The 12 Most Essential Jewish Delis in LA
Whether you’re looking for a kosher spot or the best matzo ball soup in town, we’ve got you covered.
If you were to rank the most iconic types of restaurants in LA, Jewish delis would be up there with taco carts and French dip standbys. Most of the best ones have been around for decades, providing an ideal backdrop for meet-and-coffees and meet-and-pitch-screenplays and meet-and-argue-loudly-about-politics. With Hanukkah coming up on the heels of Thanksgiving weekend, there’s never been a better time to gorge on latkes, brisket, and kugel. While the pandemic knocked out a few stalwarts (RIP Greenblatts), some worthwhile newcomers have opened up in the past few years, including a Bay Area favorite and a new spot from the daughter of an iconic Jewish deli owner. Here are the best Jewish delis for a morning nosh, a mid-day schmooze, or a late-night kibitz (literally!), and anything in between.
Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen
This Bay Area transplant is a newcomer to the LA deli scene, opening a welcoming, light-filled outpost in Culver in 2021 to tons of fanfare, thanks to brined corned beef sandwiches and fresh house-made bagels. They just expanded their hours to include dinner service, with a selection of beer and wine available.
How to book/order: Walk in. Order takeout online and delivery via delivery apps.
Daughter’s has become a fast favorite since opening in 2018, thanks in part to its pedigree: owner Trisha Langer’s parents own, well, Langer’s, which means there’s no question she knows her way around pastrami. The menu also includes house-made tuna, egg salads, and a sweet noodle kugel. The sweet and spicy chicken schnitzel sandwich with a panko-crusted chicken breast, coleslaw, Muenster cheese, pickles, and a sweet and spicy aioli sauce smashed between a brioche bun is another crowd favorite.
How to book/order: Walk in or order delivery online.
Wexler’s founder Micah Wexler has been interested in food forever, literally theming his Bar Mitzvah tables with recipes he had created. He’s used those skills for one of the best lox plates in the city, with other menu highlights including his ode to Langers’ #19, the MacArthur Park sandwich. For Hanukkah, they’re offering a holiday meal that serves four to six people and includes Wexler’s braised holiday brisket with potato latkes, roasted heirloom carrots, Dana’s matzo ball soup, Santa Monica Farmers Market winter salad, and six individual chocolate babka for $295.
How to book/order: Walk-in or order takeout and delivery via ChowNow.
Famous Label's Deli
Famous Label’s was a ‘70s institution that returned after a decades-long hiatus to its original location in an amazing feat of real estate kismet. The menu is stacked with everything from omelettes to homemade blintzes to matzo brei. They’ve also got a “Famous Mexicatessen” section of the menu where you’ll find chicken fajitas, tacos, burritos, and quesadillas.
How to book/order: Walk-in or order takeout and delivery on delivery apps.
This counter-service hole in the wall is a decades-long favorite on Pico, with a completely kosher menu that features house-cut lox and classic staples including chopped liver and chicken schnitzel. Don’t sleep on their soup menu, which includes classic matzo ball alongside minestrone, mushroom barley, and borscht.
How to book/order: Walk on in or order takeout and delivery from GrubTools.
Another LA mainstay, Fromin’s has been slicing meat for over 50 years on the Westside. The classic for big eaters is their sky-high sandwich, with coleslaw, Russian dressing, and your choice of meat on rye or a roll—or if you want to next-level it, between two potato pancakes. The deli and restaurant also makes a great remote office, with free wifi and charging stations at many of the booths. You can also bring your own wine with no corkage fee.
How to book/order: Walk in or get pickup and delivery from ChowNow.
Nate 'n Al Delicatessen
Generations of Angelenos have gone meshugganah for this old-school deli, which, for more than 60 years, was run by a single family before being saved from closure during the pandemic by legendary music couple (and longtime fans) Shelli and Irving Azoff. Their knishes and kosher dogs are great; the lox and cream cheese bagel and matzo ball soup are legendary. The restaurant isn’t offering a Hanukkah menu this year, but they do have a Thanksgiving menu with potato latkes available as a side dish if you’re in a pinch.
How to book/order: You can always walk in; they also have online ordering on Toast.
Art's Delicatessen & Restaurant
With Jerry’s closed due to the pandemic, Art’s—which has been blasting Valley kids with carbs since 1957—has become the East Valley’s #1 spot for noodle kugel to sky-high pastrami sandwiches. For Hanukkah, they’re offering a special potato pancake menu that’s available for dine-in and takeout, including a full order of eight latkes alongside eight ounces of sour cream and applesauce. A half-order of four latkes with four-ounce sides and a side order of two latkes with two-ounce sides are also available to order.
How to book/order: Walk-in, call 818-762-1221 or order via ChowNow for takeout, and order delivery via UberEats and other apps.
Langer's has been next to MacArthur Park since 1947, and there are people who've probably been waiting in their line nearly that long, too. It snakes around the block, thanks in huge part to the #19, a pastrami and coleslaw monster that's not just one of the best sandwiches in the city—it's been called one of the best in the country, too.
How to book/order: You can wait in the line (with proof of vaccination only!) or order delivery via all of the big partner apps.
The perennial, flagship 24-hour favorite on Fairfax has been around nearly as long as its octogenarian servers, and was once known as much for its pastrami as it was for being the hangout spot for Guns N' Roses (owner Marc Canter even wrote a book about the band's early days based on his experiences with them). The attached Kibitz Room is not only one of our favorite local dive bars—it’s also a great spot to catch small bands on the rise, and if you’ve been drinking there all night, the dense matzo ball soup is a great way to give yourself a base before you Uber home.
How to book/order: Walk-in or order takeout and delivery online.
Owned by the same family since the '60s, Brent’s is known for their cheese blintzes and stuffed kishka, with an extensive, delicious breakfast menu as well. They also offer daily specials like breakfast pork chops for just $15.95 and half of an Italian sub for $16.95 on Tuesdays and $7 old fashioneds on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
How to book/order: Walk in or select a location and order takeout online.
Factor's Famous Deli
This massive West LA landmark has been around since 1948, and has been run by the same family since 1969. It's got an enormous menu to go with its huge space, with everything from a daily sausage to chicken fajitas to goulash, but no matter what, make sure you get a side of latkes with your order—they’re perfect.
How to book/order: For big groups, call for a private room, otherwise walk in for tables or order pickup and delivery from Toast.