Los Angeles’ deli game is super strong. Your knowledge of LA’s deli game, though? Yeah, not so much, which is why we whipped this up: a list of every LA deli worth visiting, from the obvious to the wait-what-the-hell-is-this-place.
What you’re getting: The Godmother
If you haven’t been told by somebody to eat the Godmother yet, you don’t have friends/ears/both. It’s repeatedly referred to as the best sandwich in the city, and for good reason. Get it spicy, with the works, and get ready to send your thank you mail to Thrillist.
What you’re getting: Roast beef & pastrami
ROAST BEEF & PASTRAMI. ROAST BEEF & PASTRAMI. ROAST BEEF & PASTRAMI. BRING A BIB.
What you’re getting: Pastrami anything
Pastrami in your sandwich, pastrami in your bagel, hell, put pastrami in your soup ‘cause Label’s Table has its pastrami figured out. The nice thin cuts go really well with, well, anything else Label’s Table serves. Be sure to bring a friend and force them to get the latkes with applesauce, and then create a fancy diversion, and eat all their food while they’re not looking.
What you’re getting: The S.O.B.
You like spicy soppressata and oven-roasted chicken don’t ya? Sure ya do, you’re a human being with a heart and soul. Mario’s is the ultimate haven for those who don’t feel like driving all the way to Bay Cities. The soda selection is choice, and the caprese salad comes with artichokes and mushrooms. Mario’s. All. Night.
What you’re getting: The meatball sandwich
Covina is hiding a phenomenal meatball sandwich from you, so don’t let it get away with it. Not enough meatballs in your sammy? Order some more on the side for just $1.75 each. And don’t be a dingus and forget to order a root beer float.
What you’re getting: Il Rocco
Think you know every spot to eat on Vermont? Well you don’t, ‘cause you’re not at Rocco’s this very instant. Its masterpiece Il Rocco sports some of the best Italian cold cuts you can find as well as house-made giardiniera. This sando is, as a gentleman would say, “some good shit.”
What you’re getting: Lasagna
This cafeteria-style Italian sanctuary has all the goodies you could ever want, for so much cheaper than you’d ever expect. Feast your eyes (and then your stomach) upon all the delicious salads and entrees. It may seem too good to be true, but Pinocchio’s is no lie (see what we did there?).
What you’re getting: The muffaletta
Bet you nerds didn’t know there was a deli section of Little Dom’s did you? Well there is. Nerds. The pastries are gold, and you can even get really great Italian meats and cheeses to go. It closes at 6pm, so ya better scoot in there early.
What you’re getting: Corned beef on rye. And wine. Lots of wine.
“I’ve grown tired of laughing at The Laugh Factory! If only there was a place I could get some really great corned beef.” We assume at least one person has said this before, because nestled behind The Laugh Factory sits Greenblatt’s, the first deli to sell fine wine. And it's open ‘til 2am, so you best believe you’ll have more than one bottle.
Playa del Rey
What you’re getting: Pork Cubano
LA may have a shortage of great Cuban sandwiches, but not when you’re at Del Rey Deli Co. It rocks an excellent mix of standard deli fare, as well as specialty sandwiches like Jidori pesto chicken, salmon BLTs, and three styles of pastrami.
What you’re getting: Anything at all from the bakery
Oh, the rugelach! Oh, the cookies! And the danishes! Order 17 of everything they have, and eat them all at once. Canter’s is one of the oldest and most storied delis in the country, let alone LA. And make sure you check out the Kibitz Room, the room where legends like the Chili Peppers got their start.
What you’re getting: Pastrami Reuben
New York Jew-approved, New York Famous Deli has some of the best ‘stram you can get outside of NY itself. It serves it up with a kosher dill pickle and coleslaw or potato salad, the way the Big Apple intended. Make sure you order yourself a big bowl of the matzo ball soup to dunk your entire face in, ‘cause the matzo balls are your new reason for living.
What you’re getting: Lox & bagels
Brent’s is a staple. Lox is a staple. Bagels are a staple. Your jeans will need to be stapled after you’re done with the enormous portion sizes Brent’s is pumping out.
What you’re getting: The #19
While Bay Cities might have the best Italian sandwich in the city, Langer’s most certainly has the best pastrami in the city. The wonderful piece of human precision and ingenuity that is the #19 will rattle your bones in the best possible way -- ridiculous cuts of ‘stram, coleslaw, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing on rye. Long wait? Who cares. It’s worth it.
