well known for its hot breakfast bar, fresh salads, and homemade soups, in addition to its specialty sandwiches prepared using premium ingredients. They produce their own sausages and cure or smoke the majority of their meats in-house.
They also offer vegetarian and vegan alternatives, some of which feature locally produced seitan and tofu. Particularly well-liked sandwiches include the Turkey Avocado (with braised chicken and Benton’s bacon), French dip, Italian, house-smoked BBQ beef brisket, and BBA Asian tofu.
Big Trout Deli: Lead, South Dakota
Lead’s Big Trout Deli is a traditional, no-frills sandwich store focused on one thing. That’s providing a quality sandwich to their customers. This establishment is situated on the fringe of the Black Hills National Forest. Their famous pork tenderloin sandwich is just out of this world!
Also, there are 12 different types of cheese plus any combination of roast beef, turkey, ham, or salami for their customers. Sample their Moose Tracks ice cream for dessert, which combines vanilla ice cream with peanut butter cups and fudge.
Pulaski Deli: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
This laid-back deli has a quaint Polish flair that customers have come to love. Also, it creates a wide range of classic Polish dishes from scratch using vintage recipes. Don’t worry; the menu is complete with several classic deli sandwiches.
Also, expect homemade kielbasa, tomato sauce-topped cabbage rolls, and hunter cabbage stew (bigos). You must make a point to try their handmade pierogi if you find yourself in Myrtle Beach! They are loaded with potatoes and cheese, sauerkraut, and pork mince.
The Provisioner: North Kingstown
The Provisioner’s menu clarifies one thing: their chef is of the highest caliber. Their signature sandwich, the Provisioner Hero, packs a freshly baked ciabatta with caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, and jus. The T-Bird features freshly roasted turkey breast, cranberry sauce, homemade stuffing, mayo, and cheddar.
The Carnegie smothers thick-sliced rye with corned beef, melted Swiss, sauerkraut, and homemade Thousand Island on a bed of thick-sliced rye. Lastly, the Saratoga is a ciabatta covered in breaded chicken cutlets, bacon, and melted cheddar. Man, all those sandwich descriptions sure made us hungry!
Famous 4th Street Delicatessen: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Undoubtedly, Philadelphia’s renowned 4th Street Delicatessen is the master of all things concerning deli! Famous 4th Street has been a staple in the city of brotherly love since 1923. It looks like a classic Jewish deli, down to a T.
It has shining display cases that entice guests with smoked fish, salami, knishes, cookies, kugels, cakes, and more. If you find yourself in Philadelphia, make your way here and indulge in an enormous corned beef sandwich served with a side of potato latkes.
Kenny & Zuke’s: Portland, Oregon
Launched in 2007 by classically trained chef Ken Gordon and his friend Nick Zukin, Kenny & Zuke’s has become famous for its modern interpretation of traditional Jewish deli dishes. Their fame even led to a branch located at Portland International Airport.
After months of learning through failure, they perfected their oak-smoked pastrami. Taking inspiration from that, their rye bread, pickles, bagels, and pretty much everything else on their menu are made from scratch. Their waffle fries with cheese sauce and pastrami are something else!
Trencher’s Deli: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Trencher’s Deli has gradually established itself as a Tulsa fixture with its intelligent, offbeat menu comprising well-prepared soups and sandwiches. Notable offerings include vegetarian beet reuben and Tawook (pita bread stuffed with marinated chicken or tofu, pickles, roasted tomatoes, and garlic puree).
Then there’s the Stram Don (with thick-cut pastrami, Russian dressing, coleslaw, and Swiss on an Italian roll) and the famous Swizzle (with fried chicken cutlet, spicy coleslaw, and spicy mayo on a bun). They ensure all breads, meats, and desserts are made in-house.
Slyman’s Deli: Cleveland, Ohio
Fancy a good corned beef sandwich for lunch? Well, head to Slyman’s to try their veritable Godzilla-sized sandwiches. One sandwich can efficiently serve four or five individuals. If you love corned beef, you know you can’t go wrong with it in any form.
It may be had plain on rye, with Swiss, in a reuben, hash, omelet, or as a $5 “shot” side dish. Slyman’s isn’t all about corned beef; they have delicious roast beef, turkey, pastrami, hot dogs, and fresh tuna salad.
Country House Deli: Bismarck, North Carolina
At Bismarck’s, they’re souperstars, crafting deli salads and the legendary beer cheese soup from scratch. Since 1976, they’ve been sandwich maestros, whipping up specialties that make taste buds do a happy dance. It’s like a culinary time machine—every bite is a journey through deli history with a side of yum!
The most famous ones include the Country House (summer sausage, salami, Colby cheese, Muenster cheese, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, and house sauce) and the Atomic Sub (with ham, salami, pepperoni, pepper Jack, jalapeños, smoked turkey, banana peppers, lettuce, Zing Sauce, tomato, spicy ranch, and chipotle honey sauce).
Neal’s Deli: Carrboro, North Carolina
Neal’s was established in 2008 in downtown Carrboro by Sheila Dalton and Matt Neal. It offers a traditional deli idea with a very Southern twist. Expect beloved Southern favorites like andouille gumbo and house-smoked duck, pimento cheese sandwiches, and muffulettas.
The menu also features homemade pastrami sandwiches, Italian subs, Thumann’s hot dogs, and some of the most incredible biscuits in town. The uniquely unusual menu is complete with fried apples, turnips, roasted carrots, and hot dogs topped with cheddar. Homemade cookies are also served.
Katz’s Delicatessen: New York City, New York
Katz’s Delicatessen: the heavyweight champion of Jewish delis in the U.S.! You don’t just order; you get a golden ticket after surviving the epic queue. It’s like the deli version of Willy Wonka’s, but you dive into a sea of pastrami and matzo ball soup instead of chocolate rivers. Welcome to Deli Wonderland!
While they wait, they can observe the employees expertly slice and pile on rye their signature fresh corned beef, hot pastrami, turkey, brisket, knoblauchwurst (garlic sausages), or tongue. Apart from the above, expect hot dogs, knishes, steak fries, latkes, and excellent soups on their menu.
DG’s Deli & Market: Alburquerque, New Mexico
Since 1992, DG’s Deli & Market has been a trusted source of quality salads, deli sandwiches, and breakfast dishes in Albuquerque. The hip eatery, particularly well-liked by UNM pupils and those at nearby medical facilities, has a drive-in feel reminiscent of the 1950s.
Boar’s Head meats and cheeses are used on every made-to-order sandwich, and housemade salads such as coleslaw, tuna, potato, and Cajun macaroni are also available. You can request beforehand party subs that are up to six feet long! They also have delicious breakfast burritos on weekdays.
Harold’s New York Deli: Harold, New Jersey
The iconic Garden State staple, Harold’s Deli, lives to be exquisite. Everything about its extensive menu of classic Jewish deli fare, from smoked fish appetizers to traditional meals like hot tongue in sweet and sour sauce and Hungarian goulash, is just exquisite.
At Harold’s, it’s not just a meal; it’s a deli adventure! Grab your buddies because these sandwiches are the size of small countries. Picture this: colossal deli delights that could practically host a dinner party. It’s the sandwich extravaganza where feeding five people is just a warm-up!
Biederman’s Deli: Plymouth, New Hampshire
Since its opening in 1973, Biederman’s Deli has remained a beloved establishment among residents, especially among the students at Plymouth State University. They enjoy the extensive menu of specialty sandwiches made with Boar’s Head deli meats. Also, customers have the opportunity to build a customized sandwich!
They can choose from 13 types of bread (including croissants and wraps), 18 types of meat, ten kinds of cheese, and an endless array of toppings. We suggest the Balboa, a sub bun smothered with garlic butter and your pick of meats plus extra cheese.
Manhattan Deli: Reno, Nevada
Manhattan Deli, housed inside the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno, oozes Big Apple charm. Among the appetizers are latkes, chopped liver, blintzes, pickled herring, and matzo ball soup. Corned beef, pastrami, and tongue (also sold per pound) are among the sandwich choices.