What you’re getting: Egg salad sandwich
Every deli’s got it, but none as good as Wexler’s. Head to Grand Central Market and grab a “Ruskie” from Wexler’s -- insanely tasty egg salad on a kaiser roll with a pickle. Egg Slut isn’t the only egg powerhouse in the market.
What you’re getting: New York sandwich
Nate ’n Al is almost 70 years old, and the quality of the food reflects it. Grab the New York (hot pastrami, coleslaw, and Russian dressing) on rye (obviously), and maybe you’ll see Larry King, since he eats there almost every day.
What you’re getting: Matzo ball soup
With a surprisingly decent South of the border menu, you’ll want to do that, but don’t be led astray -- the matzo ball soup is a grand slam, as is the homemade turkey chili. Factor’s is the perfect remedy for the Westside soul who won’t drive to Brent’s.
What you’re getting: Crawfish mac n’ cheese
“Alas, Orleans and York is probably the only New Orleans deli in Los Angeles!” Well, it’s not. And why are you speaking in Old English? Little Jewel of New Orleans is packed to the gills with NOLA goodies like house-made andouille sausage, fresh beignets, and crawfish mac ‘n cheese. Parade not included.
What you’re getting: Beef noodle soup
Why this place is called a deli is beyond us, but it is, and the food is incredible, so just relax already. It’s one of those places with a menu the size of the Bible, and everything on it is a home run. The scallion pancakes are cash-money, but not nearly as cash-money as the homemade beef noodle soup. Thick chunks of beef, handmade noodles -- LEMME GET AN AMEN.
What you’re getting: Thursday night dinner
Ya know, “delicious” is derived from the Greek word “nostimo,” which means “Eat at Papa Cristo’s as often as you can.” Grab some slow-cooked lamb gyros or some of the delicious hummus, and definitely stay for their Big Fat Greek Family-Style Dinner -- a huge set-menu feast that includes live music, entertainment, and wine tasting (and only $24!).
What you’re getting: Oyster po-boy
NOLA and NY? Not a bad combo. Get your mitts on one of the golden-fried oyster po-boys (even if the month doesn’t end with "R"). Too complicated to wait in line at the deli? Text POBOY to 33733 to call in your order. Yep, that’s real.
What you’re getting: Smoked turkey wrap
The meat. The house string cheese. The hummus. The tabouli. The spicy eggplant salsa. THE EVERYTHING.
What you’re getting: Greek salad
Walked past the Wendy’s a billion times without realizing you were walking by one of the dopest Mediterranean delis in LA? You’re not alone. You can’t see it from the street, but sneak around to find your way into Bianca’s. Pro tip: the feta cheese is the stuff of dreams.
What you’re getting: Gravlax sandwich
This place is even better than IKEA, you guys.
What you’re getting: Matzo brei
“All day” is the best time of day, especially when it’s when Art’s serves breakfast. Stuff your face with the homemade matzo brei and then buy some pens 'cause you’ll want to write the place a personalized thank you card. The entire breakfast menu is pretty killer, so make sure to come back for the lox, eggs, and onions. Mmmmmm.
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1. Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery1517 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica
2. Eastside Market Italian Deli1013 Alpine St, Los Angeles
3. Labels Table Deli9226 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles
4. Mario's Italian Deli & Market740 E Broadway, Glendale
5. Capri Deli713 E San Bernardino Rd, Covina
6. Rocco's Deli1761 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles
7. Monte Carlo Deli & Pinochio’s Restaurant3103 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank
8. Deli at Little Dom's2128 Hillhurst Ave , Los Angeles
9. Greenblatt's Delicatessen8017 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles
10. Del Rey Deli Co.8501 Pershing Dr # 3, Playa del Rey
11. Canter's Delicatessen419 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles
12. New York Famous Deli2501 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles
13. Brent's Deli19565 Parthenia St, Northridge
14. Langer's Delicatessen704 S Alvarado St, Los Angeles
15. Wexler's Deli317 S Broadway, Los Angeles
16. Nate 'n Al Delicatessen414 N Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills
17. Factor's Famous Deli9420 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles
18. The Little Jewel of New Orleans207 Ord St, Los Angeles
19. Mandarin Deli9305 Reseda Blvd, Northridge
20. Papa Cristo's2771 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles
21. Orleans and York Deli4454 W Slauson Ave, Los Angeles
22. Tarzana Armenian Deli And Grocery18598 Ventura Blvd, Tarzana
23. Bianca's Deli1307 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles
24. Olsons Scandinavian Delicatessen5660 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles
25. Art's Delicatessen & Restaurant12224 Ventura Blvd, Studio City
Slinging sandwiches in Santa Monica since the 1920s, Bay Cities is responsible for masterpieces like The Godmother, a sub made with basically every Italian cured meat, Provolone cheese, and the works (mustard, mayo, Italian dressing, onions, pickles, tomato, and lettuce). More than just a sandwich specialist, the shop also serves prepared pastas like lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, and stuffed shells. While the counter crew assembles your order, browse through the grocery section that's stocked with imported Italian specialities.