Stuffed cabbage and a knish containing pastrami and cheddar are among the most popular entrees. Not to worry, though; they have burgers and hot dogs available. Also, there are Italian delicacies like spaghetti bolognese, linguine and clams, as well as New York-style pizzas.
Città Deli: McCook, Nebraska
Originally just an Italian sandwich business, Città Deli swiftly grew into a larger establishment. It now serves the neighborhood as an authentic New York-style Italian deli, complete with exquisite sandwiches, delicious salads, soups, gourmet grocery items, pasta, Italian entrées, and an assortment of beer and wine.
Superior imported cheeses and meats get cut fresh, and turkey is put together into impressive sandwiches at the hands of skilled employees. The menu features meatballs, lasagna, manicotti, and jumbo-filled shells. For a sweet treat, make sure to have their cheesecake.
Tagliare Delicatessen: Missoula, Montana
Tagliare Delicatessen has been a Missoula mainstay for over ten years. It imports a large number of its meats and dairy products straight from Italy and receives its freshly baked bread from a neighborhood bakery every day. Collectively, they produce some of the best Italian sandwiches you’ll ever taste.
The famous Megadeth (ham, finocchiona, hot sopressata, pepperoni, hot capicola, smoked mozzarella, pepperoncini, tomatoes, and “feisty slaw”) and the Sublime (hot sopressata, prosciutto, spicy garlic aioli, burrata, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh walnut pesto, and arugula) are among their two standout dishes.
Gioia’s Deli: St. Louis, Missouri
Having been founded in 1918, Gioia’s still stands strong and is loved within the St. Louis community. In 2017, the James Beard Foundation declared Gioia’s an American classic. Among their offerings, their thin-crust St. Louis-style pizzas and Italian sandwiches are certainly worthy of trying.
Their hot salami (a thick sausage modeled after salam di testa in Italy) is what really made it famous. Arguably among the most recognizable snacks in St. Louis, it is prepared with a mixture of pork, beef, and special spices and is presented hot, sliced on garlic bread.
Lil’ Market Deli & Bagelry: Ocean Springs, Mississippi
The founder of Lil’ Market, Oren Zweig, had trouble discovering a good bagel in the region, so he dedicated months to honing his own bagel recipe. His bagels are handmade using the old-fashioned method. Bagel options range from traditional (everything, poppy) to contemporary (jalapeño cheddar, cranberry pecan).
Boar’s Head represents the source of all cream cheeses and deli meats. Zweig offers breakfast bowls and bagel sandwiches (we suggest trying the one with Taylor Ham, egg, and cheese for an authentic taste of New Jersey), as well as a nice assortment of deli sandwiches.
Cecil’s Delicatessen: St. Paul, Minnesota
Cecil’s Delicatessen is one of the last remaining authentic Jewish delis in Minnesota. Cecil and Faye Glickman founded it in 1949. It still remains the best place to get traditional Jewish food and sandwiches in the Twin Cities.
They proudly make their own bread, soups, and desserts. All this, in addition to a variety of typical deli sandwiches and six different types of Reubens! They also serve really excellent hot dogs, burgers, potato knishes, and pancakes for breakfast.
Zingerman’s: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor is an honored gastronomic institution. When you come in nowadays, you will be met with a dizzying number of deli sandwiches and an unbelievably enormous selection of cheeses, meats, and pantry essentials. Just the way we like it!
We suggest that you avoid the hassle of deciding what to eat by opting for the Reuben, which comes with toasted, hand-sliced rye from their own bakehouse. It’s piled high with artisan sauerkraut from The Brinery, Emmental Swiss cheese, black Angus corned beef, and homemade Russian dressing.
Sam LaGrassa’s: Boston, Massachusetts
All sauces and dressings used at LaGrassa’s are homemade. Fresh meats are cooked daily in-house, and breads are baked according to strict standards by local bakeries. Their classic tuna melt is sublime, and their Rumanian pastrami goes with basically everything (especially the Reuben).
There’s also a Cuban made with herb-crusted roast pork and honey-glazed ham, or the Loco Chicken (pastrami, bacon, pan-fried chicken cutlet, Bermuda onion, jack cheese, barbecue sauce, chipotle mayo, and hot cherry peppers on a round roll) for an understanding of the food that made them famous.
Attman’s Deli: Baltimore, Maryland
Being among the earliest eateries in America to still be in continuous operation is no easy task. Attman’s still has the same old-fashioned pastrami and corned beef from over one hundred years ago, along with a vast selection of combo sandwiches and classic Jewish deli fare.
These include knishes, cheesecake, beef hot dogs, and matzo ball soup. It’s also considered one of the greatest spots in town to sample coddies, a specialty of the Baltimore area consisting of a cod cake served atop a cracker with mustard.
Rose Foods: Portland, Maine
Rose Foods is a charming store, set in a quaint neighborhood in Portland, that makes homemade bagels fresh every day. They offer a wide selection of toppings with their bagels. Choose from a variety of spreads (such as lox, horseradish, herb, and vegan cream cheeses).
There are plenty of options for fish (such as salmon roe, whitefish salad, and lox) and toppings (like avocado, cucumber, and onion). Or, you can purchase everything by the pound. On Fridays, freshly baked chocolate chip cookies are offered as well, so be certain to stop by then.
Fertitta’s Delicatessen: Shreveport, Louisiana
Everyone who’s been to Fertitta’s claims that it is the greatest sandwich shop in Shreveport. It has been a family-run business for a long time. Their signature offering, Muffy, is well-known as a take on the classic muffuletta sandwich from New Orleans.
The “Muffy” is served hot and constructed with cotto salami, chopped olive salad, mustard, and Danish spiced ham. Though this version isn’t as well-known as the original muffuletta from Central Grocery in New Orleans, it’s nonetheless really tasty! For us, that’s what matters.
Stevens & Stevens: Louisville, Kentucky
When it comes to sandwiches from Stevens & Stevens, you can’t go wrong with their corned beef or pastrami on rye. Then there’s their sublime BLT! Their famous Yellow Submarine consists of hot salami, pepperoni, turkey, pastrami, ham, and provolone alongside Italian dressing within a French roll.
Also, why not request a side order of pasta salad (bowties with goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, almonds, basil, and balsamic dressing) for the full Stevens & Stevens experience? For dessert, we unanimously suggest the banana cake with brown butter icing and butter toffee.
Porubsky’s: Topeka, Kansas
Since 1947, C.W. Porbusky has remained essentially the same. Their most devoted patrons are the community’s railway workers. They line up from 11 to 2 to try the Porbusky fare. Sandwiches are cheap, straightforward, and well-made. Pickle loaf, head cheese loaf, and gammon & cheese loaf are also available.
All the above, in addition to their standard deli meat selections. Snack on a sandwich, fill up your plate with house-made pimento cheese spread, horseradish pickles (when it’s available), and seasonal chili. Then wash it all down with a cold beer at the adjacent pub! Bliss!
B&B Grocery Meat & Deli: Des Moines, Iowa
B&B might operate as a full-service grocery store and butcher shop, but the sandwiches are the talk of the town, as the sign suggests. Their burgers are excellent, and their pork tenderloin sandwiches come in three sizes and are among the best in the state.
Their famous ‘Dad’s Killer’ sandwich consists of turkey breast, roast beef, corned beef, smoked ham, mustard, Swiss cheese, pepper cheese, American cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, kosher pickles, Miracle Whip, and Italian dressing on an Italian hoagie roll. No wonder the Des Moines Register lauded it as the best!
Shapiro’s Delicatessen: Indianapolis, Indiana
You know a restaurant is good when it has been operating continuously since 1905. Shapiro’s in Indianapolis has been providing Jewish deli fare for four generations. These days, you won’t find offerings like chopped steak, pineapple upside-down cake, stuffed cabbage, and Swiss steak with gravy frequently.