A true and authentic Italian deli, Eastside is a landmark eatery for their outstanding sammies (both hot and cold), pasta dishes, and salads.
Labels Table is an old-school Jewish deli serving up seriously good desserts, sandos, and soups.
Mario's has been around since 1961, providing Glendale with delicious sandwiches, hot plates, and pizza the whole while. Though it can get a little crowded, it's always worth the wait to get your hands on one of their triple-decker Submarine Combos.
Hidden in Covina is one of LA's best meatball sandwiches at Capri Deli. Not enough meatballs for you? Order more on the side for $1.75 each, and PLEASE don't forget to order a root beer float.
Rocco's has some of the best Italian cold cuts you'll find anywhere. If you don't believe us, get the Il Rocco which also sports their house-made giardiniera.
This cafeteria style Italian deli has tons of delicious salads and entrees for you to choose from, and they're all much cheaper than you'd expect.
Located in cozy Italian spot Little Dom's is a separate deli section with amazing pastries and delicious Italian meats and cheeses.
Since opening its doors in 1926, Greenblatt’s Delicatessen has become something of an LA institution, mostly because of the homemade matzo ball soup, hot Reuben, corned beef sandwich, and Double Chocolate Fudge Cake. Greenblatt’s perfectly seasoned slices of pastrami are hot and juicy every time -- saddle it with a bottle of wine from the retail shop adjacent to the deli, and enjoy your sandwich like a true LA native.
This deli rocks an excellent mix of standard deli fare, as well as specialty sandwiches - and they've got a killer Pork Cubano that is a must try.
This Fairfax Ave institution serves up New York deli classics -- pastrami on rye, cheesecake, burgers -- 24/7.
This deli really does have some of the best pastrami outside of New York and they serve it up with a Kosher dill pickle and coleslaw or potato salad. Make sure you also get a bowl of Matzo Ball soup and it let it become your new reason for living.
Brent's has free WiFi! Oh, and they also have some of the best sandwiches you'll ever taste, which are absolutely loaded with delicious meats and cheeses and served fresh every day, not to mention a full breakfast menu and other non-sandwich related offerings.
Langer's has been a go-to spot for their classic hot pastrami sammy (which has been touted as the best in the WORLD) since 1947.
This Grand Central Market deli features traditional Jewish deli eats like house-cured beef and pastrami on plush rye bread and house-made pickles as well as black/white cookies.
One of two locations, Nate n' Al's one of the best delis in the Beverly Hills area. They've been family owned and operated since 1945 and their huge delicious sandwiches prove their dedication to quality.
Factor's is famous for a reason. The deli has been in the same spot since 1948 and has been owned by the Markowitz family since 1969. This longevity has allowed them to perfect the art of the sandwich, piling them high with generous amounts of meats and other tasty toppings.
Head to this Downtown spot where you'll find straight-up recreations of New Orleans' finest food, including crawfish mac & cheese and outstanding po' boys, which are crispy and chewy at the same time.
It's a little unclear as to why this place is called a deli, but the homemade beef noodle soup is so good we don't really care. As are the scallion pancakes. And really most things on the bible sized menu. We think that this deli is one of the best in Los Angeles, but we highly encourage you to stop by and decide for yourself.
Papa Cristo's in West Adams is a Greek food destination. The massive blue-and-white space takes up more than half a block on West Pico Blvd, and includes a market, bakery, and sit-down restaurant that extends onto an enclosed patio. The traditional menu runs the gamut from pita pizzas and gyro platters to spanakopita and full racks of lamb, but everything you order is guaranteed to be a) good, b) cheap. The "Big Fat Greek Family-Style Dinner," a weekly five-course meal that includes a wine tasting and baklava, is a must for groups.
New Orleans and New York combined?? You got it. Get your mitts on one of their golden fried oyster po boys.
Located in the San Fernando Valley, Tarzana Armenian Deli and Grocery boasts claim as the home of the original pita wrap.
Bianca's is one of the best Mediterranean delis in LA and their feta cheese is the stuff of dreams. It can be easy to miss, but sneak around the back of that Wendy's you've walked by a million times and you'll find it.
It's a Scandinavian deli and it's better than IKEA. Real talk.