This is not the case at Shapiro’s, as these dishes remain beloved classics. The most well-known dish on their menu is the renowned peppered beef sandwich, which is created with beef rounds that have been cured, peppered, smoked, and spiced with paprika and sugar.
Manny’s Cafeteria & Delicatessen: Chicago, Illinois
Manny’s menu of traditional Jewish deli fare (which is prepared using recipes that haven’t been updated in decades) is definitely retro. The deli sandwiches are absolutely enormous and come stuffed to the brim using hard salami, roasted turkey, corned beef, and brisket.
On Sundays, there’s beef stew and noodle kugel; on Thursdays, there’s oxtail stew, and kasha with noodles. Additionally, roast beef, baked whitefish, and meatloaf are among the daily dinner offerings. This is classic dining at its best and a must-do if you find yourself in Chicago.
Das Alpenhaus Delikatessen: Boise, Idaho
As the name implies, this establishment deals with delicious and authentic German fare. Founder Jamie Webster’s German upbringing was monumental in the founding of Das Alpenhaus. There isn’t a fixed menu here; instead, the specials are prepared fresh every day and are displayed on a chalkboard.
You may anticipate dishes like currywurst, hog schnitzel sandwiches, pretzels stuffed with homemade Obatzda cheese, and bratwurst served on crusty German bread. The supper offerings on Friday nights are chicken schnitzel with sauce and potato dumplings and käsespätzle with ham and sauerbraten.
CJ’s Deli: Waikiki, Hawaii
In 2003, Robert and Suzan Bach started CJ’s to address the lack of a good New York-style deli in Hawaii. Expect NYC classics like cheesecake, bagels and lox, hot pastrami and corned beef sandwich sandwiches, and matzo ball soup. When here, you must try the loco moco!
Loco moco is cooked with a half-pound Black Angus Harris Ranch burger patty. The same patty is also the basis for their amazing burgers. You should also try the coconut haupia French toast and the renowned Kalua pig reuben. Now that’s how you do culinary fusion!
Reuben’s Deli: Atlanta, Georgia
Located in the center of Atlanta, this New York-style deli is well-known for its sandwiches, as it serves over a hundred different kinds. But when at Reuben’s, you must have a Rueben! Every day, Reuben’s bakes its own bread to make their sandwiches.
Boar’s Head and Thumann’s supply the meats, which are sliced according to specifications. Notable sandwiches are the Classic (roast beef, corned beef, turkey, slaw, and Thousand Island dressing) and the Jack Stack (blackened and jerk turkey, bacon, pork sausage, pepper Jack, provolone, and spicy mayo).
V&S Italian Deli: Boca Raton, Florida
Vinny and Sal, or V&S, have served as Boca’s go-to place for anything Italian since 1985. Aside from their V&S Special (which comes with mortadella, soppressata, and provolone), you can build a customized cold sub. Their hot sandwiches feature their take on meatball parm.
Toppings such as American cheese, spicy cherry peppers, and red onions, and their porchetta provolone with broccoli rabe, are particularly noteworthy. There’s a great selection of Italian dishes to go and don’t forget to get some genuine Italian cheesecake or cannoli as you leave.
Frank & Louie’s Italian Specialties: Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
A wide selection comprising sliced-to-order charcuterie and antipasti is available at Frank & Louie’s. Also, one can expect a comprehensive menu of Italian sandwiches made with premium meats and cheeses, handcrafted breads, Italian cookies, pastries, and pies. Talk about a spread!
Every sandwich is delivered on fresh, crispy ciabatta bread topped with olive oil. Now that’s how you do justice to Italian bread. Also, make a point to remember not to ask for yours to have mayo, mustard, lettuce, or onion, as those items aren’t available.
Greenwich & Delancey Delicatessen: Cos Cob, Connecticut
One of the main drags on NYC’s Lower East Side is named Delancey, which is also the name of the deli. This Certified Kosher delicatessen, overseen by chef David Teyf, creates homemade corned beef, smoked brisket, pastrami, and a wide variety of baked products in-house.
The food selection offered here features a plethora of Eastern European Jewish specialties. These include matza babka, p’tcha (jellied broth), kasha varnishkes, as well as handmade kreplach. Dinner fare consists of their famous pastrami, sliced at the table, and chicken Kiev.
The Bagel Deli: Denver, Colorado
The Bagel Deli has been a Denver mainstay since 1967. In an episode of “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives,” host Guy Fieri was infatuated with owner Rhoda Kaplan’s handmade meat knishes, corned beef, kishke, and pastrami. Rhoda’s “bubbe” is the inspiration behind all of her creations.
If you decide to visit for breakfast, make sure to try their signature “Eggs Bagel-Dict,” which is eggs benedict upon a bagel featuring pastrami in place of Canadian bacon. For dessert, be sure to try their fresh rugelach and “Rhally Bars.”
Langer’s Delicatessen: Los Angeles, California
Since 1947, Langer’s has been an established institution in Los Angeles. The Langer family still owns the restaurant, which has expanded from a modest lunch stand to a large eatery. But if it’s your first visit, you really should try their pastrami.
All the classic Jewish deli fare, such as smoked fish, blintzes, stuffed cabbage, chicken in the pot, and matzo ball soup, is practically flawlessly prepared here. Order their well-known #19, which pairs the smokey homemade pastrami with Russian dressing, coleslaw, and Swiss cheese served on rye bread.
Gandolfo’s New York Delicatessen: Little Rock, Arkansas
Owned by Dan Pool, a native of New York, Gandolfo’s opened its doors to the public in 2004. At Gandolfo’s, all meats and cheeses are prepped on order, and all varieties of bread are baked in-house many times a day.
The menu has offerings that aren’t quite traditional Jewish deli fare. Of course, there are staples like bagels and lox, pastrami and corned beef on rye, but you can also get meatball subs, Italian sandwiches, and even biscuits with sausage gravy (it’s Arkansas first, deli second, mind you!)
JJ’s Deli: Scottsdale, Arizona
Every day, JJ’s makes over 20 different types of bagels and bialys fresh on their premises. They also make freshly prepared salads, such as potato and smoked whitefish salads, and make all of their noodle kugel, sandwiches, and chopped liver to request.
Reubens, French dips, and P’nishes (pressed sandwiches with knishes as the bun) are just a few of the many hot sandwich options that stand out. Regulars also adore Bonnie’s Old Style Chicken Salad, which consists of chicken blended with almonds, tarragon, raisins, celery, and scallions.
Mo’s Deli: Anchorage, Alaska
The Jewish delis that Jason, the proprietor, ate at while visiting family in New York when he was a child served as the inspiration for Mo’s Deli. Anchorage is getting the traditional Jewish deli vibe thanks to Mo’s. And how!
If you’re in need of blintzes, knishes, or matzo ball soup, or a corned beef or pastrami sandwich, a bagel with lox and cream cheese, or perhaps potato latkes with sour cream and applesauce, you know where to go. That’s right, Mo’s!
Mr. P’s Deli: Birmingham, Alabama
The Pilleteri family has been running Mr. P’s since 1975. They boast a sandwich selection that is quite extensive. Not only are all sauces created in-house, but their array of homemade sausages, chili, and burgers also come highly recommended.
Among their most popular fare are a classic muffuletta with homemade olive salad; a pound ribeye steak, provolone, and marinade on a white hoagie bun; and the Ashmonkey, which consists of mozzarella, smoked turkey, bacon, and BBQ sauce over a honey wheat bun.
Katz’s Deli: New York
As a bonus, we have decided to add another deli to our list from the indomitable NYC. Seeing as it was the location for the iconic sandwich scene featuring Meg Ryan’s character on When Harry Met Sally, can you really blame us?
Katz’s Deli is a landmark that’s been in existence for over 100 years. The establishment’s top sellers include their pastrami and corned beef, which they cure over 30 days! They also ship nationwide, so even if you’re not in the city, you can still enjoy these delicacies from the comfort of your home.